Monday, November 14, 2005

the internets in action

So there's been a quote circulating around the Internet the past couple days. At first glance, it appears to be yet another unfortunate choice of words for John Kerry, who was often excoriated during the 2004 presidential campaign for similarly unfortunate choices of words (i.e., "I voted for it before I voted against it," etc.):

"We had no pre-war intelligence," said Sen. John Kerry, "History will show that none of the leading Democrats had substantial intelligence. Anyone who remembers what we did then knows that the president is making a baseless allegation. I think history will bear out my contention that we Democrats lacked the intelligence to make such an important decision."

Sounds too good to be true, right? Sounds like it was tailor-made for the type of triumphant, vitriolic email forwards that circle the drains of our junk mail folders (the same type that can make Andy Rooney look like David Duke). Well, that's because it was.

"Scrappleface" is a fake news website. More precisely, it's an extremely right-wing fake news website; for example, one story deals with Nancy Pelosi's apparent plan to seize oil company profits and use them to fund abortions for ANWR wildlife.

Now that's comedy.

Anyhoo, the Kerry quote is fakily fake; so fake, in fact, that debunking the cause of the resulting outrage-tinged smug satisfaction among the right (look at how many people assume John Kerry actually said this) would be a slam dunk for the folks over at Snopes. Unfortunately, that won't keep this little nugget of subtle-as-a-sledge-hammer satire from circulating around the Internets forever, presented as yet another factual dumb soundbite that actually factually sprang from the wordhole of one John Kerry, Democrat.

Partisans believe what they want to believe - what they expect to believe - facts be damned. Some partisans know it's fake, and just don't care; it stands more of a chance to distract from the question at hand if people assume it's true. It won't change the subject, to be sure; but in the arena of public opinion, Republicans have defeated Democrats in the past by inflicting thousands of little cuts just like this one.

Can't wait to get it in an email.

No comments: