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Progressive Media Run with Two Fake Anti-Romney Stories
Progressive Media Run with Two Fake Anti-Romney Stories
by John Sexton 26 Sep 2012 263 post a comment
Twice this week, progressive media outlets have embarrassed themselves by jumping on stories that looked like promising anti-Republican material only to discover hours later they'd been fooled. In one case, the mistake was a piece of satire, the other a joke mistaken for a serious comment.

Tuesday morning Politico's Roger Simon posted an article which was clearly not meant to be taken seriously. The thrust of the piece was that Paul Ryan had become unhinged and was "marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, 'If Stench calls, take a message' and 'Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.'" Stench was supposedly Ryan's new nickname for Mitt Romney.

If that weren't outlandish enough, on page two of the piece, Simon writes, "A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations."

Despite going way over the top with comments like this, the crack research team at MSNBC didn't catch the joke, and Lawrence O'Donnell opened a segment with it Tuesday evening. Reporting on the O'Donnell segment Wednesday morning, Mediaite reporter Tommy Christopher wrote, "Simon’s anecdote has the recognizable (to the Beltway crowd) ring of truth that renders it canonical in political circles." He did allow that the quote may have been Ryan making an ironic meta-comment on the media.

In any case, Mediaite was far from alone. NY Times columnist Paul Krugman repeated the claim on his blog "Conscience of a Liberal" this morning, before going back and striking through the entire thing. To Krugman you can also add Gawker, Daily Kos and a couple other outlets. That's media gaffe number one.

While one embarrassment like this would be enough, Tuesday's was actually the second of the week for some of these outlets. On Sunday the entire left media--Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Gawker, Think Progress--ran stories claiming Mitt Romney was confused about why the windows of airplanes didn't roll down. Gawker's lede gives you a sense of the tone: "Affluent Imagineer Mitt Romney has some exciting new proposals for the future of airplane design..."

But it wasn't just Gawker and Daily Kos that got on board. Politico covered it in a style not that different from Gawker: "Here’s hoping Mitt Romney’s plan to overhaul federal regulations doesn’t include airline safety standards." The Atlantic's James Fallows published an email from an expert who helpfully explained,"the windows in an airplane don't 'roll down' because, for one, the plane is pressurized."

Rachel Maddow highlighted video of Romney's remarks while wondering if it might be a "turning point in the election." She did allow that he might have been joking but suggested that would be inappropriate somehow. Here's Maddow's dumbfounded look immediately after showing the clip of Romney's comments:

As you've probably guessed by now, Romney's statement was a joke. In fact, you can hear people laughing in the clip Maddow played. The report that got this particular ball rolling was published by the LA Times and "based off a pool report written by the New York Times's Ashley Parker." When asked, Parker said it was definitely a joke, but none of the news outlets listed above bothered to check before running their stories. That's media gaffe number two. It's also two more gaffes than Mitt Romney has made this week. That is embarrassing.
das, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Color me surprised. A high school acquaintance recently friended me on FB and I've kept track of his page out of curiosity.

Turns out he and his family are hard core full-on left Democrats, heavily involved in the Obama campaign and fundraising. His FB page is almost exclusively devoted to smarmy, "cute" little anti-Romney cartoons and whatever else he and his friends can find on teh intarwebz. The comments he and his friends post will truly make you nauseous in their sycophantic frenzy for O. I honestly don't understand it, no matter how hard I try. No man is worth that kind of mindless devotion. Just say no to zombies. . . .

It's some kind of weird, over the top cult with these guys. It actually scares me a little the way they carry on. If nothing else, that is becoming a good enough reason for me to vote against Obama.

This guy is a computer engineer, he's far from stupid. He used to work for Microsoft, but now he's an engineer with a private firm. I do have a feeling, however, that he might sing a different tune if he was jobless. The term "limousine liberal" comes to mind here.
I don't suffer from insanity.
I enjoy every minute of it.

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