(....or not cause those people you want to sway will believe anything you shove into their little brains.) This is a a brilliant deconstruction of how the Right, lead by Michell Malkin, tried to pad the numbers- or rather invent them altogether. ( My 5 year old niece can lie better than these people. Source: Media Matters)Michelle Malkin and the anatomy of the 2 million protester lie
Blame it on a tweet.
It turns out that's what kicked off the right-wing blogosphere's comically inept
misinformation campaign last weekend to try to swell the size of Saturday's anti-Obama protest in the nation's capital, to jack the crowd size up to the wildly inflated -- and erroneous -- number of 2 million people.
Nice try. According to estimates provided by the Washington, D.C., fire department, Malkin and friends were only off by 1,930,000 people. In other words, Malkin, citing fictitious press accounts, led the charge to falsely inflate the size of the crowd by 30 times. Malkin and company, desperate to dress up the tea party event as a mass movement, saw a relatively modest crowd of 70,000 GOP protesters and imagined it was 2 million strong. (
She's a dreamer, I suppose.)
Worse, Malkin spent most of Saturday in denial, refusing to update her transparently false report, which meant the rest of the right-wing blogosphere also played dumb on a massive scale and kept excitedly repeating the manufactured claim. The scary part is that within the fact-free conservative blogosphere, lots of people still believe the 2 million nonsense, or are at least repeating it
. They believe it despite the fact that nobody
can point to any evidence to support it.
For most sane observers, what transpired over the weekend resembled a comical bout of telephone tag -- the game schoolchildren play when they whisper something into a friend's ear and then get a big laugh when, six or seven friends later, they hear how distorted the original message has become via garbled repetition. (Two million protesters!) The sad part is that right-wing bloggers are serious. They think they're engaging in some bold new era of citizen journalism. Instead, they just, you know, make stuff up
It's just the latest example in a string of unforgettable whoppers from online conservatives who rarely let the facts get in the way of a good story. And, yes, irony abounds in that right-wing bloggers hate the press and that they hate the practice of journalism.
They lecture reporters about accountability and fairness all the time, yet whenever amateur conservatives try their hand at reporting, they just produce guffaws
for the rest of us. (Did I mention they miscalculated the size of the crowd by 1,930,000 people
On Saturday, facts didn't matter because right-wing ringleader Malkin was helping to spread a sprawling (and illogical
) lie, and her dutiful followers knew just what to do: spread it hard and fast. Perhaps Malkin's only regret was she didn't aim higher; she could have claimed there were news reports of 12 million people protesting in D.C., and I'm sure every one of her willingly gullible devotees would have linked to her.
The amusing part of the weekend's blind-leading-the-blind charade was that Malkin already has a very long
and detailed history
of manufacturing phony stories that later leave nasty stains all over the blogosphere when they turn out to be turds. (Paging Jamil Hussein
.) And that's what I think was so revealing about the 2 million-people-in-D.C. fiasco: Nobody within the right-wing blogosphere seems to be the slightest bit upset, let alone embarrassed or chastened, for having been part of a farcical, inept attempt to inflate the size of Saturday's rally by 1,930,000 people. Nobody seems to think it reflects poorly on them as a community, or that it will damage their collective reputation.
They really are shameless. And they really do inhabit their own parallel political universe where everyone's allergic to facts.
Why the shamelessness? Sadly, members of the GOP Noise Machine are acutely aware there is no downside to just lying 24/7
. Malkin knows that no TV producers are going to deny her an on-air spot because she purposefully spread the patently phony claim that 2 million people gathered in Washington, D.C. (i.e. that the city's population quadrupled overnight
). The Beltway press rarely holds the Noise Machine accountable, so of course they're going to just keep lying (what's the downside?), since it's obvious they don't really care about facts
to begin with.
The conservative comedy of errors began on Saturday when Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, took to the rally stage and unfurled a massive lie. He told the crowd ABC News had reported that between 1 million to 1.5 million people had gathered to protest Obama's policies. (Later, a FreedomWorks flack conceded
she had no idea know why Kibbe manufactured the claim about ABC News.) Immediately, conservative activist Tabitha Hale (aka "pinkelephantpun") tweeted Kibbe's lie but added an additional 500,000 people to the tally: "ABC reporting 2 million people."
Seven minutes later, Malkin re-tweeted
Hale's claim. Then, one minute after that, Malkin turned that tweet into
part of her ongoing protest coverage. Intrepid "reporter" Malkin took an unsupported tweet and reported it as news
12:34pm Eastern: Police estimate 1.2 million in attendance. ABC News reporting crowd at 2 million -- tweets Tabitha Hale from D.C.( Collapse )
Teeny, tiny fringe, huh?