Monday, November 29, 2010

Lies in the echo chamber

It's so easy to make stuff up; convincing stuff. Cite an authority that cannot be cross referenced, such as "experts" or "studies," then quote them. Better yet, cite foreign experts or studies or just about anybody employed or representing themselves as being employed by anything that can be viewed as "the press" however vaguely.

Here's what happens after that. Your friend or neighbor now has the authority to quote that stuff as fact because they heard it or read it; i.e. they did not make it up. They read it on the internet or heard it on talk radio. The spurious factoid becomes gospel truth and is repeated and repeated until it become irrefutable. Two recent examples come to mind:
  • The $200 million price tag for Obama's visit to Asia.
  • Death panels.
Both when examined by competent fact checkers were shown to be based on spurious misreadings of the public record; but since they were shouted long enough, loud enough and often enough in the grand echo chamber, they became accepted fact and remain so.

Why not, then, have fun with this.

Let us assume that, since you are reading this on the internet that anything that follows just must be true. After all, you read it -- you read it on the internet. It will cite foreign sources. It will reference trusted experts. It will invoke studies by respected specialists. I won't name them, but you can be assured that they are indeed expert and to be fully trusted.
Here we go.
George W. Bush Diagnosed With Airborne Tetanus.
WONSAN, DPRK - Nov. 29
In breaking news, the Wonsan People's Truth has revealed that long time enemy George W. Bush has succumbed to the evil that was dropped on our DPRK during the war for liberation. Expert U.S. Airmen, during that time, admitted in long intense conversations that they were responsible for dropping aerosols containing airborne tetanus (aka "lock-jaw") - a form of biological warfare that had been banned for decades. Now we learn that canisters of the deadly toxin have been discovered leaking near the former president's ranch in Crawford Texas thus explaining the frozen rictus on his face during embarassing interviews. At last, as the Americans say, "what goes around comes around."

You know this -- you just read it. You know it's true -- you read it on the internet.


Barack Obama uses makeup to hide Caucasian skin.
CHINTECHE, Malawi - Oct. 17
The American president, Barack Obama, in order to hide his white heritage, regularly uses skin darkeners to hide a persistent melanin deficiency affecting his skin pigmentation. Medical experts all agree that melanin deficiency is a genetic disorder passed on from the mother. The first signs of melanin deficiency show up as patches of white where the melanin has become exhausted and so no longer supplys any skin tone. With Caucasians it shows up as a lighter toned area, but on those with darker skins it appears, by comparison, as pure North British Islands Cracker Ivory White. It was once said that this was the misfortune afflicting Michael Jackson who decided to accept his fate and press on. But since Mr. Obama has been hailed as the first African-American president, such a condition would be politically embarrassing. Therefore, Mr. Obama has been revealed to be using artificial melanin to maintain his skin color which, if left untreated, would render him Caucasian. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has been quoted as saying that should Mr. Obama refrain from using artificial melanin to maintain an African appearance, that Mr. McConnell would have no problem becoming more accommodating to Mr. Obama's policies.

You know this -- you just read it. You know it's true -- you read it on the internet.

Glenn Beck Encourages Mexican Relative To "Stay Put."
Declares "God's will must be done"

ZACATECAS, Mexico - July 18
The FOX Network Talk Radio and TV commentator Glenn Beck has a cousin he doesn't want anyone to know about. Miguel Corriente was a worker in a paper-clip factory here in Zacatecas, but it was just too much to try to live on the 2 cents per day he was paid. Even sugar-cane, at 3 cents a stalk, was not enough to sustain him. So when he realized that Mr. Beck (Stream in German, Corriente in Spanish) was a wealthy Christian brother in America who wanted all of God's children to enjoy the same grace as he was receiving, he wrote him a letter pleading for some relief from the constant hunger that he faced -- perhaps a kind word from Senor Beck would maybe raise the wages being paid by the factory so that he could have a full meal, even if it was still sugar-cane. Months went by, then finally, in June, a letter came from Mr. Beck's publicity agent asking Miguel to please stop writing as it was not Mr. Beck's intention to aid immigrants. However, Mr. Beck would pray for him and those of his kind, and certainly mention the wonderful work being done in Mexico to help its citizens be able to stay in their own native land, especially as regards making paper-clips in Zacatecas.

Mr. Corriente leaves behind a widow and 7 children.

You know this -- you just read it. You know it's true -- you read it on the internet.

No comments: