Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do Republicans Get This Kind of Email?

Campaign rumors run rampant on the internet, and one of the recent ones circulated about McCain's undervetted, inexperienced Veep nominee was that she fired her librarian in a spat over Palin's desire to ban a long list of books. One email purported to list all the books that Palin sought to ban - a lengthy list, including many classics.

It wasn't true. Someone somewhere took a list of frequently targeted books and claimed that Palin went after all of them. She didn't.

What happened next, though, illustrates the difference between the right and the left in American politics. Literally within hours of receiving the list of banned books, I received an email from a leftwing source highlighting this article, disavowing the list of banned books, telling us not to forward it, and effectively shutting down this falsehood. The subject line of the email was direct - "Don't Forward that List of Palin Banned Books."

The reason that you haven't been treated to a press cycle questioning why Palin banned "My Friend Flicka" is because the left did an effective job of self-policing.

Republicans have no such self-discipline. When a lie springs into the conversation, the Republicans have learned to encourage it and make certain that it becomes part of the accepted truthiness of the world. Gore never claimed to invent the internet, but it is probably his best-known alleged claim.

It's so bad that the Democratic Party has found it necessary to create a "Count the Lies" website, listing 52 lies from the McCain campaign itself. These are all documented falsehoods, and you don't see anyone on the right circulating any emails telling people not to forward them.

It's discouraging sometimes to see how broadly and brazenly the right wing spreads malicious falsehoods, and it's even tempting to play a tit for tat game. But, in the long run, I'm proud that the left wing bloggers have a firmer grip on reality and a higher ethical standard than those who would have us believe that Palin rejected the Bridge to Nowhere.

(Note: We don't know which books Palin sought to ban, though it's true she inquired about how to go about banning books. She claims to have fired the Wasilla Librarian because she "didn't fully support her". Personally, I think it's creepy enough that Palin thought she was entitled to full support from a librarian.)

Labels: , ,


Blogger les said...


9/16/2008 9:02 AM  
Blogger Clark said...

Actual studies have documented that conservatives are more likely to believe incorrect information even when debunked.

9/16/2008 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Translation for the uninitiated:

It's OK if you're a republican.

9/16/2008 11:12 AM  
Blogger m.v. said...

It's not because the democrats are so honest,or they object to lies, they just realize that spreading things like that only hurts their image. It doesn't work the same way with republicans. maybe republicans are better at it. I was wathching Bill Maher show on Friday,Janeane Garofalo was acting batshit crazy, screaming and yelling, etc. People look and think that she represents people who will have Obama's ear if he's elected. Correct or not, people make conclusions. The only outlet able to make an impact without being seen as rabid partisan is The Daily Show.

9/16/2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For m.v.:

Woman (Shootings in America): You can't say Americans are not more violent than other people.
Fred: No.
Woman (Shootings in America): All those people killed in shootings in America?
Fred: Oh, shootings, yes. But that doesn't mean Americans are more violent than other people. We're just better shots.


9/16/2008 4:09 PM  
Anonymous sal said...

Loose Change

9/16/2008 9:36 PM  
Blogger craig said...

We don't get those emails because we are able to decipher the BS without being told by handlers.

9/16/2008 9:58 PM  
Anonymous GMC70 said...

The reason that you haven't been treated to a press cycle questioning why Palin banned "My Friend Flicka" is because the left did an effective job of self-policing.


You mean, you're serious? Really? REALLY?

Effective job at "self-policing?" Tell that to the nutroots at DailyKos. The only reason that these stories haven't made the MSM is because they are such blatant trash that they are so easily debunked. And they hurt Obama, and the MSM does nothing to hurt their chosen one.

And, as Craig noted, Republicans don't need handlers to tell them what to think.

9/17/2008 8:26 AM  
Blogger les said...

Republicans don't need handlers to tell them what to think.

Define: Dittohead.

9/17/2008 8:29 AM  
Blogger DLC said...

From what I've read, Palin did not seek to ban any books but did inquire whether the librarian would be willing to do so if asked. Since she refused to express this willingness, this naturally soured the relationship.

People ask (or demand) that books be removed from libraries all the time. It happens in KC and it happens in JoCo. We should thank our lucky stars that librarians take free access to information seriously.

9/17/2008 11:36 AM  
Anonymous whistleblowme said...

Stupid, narrow-minded, bigoted, authoritarian, fearful, whacko, religious extremists ask (or demand) that books be removed from libraries all the time.

9/17/2008 11:45 AM  
Blogger Z Man said...

I had not seen that email, which shows that Dems do their best to squash at least most lies that come out about their opponents.

You are exactly right that Republicans do not, I have received so much flat out crap from people that it is sickening. And what's worse is that they still believe it, even though it has been proven time and time again that it is false.

Just the other day, a guy at work was trying to tell me that Obama is a Muslim, one of the first lies proven false. I mean, seriously...

9/18/2008 9:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home