While the delicious irony of listening to rightwingers complain about journalistic integrity from the NYT has been a hoot, it just wasn’t enough. America needed more reminding of what complete incompetence is required to be a rightwing blogger. Once again, an embarrassing story about how George W. Bush’s Pentagon fucks over soldiers comes to light, and once again, the rightwing-o-sphere’s Dick Tracys come out of the woodwork with completely baseless conjecture and “research” to prove that whatever it is, it couldn’t possibly be true.
Right up until it proves to be 100% true.
While I slammed Jake Tapper the other day for being a cynical bastard, today I can appreciate that he’s a cynical bastard who’s willing to do some actual reporting to verify a story, at least in this case. See, in last night’s debate Barack Obama told the story of an Army captain in Afghanistan who said it was often easier to get ammo by scrounging it off the enemy than requesting it via the chain of command, because our resources were too focused on Iraq.
Sure enough, Tapper notes, rightwing bloggers jumped on the story doubting its veracity. Declaring the story impossible to verify, they drummed up the usual tsunami of horseshit from every corner of the web. While those on the right scream in protest about the anonymous sources from the NYT story on McCain, they prove that when it comes to smears, they practically invented the practice. Tapper had to be smirking as he assembled this smÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord of links:
I can’t believe anybody could bear to read every one of these links without gagging on the stupidity. Claims like, “Platoons are never split up!” (Um, except when they are…) were teamed up with screams that captains don’t command platoons (they overlooked this neat feature about the military: once in awhile, soldiers get promoted…the captain was a lieutenant at the time). “…a US soldier would (N)EVER use a substandard Taliban weapon,” gets tossed out with perfect authority, while Obama is called incompetent, unfit to lead the military, in need of remedial education, etc.
Need we even ask if George W. Bush would be able to demonstrate any knowledge of how the military works beyond how to use Daddy’s connections to dodge fighting a war he supported?
Well, you could ask, but be prepared for the bullshit to flow like Willy Wonka’s chocolate rivers. Or for the subject to be immediately changed.
Fortunately, Tapper thought he’d actually attempt to contact the Obama campaign and do some investigative reporting. Soon enough he was on the phone with the very captain Obama spoke of.
I find that Obama’s anecdote checks out.
Rightwing bloggers talking a load of fact-free crap slapped together with moron-logic?
The deuce you say!
Of course, when they open their mouths again, they will expect you to take them quite seriously. Rightwingers don’t pay penalties for inaccuracies and mistakes. In fact, if one surmised that their errors were in fact an in-demand service that they are directly rewarded for, it wouldn’t be far from the truth. These people are authoritarians. When their favorite authority figures are threatened by the facts, the right comes to the rescue. Their fellow authoritarians enjoy the brief moments of pleasure created by hearing semi-plausible alibis, even if the alibis are later shredded (refutations are unlikely to make it inside the rightwing bubble anyway), and their leaders benefit from the clouds of doubt stirred up.
Oh, but let’s hear what they have to say about the journalistic standards of The New York Times and how much righties abhor smears!