Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jumping The (Pool) Shark

... or, You Keep Using That Word, Part Two.

Apparently, a couple weeks back, a 'blogger penned a snarky little piece of satire stating that the administration was planning to replace the armed services oath's language swearing fealty to the Constitution with language swearing fealty to the President.

It was labeled satire. The byline was of a non-existent journalist. And the rest of the site is similarly smartly irreverent. It was clearly humour.

Some, apparently, either didn't get it, or didn't want to.
The label got left off and his bogus story was quickly copied and pasted on blogs, zapped around the country through chain e-mails, and discussed in YouTube commentaries. Many people didn't bother to verify it and responded with comments of outrage.


Some blogs were eventually corrected, or people posted comments that said the article was a fake, but others still carry the fake article. Brent Johnson, a radio host who posted the item on his Voice of Freedom blog, said he posted it without verifying it because "This is one of those stories where, if it is true, is so, so serious. It’s the kind of thing people need to know about in the chance it is true."

Before long the Digg website, YouTube, the Tree of Liberty 'blog, and various right-wing personalities had fallen for the fake story, trumpeting it in that "end of the world" tone as if it were true.

It's apparent from the article that more than a few still do not believe the article was not genuine.

I'm continually amazed that people who have shown a remarkable affinity to fascist governmental forms would be so quick to use the label of fascism as if it were a bad thing. Own your bias: don't be shy. When Communists, Immigrants and Unworthy Ethnic and Social Minorities are threatening your way of life, call them out in just those terms. It may not be as palatable to the rest of us, but it'll be far more accurate.

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