That moron Ben Tribbett at “Not Larry Sabato” (NLS) posted a picture today that purported to show a Confederate flag being displayed in a Bob McDonnell booth at a gun show.
The problem? The Confederate flag belonged to a Confederate memorabilia dealer that was positioned beside McDonnell’s booth. The Washington Post did the fact-checking that Tribbett is too lazy to do:
Hugh Crittenden, the founder and manager of the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, is backing up McDonnell.
Crittenden said he invited both campaigns to staff a booth at the show, which draws 20,000 people each year. McDonnell’s campaign decided to show, but came late, so Crittenden assigned them the only booth left open: Number 43.
It happened to be next another vendor who also signed up late, Down Home T-Shirts, which got Number 44. According to material submitted to the show, Down Home T-Shirts sells “Confederate T-shirts and more.”
He said even if McDonnell’s staffers had asked for a move, the show was so crowded that they could not have been accommodated.
And it wasn’t just Tribbett that was promoting this trash, the folks at Fred2Blue posted a link to NLS without bothering to do any fact-checking either.
And no one involved has bothered to issue a correction to their original posts, including Tribbett. In fact, he has following the say (Id.):
“If a confederate flag was placed at the exact median point between the McDonnell booth and a confederate booth and the McDonnell campaign was not smart enough to demand that it be taken down or that their booth be moved, that’s almost as bad as if the flag were at their booth,” he said. “Either way, it shows a real insensitivity to what the flag means.”
AAAACK! THE DREADED MEDIAN POINT! WE’RE DOOMED!!!
Now, I have no idea what mathematical genius allowed Tribbett to determine the “exact median point” from the picture, but allow me to use this to establish Blogospheric Rule # Um, we’re supposed to be counting? – When you are forced to resort to a syntactical precision best suited for a college-level dissertation, you lose the argument.
And it wasn’t just the blogosphere promoting this story either. Creigh Deed’s own campaign manager tweeted about the picture encouraging people to visit NLS.
But, of course, this is just more and more of campaigns intermingling themselves with blogs. You would be surprised at some of the e-mails I have gotten and conversations I have had with different politicians wanting such and such promoted. In one case, a well-known local politician wanted me to accuse another blogger of committing a crime because of a picture that he was using. Yes, seriously. And for some reason, he thought that just mentioning an extremely vague criminal statute to me and the blogger’s name would just cause me to pounce. Sorry, guess I’m not as stupid as Ben Tribbett.
In fact, if a campaign mentions anything about something I was going to write a post on, more than likely that post has just gotten deleted. Why am I just going to repeat something that someone else is already saying? If I wanted to do that I would be a spokesman or *shudder* a reporter.
And while the Deed’s campaign will of course deny being involved in this astroturfing campaign, someone should ask Tribbett how a picture from a Mechanicsville gun show ends up being sent to a blogger in Fairfax County. (For those unfamiliar with the term “astroturfing”, it is defined as “[t]he disguising of an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion”.) Perhaps it kinda like how a video of a deranged nut, Catherine Crabill, speaking at a tea party in Heathsville ended up on the same blog?:
Leigh Anne Collier, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said a tracker hired by the party had recorded the remarks, which were edited only because she [Catherine Crabill] had been speaking for a long time.
Tribbett couldn’t tell us what county Heathsville is in, much less find it on the map, but he ends up with video from a DPV tracker, as well as a picture from a Mechanicsville gun show, and we’re supposed to believe that this junk is anything but astroturfing?
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