A few days ago NewsMax went with a story making the fantastic claim that Al Gore had addressed the United Nations, and that he had told them that cigarette smoking is a significant contributor to global warming. (my earlier post)
The clear but false implication in the writing, and the one picked up and transmitted by the likes of Drudge, Rush and a whole shitload of similarly-minded people, was that the smoke from cigarettes was the significant contributor to global warming.
There is no way in hell that Gore meant any such thing.
The thing that amazes me is how fast and how far this story spread, how uncritically it is received, and how brazenly it was spread by the puppeteers.
Drudge picked up the bullshit from NewsMax, apparently, and for two or three days had a link prominently displayed on the left hand side of his page. You'd click on that link and be taken to a page with a few paragraphs repeating the ridiculous assertion about Gore's talk to the UN, and breathlessly baiting the reader with the final line, "Developing...".
That there was noting to develop, that the whole thing was a smearing propaganda play, and that the likes of NewsMax, Drudge and Rush were in the thick of it is one thing. What really surprised me was the silence from the other side.
Obviously, it's not possible to read everything, but by using search engines you can try to find things. There just wasn't anything out there countering this onslaught of bullshit. There was a forum somewhere in which the participants expressed disbelief and discussed a few things that Gore might have actually been talking about, such as soil disturbance or the overlap among prominent smoking cancer and global warming denialists, but essentially there was nothing out there responding to the nonsense. It was unopposed.
Why was that? I suppose one possibility is that smarter people than me have concluded that this sort of thing is just a large-scale analog to newsroom trolling, best left unanswered. Maybe the smarter ones recognize the whole episode as something designed by the right to help keep control of political discourse, with a response simply furthering the right's aim.
I don't know. What I'm left with, though, is a deepened disrespect for dittohead puppeteers and political dirty tricksters. I can't say much for people's uncritical reactions to the thing, either.
Oh well, I guess we need cannon fodder.