Yesterday I wrote about the continuing efforts of Brian Glicklich, Rush Limbaugh’s crisis manager, to smear the StopRush movement as a secret project of Media Matters — and the toxic fandom that he’s once again provoking into harassment and intimidation efforts against activists. The latter concern is why I asked the StopRush volunteers that Glicklich identified so irresponsibly to forward me any and all emails they receive as a result.
A PR guy like Glicklich understands how important it is to blast falsehoods into the echo chamber from multiple directions so that the lies can achieve a life of their own among the target demographic, which in this case is bigoted misogynists. Among the predictable nastygrams and vague threats to people’s livelihoods were a few inquiries by writers for conservative web publications, including Michael Chapman at CNSNews.
After quoting my email response at length, Chapman makes this bizarre assertion:
CNSNews.com sent an e-mail to the address provided and it was Matt Osborne who responded, from his own gmail account. On Facebook, there is a page for “Linda Kotensburg Swanholm,” which has a profile picture of a man that looks nearly identical to Matt Osborne.
Of course, I didn’t answer multiple emails to different volunteers, so I can see why Chapman might have been left with the impression that I might be Linda. But is it too much to ask that conservative journos bother to conduct a simple image search at Tineye.com or Google before they pop off with such drivel? Here’s the picture that he says is me. Turns out that it’s actually a fan photo of actor David Boreanaz, an actor on the TV show ‘Bones.’
Now, I realize that to Chapman all liberals may look alike, but Boreanaz is about as right wing as Hollywood gets. There’s really no excuse here. This is just sloppy fact-checking by someone who’s too excited by their deadline, and too blinded by their own political outlook, to get the basic facts straight. And this is exactly why conservative media outlets keep getting sued by the people they run over in their zeal to confirm some idiotic conspiracy theory by hook or by crook.
Shirley Sherrod is suing Andrew Breitbart’s estate because he published a misleading clip of a speech that he hadn’t bothered to watch. Boston Marathon bombing victim Abdulrahman Alharbi is suing Glenn Beck for repeatedly and falsely calling him “the money man” behind the attack — with no evidence whatsoever. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” because he doesn’t understand how birth control works. I could go on with more examples, but you never hear about a publication like, say, Mother Jones doing this to a conservative. You never hear about anyone suing Rachel Maddow for getting the facts wrong while making a personal attack on someone’s character or trying to pin a criminal act on them.
The new era of yellow journalism has been born in a toxic stew of nonsense about birth certificates and Benghazi. By design, its promoters have radically rejected any traces of ‘liberal’ influence, like fact-checking, and thus divorced their narratives from empirical reality. And they wonder why they keep getting in trouble for it.