If you don't believe me, please consider the case of my man Rush Limbaugh. Poor Rush. He has declared that for the first time in his life he is "ashamed" to be an American. I know I know, you are all reading this and thinking that America is "ashamed" that Rush is an American, and you would love it if another country (say the Dominican Republic) would just adopt him.
I am not sure what has Rush's depends in a bunch these days, but knowing Rush I am sure that it doesn't take much. If you ask me conservatives need to follow S.E. Cupp's lead and call out Rush. Of course we know that this will never happen. Rush is to the republican party what the Pope is to true blue Catholics. The man is untouchable. Forget the fact that he (and others like him) is damaging the brand big time. As long as the "ditto- heads" are a more powerful force than the real thinkers in the party, they will continue to have their issues.
And then there is the case of one of their news outlets making up the news to fit their narrative and the elected officials in the party buying into it.
"On February 7, Breitbart.com's Ben Shapiro reported that Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel (according to "Senate sources") received money from a group called "Friends of Hamas." The report spread quickly through the conservative media as damning of Hagel, until Dave Weigel at Slate.com pointed out a salient fact -- there's no evidence that "Friends of Hamas" exists. Now, New York Daily News reporter Dan Friedman is claiming that a joke he shared with a GOP source is the provenance of "Friends of Hamas." In response to their story falling apart, Shapiro and Breitbart.com -- who angrily and self-righteously demand accountability from the rest of the media for every slip-up, real or imagined -- are lashing out and refusing to accept responsibility for publishing a report based on a falsehood.
Before getting into Shapiro's defense of himself for running with the "Friends of Hamas" rumor, it's worth looking at how Breitbart.com treats other media outlets that print stories that end up being untrue. A couple of weeks ago, Washington Post blogger Suzi Parker reported that Sarah Palin, newly free of her Fox News contract, had signed on with Al Jazeera. The story was not true: Parker had picked it up from the Daily Currant, a parody news site, and the Post issued a correction. Breitbart.com's John Nolte ripped into Parker in a February 12 post, letting fly with a barrage of sexist invective ("isn't she precious?") and slamming her journalistic acumen:
But never one to let facts get in the way of a good Narrative, the "we-meant-to-do-that" Post merely added a correction, changed the headline to "Sarah Palin tries to stay relevant," scrubbed the Al-Jazeera references (the original post can be read here), and still ripped Palin for, uhm, being so desperate to stay relevant.Nolte was back at it a few days later, demanding that Post media writer Erik Wemple investigate the Parker-Palin screw-up and attacking the Post's "too good to check" mentality:
If Parker had a shred of self-awareness, integrity, and dignity, she would have changed the headline to "Too Good To Check," and under it posted an essay about how shallow, smug, bitterly angry partisanship can blind you to common sense.
But that would require having a soul to search.
If Suzi Parker had the power to publish on her own, it's understandable that someone so bitter and joyless could believe what she so desperately wants to believe. But thanks to the Post's own ombudsmen, we now know a Post editor also fell into "too good to check" mode.Now Breitbart.com has been caught in their own "too good to check" fiasco -- one that had greater ramifications than the employment prospects of a former vice presidential candidate. Instead of explaining how it happened, who edited Shapiro's piece, and the attendant disciplinary actions Shapiro might face (the same accountability standards Nolte demanded of the Post), the conservative news outlet is flailing at Hagel, Weigel, and the New York Daily News, and refusing to acknowledge that Shapiro's story is false."
Because Parker and this editor obviously didn't know the Daily Currant is a parody site, that means they published a story based on information from a site with which they were unfamiliar. How did that happen? Who was the editor? Has any disciplinary action been taken?
Made up news stories that become accepted as fact? No wonder Rush is "ashamed" of America.