Some people don’t get satire, and some people don’t look things up. Here’s a good example of a political triple-cross–
Part of American political lore is the Smathers “redneck speech,” which Smathers reportedly delivered to a poorly educated audience. The “speech” was never given; it was a hoax dreamed up by one reporter. Smathers did not say, as was reported in Time Magazine during the campaign:
Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, habitually practiced celibacy.
The Smathers campaign denied his having made the speech, as did the reporters who covered his campaign, but the hoax followed Smathers to his death.
You’d think it would be easier to avoid falling for this kind of thing now, with the internet and all, but some right-wing pundits got all excited about a Barack Obama college thesis that he never wrote. They failed to notice the word, ‘satire’ on the post.
Yes, Leeden and Limbaugh got all worked up, trashing the president for a paper he didn’t write in college 25 years ago, relying on a satirical blog post. And for real entertainment value, notice what Leeden and Limbaugh did when they realized they’d fallen for a dumb joke — they blamed Obama anyway.
Leeden conceded he was wrong and apologized, but added, “It worked because it’s plausible.” Limbaugh said the text he touted was fake, but it didn’t matter because, “I know Obama thinks it.” Yep, even when they’re wrong, it’s only because the president makes it easy for them to be confused.
Wow, that’s a way different approach to the facts. For instance, it’s plausible to me that Rush Limbaugh is a secret cross-dresser. If you can picture J.Edgar Hoover in a dress, Rush could be his sister. And I know he thinks about cross-dressing. I know what lots of people are thinking. It’s a superpower I have. So that is the same as knowing what he does. Right? But maybe he’s a thespian and he’s auditioning for a revival of ‘Some Like it Hot’. Or maybe it’s his sister who’s a thespian. If he has a sister. But don’t quote me on any of this. IT’S SATIRE.