Monday, April 2, 2007

Drudge does it again

About six weeks ago, Matt Drudge, the right-wing internet (ahem) journalist, posted the results of a poll that was so phony that even The Rascal found solid cause to dismiss it out of hand.

Drudge never apologized for his mistake. He just removed the post within five hours and never mentioned it again.

Now he's gone and screwed up again.

On Sunday, Drudge cited an unnamed source in reporting that Michael Ware, who covers Iraq for CNN, "heckled" and laughed at Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham at a news conference in Baghdad.

The story was completely false, as videos of the news conference eventually attested. But countless conservative blogs (including some of the biggies) already had seized upon Drudge's fable and played it as evidence that all the media this side of Fox News and the Moonie Times hate America and Jesus and frequently defecate on the flag.

Eventually, several of the more respectable of these rightists -- this one, for example -- acknowledged that, gee, apparently they were wrong. Drudge quickly dropped the matter and doubtless (as in the case of the phony poll in February) will never mention it again.

Here's the really funny thing about this episode:

The news conference at issue came on the heels of a stroll McCain and Graham had taken along Baghdad streets in an effort to back up McCain's claim of a few days earlier that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq had made the capital city relatively safe.

How safe? Well, not so much, it turns out. In fact, on their stroll, McCain & Co. wore bullet-proof vests, were surrounded by 100 U.S. troops and had three military helicopters flying just overhead.

For background and details on this Drudge debacle, check here and here and here and here.

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