Reader “Wiley,” who as I’ve noted before has made a hobby of forwarding e-mail chain-letter disinformation to any news media address he can find, really stepped it up while I’ve been on vacation over the past 10 days – no fewer than 14 missives since last Sunday.
Again, he’s apparently miffed that I didn’t respond; here’s the message atop the latest, from yesterday afternoon:
THANKS TO YOU LYING WORTHLESS REPORTERS AND YOU LYING POLITCIANS, LIKE JANET POLITANO QUOTE ” THE BORDER IS SAFER THAN EVER NOW”, SHE’S BRAIN DEAD!!!!!
NOBAMA NEEDS THE ILLEGALS VOTES! ESPECIALY YOU J RICHMAN!
Er, thanks for the shout-out, Wiley. This was the attachment:
Why was there no news coverage of this raid on the Arizona border???
Definitely NOT Jose wishing to come pick lettuce!!
This is exactly why we MUST support ARIZONA.
This seizure was just five days ago. Right on the Arizona border!
This is but one seizure that has taken place along the border over the past year. There have been many more like this. (but you won’t hear about it on media news.)
Not a mention on ABC – CBS – NBC – MSNBC – or CNN news!
These photos and reports come from a Spanish language news source.
Thank God for the border patrol and that they did not allow this to get in.
The attachment continued with a string of photos – too many to duplicate here, so I’ll just pick a few:
You get the idea. Scary, huh?
But once again, Wiley leaped before he looked.
1.) The bust was made in Higueras, near Monterey – that’s about 70 miles from Texas, but almost 700 miles from Arizona.
2.) The bust was made by the Mexican Army, not the U.S. Border Patrol.
3.) It happened in May, not a few days ago.
4.) Newsweek reported the guns had actually come from the U.S., bought by a Mexican drug cartel. In fact, as U.S. newspapers have been reporting for years, the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico – not vice versa – has become a huge problem.
So again, Wiley has no clue. He’s eager to believe that illegal immigrants are ready to pour over the border, armed to the teeth, ready to take his job, his tax money, his home, whatever, but won’t lift a finger to find out that it’s just plain untrue.
So what exactly is the media approach that would have dispelled the conspiracy theories? Ignoring them? Covering them wall-to-wall? I’m not sure either would have made a dent. When it comes to some politically charged controversies, many people simply live in a post-fact zone, in which the theoretical possibility of a wild conspiracy (that confirms their worst beliefs about their adversaries) trumps the extreme likelihood of its being false (which is no fun at all). And they have plenty of talkers willing to encourage them.
They’ve also constructed self-reinforcing belief fortresses, in which media debunking of their beliefs only serves to confirm them. Take this post, for instance. If you believe Obama was born in Kenya, you probably also think that here I am, a liberal member of the liberal mainstream media, trying to impress on you information to the benefit of our liberal President! Doesn’t the obvious untrustworthiness of the entire institution I serve delegitimize any “proof” I might offer you? Why would I be working so hard to convince you that you’re wrong if you weren’t right? Consider the source! What am I so afraid of? Etc.
I’m not sure whether I should continue blogging about Wiley’s wild rants, as I’m starting to think he’s non compos mentis, and it’s getting to be like beating a dead horse, anyway. I hate to see crap like this spread around unanswered, but I wonder if I’m just giving it a bigger forum by putting it out here and wasting my time besides. Thoughts, anyone?