Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah Palin not knowing Africa was a continent - HOAX! or is it?

An audacious hoaxster has duped the News Media and has played a key role in the burying of Palin's credibility:
A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence
It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.
Whilst some might see this as the next "Rathergate" and proof of liberal bias. I would look at it from the prism of the "Surrealism of politics" - Politics as a conceptual art piece.

It's astonishing to think that Palin's credibility has been sunk by 3 (Count them: THREE) Constructs. Parodies. Art pieces.
1) The Tina Fey caricature
2) Canadian radio hosts prank-calling Sarah Palin
3) This manufactured McCain leaker, Martin Eisenstadt

The pranksters explain the thesis behind their latest stunt:
They say the blame lies not with them but with shoddiness in the traditional news media and especially the blogosphere.

"With the 24-hour news cycle they rush into anything they can find," said Mr. Mirvish, 40.

But most of Eisenstadt’s victims have been bloggers, a reflection of the sloppy speed at which any tidbit, no matter how specious, can bounce around the Internet. And they fell for the fake material despite ample warnings online about Eisenstadt
To make things even more confusing, reality eating itself once more. Who's to say that these pranksters aren't pranking us by claiming this is all just a prank:
A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence
...there is William K. Wolfrum, a blogger who has played Javert to Eisenstadt’s Valjean, tracking the hoaxster across cyberspace and repeatedly debunking his claims...

"As if there isn’t enough misinformation on this election, it was shocking to see so much time wasted on things that didn’t exist," Mr. Wolfrum said in an interview.

And how can we know that Mr. Wolfrum is real and not part of the hoax?

Long pause. "Yeah, that’s a tough one."
- Go to Martin Eisenstadt, the "("Hoaxer's")" blog


William K Wolfrum said...

I think a little research will show that "Mr. Wolfrum" is on the up and up.

And BTW: Coming from someone who has some decent knowledge or Mr. Eisenstadt, let me say something of which I am 100% sure: He was not, under any circumstances, Carl Cameron's source. Cameron spent months with the McCain campaign. He knew who worked there.

Johanna Markham said...

Seems to me that the people calling this a case of liberal media bias are way off the mark. It's more likely a symptom of media of all stripes just going too fast to do a decent job of reporting. More on that here:

PunditFight said...

William K, i believe you are on the up and up. Even if you do say so yourself.