Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Factless facts of virus - not viral - emails

Just today I received a forward tid bit from a friend. It was a quote chain email purporting to be the transcript of a "Meet the Press" show from September 7th 2008 wherein Senator Barack Obama supposedly answers a question from a General Bill Ginn (USAF Ret.). In the transcript, Senator Obama supposedly waxes lyrical about his attendance at flag burning events with his lovely wife, Michelle, who - of course - hates the country for many reasons. He also tells of his desire to change the national anthem to "I'd like to teach the world to sing" so we could show our enemies some love.

Man, this sounds more like a satire on Saturday Night Live than a typical right wing email virus. I won't bother to paste the contents of this claptrap. From the above summary, it should be clear to anyone that this is s load of horseshit.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, horseshit seems to be the currency of political authenticity. As a result, I felt compelled to check the sources. I know, I know, what's the point. Anyone boneheaded enough to fall for this stuff obviously WANTS to believe it so they have a reason to vote against Obama besides latent racism. BTW I'm not suggesting that everyone voting for McCain is a racist. They're not. Many many people truly believe in the policies he espouses or simply feel that he is the better man for the job. I'm talking about the small group of people who are uncomfortable with Obama for "reasons they can't quite pinpoint or don't want to share. . ." and would like some "solid" reason to make the choice against him.

So, I checked the source(s). This was made easier by the balls of the people who came up with this story. . . they chose "Meet the Press" as the source. Alright, if I want to come up with some kind of plausible basis for a story about Obama, you'd think I'd go for something more obscure than "Meet the Press" but noooo, these guys go for it. They obviously assume that no one will care or bother to check the facts. And you know what? They're right! No one who could possibly be swayed by this vile cow patty of a lie would think to go to NBC and look at the publicly available archives for the show. To get right to the point, these people aren't going to bother to THINK at all!

Here's the link to the specific show's transcript:


And, if you're interested, here's the link to the general archive:


So, what does the transcript show? Obama wasn't even on the show that day. Joe Biden was the guest. And General William Ginn, an 80 year old retired Air Force general, has never been on the show. He has a thinner google search result than I do. I'm sure he's a nice guy and, who knows, maybe he's even voting for Obama. One thing he's definitely not doing is interviewing presidential candidates on TV.

So, what does all this mean? Not a damn thing. There is no meaning to any of the sewage that flows uncontrolled through the email landscape. There is no content. There are only vile, unsubstantiated lies, rumors and innuendo.

What this email does is provide a window into the mind of large slice of the right wing electorate as well as the fears and concerns of another swath of the public that feels Obama is the "other." That great unknown outside our neighborhood. The thing that invades our home through the teleivision. Obama, strange name. . . born in Hawaii, African and, hell, he lived in Indonesia. . . maybe Muslim?

The fear and ignorance that is palpable in our culture is frightening to behold. Watching the recent McCain rallies, I wonder that I share this country with such confused and angry people. McCain himself appeared visibly concerned about the reaction of his audience. Maybe he's beginning to see where his current strategy leads.

We're scratching the surface of polite society in this election and the puss that is oozing up is disgusting indeed. One can only hope that the aftermath of this public draining of a cultural abcess results in the healing of this hideous national sore.


qfactor52 said...

I sent the link to the actual transcript to the forwarder of said virus email. It may have hit home: no response yet.

EMG said...

This post is generating quite a bit of interest but no comments so I've opened it up to anyone who would like to comment, not just registered users. Comments are moderated though, so I will see your post before it's published. I won't censor comments for political content, only for ad hominem attacks and similar content that prevents an atmosphere conducive to the free exchange of ideas.

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