Wednesday, March 17, 2004

When will Drudge pick up this hysteria?

On March 12 posted a story about a woman who went to a Kerry rally with an anti-abortion sign. Mr. Kerry supposedly looked her in the eye while shaking people's hands, and then shortly someone came along and ripped up her sign. The first citation of this story The story is not corroborated in the article, and it stretches credulity that the major news organizations swarming over the Kerry campaign haven't picked this up. It is likely that the woman, Rebecca Porter, Client Services Director for Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City FL Source and a Director of Operation Outcry Link simply made the story up. Surely time will tell on that one.

Of course the story is being spread to counter the dozens of stories brought to light by the Bush campaign's practice of using "free speech zones" to corral protesters away from the line of sight of the President. "Free Speech zones," and arrests of people who somehow skirt these censorship tactics are being attacked by liberal groups, like the ACLU, and many independent and mainstream news outlets, but also by conservative organizations such as The American Conservative as far back as December of 2001:
When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones” where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.The American Conservative
Just do a search of "free speech zone" on google and you'll see dozens of legitimate stories of the suppression of speech at Bush's campaign and other appearances.

What's most interesting is the wait to see how long until this gets picked up by Drudge, and then the legitimate news outlets will run with the "story about the story." What do you say, a week more?

Already the story has flitted from to, rewritten, probably without talking to Ms. Porter, by J. Grant Swank, Jr. Michnews, a religious anti-abortion web site, and Talon News, another slanted source on the right has also picked it up: Another fake news site. picked it up yesterday Republican fake news site (and just look at the Board of Directors of the site! They sure couldn't be biased, could they?) Directors of The story is also hitting more BLOGs than you can count, on the conservative side, of course, but also on liberal Blogs when conservatives want to attack.

Could this be the next bald-faced lie to be thrown at Mr. Kerry? If so, when will it hit the mainstream media? I'd say the over/under on that is March 20.

Now rinse twice and spit