Monday, March 07, 2005

How Disinformation Happens

There's a ton of news on the Guliana Sgrena front this morning, and if I have a bit of time later I'll synopsize. But one interesting thing I've noticed over the last two days is that wingnut bloggers are figuratively tearing apart the Italian journalist. If you want to soil your keyboard, go ahead and hit some of the "usual suspect" blogs. However, I thought I'd bring one particularly egregious rabble rousing wingnut posting to the attention of Left Blogistan.

The Little Goebbels Fascists jumped on a photo yesterday that was purportedly Guliana Sgrena's car:

Anyone who's been following the fallout from this incident can agree that there's been a lot of back-and-forth over the last few days regarding the veracity of the attack on Sgrena's "convoy". One fact that isn't in any dispute is that quite a few rounds were fired at the vehicle in which Sgrena and her rescuers were riding.

Does that stop someone like Charles at LGF from using critical thinking skills when viewing the picture to the left? Of course not. Charles was pointed to the picture in an AP story by one of his loyal flying monkeys -- and then ran with it like the wind. The collective response of the fascists was predictable:

#10 SkippyMoment 3/6/2005 01:24PM PST

A US military armored vehicle fired on that car with 400 rounds? Right, then we are either terrible marksmen and couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with an MX missle, or there was an invisible forcefield around that car.

I suspect this woman was overcome with hysteria, applied the new math where one US bullet equals a hundred, or she's got her own political ax to grind.

#11 Captain Hate 3/6/2005 01:25PM PST

Maybe they were nerf bullets like the nerf torpedos on the USS Dhimmi Carter.

#12 Charles 3/6/2005 01:26PM PST

zombie: that screenshot is also from the AP video; there's a closeup of the car immediately following the section from which you got your picture.

#13 Dave Ray 3/6/2005 01:26PM PST

They're not magic bullets! Their special secret Zionist bullets that make holes that can only be seen through special moonbat glasses while wearing regulation tinfoil hat!

...and that line of commenting goes on for another 400+ comments. LGF has been particularly vitrolic in its response to the Sgrena incident - and basically pining the blame for the "tragedy" on her.

Well, surprise, surprise. After whipping the natives into a froth, it turns out that the car shown in the photo was not Sgrena's ride out of Baghdad. In fact, with about 2 milliseconds of critical thought, even I could have figured that out. Would an Italian agent have been moving a hostage out of harms way in a beat up sedan like the one pictures? No. "Official" transport is done in armored SUV's, and Charles should have been able to figure that out. In fact, I've blogged about it before.

And again, one thing about which there is no dispute - lotsa bullets were fired. It's pretty obvious that the car in the photo to the left was not involved in any kind of firefight.

To Charles' credit, he did have the good sense to post a retraction a bit later in the day. But it won't stop him from jumping the gun again in the future. The wingnuts have always understood that the first story out of the gate wins - right or wrong - and that later retractions are pretty much meaningless in terms of influencing opinion.

I leave you with this: ask yourself why LGF has blogged almost non-stop about the Guliana Sgrena shooting since it happened, while the "lefty" blogs have pretty much let the story develop without drawing any judgements. Kind of like my earlier posting on the Copt Christians and faux Islamic jihad in New Jersey.

It's so easy to jump to conclusions. It's a whole lot harder pull back once you've made the leap.