In a recent post criticizing blogger Michelle Malkin, I said that she “will stop at nothing to drag her opponents through the mud, often at the expense of actual facts.” And then, once she’s been caught in an error, “she spins her way into oblivion by backtracking on just about every incorrect claim she had made.”
To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at Malkin’s “lead story” for today, a post titled “Question of the Day: Where did the DNC get its IED footage?”
It hit the web at 11:43 a.m., and highlights a recent advertisement made by the DNC that shows a very brief (less than half a second) clip of a bomb going off near American soldiers. Malkin takes the clip and asks where the footage came from. She then favorably block quotes a source that accuses the DNC of getting the footage from terrorist jihadis “who videotape IED explosions that kill American combat troops. The jihadists place the video on the internet to tout their ‘kill Americans’ campaign success.”
After the block quote, Malkin writes, “theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re certainly dumb enough and indifferent enough to our men and women in uniform to incorporate jihadi propaganda into their campaign ads.”
Next, she posts an “update” at 11:56 a.m. claiming that the DNC got the footage not from a terrorist website but from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. She then asks where Moore got the footage from (thereby passing the ball to him) while also accusing the DNC of plagiarizing Moore.
And then finally, she posts a second “update” at 12:12 p.m. pointing out that the footage actually came from a network news source from right after the invasion.
The post then ends with a long quote that accuses the DNC of exploiting the images of soldiers being blown up for political gain.
So just to recap for those playing along at home, here’s the narrative that takes place on a single post over a span of 29 minutes and 500 words:
1. The DNC is using terrorist propaganda videos in advertisements to attack John McCain. 2. Actually, Michael Moore is using terrorist propaganda videos in advertisements to attack John McCain. Also, the DNC is plagiarizing Michael Moore by using footage without permission. 3. Actually, neither Michael Moore nor the DNC is using terrorist propaganda videos to attack John McCain. They were both using footage from a US news network. But that’s not the REAL issue here. The REAL issue is that they’re using videos of soldiers being blown up for their own political gain.
According to Malkin’s sitemeter stats, around 16,000 unique visitors went to her site during the hour in which this was posted. The time lapsed between the initial posting and the final update was about a half hour. So that means about 8,000 people visited her site in between the posting and the update, not counting all the RSS feed readers. Depending on the number of people who checked back at the site to see the new update, that means that as many as 8,000 people went out into the world today thinking the DNC is using terrorist video footage for its advertisements. And who knows how many people they will repeat this lie to.
And Michelle Malkin has the gall to criticize other news networks? Imagine if a mainstream news source had committed such an act targeting a conservative; she wouldn’t have stopped attacking them for weeks.
UPDATE: Surprise surprise. It turns out the footage came from Getty Images. Various reports show that it was licensed legally. So no copyright infringement and no terrorist propaganda video.