15 March 2010

How a rumor becomes news

Derek Wallbank, MinnPost's DC reporter, has a detailed story up this morning about the birds and bees of political rumors. He tells how an Obama policy initiative on managing oceanic fishing became a rage-inciter on conservative media outlets.
Writer Robert Montgomery warned the ensuing federal policy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing some of the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters."

The story spread from there, getting picked up by some of the biggest names in conservative media, including Limbaugh, Beck, Malkin and Drudge.

"How about a fishing ban?" Beck asked incredulously on his Fox News show last week. "A fishing ban that would put jobs at risk in the middle of an economic crisis, but beyond that, you and your son being told you can't go there to fish! What the hell is happening to us? How are people not seeing this? [Obama is] going to do it through executive powers, without consulting the public."
Edward R. Morrow would be so proud. Continue reading this post >>