Friday, November 5, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Many conservatives have claimed recently that President Obama's trip to India will cost taxpayers $200 million a day. Prominent conservatives making this claim include
  • Mike Huckabee,
  • Michele Bachmann,
  • Glenn Beck, and
  • Rush Limbaugh.
Unfortunately for them, as Holly Baily reports, the claim is false:
The numbers evidently originate with the Press Trust of India, whose report was linked on the Drudge Report and picked up by Fox News host Glenn Beck. The news agency also wrongly said that the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Palace hotel for Obama's visit and that the U.S. was stationing 34 warships—roughly 10 percent of the naval fleet—off the coast of Mumbai for security reasons.
The agency attributed the $200 million figure to an anonymous Indian government official. It didn't attribute the warships claim to any source.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell called the warship claim "absolutely absurd." "That's just comical," he said at Thursday's Pentagon news briefing.  "Nothing close to that is being done."
The White House, meanwhile, issued a blanket statement that the $200 million figure "had no basis in reality" and was "wildly inflated." The press office declined to disclose the trip's actual cost, citing "security concerns."
If you're not inclined to believe the statements of evil Islamic socialist government officials, you can see what reasons has for doubting the original report. You know, if you're interested in reasons and facts and stuff like that. 

This is yet another example of the conservative misinformation machine at work. Conservatives, whose primary goal is to attack the President, find a story that makes the President look bad, accept it because it confirms their preexisting bias against him, and report it without subjecting the story to any critical scrutiny whatever. Since their job is to produce bullshit for political purposes, they have little concern for the truth and consequently their beliefs are not guided by the truth. They confirm the biases of those who consume their product, however, and their product therefore remains in demand.

If you need evidence that Fox "News" is not a news channel, you need look no further. 

But the damage is done: no matter what evidence is presented, many people will persist in believing the original report. Mission accomplished!

Here's Anderon Cooper's treatment of the conservative feeding frenzy over this fabricated story.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson