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Saturday, December 24, 2005


Molly Ivins and James Carville lied to the American people! Well, not really, but they did repeat information that was later shown to be false—which is the same thing, if you’re one of them Bush-hatin’ folks, yessir (must ... stop ... channelling ... Ivins).

The claim: that a Dartmouth student was questioned by Homeland Security agents after making a library request for Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. Who fell for it, besides Carville and Ivins? A surprising number of gullibloggers and fellow members of the Frightened-American community.

Some doubted the story from the outset. For others, news that the story was wrong merely caused them to mutate it into further fake-but-true evidence of Smirkler the Hurricane Monkey’s wicked plans to imprison everybody in Intelligent Design re-education camps:

The report of the FBI harassing students over Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book is apparently a hoax, but that it was so plausible says volumes of how we view our government.

Yes. Yes, it does.

UPDATE. Instapundit, who was on to this early, has more.

UPDATE II. Bunch of other links—the Huffertonians were also stooged by this—at Conservator.

UPDATE III. Nice post from Gryphen.

UPDATE IV. Second thoughts at Daily Kos.

UPDATE V. Ted Kennedy, who cited the bogus report in a newspaper piece, uses the fake-but-true defence:

Laura Capps, a Kennedy spokeswoman, said last night that the senator cited ‘’public reports” in his opinion piece. Even if the assertion was a hoax, she said, it did not detract from Kennedy’s broader point that the Bush administration has gone too far in engaging in surveillance.

UPDATE VI. Islamic site is still reporting the story as fact.

UPDATE VII. Rep. Jay Inslee: “The kid checked out Mao Tse-Tung’s Little Red Book for research and ended up with two FBI agents on his doorstep. That’s unnecessary and causes more fear and concern than security. I’ve seen that over and over again.” Sure you have.

UPDATE VIII. Gary McGath reports that “a variant of the story has popped up, with the locale changed to California.”

Posted by Tim B. on 12/24/2005 at 02:00 PM
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