Friday, November 05, 2010

HOW THE PROS DO IT. You may noticed the flurry of rightblogger reports on the bullshit story of Obama's $200-million-a-day trip to India. did a good job debunking it, but few of the original promulgators went to the trouble to notice, so expect to hear the fabrication repeated in an email from your grandma, and by speakers at the 2012 Republican Convention.

A notable exception, pointed out to me by Jonathan Miller, is Ole Perfesser Instapundit, who originally repeated the story. He's been in the game a long time and knows what shit will float and what won't. But that's no reason not to tie styrofoam to it as a last resort:
DEBUNKING: No, Obama’s not taking 34 warships to India with him. And the cost isn’t $200 million a day, as previously reported. On the other hand, “Near as I can tell, the mega-bombshell about Obama introducing a teleprompter to India’s parliament remains tragically, pathetically true.”

UPDATE: Reader John Campbell writes:
I am watching Anderson Cooper and CNN’s criticism of some, including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who reported that Obama’s upcoming trip to India was using 34 warships and costing $200 million per day.

Hard to believe on the face of it and many people certainly jumped the gun in reporting it and criticizing the President for it.

Sloppy reportage perhaps, but essentially the story had legs because it was believable, given the way the man spends other people’s money and MIchelle Obama’s expensive summer trip.

If someone reported that Charlie Sheen had been found, passed out, in a hotel room with 18 hookers, you may doubt the story, but hey, that darn Charlie, what a wild man.

Obama has a bit of a reputation too, although along different lines.
Good point.
This is less a debunking than a defense; because Obama is a taxandspend lieberal, and his wife vacationed in Spain ("While the White House has emphasized that Mrs. Obama pays her personal costs, as do her friends who flew to Spain on their own, taxpayers pick up a big chunk of the tab"), you good people can certainly see why some patriots got a little carried away, and remain so carried to this moment.

The Perfesser ain't through, either:
TIGERHAWK: Ships To India: If Only It Were True. “When a good history of the George W. Bush years is finally written, his breakthrough with India may turn out to be the most important foreign policy initiative of his administration..."

UPDATE: Obama Recasts Asia Trip As Jobs Mission. “If that’s recasting the point of the trip, what was it previously supposed to be about? And whatever the original purpose, why didn’t Obama figure out that this would be a good thing to say before the elections?”

I’m beginning to wonder if he’s as smart as people have been telling me. Or maybe it’s whether the NYT is as smart as people have been telling me. Or, to be more accurate, if either is as smart as the NYT people have been telling me . . ..
Also: "TUNKU VARADARAJAN: Obama’s India Problem. 'Two years after Bush’s departure from the White House, India is still Bush Country—a giant (if foreign) Red State, to use the American political taxonomy...'" Etc.

It's a nice variation on the old "[X] Walks on Water; [Y] Reports "[X] Can't Swim" joke. I can't say I admire it, exactly, but I appreciate the discipline involved.

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