Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart fell for a fake congressional Twitter account Monday night, writing a story based on the hoax @RepJackKimble account (via New York Observer).
“Rep. Jack Kimble” is a fake Republican congressman from California’s nonexistent 54th district.
Capehart wrote an article baesd on a tweet the account sent last week:
“Why have the wars cost so much under Obama? Check the budgets, Bush fought 2 wars without costing taxpayers a dime,” the tweet read.
Capehart called that tweet a “stunning bit of fiscal ignorance,” and went on to analyze the nation’s budget and fiscal health.
I don’t this makes Capehart stupid or anything (he’s one of the few Kaplaners I can take, generally), I just think that “Check the budgets, Bush fought 2 wars without costing taxpayers a dime” is damned good spoof.
Third Eye Open
yeah, well FDR fought the entire world, and made a profit.
Oh yes it does. Taking a tweet from a non-existent congressman (that uses teatard logic at that) and basing an entire column on it reeks of the stupid. Capehart may not be a dumb-ass 99% of the time, but in this instance he went full fucking retard.
I think it’s time for a blogger ethics panel.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Hunter Gathers: Were I a reporter, and I saw something like this, the first I would do is research the ‘critter and see what other odd positions he had taken over the years. Hell, even as a blog reader, I would’ve done that if the tweet were posted here. That said, I’m only surprised that several dozen conservatives didn’t re-tweet it, from Palin and Gingrich down to Malkin and redstate and those others who seem to me only to exist to give fodder to Tbogg.
I did a post on this over here. To me it just speaks to a larger issue, of the general stench of FAIL that this nation has been living with since the 90s. Maybe even further back than that but for me it started with the ridiculous Cleniwinsky Controversy. We’re an empire in a tailspin and now our media can’t even be bothered to Google something he should have suspected was parody.
Doug, he is stupid to be so lazy as to not Google the name of a Congressman he does not know.
He is a *reporter* for fuck sake. How can you excuse that?
kommrade reproductive vigor
YES. IT. DOES.
And the editor who let it run.
Jesus, how about a five second call to Mr. Kimble’s office. No? Or even a peek at this list here? No time for that either?
Fuck him, and the horse he rode in on AND the guy who shod the fucking horse.
I love Rep. Jack Kimble. G is always reading me his tweets.
My favorite from today:
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I
They probably figured out that it’s a hoax months ago. Capehart spends too much time working on his windsor knots to be bothered with shit like that.
Or Google and find out that California only has 53 districts.
kommrade reproductive vigor
And another thing: If I pulled a boo-boo like that I’d be lucky if my boss killed me fairly quickly, rather than drawing out my death over the course of several months as a lesson to my co-workers.
This helpful video teaches you everything you need to know about Republicans and their talking points:
Boy, this shit really has ya’ll jumpin up and down.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@stuckinred: Me, I’m just multitasking (multi-loafing?) while watching Jeopardy
One thing I’ll say in (partial) defense of his editors: editors take shortcuts, because fact-checking is laborious, and they’re more likely to do it with someone trustworthy. So if Capehart is a reliable writer, there are probably things they don’t fact-check.
For instance, whether a certain congressman, um, exists. It actually wouldn’t surprise me at all if other parts of the article were fact-checked, and the enormous fuckup wasn’t. Because who would get that wrong?
I vote lazy, not stupid. Face it, most posts by the “rep” are no dumber than anything orangeman has said.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I got Keith and the Braves on!
The real tragedy is that Republican elected officials now can’t use the line because it was involved in a spoof. Or can they…
Yes, I agree with everyone who has said Capeheart was stupid for buying this on its face. It’s tempting to laugh at him, or just chuckle it off, but goddammit, this is emblematic of so much that’s wrong with journalism. If I were a J-school professor I would flunk his ass. Can’t wait to see/hear what “media analyst” Howie Kurtz has to say about it — something profound, I’m sure.
I’m with DougJ–it’s a damned good spoof. Journalism sucks these days, but we already knew that. We need to appreciate quality when we experience it.
If journalists are going to be this stupid, I really wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse. Amirite?
Of course Capehart is stupid and lazy, but it’s either indicative of the sad state of the media or of my Eeyorism that I’m filled with shamed gratitude that the guy went on to argue with “Kimble’s” premise instead of mindlessly repeating it.
And I had not heard of Rep. Kimble. I look forward to enjoying his tweety treats.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@fasteddie9318: I’d be more surprised if it happened then if (when) it didn’t (won’t), but you’d think the majority owners of TNR would take Marty’s keys away at this point
Let’s face it, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to point and laugh. Like when the Chinese news services were picking up stories from The Onion and reporting them as news.
The US has no need for more journalists, since there are plenty of them. Furthermore, Americans do not read newspapers on a daily basis; usually they read hem either on Saturdays or on Sundays, due to the nature of their work. Therefore, there is no real need for the Post-Partisan blog; especially as the project has already provoked the sentiments of Americans.
Mike Wise makes shit up on Twitter = 1 month suspension
Jonathan Capehart repeats made up shit from Twitter = ?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
That assumes that they disagree with Marty’s sentiments, doesn’t it?
Dammit, you’re supposed to fact-check your mother if she claims to have given birth to you. This really infuriates me.
No shit. The moral equivalent of failing to hit the spellcheck key.
For you Prokofiev fans: Lieytenant Kijé.
For you MASH fans: Captain Tuttle.
(ETA: I would have put all the asterisks in MASH, but FYWP gets all conflubbered, so I didn’t.)
Sure, he got caught by a good spoof of the kind of right-winger we love to hate — the kind of spoof that fits in our narrative. It was still an idiot move.
Ok, which of us is going to tell him that Scalia’s twitter account is also a hoax?
Yeah, to me this is a ‘fair hoax’ if you want to use those words, vs. Mike Wise’s bit about Roethlisberger. As a few people have noted, including I believe the writers here, Wise’s post was a believable bit of information, and when you cut out the fake details about five games, it’s a piece of information that would have to appear and that would have to come from somewhere first, probably a journalist like Wise.
This, on the other hand, is a made-up Congressman from a made-up district making an absolutely ludicrous claim. So the joke is on Capehart, but with good humor, I think, because Capehart made the same point as the ‘hoax’ in more detail.
Also because, let’s face it, everyone in America would totally believe that a Republican would say, straight-faced, that Iraq and Afghanistan paid for themselves.
Hell, I think many Republicans would believe “their guy” said this, and they would then proceed to repeat it without really believing it themselves, or maybe even actively disbelieving it in private.
I think we’re just beginning to understand how thoroughly many Republicans have been led away from facts and toward values as the sole reasoning behind policy, and I think many Republicans genuinely believe that everybody reasons this way: that Americans don’t have values in common, that facts are unknowable and largely irrelevant, and that the only reason you would ever support a policy proposal is because you believe it advances your values (rather than balancing your values with the facts).
Capehart is one of those fake liberals that shows up regularly on Morning Joe on MSNBC. Let’s not forget his true bonafides, he helped run Bloomberg’s first mayoral campaign so he’s 100 % Republican & clueless.
kommrade reproductive vigor
And everyone in ReaLAMErica (R) would totally believe that Obama would say, straight-faced, that he was going to butt-fuck everyone while forcing Shari’a law down our throats and taking their guns.
If the standard for journalism is now “The Twitter says it, I believe it and that settles it,” then we need to go down to the local J school and kick everyone in the junk.
@kommrade reproductive vigor:
Hey, like I said, joke is definitely on Capehart here. I doubt that I would have made the same mistake. I don’t even see how anyone could write a response to a Congressman and not do a piddling amount of research as to who that person is, not if that person has an editor (of course, there’s fewer and fewer of those to go around at nearly every news organization now).
All I’m saying is that the statement is, sadly, believable on its face. The point I was making is that there is a really substantial difference between your imaginary example and the statement by “Jack Kimble”: No Democrat would be likely to believe that Obama made that statement about Sharia law.
I think that many Republicans would be very likely to believe that a Republican Congressman made the statement from “Kimble”, and might even begin repeating it whether or not they considered it believable. That’s what I was talking about.
Chad N Freude
@SiubhanDuinne: If I were a J school professor I would hold this up to the class as an example of how not to be a journalist.
I try to fact-check every potentially verifiable statement I post on this blog, so I guess that proves I’m not qualified to be a journalist.
The parody acct @RepJackKimble is a friend of mine. You should follow him. Hilarious, daily. He’s made fools of quite a few people. Not just Capehart.
Settle down, SiubhanDuinne. Capehart is a pundit. Not an investigative journalist for God’s sake.
I guess the upside is because of this I discovered @RepJackKimble. My favorite so far is: “How will we ever be able to compete with economies like Germany if we’re handcuffed by unions?”
Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people)
Yeah, but I’ve never seen a better illustration of the Republican Puke Funnel than that video.