So I wonder what the deal is behind this story, but that’s not the interesting part.
Late Tuesday evening, a press release went out to numerous political journalists with stunning news. Mega-union SEIU had voted to withdraw its recently bestowed endorsement of Barack Obama. That’s certainly not unimaginable — SEIU often takes its own path and has a conflicted relationship with the Democratic party establishment.
Only it wasn’t true.
It was a pretty real looking hoax press release that managed to snare a number of reporters who posted the news on twitter.
The interesting part is not who is behind it, the interesting part is the fact that whoever did it knew that a professional beltway type like Josh Marshall finds the notion of a massive union withdrawing its endorsement of a Democratic president plausible and almost irresistible, and would miss the irony of how that little piece of conventional wisdom completely fooled a number of “journalists” last night who couldn’t resist the notion that THE LEFT HATES OBAMA ZOMG.
Exactly who else would SEIU endorse, Josh? Newt? Ron Paul? Mittens? Bachmann? People so openly hostile to organized labor they want them eliminated completely, who regularly call them thugs and criminals and blame them for the state of the American middle-class?
Especially after already declaring for the President? Are we that certain inside the beltway of the conventional wisdom that everyone secretly hates President Obama and that SEIU would pick up its ball and go home, knowing that the only real alternative to the President is people who want to see them utterly annihilated? SEIU completely backs the President. Is that more or less plausible?
So very eager for those emoprog stories, aren’t we, liberal media. It’s to Josh’s credit that he didn’t fall for it, but he certainly thought long and hard about running with it, didn’t he. Whoever pulled this little stunt knew exactly how it would fall out, and just how successful it would be. They got Politico’s Ken Vogel, National Journal/Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, and more than a few other people to bite on it.
But even after debunking the story, the beltway types admit “Yeah, this was still plausible”. And that’s all the proof you should need to know that our brave Village betters need a long, long vacation out in Actual America for some much needed perspective.[UPDATE] Well, judging from the comments, suggesting that Josh Marshall showed his ass by implying that a major union would abandon the President three weeks after giving their endorsement (itself a completely ludicrous implication) makes me an errant schoolchild that needs to be corrected by his betters for starting food fights on our loveable, traditional blog.
So sorry to have ruined anyone’s day with the opinion of mine. Having said that, I believe a break is in order. See you cats down the road.