Don’t believe everything you read or hear. Just because somebody said it doesn’t mean it’s true.
Check your sources, whether it’s Death Panels, Ditto Heads, or false reports about a shooting on the SUNY Brockport campus.
All 4th graders in this country are taught to cite their sources when they write a report, but we don’t demand the same standards from our politicians, commentators and bloggers, on the right or on the left.
When Sarah Palin used her Facebook page on August 7, 2009 to say that the health care reform bill included Death Panels, many conservatives believed her and helped spread the lie about bureaucrats deciding who would get health care.
Too many people didn’t take the time to think about how bureaucrats at the health insurance companies already decide who gets health care and who doesn’t.
How many of us believed that George Bush told us to go shopping after the 9/11 attacks? The phrase is still used to summarize the Bush response to the attacks. But Bush never said it, he really told us to “get down to Disney World.”
When Rush Limbaugh said that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating the effects of Parkinson’s Disease, his Ditto Heads thought it was funny, when it was really ignorant and stupid.
Friday’s shooting incident in Brockport is another case in point. At 05:16 PM, hours after the incident had been resolved, a blogger on gather.com reported that the shooting had been on the campus of SUNY Brockport.
“I’m sad to report that there has been yet another shooting. This time it was at a campus in upstate New York near Rochester in a town called Brockport. This SUNY campus shooting took place around 1:20 pm.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t true. The blogger’s anti-gun sentiments trumped the truth.
The shootings actually took place at 6939 Fourth Section Road in the town of Sweden, about three-quarters of a mile from edge of the SUNY Brockport campus, and about a mile and a half from the welcome Center at the intersection of Commencement Drive and New Campus Drive.
But the five people who wrote comments on the site all bought the false story hook, line, and sinker. None of them took the few seconds needed to check reliable sources such as the Democrat & Chronicle site or any of the websites of the local TV stations.
No wonder we elect politicians who can’t govern. We’re swayed by the phase that grabs the headline, and don’t bother to find out if it’s truth or fiction.
For more information see: I think, therefore I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, Global warming skeptics suffer from foot in mouth disease, and Why conservatives lie to us.