comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Don't ever trust ABC's "The Note" again
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Don't ever trust ABC's "The Note" again

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

ABC News has a daily email update called "The Note." It's supposed to be an insider's look at what's happening in Washington, nice little tidbits, blog style. Today "The Note" decided to publish an advance copy of a speech George Bush is going to give later today. It's a hell of a speech. But for the fact that it's a total fake.

You see, The Note was joking. Bush isn't going to give this speech at all. In fact, it's the verbatim text of a speech that Jimmy Carter gave in 1979. Of course, The Note doesn't tell you that. They simply say, quite straight faced, that they've received an advance copy of Bush's speech today and that they're publishing it on their site -, mind you - and that's it.

Here's what The Note had to say in their prelude to the supposed Bush speech:

It is very rare to get leaked a copy of a presidential speech before it is delivered Â? and especially rare to get such a leak from the Bush 43 White House.

So in part to show off that someone slipped us the President's major address for later today in Beaumont, Texas Â? but also in part because we think it is a pretty interesting and newsy set of remarks Â? we bring you the text, as written, of what President Bush plans to say.

Obviously, this speech pushes off in large measure from the President's dramatic call yesterday for energy conservation Â? something Dick Cheney and Ari Fleischer have in the past suggested was nearly un-American (or, at least, a big waste of time).

The President's speech is likely to cause further ripples in Washington and, indeed, around the world.

So, without further ado: ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States:
Pardon me if I missed the part of the intro that makes clear this is a joke.

Here's my problem with this. This isn't satire. This isn't parody. It's a serious, legitimate new source publishing a presidential address and claiming it's a scoop they just receieved. There is no irony in what they wrote in the intro, none at all. Now sure, if you're some geek with a PhD in government you might recognize this as Jimmy Carter's speech from 25 years ago. But otherwise, we're to believe this speech is real. (And oh yeah, there's an itty bitty link in their intro, called "link", to Jimmy Carter's speech - which honestly, only makes you think that Bush is harkening back to Jimmy Carter.)

My problem with all of this? People are emailing The Note's "speech" around the Internet today, thinking it's for real. That's how I got a copy. I just got done writing a long blog post about the speech, thinking it was real, since I trust ABC News, only to talk to Joe in DC who told me "that can't be real, The Note must be being funny."

Well, yeah, real funny guys. So funny in fact that I won't be reading or trusting anything you write in the future.
appreciateiate a good joke. And I appreciate the point The Note was trying to make. Namely, that Bush is starting to channel Jimmy Carter. But a serious new source like ABC News doesn't make that point by publishing 30-year-old speeches and claiming that they're an advance copy of today's address by the president. That's not satire. That's just stupid. And you just put our reputation at risk because we believed you.

Trust me when I say I won't be making that mistake every again.

blog comments powered by Disqus