Fortunately we are all familiar enough these days with the concept of urban legends not to fall for many of the emails that used to catch people. Nobody is fearful of waking up in a bathtub of ice with no kidneys anymore. And nobody is going to give their bank account info to a Sudanese Prince so eh can stash some money there. BUT, there are still things that get floated out there, via email and social media, that are completely bogus.
What prompted this post was an email from a friend this morning. Now, in his defense, it was something someone had sent him, and he was obviously skeptical, so he wanted to see what others thought, and forwarded it to others. It wasn’t as if he was in hysterics shouting nonsense and ranting about how jacked up it was.
This particular email was requesting an opinion on a story with a link. As it was from a trusted friend, and we discuss such topics often, I clicked and was taken to a story about a new gas tax that is set to start on January 1st, 2015. The kicker was, it was for an additional $3 per gallon.
With current prices here in North Texas, that would almost double the price of gasoline, effectively crippling the economy. Even with socialists controlling most of the federal government at this time, I had to question this. There is no way that even the biggest “Tax and Spend” liberal could see this as a good idea.
And, as it turns out, it was a fake story. I was not previously aware of this particular website, but apparently they use current stories, make some sort of absurd twist to them, and put them out with the look and feel of a real news story, but it’s total satire.
NationalReport.net is, come to find out, quite a funny site. Their brand of humor is something I’m actually glad to have come across. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” is huge right now, so one of their stories is about how the “Boiling Water Challenge Injures Multiple Teens”.
There is another trend sweeping social media these days that I find quite alarming. Creative editing and adding “spin”, pronounced “lying about what was really said”, has been a tactic for years. But lately, this amateurs have started doing it, and much less convincingly, to try and support an agenda.
People from both sides of the political aisle have been guilty of this lately, and I want to share one example from each to illustrate just how absurd this practice has become. One is an attack piece on President Obama, and the other targeted Rush Limbaugh.
19 Seconds Does Not a Speech Make
This is another that came to me via email not long ago. Someone took the video of a speech President Obama gave back in March of this year and edited a small portion out of it. Without the context, it made it sound as if he was bent on world domination and the “New World Order”.
While I can’t completely rule out that desire in our current president, this was just nonsense. The video was edited to make it sounds far worse than the actual intent of the speech. See for yourself. Below is the edited video and then the video of the full speech.
The first part is at the 2:00 mark and the second was from 3:47. If you listen to the full speech, he is actually saying the exact opposite of what the edited version would have you believe.
I’ve seen this done previously, but this is a particularly devious example. To take two parts of a speech, edit out the parts that tell the whole story, and change the meaning to be exactly the opposite of the original is just WRONG! If you can’t debate someone on the merits of what they actually said, don’t stoop to such devious tactics.
A “Rush” to Judgement
Rush Limbaugh is no stranger to controversy. He has had a bulls eye on his back for decades now, and wears it proudly. And, I’ve seen him misquoted before, but this one takes the cake.
The story goes like this. Supposedly, Rush had said that Robin Williams committed suicide because he was a leftist. And, as result of his political views, he was miserable to the point of becoming suicidal.
So, according to these reports, we are to believe that Rush blamed Robin’s political leanings for his death. That would be an absolutely absurd assessment, if it were true.
The Rest of the Story
To quote another long time radio personality, now we’ll get the rest of the story. Well, if you want to read the transcripts of the show for yourself, go ahead, but that’s nothing near what was said.
The truth is, Rush was making a statement mainly about how the media used to downplay celebrity suicide, but how this one seems to be being glorified. Later, after a break, Rush went into a monologue about how a leftist world view causes discord, but at no time was such a political stance blamed for Robin Williams death.
So, what should we take of this? Simply this. Whether reading emails or scannign yoru social media timeline, use a little Common Sense. If something sounds outrageous, try doing a little research before you jump on the bandwagon.
I can’t count how many people I saw expressing an opinion of Rush Limbaugh over these alleged comments. Never mind that he didn’t say that. He was credited with saying it, so it must be true. That’s largely because of similarly incidents previously having helped these people to form their opinions of the man. This is the perfect segway into another piece I’m working on about letting your opposition define you, but it’s not ready just yet. I’ll come back and link to it here when its’ done.
But seriously, why is it that people will question anything good they hear about you, but will believe all the bad without hesitation?
Before you go on a public tirade via social media, be sure you have your facts straight. To anyone who is paying attention, and using common sense, you will look like an idiot. Fortunately for you, those people are few and far between.