Christine O’Donnell Not a Witch, Nor a Fact-Checker
You remember Christine O’Donnell don’t you? She was the Tea Party candidate in Delaware, endorsed by Sarah Palin as she ran for Senate in 2010, but whose odd past forced her to start a campaign ad with the immortal words: “I’m not a witch. I’m you.”
She’s still around and kicking — most prominently, it seems, with a column in the conservative Washington Times newspaper. This week’s entry is fantastic — she opens it by disagreeing with Albert Einstein — then moves on to a familiar litany of complaints about the president. She includes this gem:
“We even let it go when our president held a campaign fundraiser in France on the Fourth of July. It’s an insignificant holiday for the international community. So wouldn’t it be more prudent to skip the ceremonies in order to strengthen his presidential campaign’s European outreach? (It physically hurts me to say that even sarcastically!)”
One problem: We at Philly Mag debunked that particular myth, nearly in real time, when it first spread two years ago. We couldn’t decide if the GOP was dumb or evil for spreading falsehoods about the president:
The case for “dumb” starts with Andrew McCarthy, a lawyer and writer for National Review magazine. On Saturday morning, he posted a one-sentence item to the magazine’s blog saying that President Obama would spend July 4th in France on a fund-raising trip.
That was flatly untrue: AP had already reported on Friday that the President would spend the holiday at the White House at a barbecue for military families. The real story sounds really patriotic; the false story sounds really unpatriotic. So of course, McCarthy believed the false story.
And of course, the story is being repeated in conservative publications two years later. You know the saying that a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on? Well, O’Donnell proves that the truth can get up, put on its pants, put in a full day at work, and the lie will just keep on going and going.
O’Donnell may not be a witch. She’s also not much of a fact-checker.
(Hat Tip: Reader @LauHope)