Saturday, August 26, 2006

If you only read one thing today... should be this (hat tip: too many sources to list).

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident appears to have been an influential hoax, picked up by an uncritical, unthinking, and uninformed MSM and then disseminated around the world to great effect. It took blogger "zombie" a great deal of time and effort to deconstruct the story.

One of the advantages the blogosphere offers is that--and this is no secret, nor is it a criticism--many bloggers have some form of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Now, OCD in its milder form isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's only really a problem if it's over the top and out of control, such as the Jack Nicholson role in the movie "As Good As it Gets." But the milder form of OCD merely lends those who demonstrate it an enhanced ability to tend to detail, to persevere and follow through on a line of questioning and research.

And this tendency, marked in many bloggers, allows them to have uncovered a phenomenal phenomenon, to wit: the number of hoaxes perpetrated both on and by the media. From the debunking of the Rathergate memos to Pallywood to Green Helmet Guy to the present sordid and alarming story, the Red Cross Ambulance Hoax, it took the time and perspicacity available to bloggers to uncover some exceptionally disturbing--and historically influential--trends.

How long has this deception been going on? How much of world opinion has been formed by what amounts to deliberate lies, spread and perpetrated by either a naive or actively colluding media (I vote for naive, but others may differ)?

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