Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today's hoax: fake pundit not really a 'McCain adviser'

A person(a) named Martin Eisenstadt was behind the assertion that Sarah Palin didn't know whether Africa was a continent or a country, people have reported this week. Now it turns out that "Martin Eisenstadt," his blog, his supposed status as adviser to McCain, and his "Harding Institute" are all an elaborate hoax played out for months. Among the media outlets that were taken in by various postings and press releases made by "Eisenstadt" -- actually the creation of two filmmakers -- were Mother Jones, the LA Times, the New Republic, and most recently with the fake Palin story, MSNBC.

My favorite bit of the story is that the filmmakers based his name on the notion that "all the neocons in the Bush administration had Jewish last names and Christian first names."

I read much of the article to Cris, who said, "It isn't very funny."

I said, "It's meta-funny -- it's making fun of the whole superstructure of blogs, pundits, opinionators and so forth who form a sort of mulch that feeds the news cycle." (I thought I was clever for coining a neologism, but "opinionator" turns out already to be in common use.)

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