One of the reasons I continue to preach the value of "fact checking" is exactly this type of situation.
We see, via memeorandum, that claims of an "attack" on Air America radio host Randi Rhodes are nothing but lies, and yet half the blogospehere, not bothering to fact check or verify, not only reported it as if it were true, but some took the original false story and started accusing the "right wing" of being responsible for the attack that never happened.
Talking Radio reports that it was Air America themselves that started this false story.
According to Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website.
Several liberal blogs, including the Randi Rhodes Message Board and Democratic Underground have logged numerous posts on the Rhodes mugging with most of the posters expressing concern about the condition of the popular lib talker.
This from Air America now:
October 16-NEW YORK-On Sunday evening, October 14, Air America host Randi Rhodes experienced an unfortunate incident hindering her from hosting her show. The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded. Ms. Rhodes looks forward to being back on the air on Thursday.
To give credit where it is due, some that did report on this has updated their original reports with the truth and the fact that there was no attack.
Those with integrity have made these corrections, one such example of integrity is The Van Der Galiën Gazette:
UPDATE: Air America itself is now reporting that there is no evidence to support allegations of an ideological “hate crime”. They refer only to an “incident” involving Rhodes.
Unfortunately, reports of threats and physical attacks against conservative speakers on college campuses remain and some of those on the left who are so fascinated by the possibility that Rhodes was attacked for ideological purposes are thoroughly uninterested in those, if not in outright denial.
UPDATE 2: Rhodes’ lawyer reports that not only was the attack not political, there was in fact no attack at all. She fell while walking her dog and hurt herself. Reports from some on the left about a politically-motivated attack were, apparently, based on nothing more than classic projection.
To also give credit where it is due, some liberal blogs did, indeed, caution people to not jump to conclusions, but they did this while reporting an attack there was no verification for without bothering to fact check.
So they jumped on the story, from Air America, without making sure it was true, then cautioned their readers not to jump to conclusions about "motive" for the attack that they, themselves jumped to conclusions by assuming it even happened!!!!
Anyone else see how ironic this is?
Even those that were claiming to be voices of reason by not jumping to conclusions about motive did exactly what they told their readers not to do and that was reporting on an incident that never happened because they couldn't be bothered to verify the story, thereby, jumping to conclusions.
From Daily News:
Air America radio host Randi Rhodes is temporarily off the air, but claims she was brutally attacked near her Manhattan apartment are bogus, her lawyer and a police source said today.
Fellow host Jon Elliott claimed on the liberal radio network that Rhodes had been mugged while walking her dog, Simon, on Sunday night. Elliot, who said Rhodes lost several teeth in the attack, waxed about a possible conspiracy.
"Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own?" he asked on the air, according to Talking Radio, a blog. "Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we’re winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?"
This is how Air America operates... is it any wonder they have already had to be bailed out of bankruptcy once?
A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging. Cops from Manhattan's 17th Precinct called her attorney, who told them Rhodes was not a victim of a crime, the source said.
Rhodes' lawyer told the Daily News she was injured in a fall while walking her dog. He said she's not sure what happened, and only knows that she fell down and is in a lot of pain. The lawyer said Rhodes expects to be back on the air Thursday. He stressed there is no indication she was targeted or that she was the victim of a "hate crime."
Rhodes started with the Air America when it launched in 2004. Her show airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.
The network released a statement that said Rhodes "experienced an unfortunate incident."
"The reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded," the statement read by a receptionist at the network's New York offices said. "Ms. Rhodes is looking forward to being back on the air on Thursday."
Still, the tale lived on in the blogosphere.
"What the %$#$ is WRONG with you people?? Are you that SICK in the head that just because you don’t agree with someone’s political views you believe that they deserve to be mugged? Are you on the right that DEMENTED??," a blogger called neddlenosehanty posted on watchingthewatchers.org.
So, let us see how many on the left will post updates and blast the truth as far and as loudly as they blasted the lies of Air America host Jon Elliott.
Please, if you see them post updates or make corrections or blast the truth as far as they blasted the lies, leave a comment and I would like to list those that have that kind of integrity as an update.
When leaving that comment, please list the URL of the site making the correction as well as letting us know if the correction was as prominently displayed as their original false story.
Thanks for your help.
Captain's Quarters puts it well:
What an embarrassment, especially for Air America. They have once again demonstrated why no one listens to them, and it has nothing to do with the Fairness Doctrine. It has everything to do with credibility. They can't even do fact-checking with their colleagues, let alone anywhere else.
Michelle Malkin has a good line:
The nutroots are sorely disappointed. But the truth isn’t likely to stop them from believing that it’s the Reich-wing’s fault.
Rush Limbaugh tripped her! Ann Coulter silenced her! Karl Rove poisoned her dog!
Lesson here: FACT CHECK- VERIFY- Make sure that Air America doesn't make you embarrass yourselves next time.
Exit question here: Is Air America more to blame for lying in the first place or do the bloggers that didn't bother to fact check and verify just as responsible for misleading their readers?
[Update] Reader Michelle suggests people email the original Air America Host that lied on the air and started all this, Jon Elliott and demand an apology.
Michelle says his email is firstname.lastname@example.org and from looking at his webpage we see you can call and demand that apology at 866.303.2270.
[Update #2] Michelle got her email returned as undeliverable, so if that happens to you, here is another email address she provided me with in an email: email@example.com .