How could anyone possibly have known?

Salon has an amusing piece by Alex Pareene on what the pranks of Andrew Breitbart mean. First Pareene quotes Politico’s take on that:

Responsible people in power and in the mainstream media are only beginning to grapple with this new environment — in which facts hardly matter except as they can be used as weapon or shield in a nonstop ideological war. Do you dive into the next fact-lite partisan outrage — or do you stay out and risk looking slow, stupid or irrelevant? No one is close to figuring it out.

then points out

Actually, VandeHarris, lots of people figured this one out! It was really easy!

Does that remind you of anything? It reminds me of anything. Some things are not as difficult as some people make out. Obvious glaring fakes are not as hard to spot as some people claim.

Pareene points out a lot of things that made the story look fake to the most casual eye.

Real-life reporters are supposed to be baffled as to how to respond to this fact-lite outrage? Shouldn’t they have just found the full video, or interviewed Sherrod, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did? If you have to write about the latest Breitbart outrage RIGHT THIS SECOND, you write, “Bomb-throwing propagandist with history of disregard for factual accuracy posts race-baiting video intended to score political points against NAACP and black people in general.” It was a really easy story!

Yes, that does sound familiar.

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