UPDATED: The Jennings smear = the latest right-wing "scandal" to flop in the mainstream
Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT
This hopeless campaign really is shaping up to be one the truly epic fails in the history of political blogging. I'm hard-pressed to think an instance in which such a large portion of the supposed A-list blogosphere went so bat-shit crazy for a story for so long, posting so many name-calling rants, and yet had so little to show for it. To say that it's crickets out there in the real world re: the Jennings story would be an exaggeration.
But the most amusing part is that the leaders of this misguided pack (Cough! Cough! Andrew Breitbart, Gateway Pundit) show no signs of letting up on the gas. They're oblivious to the sad spectacle they've created and don't realize that people are literally laughing at them. Instead, they think they're rounding third and heading for home. And they've convinced themselves that if they post just one more nasty, impossible-to-follow, guilt-by-association diatribe, than all the pieces of their gay-baiting hate campaign will magically come together and Kevin Jennings will finally be driven from Washington, D.C., preferably by a pitchfork-waving mob.
If you say so guys. Although honestly, I'm not ruling out a Gateway Pundit post next March or April ("Fistgate LXXVII"?), where he assures readers he's just about to bust this story wide open.
But for the record, it's now been two weeks of obsessive updates and relentless "fisting" headlines (read Tbogg's side-splitting take on Gateway Pundit's gay sex obsession), and nobody outside the right-wing world cares. (As for Media Matters, as long as the right-wing keeps posting the misleading Jennings attacks, we'll keep debunking them.)
One week ago I reported that at the time not one serious news organization had picked up the Jennings story. Which means not one reporter, editor or producer looked at the hysteria that was posted online about Jennings and thought, hey, that's a news story. Instead, everyone ignored it. (Frankly, I think most journalists sprinted away from it.) Why? Because the stuff was patently bogus, not to mention relentlessly creepy. Well, here we are after week two and let's go to totem board, courtesy of Nexis.
Number of serious news orgs that have reported on the Jennings 'scandal': 0.
Number of right-wing posts about the Jennings 'scandal': Dude, I've completely lost count.
As I noted last week:
The endless stream of hollow allegations the right-wing traffics in has now largely become background noise, albeit unpleasant and unwanted noise. They represent a cacophony of endless allegations that virtually never pan out. So can you blame journalists for simply tuning it out?
And therein lies the silver lining. The more right-wing bloggers discredit themselves with Jennings-like witch hunts, the less likely it is journalists will take them seriously.