Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz is being raked over the coals by countless tech writers, experts, and his own sources for a piece he wrote this week arguing that the government wasn't involved in the creation of the internet. (It was, according to the people who actually helped create the internet.) Though Crovitz's arguments have dissolved under scrutiny, the column's central premise has predictably been adopted by conservatives that either don't know or don't care that it is wildly wrong. First it was Rush Limbaugh, then Fox News, and now Karl Rove.
Rove appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to attack President Obama with lies and distortions, thus fulfilling the requirements of his dual-role as a Fox News political analyst and head of a GOP Super PAC. According to Rove, Obama displayed "hostility to private enterprise" by crediting government research for the creation of the internet. Rove declared Obama "wrong" on the history, citing Crovitz's "brilliant" WSJ column as evidence:
This isn't the first time Rove has tried to make political hay by muddying the history of the internet. Back when Rove was George W. Bush's political advisor during the 2000 presidential race, the Bush campaign -- with the help of a lazy press -- willfully distorted Al Gore's comment that he "took the initiative in creating the internet" while he was in Congress. Rove, Bush, and countless others twisted Gore's comments into Gore claiming to have "invented the internet." But Gore was right to take credit for aiding the creation of the internet from his seat in government, according to people like Vinton Cerf, often dubbed "The Father of the Internet."
Twelve years later, the facts are unchanged: the government played a crucial role in the development of the internet, and Karl Rove still doesn't care about telling the truth.