The Jawa Report shoots and misses

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Oh, don't act surprised. The warblogging site has been part of the right-wing, stopped-watch brigade for years. (They're right twice a day, tops.)

Jawa was at the center of an overexcited right-wing blog launch Monday morning ("extensive research" was involved!) with a completely circumstantial report that basically accused somebody who may or may not have had indirect relations with the Obama campaign of posting an anti-Palin video on YouTube "aimed at discouraging people from voting for McCain/Palin." Period.

We know, it didn't make much sense to us either. We guess Jawa's point was that the Obama campaign was somehow trying to create the perception of a viral video when in fact the clip was professionally made. We're talking real above-the-fold breaking news, right?

Well, it turns out the Los Angeles-based public relations specialist who Jawa accused of being the Obama bag man on the YouTube clip, Ethan Winner, did in fact create the video. He did it himself and paid for it himself and the campaign was not involved in making or spreading the YouTube clip. (Even if the Obama team was involved, so what?)

Winner made this sort of glaringly obvious observation about the rise of user-generated media, which the right-wing bloggers just don't get:

Just like the thousands of Americans who have posted videos on the Internet regarding the current Presidential campaign, I produced this video as an expression of my right to free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Note that Winner pulled the YouTube clip in question because after JaWa published personal information about him, his family started receiving threatening and abusive phone calls and emails.

So really, just another day at the office for the can't-shoot-straight gang on the far side of the blogosphere, which is now reduced to analyzing audio snippets of the voice-over pro who helped with the YouTube clip because she apparently is the key to unlocking this (none) mystery.

Honestly, just once when right-wing bloggers claim to have the goods on some supposed blockbuster (Jamil Hussein, anyone?), couldn't they first line up some actual facts before going public with their half-cocked conspiracy theories and relying on hope-and-prayer language like, "If all of this is true...."? It would save us all a lot of time.

Then again, their adventures do produce lots of unintended merriment for us, so we're torn over whether we want them to stop or not.

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