the $200 million echo-chamber

Times columnist Thomas Friedman reports today on a classic example of the echo-chamber amplifying misinformation.  President Obama’s recent trip to India was claimed to cost taxpayers $200 million a day, an absurd claim on the face of it, but expoused by a Congresswoman on network television (Michelle Bachmann).  How did it happen?  It started with an anonymous source in an Indian newspaper, picked up by the Drudge Report, then…

Rush Limbaugh talking about Obama’s trip: “In two days from now, he’ll be in India at $200 million a day.” Then Glenn Beck, on his radio show, saying: “Have you ever seen the president, ever seen the president go over for a vacation where you needed 34 warships, $2 billion — $2 billion, 34 warships. We are sending — he’s traveling with 3,000 people.” In Beck’s rendition, the president’s official state visit to India became “a vacation” accompanied by one-tenth of the U.S. Navy. Ditto the conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage. He said, “$200 million? $200 million each day on security and other aspects of this incredible royalist visit; 3,000 people, including Secret Service agents.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper tracked the flow above, because Bachmann had used his program to promote the false claim, and used the next program to correct the facts.  What a radical concept:  a journalist actually trying to get to the bottom of a story and find the truth (although it’s ironic that given the state of the current echo-chamber media his actions were regarded as noteworthy).

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One Response to “the $200 million echo-chamber”

  1. Frieda Says:

    “the $200 million echo-chamber | press conference” was
    a splendid blog, can’t help but wait to look over much more of ur blogs.
    Time to spend a little time on the internet lolz. Thanks for your time ,Charles

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