Just Where Do Trusted News Sources Get Their Information?
Remember all the reports immediately following the conclusion of the presidential campaign that an unnamed McCain-Palin campaign policy advisor leaked to the media that Sarah Palin didn’t know that Africa was actually a continent, and not a country? Remember all the interviews Palin did denying the reports, and calling the unnamed sources cowards and liars? Soon afterwards, reports swirled on cable news that the source of the leak had identified himself as Martin Eisenstadt, a member of The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. However, what you most likely did not hear is that this neither of these entities really exists. They are the creation of a couple of filmmakers who regularly prank the media. This is their biggest hoax to date, as they managed to take in at least MSNBC, The New Republic, and The LA Times. It’s still not known who really did report that Sarah Palin had trouble with geography. But if reality is socially constructed as Berger and Luckman argue, it’s likely that merely claiming to have crucial or sought-after information will get you on the news, especially when more and more “facts” are needed to fill airtime in the 24-hour news cycle. News organizations were so eager to report that they knew the source of the leak that no one initially bothered to apply the revolutionary new vetting technique called “Google” on any of the parties that claimed credit before the news was reported. A quick glance at the Internet reveals that these guys have been putting out fake reports for some time now. It makes one wonder how many more pieces of “infaux-mation” are never found out.