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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

News Roundup for 12/14/11

Hasn't actually signed any petitions

-Headline of the Day-
"BS Alert: Mickey Mouse And Adolf Hitler Have Not Joined Scott Walker Recall Effort."

The rightwing media is going positively mental over the "fact" that Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler are signing petitions to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Turns out they're losing it over nothing -- which is what they do best.

What's happening is either a poor or selective reading of a Milwaukee TV station's report on the recall effort. In that story, a reporter asked an official with Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board whether -- hypothetically -- a signature with a name like "Mickey Mouse" or "Adolf Hitler" would automatically be disqualified. The official said no. It's up to the other side to challenge signatures on the petition -- because you never know, some guy may actually be named Mickey Mouse or Adolf Hitler. Some people have idiots for parents and such things aren't unprecedented. Someone shouldn't be barred for life from signing petitions just because his mom was an moron who thought the name "Donald Duck" would be cute. As long as the signature is accompanied by a valid address and date, the GAB will err on the side of caution and assume that Adolf Hitler's parents were jerks until proven otherwise. In short, they're using common sense.

And are Mickey and Adolf signing petitions like crazy? What part of the word "hypothetical" are you having trouble with?

Of course, this is more than just the right finding an excuse for their favorite activity -- a fullblown, pants-wetting freakout over nothing. "The Hitler/Mouse hypotheticals are the go-to clich├ęs in stories that seek to create the false hysteria about voter fraud that fuels the wave of voter ID laws which threaten to disenfranchise millions of voters nationwide, the kind of hysteria that the mainstream media abetted in its treatment of ACORN," writes Mediaite's Tommy Christopher. "It’s the exact kind of hysteria that this story feeds, which makes this potential bit of cable news fluff deadly serious. Voter ID laws are pegged to the false idea that casting fictitious votes is simple and widespread, and by conflating voter fraud with voter registration fraud. This distinction was completely lost in the ACORN story, even though the organization was required by law to submit all registrations they received, and even though they flagged all suspicious registrations."

"So when you see this Mickey Mouse story on your favorite 24 hour news outlet, don’t laugh. Do something," he concludes.

And if you see someone freaking out over this non-story, tell them to change their pants. (Mediaite)

-Word of the day-

Click to embiggen

AKA, the "self-fulfilling prophecy." (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

-Bonus HotD-
"Rick Santorum Pleads With Voters To Call Him ‘Intelligent’ Just For Once."

Voters answer, "No." (Wonkette)
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