Hoax Watch: Drudge, Limbaugh report ironic tweet as election fraud

If you don't answer, "your" a coward.

If you don’t answer, your [sic] a coward.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of weird Twitter. I do read it occasionally, though. Maybe that’s why I chuckled on Sunday afternoon, when I saw the tweet pictured above. It’s clearly not sincere. For one thing, why would an actual postal worker tweet this? Why would he refer to the town where he works by its first and last name, so to speak? And why would a tweet from someone in Columbus be location-tagged in California, along with almost all other tweets from that account? Even if you don’t recognize the currency of topic and vague irony of tone, these clues are easy to catch. “If your mother says she loves you, check it out,” reporters say, but you don’t have to be an ace to see through this one. It’s not even a hoax; it’s a joke, with the intentional transparency that jokes employ. But yesterday, conservative outlets including Drudge Report and Rush Limbaugh snapped it up and reported it as election fraud.

Continue reading

Clinton kills in Reno with joke about fact-checking dog

Thank you, sweet Frinkiac

Thank you, sweet Frinkiac.

I got pretty excited when I read the headline Clinton Barks Like a Dog to Taunt GOP. That’s the kind of behavior Democrats need to close the absurdity gap with the Republican candidates, who currently hold a massive lead in generating funny stories for The Hill. But it turns out Hillary was not barking to drown out the sound of Ted Cruz or assert her resemblance to Smokey from Friday. She was just telling a story about one of her favorite political advertisements, which featured a fact-checking dog:

One of my favorite political ads of all time was a radio ad in rural Arkansas where the announcer says, “Wouldn’t it be great if somebody running for office said something [and] we could have an immediate reaction to whether it was true or not. Well, we have trained this dog…if it is not true, he is going to bark.” And the dog was barking on the radio so people were barking at each other for days after that. I want to figure out how we can do that to Republicans. We need to get that dog and follow them around and every time they say these things like, “Oh, the Great Recession was caused by too much regulation,” arh, arh, arh, arh.

How can I trust The Hill when they believe a dog says “arh?” Dogs clearly say “woof” or, in Canada, “arf.” But I’m more interested in the pop this story got from the audience at the end, since it was in no way funny. Video after the jump.

Continue reading

Close readings: Let’s contemn Peter Hitchens

Which is the fun brother?

Which is the fun brother?

I was looking for essays about Flashman yesterday and ran across this appreciation by Peter Hitchens, self-described Burkean conservative and brother of Christopher Hitchens. Burkean conservatism was last seen railing against the French revolution, but it’s not Hitchens’s archaic politics that irritate me. It’s his overblown prose. Here he is on the Flashman books:

I’ve re-read many of them since, but one by one, on various long journeys where I knew for certain they’d keep me from tedium as the plane ground slowly through the night.

The reader will be shocked to learn that Hitchens reads books one at a time. And what’s the perfect verb for how a plane flew? Oh yeah: ground.

Continue reading

Meanwhile, inside Michele Bachmann’s head

Take my wife—please, make her bring an unwanted pregnancy to term.

Borrowing a strategy that has never backfired on a political figure in recent memory, Michele Bachmann opined last weekend that Hurricane Irene and the earthquake that hit DC were messages from an angry god. “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” she told a campaign audience in Sarasota. “We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?'” According to Bachmann, the source of God’s anger was clear: out-of-control government spending. Also, a teenage girl in Dade County was wearing really short shorts, but mostly it was the budget deficit. God is a known fiscal conservative; still, certain people felt that it was inappropriate to connect fatal natural disasters to campaign issues. So on Monday, Bachmann explained that she was joking. Quote after the jump.

Continue reading

Should I eat it? KFC’s new Double Down sandwich

When KFC announced its new KFC Double Down sandwich on April 1st, we thought it was a joke. I use “we,” here, in the sense of “We would not like to watch Tyler Perry’s House of Pain,” or “We thank you for the prize package, but we’re just going to go ahead and sell the Segway,”—that is, in the sense of we who do not weigh 300 pounds. Frankly, we are not sure that thing is even a sandwich. The generic hallmark of the sandwich is bread, and the absence of bread is of course the Double Down’s claim to fame. Where the bland, ambitionless Whopper wastes your time with a bun, the Double Down puts bacon, cheese, and something called Colonel’s Sauce between two pieces of fried chicken. Which is great news for anyone who A) has a gluten allergy or B) wants their food to look like it’s eating food.

Continue reading