30 Jul 2008 8:36 am   //   Filed under: In the news

Facts don’t matter

Recently, an e-mail accused Barack Obama of refusing to meet with the troops in Afghanistan. It was so base a lie that the writer of the e-mail, when contacted by the Army Times, immediately disavowed it. But I bet people are still forwarding it and believing it. It’s becoming clear that some Americans – especially those uninformed, disinterested losers known as “swing voters” – will believe even the flimsiest lies about Barack Obama.

This is a theme this election that I can’t stop thinking about. Why are people so willing to be misled? It’s not that people don’t have access to true facts about the candidates. It’s not that they can’t figure it out. It’s that they choose to ignore facts, preferring instead the safe ignorance of their own prejudices.

Related: Check out the ever-growing Snopes page on Barack Obama, and Obama’s site Fight the Smears.

Update: The Washington Post has a detail-rich story about how the McCain campaign amplified and repeated a lie about Obama refusing to meet troops.