From yesterday’s Talking Points Memo:
If you don’t feel like reading the whole story, the short version is this. A man claims to have thwarted a terrorist attack on a plane getting ready to depart from Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta. He tells a detailed story, in an e-mail to friends, about discovering/uncovering the plot, confronting its mastermind, getting 12 “Arabs” thrown off the plane, and then getting put on a different flight when the “terrorists” were allowed back on the plane. The whole story has been debunked, beginning with proof positive that the writer was never on the plane (sorry, a George Carlin moment… “IN the plane”) in the first place.
I haven’t had the stomach to read them, but a Facebook friend who responded when I posted this link there tells me that the right-wing blogosphere is going haywire about this. They thought they had a new Flight 93 hero, and flatly refuse to believe that the guy made the story up out of whole cloth. It just didn’t happen. Nothing even like it happened.
I suppose up against the current roster of conservative heroes, this shouldn’t be a surprise–
Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who’ve made careers out of exaggerating stories and sometimes simply inventing them, then hiding behind claims not to be actual journalists when they get caught.
Joe the Plumber (remember him?), who rendered himself (or was rendered unto us, at least) as Mr. Small Business Main Street America, who was guilty of practicing his trade without a license and of tax-evasion.
Sarah Palin, whose transgressions are too lengthy and well documented to need repetition/reinforcement here
Senator Jim DeMint (SC), who in front of the entire Senate yesterday, actually said (and this is nearly an exact quote): “I’m proud of Republicans who are standing up to this government takeover of heath care. And I’m proud of Republicans who are standing up to protect Medicare.” And didn’t seem to understand why dozens of Senators thought that was kind of funny.
Anyway, the wingnuts are howling that the “liberal media” is covering up what their new hero really did in the plane in Atlanta. They’re accusing Air Tran of covering up; they’re accusing TSA of covering up. In other words, anybody who doesn’t believe their hero must be lying. It’s unfathomable to them that their hero simply invented a story out of thin air. It couldn’t possibly be right that a racist idiot made up a story in which he confesses to his racist idiocy.
If Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin can publish books, then this guy should too. I only hope he markets it as the fiction it is.