Washington Post Columnist Falls For Twitter Fake Congressman Parody
The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart is suffering a little New Media embarrassment after writing a blog post based on comments by a Congressman who doesn't exist.
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart has some egg on his face today:
Jonathan Capehart is an editorial writer for the Washington Post, an MSNBC contributor and a seemingly smart, nice guy. If he is indeed a nice guy, he will probably have to just grin and bear it for a few days after a somewhat ill-conceived blog post made Monday night. In an entry in WaPo’s “PostPartisan” weblog, Capehart led with the following:
“Why have the wars cost so much under Obama?” tweeted @RepJackKimble (R-Calif.) at 7:40am on Sept. 2. “Check the budgets, Bush fought 2 wars w/o costing taxpayers a dime.” This stunning bit of fiscal ignorance earned him a tart barnyard expletive from @MWJ1231.
Capehart went on to give a detailed response to Kimble’s argument that the Iran and Afghanistan wars didn’t cost the American taxpayers “a dime.”
There’s only one problem, Jack Kimble isn’t a Congressman. He isn’t even a real person. It’s a Twitter parody account, and a rather obvious one at that. First there’s the Twitter page itself, which lists Kimble as representing California’s 54th Congressional Districts. California has 53 Congressional Districts. Then, there’s his campaign blog, which includes material like this “campaign commercial”.
It took three minutes of a quick Google Search and clicking on a few links to figure that out, by the way.
Most amusingly perhaps is the fact that Capehart posting the following correction at the top of the blog post:
[CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION, 1:22 a.m.: The Twitterer RepJackKimble cited below is not a real member of Congress. The budget deficits are real deficits.]
Indeed, but the argument you responded to isn’t.
Capehart was merely the victim of falling for the “if it’s on the Internet it must be true” fallacy, of course, and at least he’s not guilty of the same offense as his Post colleague Mike Wise who was recently suspended for sending out a fake “news bulletin” about Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Clearly, though, someone needs to give some elementary Twitter lessons over at the Post.