Here's Rick Perry:
Remember when you had to show your aunt Snopes.com because she kept emailing you forwards with animated angel GIFs about how drinking Coke can kill you? Someone needs to do that for Rick Perry. In New Hampshire Friday, Perry noted an email forwarded by his son that quoted a 38-year-old Occupy Toronto protester named Jeremy who whined that bankers work so hard he can't wake up early enough to protest them. Perry paraphrased Jeremy's complaints: "We got here at 9 o'clock, and those people … those bankers that we came to insult, they'd already been at work for two hours when we got here at 9 o'clock, and when we get ready to leave, you know, they’re still in there working. I guess greed just makes you work hard." Perry and everyone else laughed. But Jeremy isn't real; he was made up by theToronto Globe and Mail's Mark Schatzker, whose column was clearly labeled "satire."
Conservatives have been mistaking fake Jeremy for a real protester for a week. He just too perfectly fits their idea of an Occupy Wall Street protester not to be real.
The power of Jeremy is most evident at The American Specator
, where Shawn Macomber
quoted it sincerely under the headline "Deep Thoughts from Occupy Wall Street Toronto" on October 24 before updating that it was satire. But the fake quote was so good, The Spectator
's J.P. Freire
quoted it as real three days later: "Self Parody Alert: Occupy Toronto Doesn't Get It." But alas, it is J.P. Freire who doesn't get it. He quickly updated, "Is this a parody? Maybe?" Not maybe. Actually
Actually, I think this is a variation on Poe's Law: Poe's Law has it that it is almost impossible to distinguish satire from actual religious fundamentalists (and other similar groups). This one has it that the excessively ideologically committed cannot identify satire of an opposing view as satire.
But Rick Perry isn't much of a target. Low-haning fruit I say. Here's Powerline.com blogger John Hinderacker speaking of the same satirical article:
Via the remarkably good Say Anything, a North Dakota-based blog, a hilarious news story about Occupy Wall Street protesters in Toronto who really want to take a stand against “greed,” only…they’re too lazy:
“It’s weird protesting on Bay Street. You get there at 9 a.m. and the rich bankers who you want to hurl insults at and change their worldview have been at work for two hours already. And then when it’s time to go, they’re still there. I guess that’s why they call them the one per cent. I mean, who wants to work those kinds of hours? That’s the power of greed.” – Jeremy, 38
It probably is news to the occupiers that getting into the 1% actually requires work. So, who is greedy–the guy who works hard and wants to keep most of what he earns, or the guy who wants someone else’s money, but isn’t willing to pay the price to earn it?
UPDATE: Upon further review, prompted by my wife, I think the quotes attributed to occupiers at the linked site are jokes. Pretty funny ones, too. The point, I think, remains valid.
This ought to have been a lesson for Hinderacker about distinguishing his straw man of someone's view from reality. His consequent insistence on the validity of his critique itself raises just the question Poe's Law does: cannot tell if Hinderacker is troll. For that, there ought to be an award. Indeed now there is
, courtesy of the students of Phil 210.