Friday, January 23, 2009

Investigative Blogalism

Viral phenomena are rumors, videos, stories, blog posts, and just about anything else that spreads quickly and wildly across the internets. One such 'virus' was an article about the vast liberal conspiracy that is daylight savings time. I did a little sleuthing and produced this investigative post, which, like everything viral, had its moment of glory, but soon faded deep into bloggy obscurity. I repost it here for some out-dated amusement.


Earlier this morning, my friend's mom forwarded me a scan of what purported to be a letter to the editor of the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette. In this letter, the author eloquently proclaims that global warming is a myth perpetuated by a liberal Congress, which sinisterly moved up Daylight Saving Time by several weeks in order to increase the hours of sunshine and, thus, make March warmer than normal.

Now, I know that the far edges of the right-wing contain individuals who might honestly espouse such views, but I was very skeptical that such a letter would actually be written, let alone be published in an actual newspaper. Further adding to my doubt, the headline of the letter contains a typo, and the same exact scan appears conspicuously throughout the blogosphere, in most cases without a link to the actual publication. Even a google search and a google news search for the headline turns up lots of blogs, but no links to the newspaper itself.

However, I did a bit more sleuthing and, sure enough, the letter is for real. Lest you believe that the scan you see here is a mere Photoshop trick, click this link! The question still remains: Is this a clever and concise work of political satire, or something much more frightening?

UPDATE: I did a little digging. Connie M. Meskimen, the Arkansan author, shares his/her name with an Arkansan bankruptcy law attorney. I can probably conclude that this is one and the same Connie M. Meskimen. I'd like to think that receiving a law degree connotes a certain level of wisdom and common sense, and so I am sincerely hoping that one of the following is true: (A) Connie M. Meskimen has a highly-developed sense of irony and a sharp wit; (B) Connie M. Meskimen, the lawyer, did not write this letter; or (C) Arkansas reexamines its standards for admission to the bar.

UPDATE 2: (A) wins! Check out this tongue-in-cheekiness from one Connie M. Meskimen, published years earlier in the same publication:
According to reader Connie M. Meskimen, tonic water, also called quinine water, was developed by the British to make quinine palatable to troops in India suffering from malaria. "I would suggest then that by liberally imbibing gin and tonics you will experience a great curative effect. You might explore whether your health insurance would pay for part of the liquor bill."

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