Friday, January 11, 2019


Here are a couple of tweets posted yesterday by well-known right-wing propagandists (though the first one seems to have been deleted):

Well, actually...
Tests revealed that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has no additional cancer following her surgery in December, and no further treatment is needed, the Supreme Court announced Friday.

“Justice Ginsburg will continue to work from home next week and will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts of oral arguments,” court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said in a statement.

“Her recovery from surgery is on track. Post-surgery evaluation indicates no evidence of remaining disease, and no further treatment is required.”
Look, I understand why people like Wohl and Gorka tell lies that their intended audience can't easily disprove. If, like Wohl, you claim that people in hipster coffee shops secretly admire Donald Trump, it's hard for skeptics to prove that you're lying, and so what Wohl asserts might inspire right-wingers to fight another day. If you claim that the Obama administration invented the term "lone wolf" in order to deceive Americans about the threat of terrorism, as Gorka has, you're saying something most right-wingers won't see debunked.

But what's the purpose of these tweets? Not only are Wohl and Gorka pretending to have inside knowledge they clearly don't possess, they've date-stamped their predictions so they've been rapidly disproved.

You'd think this would harm their reputation in right-wing circles, but apparently it doesn't. The fans come back for more, the way they did even after Wohl accused Robert Mueller of sexual misconduct and the baseless allegation blew up in Wohl's face. (Wohl's reputation took a hit, but he still has 178,000 followers on Twitter, though it's not clear how many are bots.)

And they're not alone. Before today's announcement, there were others spreading the lie on social media:

I can only conclude that right-wingers don't care whether they're being told the truth -- they just want to be told what they'd like to hear, and they'll come back for more of that even if they find out they're being deceived.

Another phenomenon that works this way: QAnon. And also, of course, the Trump presidency.

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