Once a journalists or bloggers decides it is their mission to help elect a particular candidate at any cost, they cease to be reporters and become extensions of a political party or a campaign. There are myriad examples of this on the left where the career path of “journalists” and political staffers are intertwined. Disturbingly, this phenomena has begun on the right as well, with formerly reliable actors selling out completely to become campaign arms for Trump.
The once respected GatewayPundit blog used to drive the news cycle and force the media to pay attention to stories they would otherwise ignore. Now that site is an in-the-tank propaganda site for Donald Trump, prone to bouts of all-caps histrionics. Abandoning your principles for a candidate has it’s drawbacks though. It apparently makes you very susceptible to being trolled.
Justin Green writes at IJR about how GatewayPundit fell victim to a troll and dragged Matt Drudge down with him. GatewayPundit aka Jim Hoft posted a randomly boldfaced article about an alleged Ohio postal worker, @randygdub, bragging online about trashing Trump ballots at work. This naturally sparked outrage in the comment section and the Trump-osphere at large.
Even Drudge bought it.
Postal Worker Brags About Destroying Trump Ballots… https://t.co/WlWz0aG9aY
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) October 17, 2016
This certainly yielded a bunch of web traffic for GatewayPundit, but Green goes on to examine Hoft’s journalistic failure to investigate a story he clearly hoped was true.
At this point, Hoft should have done the following things before publishing his story:
- Contacted @randygdub to ask if he was indeed a postal worker
- Sought to verify his employment status as a mailman
- Read through the tweets of the user to see if they tweeted about being a mailman or anything of the sort
- Pondered: “Why would someone brag about breaking the law on Twitter?”
Alternatively, he could have looked at his Twitter profile…
The profile for @randygdub lists his location as California not Ohio. A cursory review of his timeline should make anyone question his veracity.
lmao jim hoft did a story on me https://t.co/iI40BaO3eC
— raandy (@randygdub) October 17, 2016
Hoft has since added a snippy, passive aggressive update.
UPDATE: So the left says this story is a joke.
Because stealing elections is funny.
No, stealing elections isn’t funny. It’s a real problem.
Now thanks to Jim Hoft crying wolf, the left has another talking point to use when arguing that conservatives are only making it up.