Here’s a guy I want to interview/get a hold of for my Blogs as Writerly Spaces project: a blogger named Bob who maintains a blog called TUBOB. Perhaps you’ve heard some kind of rumor about Sarah Palin thinking that dinosaurs were “Satan’s Lizards?” That, as this post at Community College English nicely summarizes, was flat-out made up here by Bob Salsbury in a post called “Fake Governor Sarah Palin Quotes.”
From there, it morphed into a series of comments and posts on all kinds of “real” news sites (see the CCE link for some examples). It ended up in a CNN story on false Internet rumors about Palin:
And, as Bob notes on his blog, Matt Damon mentions the rumors about dinosaurs that circulated about Palin in this otherwise spot-on critique of her VP-ness (wait for 1:22 into the video):
So, I’m interested in this on at least two levels. First, as someone researching blogs and the way(s) in which “situation” works with driving traffic to blogs, motivating bloggers to write, shaping content and audiences, etc., etc., this seems to me to be another great example, something along the lines (bigger, really) than what I experienced with my blogging on the EMU strike. I can read some of what Bob has to say on his blog about the experience, and perhaps that will be enough for my book purposes, but it still might be interesting to interview him as a case study.
Second, the way this thing spread is kind of interesting because it isn’t quite the same thing as the “Obama is a Muslim” thing. Obama has said over and over and over and OVER that he is a Christian and more or less has been his whole life. He has answered those questions repeatedly. And, besides that, so what if he did have Muslim heritage or he was a practicing Muslim? I know this isn’t the political reality, but being something other than a Christian shouldn’t mean anything.
On the other hand, Palin has identified herself and has been identified with Evangelical Christianity of the type that reads the Bible literally, doesn’t believe in evolution, and that uses creationism to explain the dinosaurs. Further, as far as I know, she hasn’t answered Matt Damon’s or Maureen Dowd’s question about dinosaurs. I mean really; what does she think? Does she believe the creationism museum version of dinosaurs? Does she believe in evolution at all? Obama has been asked and answered questions about all kinds of rumors about him; but to ask Palin these questions is disrespect.
In any event, it’s an interesting viral blogging example and one I’ll keep an eye on, probably. Thanks for posting that, CCE.