Technology with attitude

Manufacturing a scandal

7

A few days ago I slammed Democrats for hypocritically exempting American Samoa from the new minimum wage law. In passing, I noted that one of the beneficiaries of low wages on the island is Starkist, a subsidiary of Del Monte, which is based in Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district.

Partisans have now taken that basic data and run with it, providing a fascinating look at how a scandal can be ginned up out of, literally, nothing.

It started on Jan. 12, when somebody modified the Wikipedia entry on Del Monte to add a sentence claiming that Pelosi’s husband, Paul, owns $17 million worth of Del Monte shares — suggesting, of course, that personal financial interest drove the Samoan exception. The right-wing site Newsbusters picked it up that same day, and it started spreading through the right-wing blogosphere. It gained momentum on Jan. 15, with an unsourced allegation by Rush Limbaugh. Along with the buzz came the usual smug and knowing comments of “I wonder why the mainstream media is ignoring this?”

Perhaps because it isn’t true.

(continued at Midtopia)