G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
A guy named Todd Kincannon did some leg work and crowd sourcing to show that the picture featured in the Buzzfeed article titled “Man At Romney Rally Wears Mindblowingly Offensive Shirt” does not seem to be what it was reported to be.
The Buzzfeed reporter, Andrew Kaczynski, also recently published a headline claiming that Paul Ryan stormed out of an interview with ABC. That’s not how the interview played out, and Commentary’s John Podhoretz took Kaczynski to task, calling him a “little boy” and schooling him on the way journalism is supposed to work e.g., when your reporting is wrong you correct the story.
Here’s how Kaczynski’s latest shenanigans played out – I’ll try to be succinct in re-reporting what Kincannon uncovered. Here is the photo in question, taken in Lancaster, Ohio by a freelance sports photographer named Jamie Sabau.
Kincannon points to the full series of Sabau’s photos and notes the timeline. This particular picture was situated between two pictures in which crowds were gathered outside of the Romney rally, thus dispelling the Buzzfeed headline that the guy made it into the rally. As Kincannon points out in his Twitter stream, campaign staffers screen rally attendees for offensive shirts and other signals which might reflect poorly on the politician holding the rally. If this guy merely stood in line all day and never made it into the rally, his wearing a racist t-shirt there has about the same newsworthiness as if he was wearing a racist t-shirt while sitting on his living room couch. Kincannon also came across another picture of the t-shirt guy taken by another photographer named Joe Todd Fraker:
The two known pictures of the guy wearing this shirt place him in line outside of the rally instead of inside the rally. Despite having no confirmation that he was at the rally itself, @BuzzFeedAndrew went ahead and misreported the facts as he knew them.
This won’t satisfy anyone who goes on tilt at the fact that some conservatives are racist. There are plenty of BuzzFeed readers and other liberals who dabble in faux-outrage who tsk at the mere existence of such t-shirts. But they’re also trying to make the Romney-Ryan campaign culpable in this by speculating that the campaign didn’t really mind all that much that a guy was walking around with that shirt on within the area they had control over.
The first thought in this day-and-age is that such overt expressions of so-called bigotry have to be scrutinized. So much can be gained at such low cost. A false-flagger only has to wear a t-shirt and he generates all sorts of negative publicity for his target. We’ve also seen too many hate crime hoaxes to just blindly believe that people do crazy anti-social things like this. Also, it reminds me of the RNC peanut throwing incident which seemed really callous and bizarre, but which faded within a day or two. My thought there is that liberal members of the media pursued the story and saw something shady and just gave up on it.