Noel Sheppard used a Feb. 1 NewsBusters post to go on a tirade about Rachel Maddow falling for a claim on a satire website, then noting in her apology that the claim wasn't much crazier than what comes out of Glenn Beck's mouth:
And that was Maddow’s explanation for getting duped by a satirical website: in her view, conservatives – especially Glenn Beck – are saying all kinds of crazy things. As a result, it’s become difficult for her to know what’s real and what’s a spoof.
If this is the case, then maybe she should stop reporting on what conservatives are saying.
If she can no longer discern between fact and fiction, serious commentary and satire, she can’t possibly be trusted or taken seriously about anything, for who knows what her next source will be and whether or not it’s actually legitimate.
Maybe more importantly, how can anyone on television – Rhodes scholar or not! – be deserving of the public’s trust if she blames her own mistakes on others not at all involved in her program?
By this same standard, Sheppard must denounce his fellow conservatives -- in particular Rush Limbaugh -- for making the same excuse in treating a satirical article as fact.
In 2009, a blog post circulated purporting to offer quotes from Barack Obama's college thesis. Limbaugh, Fox News' Fox Nation website, and anti-Muslim blogger Pam Geller, among others, breathlessly repeated the quotes. After it was debunked as satire, Limbaugh declared he didn't care if the quotes are fake because "I know Obama thinks it."
So when can we expect Sheppard to assert that since Limbaugh can't discern between fact and fiction, he can’t possibly be trusted or taken seriously about anything, for who knows what her next source will be and whether or not it’s actually legitimate? Don't count on it -- Sheppard isn't interested in the truth.