Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Digby Goes Down 

The usually astute Digby picks up on a post over at Charlie's Diary about a Howard Dean speech allegedly calling privacy an "urban myth." To his credit, Digby does not swallow the story whole, but neither does he poke around the links provided, such as to the Register UK link at Charlie's Diary. Guess who's proudly promoting this story? The same guy who promoted the "Al Gore Invented the Internet" hoax, Declan McCallagh:
McCullagh's entry into the 2004 Presidential campaign has been eagerly anticipated. In the 2000 Presidential race his coverage of a claim by Al Gore to have 'invented the Internet' reached national notoriety.

"If it's true that Al Gore created the Internet, then I created the 'Al Gore created the Internet' story," McCullagh boasted. [Note McCullagh's coy conflation of Gore's actual claim with the hoax version, prefaced by the legalistic deployment of "if." These guys don't miss a trick.]

Read Dean's rather anodyne remarks, too, if you can do so without falling asleep. There's nothing scary there. The "urban myth" quote is ripped entirely out of context, and refers if anything, to the illusion of privacy people think they enjoy today, which Dean clearly does not think is good. A few paragraphs later he's assuring listeners that his policies do NOT entail further erosion of privacy.

The meta-story is the story, not the crap peddled by McCallagh. [Note: Digby appears to have updated his post since first publishing it. But you can be sure you haven't seen the last of this one from more credulous sources.]

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