The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 August 2012

Sharpton Caller Spreads Hoax Romney Quote

GULLIB-AL

Birth Of A Campaign Smear



*** UPDATE: NO RETRACTION / CLARIFICATION ISSUED DURING TUESDAY'S BROADCAST ***

Ever wonder where kooky "progressive" conspiracy theories get their start? Monday's Al Sharpton radio show provides a case study.

During his syndicated Keeping It Real program, the reverend engaged a hoax caller in all seriousness as that person spread an outrageous "slavery" lie about Mitt Romney and his family. It apparently originated with a political parody site.

Though Sharpton did express a limited degree of skepticism during the call, his response did little to keep a crazy new claim from spreading across America.

This is why hosts have call-screeners: to keep out the riff-raff and check out assertions before they reach the airwaves. A smarter (or more honest) talker would have seen right through this absurdity:





Throughout the call,
Sharpton seems about 50% suckered, not especially skeptical until its conclusion. We'll expect a full retraction during his next program, but will that be enough to stop this new lie from taking on a life of its own?



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