A number of Twitter feeds and forums are trumpeting what purports to be information from Jared Loughner’s Facebook page – e.g. here:
Although Jared Loughner’s Facebook page has been scrubbed, leave it up to some extremely proactive folks who are on top of the situation. Look very closely at the people Loughner admires: Kenyan-born Muslim Barack Hussein Obama, Saul Alinksy, Noam Chomsky, Hugo Chávez and Che Guevara…ALL COMMUNISTS! What did I tell you?
These names supposedly existed on a list of “People Who Inspire Jared”.
An accompanying photo shows that a Facebook page did exist, created in the name of “Jared Laughner” (and with a photo of Obama as the profile pic!). According to someone who saw it before it was removed, it had no posts and there were no friends. “Laughner”, of course, was the incorrect spelling initially reported in the media. The list of left-wingers is so stereotyped as to be absurd – Saul Alinsky in particular is primarily famous these days as a figure in conservative demonology rather than for anything else.
One site that cut and pasted the Facebook profile was a blog called Bruce Political Watch. The author reported excitedly:
Pulled this from Facebook before it was taken down, there were 4 more “inspiring people” that I could not picture of which were also Mao Tse Tung, and Joseph Stalin.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to check out his love for the Tea Party.
Gilding the lily even further, the information “pulled” included the quote:
Fight the Right! Obama and the Progressives will overcome the tyrrany of big business and the racist Tea Party.
The entry has now been deleted; instead, there’s this:
This post was based on (unknown at the time) erroneous information, I have removed it.
It can still be found on other sites, though.
Meanwhile, another since-deleted Facebook profile – again in the name of “Jared Laughner” rather than “Loughner” – listed as his “likes” “Sara Palin” [sic] and “Tea Party Patriots”. There was also reportedly a third bogus profile, in which he supposedly enthused over Fox News.
Presumably anyone creating hoax information about Loughner for whatever reason is liable to get into some trouble for interfering with a police investigation?
UPDATE: Media Matters covers the story here, noting in particular how Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has promoted the fake “left-wing” profile:
Hoft headlines his latest post “Whoops! This Changes Things- Loughner’s Hero Was Barack Obama,” then proceeds to breathlessly exclaim that “Killer Jared Loughner idolized Barack Obama.”
He sources this scoop to “The Examiner” “via Free Republic” and links to a blog post by Anthony Martin at Examiner.com.
Once Hoft became aware of the mistake, he deleted the post and is now whining that
Unfortunately I had it up long enough for Soros-fundedMedia Matters to capture some screen grabs.
But “screen grabs” are only an issue because Hoft wanted to bury his mistake rather than to issue a correction. As I noted when Robert Spencer pulled the same stunt a couple of weeks ago, we all make mistakes – but what distinguishes a responsible blogger from a ideologue hack out to manipulate is how one deals with them.
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