In his first Iowa presidential campaign swing, Gov. Rick Perry made a bizarre and baseless accusation that the Obama admininstration was going to force farmers to get a commercial licenses if they drive their tractors across public roads.
But perhaps even more bizarre, when called on it by the Des Moines Register, Perry defensively mocked the reporter for acting like the renowned fact-checking website Snopes.com. From the Register:
Asked by the Register on Monday evening about what [U.S. Department of Transportation] officials had said, Perry asked, “Was this Snopes.com?” referring to the myth-busting website. “Is that where we look this one up?”
It seems odd and strange to Perry that a journalist would first talk to relevant government officials to determine the facts about an accusation before sharing it with the public.
Apparently in Perry's world, accusations should be leveled first! Then funny-named websites run by eggheads that most voters don't read worry about the lame fact-checking.
What's striking to me is that Perry even knows about Snopes.com, but perhaps I shouldn't be.
Snopes.com focuses on debunking misinformation in chain emails. And chain email lies is an industry dominated by conservatives.
Conservatives smear merchants are acutely aware of Snopes. Some conservative chain emails come with claims like "Checked this on snopes, it's true!", when it is not. Other conservatives have tried to discredit the owners of Snopes as politically motivated and ideologically biased, but those charges were debunked by FactCheck.org.
Perry appears to share the negative attitude about Snopes carried by these conservatives, which makes one wonder where he does get his "facts" from.