The conservative media rose to prominence on the simple idea that the mainstream media wasn’t telling the entire truth to the American people.
So it’s worth noting when two prominent conservative bloggers, Jim Hoft and Matt Drudge, commit journalistic malpractice.
On Monday, Hoft, who runs the Trump-loving Gateway Pundit blog, posted a buzzy item:
Whoa indeed, in an election where the Republican frontrunner is going around telling conservatives that the election will be “rigged.” Unsurprisingly, the story quickly made the Drudge Report:
Postal Worker Brags About Destroying Trump Ballots… https://t.co/WlWz0aG9aY
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) October 17, 2016
Just one problem, the actual evidence of voter fraud.
To back up his claim, Hoft cited a series of tweets from “@randygdub”:
At this point, Hoft should have done the following things before publishing his story:
- Contacted @randygdub to ask if he was indeed a postal worker
- Sought to verify his employment status as a mailman
- Read through the tweets of the user to see if they tweeted about being a mailman or anything of the sort
- Pondered: “Why would someone brag about breaking the law on Twitter?”
Alternatively, he could have looked at his Twitter profile…
… Which lists his location as California, not Ohio, and calls himself:
“the cool and chill guy of online”.
It’s most likely that, rather than election fraud, @randygdub was making a joke that preys on the willingness of conservative bloggers to publish any story relating to Democrats rigging elections or breaking the law, truthful or not.
And sure enough…
lmao jim hoft did a story on me https://t.co/iI40BaO3eC
— raandy (@randygdub) October 17, 2016
Remember, folks, don’t believe everything you see on Twitter.
In a statement, USPS wrote:
“The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believ… https://t.co/MSyLQKiDvS
— USPS Help (@USPSHelp) October 17, 2016
The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believe these tweets were made by a postal employee. However, the Postal Service will continue to monitor this situation and if it is determined that the individual making the tweets is a postal employee and there is substantiated evidence of mail being tampered with or destroyed , then the Postal Service will take appropriate corrective action to address the situation.”
Independent Journal Review has reached out to Hoft, and will updated in this space if he responds.
UPDATE: Hoft has not responded to our request for comment, but on his blog, he added a brief note:
“So this Twitter user now says his tweet was a joke.
Because voter fraud is funny?
I’ve seen people get banned from Twitter for less than this.”
The Daily Beast also has the transcript from today’s Rush Limbaugh show, where a totally fake tweet received time on the national radio airwaves.
Oh, and @RandyGDub told The Daily Beast that “lol no”, he is not a postal service employee.