The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, January 31, 2005

How to abuse the Internet

A while back, I criticized the above site for posting some credulous information about voting irregularities in Texas. But the host is doing a good service, after all. The latest piece is yet another example of the huge sub-category that might be called "right-wing netlore."

In the e-mail forward, a man claiming to be an officer onboard the USS Lincoln (an aircraft carrier sent to Indonesia for tsunami relief work, whose roster does not include an 'Ed Stanton') complains about civilian aid workers:

"What I saw [in the Lincoln's wardroom] was a mob of civilians sitting around like they owned the place. They wore various colored vests with logos on the back including Save The Children, World Health Organization and the dreaded baby blue vest of the United Nations. Mixed in with this crowd were a bunch of reporters, cameramen and Indonesian military officers in uniform. They all carried cameras, sunglasses and fanny packs like tourists on their way to Disneyland.

My warship had been transformed into a floating hotel for a bunch of trifling do-gooders overnight."

Ahhh yes, the dreaded vest of the United Nations. Instant tip-off. It's interesting to note that there isn't a single mention of these "do-gooders" doing anything untoward. It's also interesting to note that an actual officer from the Lincoln, who is verifiably aboard, contradicts this statement. And here you have it:

"The civilians that have been transported by our helicopters and have been hosted aboard the carrier are not a 'traveling circus’ of aid workers or 'trifling do-gooders,'" writes Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Vorce in answer to Ed Stanton's characterization of relief workers from the United Nations and other organizations. "On the contrary, these are professionals who have years of experience in mitigating human suffering and tragedy."