Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Murder in the Press

The City Pages put its head up a familiar orifice on Tuesday in attempting to fact check Michele Bachmann with regard to the preposterous John Wayne/John Wayne Gacy story.

Michele Bachmann put her foot back in a familiar place on Monday -- her mouth -- and is now admitting that she misspoke in Iowa when she confused Hollywood icon John Wayne with mass murderer John Wayne Gacy.

No, she never said she "confused" the two individuals. That is a media driven fantasy. What she admitted was nothing more than not meeting the standard of 100% perfect specificity on the geography of Iowa. Take note other presidential hopefuls, this is something the press apparently now DEMANDS of you all.

"John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too," she told her admirers as she announced her presidential campaign.

No, he wasn't. Wayne was from Winterset, more than three hours away.

No, it isn't. Winterset is 117 straight line miles away from Waterloo. Or, 168 miles driving distance, according to Google Maps, which claims that would take about 2 hours 45 minutes. Hardly "more than three hours".

Nitpicking, you say? Perhaps. But blowing this time estimate by over 15 minutes is roughly equivalent to Michele Bachmann misplacing where John Wayne is from by just over 100 miles. What makes their error far worse is that it came in the midst of a pompous and condescending rebuke of Bachmann for getting her facts wrong.

Alas, it gets worse.

Twisted clown Gacy murdered 33 boys and young men in and around Waterloo, and was executed in 1994.

No, he didn't. All of his 33 murders happened in and around Chicago, not Waterloo. That's 268 miles away! A driving distance of nearly five hours!

Forget nitpicking. In the course of mocking her for a slight geographical error, they make a geographical error that is twice as large in magnitude. Does that mean they'll give us a pompous and condescending correction of their own work? Doubful. But perhaps they should consider hiring Michele Bachmann as a contributing editor any time they try to talk about geography. It would cut their error rate in half.