I hate forwarded chain mail that hasn’t been checked.

It’s pretty well known amongst my friends that I HATE being sent forwarded chain mail, especially the kind that’s pretty much urban legends and political claptrap. The thing that bugs me about it is that no one ever bothers to CHECK these messages, especially when there’s a neutral site like Snopes that does a damn good job of going through the BS. Well, today, my father sent me a forwarded chain mail from a friend of his. I read it, and felt compelled to respond. I’ll put it all behind a cut so no one has to suffer if they’re not interested.

The original message was as follows:

—– Original Fw: Liberal media

I checked this on Snopes and it is true.

*Subject: **ABC News* * – Suspicions confirmed!

Just in case you happened to see the ABC News piece (if you watch ABC News) with interviews of 5 military folks in Iraq – 3 planned to vote for Obama and 2 for Hillary; no mention of any McCain supporters. Well, here’s the “Rest of the Story.”

This from Major General (ret) Buckman.
My niece, Katelyn, stationed at Baluud, Iraq was assigned, with others of her detachment, to be escort/guard/watcher for Martha Raddatz of ABC News as she covered John McCain’s recent trip to Iraq. Katelyn and her Captain stood directly behind Raddatz as she queried GIs walking past. They kept count of the GIs and you should remember these numbers. She asked 60 GIs who they planned to vote for in November._ 54 said John McCain, 4 for Obama and 2 for Hillary_. Katelyn called home and told her Mom and Dad to watch ABC news the next night because she was standing directly behind Raddatz and maybe they’d see her on TV. Mom and Dad of course, called and emailed all the kinfolk to watch the newscast and maybe see Katelyn. Well, of course, we all watched and what we saw wasn’t a glimpse of Katelyn, but got a great view of skewed news. After a dissertation on McCain’s trip and speech,**_ ABC showed 5 GIs being asked by Raddatz how they were going to vote in November; 3 for Obama and 2 for Clinton. No mention of the 54 for McCain.
_
Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone… YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is Time for America to Speak *u*p! *

I decided to check the veracity of the first statement myself, and checked to see if the message was in fact listed on Snopes. It was, so I decided to email my father and his friend.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/raddatz.asp

Just because someone says it was checked on Snopes doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth…

Shortly after I sent that my dad’s friend replied.

You might want to read the complete report by snoops, especially the last two paragraphs. overall it states they at least monitored the outcome.

I sighed, and wrote a final reply.

I did read the complete report by Snopes. The end result was that the whole situation was an “argumentative and subjective issue”. The evidence given definitely does not make the issue as clear-cut as the message states, especially when given the facts that both the general and reporter referenced have publicly stated the information given is false, and Snopes’s own investigations support that.

In any event, however you might feel about the subject, I personally feel that lying about it (which is what the original email was: an out-and-out fabrication) does not help support the argument. If the message is that important, the truthful arguments should be what’s used to get the information out. Lying only ends up damaging your own position’s credibility.

I refrained from using two other statements after the last sentence. One was, “After all, look at what happened to Dan Rather.” The other was, “Isn’t this one of the things that people on the Right blast Michael Moore about?” I didn’t think it was necessary and could have been perceived as inflammatory. Either way, I haven’t received a response back.

As stated before, the thing that really irks me about these messages are that these people are spreading lies and falsehoods in the name of promoting their own agendas. I firmly believe that if people would just start CHECKING the information given instead of just mindlessly consuming and regurgitating it, we’d be a lot better off (and that includes seeing less of these chain mails). My own policy has been to reply to the senders with the appropriate Snopes link. As a result they stop sending them to me. I’d like to think it’s because they’ve thought about what they were doing and stopped spreading the misinformation, but it’s more likely that they just don’t want to hear my counterarguments and just take me off the mailing lists.

Hopefully someday people will start learning and acting better.

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