Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogs: A Hoax and a Revenge Blog Attack Which One Is Worse?

The answer – Neither, they’re both bad.

President Obama and Rush Limbaugh, and consequently his radio audience, were all victims in the blog hoax. A blogger made-up a satirical post on a so-called humor blog.

In it, the blogger wrote that Time Magazine writer Joe Klein had received ten pages of President Obama’s college thesis. In that thesis the blogger claimed that Obama, the college student, had doubts about the “so-called founders” of our country and suggested that the future president showed “disdain” for the United States Constitution.

The blog entry somehow ended up in Rush Limbaugh’s in-box and he used it as another club to beat-up on the President he wants to fail. After an hour or more of ranting about how right he had been (no pun intended) about the inadequacy of Obama to be president, someone finally did some fact checking and alerted Limbaugh that it was a hoax.

Limbaugh did not apologize, rather he defended his poor judgment by saying the blog post “felt true.”

What if that phony story had been written about you or your business or organization and some local reporter or editor picked it up and passed it on as fact without checking first?

And then there’s the continuing fall-out from ESPN’s firing of sports commentator Steve Phillips. He was dismissed because he got caught in a sexual “impropriety.” By the way, dad or mom, how will you answer your Little Leaguer’s question, “Mom, what is an impropriety?”

That story took a new twist last week when another blogger complained that ESPN had lied to him two months ago. A. J. Daulerio, editor of, a sports blog, says he asked ESPN Sept. 9 if Phillips was going to be fired the next day. A PR person for ESPN told him the rumor was wrong.

The problem is, the response was true at the time, but six weeks later on Oct. 25 it was no longer a rumor, but fact. Now Daulerio is accused of trying to get even because he got beat on the story. He has posted articles alleging sexual liaisons and harassment by other ESPN employees and inconsistent punishment

Welcome to the Social Media World.

The point of this blog is to challenge you to think about the “what ifs” this happened to you, your boss, your organization or business. In today’s world, this kind of social media attack is as real as a tornado in Kansas or a hurricane in Florida. You cannot wait to be surprised when the blog comes ashore on your turf.

If you have begun planning for this type of crisis, I and my readers would appreciate hearing about it.


  1. So Rusky does not fact check? Wow, what a surprised.

    Oh, and when contronted that he was punked, he defended himself by saying "we stand by the fabricated quote because we know Obama thinks it anyway"

    After so many years of mis-labeling and mis-characterizing others he gets smacked down by the NFL "Not For Limbaugh". Great job NFL.

  2. Do you really believe Limbaugh thinks he was punked? Remember he is constantly reminding his listeners that he is perfect. And a perfect "talker" can't be punked, can he?