They're pro-science, pro-empiricism guardians of truth and facts in an age of Lyin' Donald, you'll recall, except when they're not. Because 'Literally Hitler' and his band of deplorables deserve it, or whatever. A Democratic pollster posted a tweet on Easter Sunday, comparing and contrasting the supposed churchgoing records of President Obama and President Trump -- neither of whom is, shall we say, particularly renowned for his overt religiosity. It's racked up tens of thousands of retweets and likes, with screenshots and similar memes buzzing around Facebook and Instagram. Obama was a God-fearing Christian, unlike that pagan Trump; these so-called Christian Republican voters are such hypocrites! Problem: It's an inaccurate tweet. But hey, spreading fake news that affirms your partisan biases feels good. And who can resist the sweet, sweet nectar of lots of retweets and new followers?
The Obama's spent every Easter attending church service. Trump hasn't attended church once since his inauguration. Where's the GOP outrage? pic.twitter.com/5zOBO616LM— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) April 16, 2017
Conservatives and some mainstream and liberal media figures swiftly debunked the premise of the tweet. Oops:
Well for starters... pic.twitter.com/bJy1wkxRIk— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 17, 2017
The original tweeter has been defending himself and refusing to delete the false post, uncorking a slew of justifications, most of which are some variation of "fake but accurate" or "it's Trump's fault." He also claimed that his facts were correct at the time that he fired off the tweet because Trump hadn't gone to church yet, or something. But the premise of the framing was that Obama was a faithful Easter churchgoer, unlike that heathen Trump. Fun fact: The image embedded at the top of this post is of Trump...arriving at church on Easter. In fairness, this all could have started as an honest, hasty mistake, but once it became clear that the message was flat-out wrong, the obviously correct move was to take it down, not concoct desperate ex post facto rationalizations. To err is to be human, but to allow arrogance and expedience to perpetuate the propagation of a known falsehood is a deliberate act of dishonesty (a lesson that this president would be wise to heed). And hey, we're all human. Even certain Democratic pollsters:
See? Deleting content that makes you look silly in retrospect isn't so hard, is it?