A Case Study in Right-Wing Myth Making

I feel like I’ve been writing a lot about WorldNetDaily recently, but since the website seems to always be at the nexus of emerging right-wing conspiracy theories, allow me to point out that it is happening again.

Earlier today I wrote about this claim being made by the National Legal and Policy Center that the “Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites“:

NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air quickly debunked NLPC’s claims,  but it didn’t matter because “news” of the plan was already spreading around to, and being further spread around by, right-wing groups like the Family Research Council.

And now, of course, WND has picked up the NLPC’s “scoop” and is reporting it as fact:

On Facebook, MySpace? Obama’s got your e-mail
White House spammer-in-chief wants contractor to track critics

Posted: September 02, 2009

By Chelsea Schilling

The White House is hiring a contractor to harvest information about Americans from its pages on social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The National Legal and Policy Center, or NLPC, revealed the White House New Media team is seeking to hire a technology vendor to collect data such as comments, tag lines, e-mail, audio and video from any place where the White House “maintains a presence” – for a period of up to eight years.

Now that this “story” has shown up in the “news,” we can expect it to get picked up by more groups and media outlets as it slowly begins to work its way into the overall right-wing narrative and perhps eventually into mainstream media coverage … despite the fact that even the conservative blog Hot Air declared immediately that the NLPC’s analysis is “faulty” and “overblown.”