The Drudge Report isn’t the ultimate journalistic standard in the world. It’s a list of links that interest people… LOTS of people. The site is the ultimate tastemaker, kingcrowner, and journalistic trendsetter on the web. Any respectable journalist checks Drudge to see what’s going on in the world, as do millions of others.
This time they dropped the ball. A story that was easily confirmed as fake popped up on Drudge today. “Activist Spends Year in Freezer to Oppose ‘Global Warming’…“ was enough to get us to click. Within seconds it became clear that it was fake. The name of the activist is Jade Martens. She spent the last 12 months in a 6’x3’x4′ freezer to protest global warming. She did this at the San Francisco Congress Center. There is, of course, no such place. She ate, slept, and even “relieved herself” in the freezer, standing from time to time to stretch.
Her plan is to stay until real action is taken by the Obama administration to halt carbon emissions. If her health allowed, she would stay in for at least another year. A Danish filmmaker, Hans Mitzbërg, is already working on a documentary. At this point, it is so crystal clear that the story is fake that one didn’t need confirmation.
The site that it linked to was pretty lame as well.
How could something like this happen, you might ask? Why would Drudge buy into such a story. The answer is in the way the story was sold. While it was clearly positioned to be fake, there was one thing that they put in that made suspended disbelief. Jade Martens is supposed to be a member of Greenpeace. By invoking the big “G” the people circulating the story were able to allow us to put logic aside. If anyone was stupid enough to pull of a stunt like this for the sake of the environment, it would be a Greenpeace radical.
Nobody’s perfect. We don’t fault Drudge for falling for the Greenpeace fallacy. In truth, the reader really didn’t have a chance. It’s like saying that an NFL player committed a stupid crime and the NFL let them back in. Regardless of the crime, we would believe it.