I suppose if you’re constantly portraying the other side of an argument – or political perspective – via extreme strawmen, it’s not all that surprising that you might eventually come to believe that that’s who they really are.
Hence The Australian this week apparently mistaking a right-winger’s “satirical” impression of a lefty for the real thing:
I am divine, but not in an elitist way. Derek Sapphire on his blog Sapphirical Reflections, January 5:
ONE thing I always find particularly annoying about right-wingers and conservatives is how oblivious they are to the presence of Gaia. Take this vicious diatribe from the always offensive Tim Blair. In it, he mocks our beloved fellow traveller Tim Flannery for saying: “I think that within this century the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest.” Well, actually Gaia is already manifest — or should I say womanifest — to many of us already. Take the recent unexplained deaths of thousands of fish and birds, for example. Gaia is just working through some issues now. And it’s really sad that the recent casualties of this process happen to be non-human people (animals) who’ve committed no wrong. But just wait until She’s ready to deal with who’s really to blame. That’s why I suggest that anyone who doesn’t already worship the Earth Goddess should start doing so with gusto pretty soon. Because eventually it’s going to get down to a pretty simple choice: you are either for Gaia, or against Her. And frankly, I wouldn’t recommend being in that latter category. No, I wouldn’t recommend it at all.
Yeah, real lefties refer to themselves as “fellow travellers”, and try to append “wo” to any word beginning with “man”. Just what kind of drivel has the editor who thought this could be real been reading?
The Sapphire blog (“Fight Fire With Sapphire!”), filled with clunky, decade-old undergraduate stereotypes and obvious jokes, makes it even more obvious (hardly the best example of Poe’s Law) – and, if even you failed to notice the sarcastic disclaimer at the bottom that all but admits that conservative blogger Matt Hayden is behind the site, a simple Google search should clear it up for you:
Matt appears to mainly use his creation to “argue” with fellow conservatives at their own blogs, people dumb enough to believe in their own imaginary version of lefties to actually seriously debate with a parody. Now it looks like some of the professional journalists at The Australian are no more cluey than the most obtuse denizens of circle-jerk blogs on the internet.
We’re not going to have to go back to the very beginning, are we? “Hi, News Ltd. I’m a lefty. This is what we look like. This is what… no, hang on a second while I say it, don’t assume… this is what I’m actually arguing. Yes! It is quite different from what you’ve been telling people, isn’t it?”