"Well, I've been visiting all the primary states, and I've been talking to people, and people all over the place are asking me, why, in Barack Obama's America, someone who murders a baby who happens to be white doesn't get punished," Bachmann was quoted as saying by the Internet magazine Salon.com.
There was just one problem: Bachmann didn't actually say anything of the sort.[jump]
The writer, Alex Pareene, made the quote up entirely. Pareene also invented a Bachmann appearance on the Sean Hannity show, during which she allegedly made the statement. And even cited the quote as coming from a "rush transcript" of the TV show, adding a further veneer of truth to what turns out to be wholly the product of his fevered imagination.Pareene not only invented a quote for Bachmann, he also concocted responses for Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain. Yet there was little to indicate that the story was full of fake quotes aside from a mumbled "sort of" in the deck.
Here's the full quote that Pareene made up for Bachmann:
Well, I've been visiting all the primary states, and I've been talking to people, and people all over the place are asking me, why, in Barack Obama's America, someone who murders a baby who happens to be white doesn't get punished. And Sean, I've been on the front lines, and I know people are afraid not just of the massive debt created by the Pelosi-Reid government, they're worried about the Muslim Brotherhood, which has clear ties to terror groups dedicated to creating a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and they're worried that Eric Holder's Justice Department isn't going to do anything about it if the Brotherhood or another group comes for their children.
When the Bachmann quote first appeared, blogs quickly picked it up as a real quote. FreakOutNation, a left-leaning tumblr, picked up the quote right away, and Democrats for Progress soon followed. The web sites Death and Taxes and AllGov (cached version, since the site has since pulled the story) also reported the quotes as real news.
We decided to contact Pareene, a Minnesota native, to ask about the piece. All of the quotes below were actually uttered by Pareene.
CP: Why did you make up quotes from Republican presidential candidates about the Casey Anthony verdict?
I shouldn't be surprised, I guess, but I didn't think people would actually think a post full of Casey Anthony jokes without one single link to the source would be taken seriously.
CP: What's been the response from the Bachmann campaign?
No response from Bachmann that I know of.
CP: Did you feel bad when you saw some people thought the quotes were real?
I feel bad that people believe unattributed shit they read on random tumblrs, I guess, but no regrets.