A Gay Girl in Damascus That Wasn’t

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Like the lies told by conniving salesmen or cheating paramours, the web of deceit weaved by ideological flatters finds many gullible flies blissfully stuck in the trap. Man is a more emotional than a rational animal. We believe because we want to believe.

There is a long tradition of grand deception by ideological flatterers. John Reed authored Ten Days That Shook the World as a paid employee of Soviet Russia’s Bureau of International Revolutionary Propaganda. This didn’t stop Warren Beatty from making a fawning biopic or a New York University panel of judges from ruling the book one of the best works of journalism in the twentieth century. Rigoberta Menchu won a Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of I, Rigoberta Menchu. Yet, when scholar David Stoll revealed massive literary fraud—including finding alive Menchu’s brother who had starved to death in I, Rigoberta Menchu and revealing that another brother who had been burned alive in the autobiography had not perished in so grisly a fashion—no serious consideration was given to rescinding the prize.

“I never expected this level of attention,” MacMaster confesses. “While the narrative voice may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone—I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.” Clearly, MacMaster feels strongly. But what does he know of “the situation on the ground”?

Tom MacMaster understands the public demand for the comforting narrative over the inconvenient truth. Instead of performing pop psychology on the demented MacMaster, the defrauded who ate up every far-flung word of a fictional character might be better off examining themselves.

Daniel J. Flynn is the author of numerous books, including Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America, forthcoming this fall from ISI Books. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.

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  • welldoneson

    Once again, the insipid influence of the hard left is shown as the subversive and dangerous subterfuge it is. This "gay Syrian" blog was apparently so hilariously NOT what could possibly be happening in ANY MidEast country, except Israel, that it's just freakin' hilarious how eager folks were to buy into the farce. A certain type of person is all to quick to grasp ANY straw that seems to prove the "they're really nice, it's the West and its propaganda that is the problem" mindset to be true. Helps to put the "Israel bad, palestinians innocent victim" mentality into the proper perspective.

  • http://brownsville.rgvtp.com Chris Rowan

    "The portrait Tom MacMaster painted of the Middle East was the picture Western liberals wanted to see." But this is what LibProgs DO. Remember Jayson Blair, the NYT reporter who concocted stories and passed them off as factual accounts? Or how about Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the gay soldier in Iraq who concocted stories of atrocities committed by American soldiers serving in Iraq? In the absence of any moral imperative, anything goes. Ends justify means. Lying is A-OK as long as doing so advances the LibProg agenda. Very similar to Islamism in that respect. Maybe that's one reason why LibProgs and Islamists see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.

    • ajnn

      progressive: the ends justify the means.

      real;ity: the ends justify means = tragedy on massive scale

  • tanstaafl

    "War is deceit." – Mohammed

    • Diann

      Yet again we see how important it is to know the writer before believing any or all postings on the internet. Good lesson to remind us to constantly question information that comes our way, and remember to not be misled by one voice.

  • Robert

    "Exploiting Western appetites for unfiltered, on-the-ground information"

    And exploiting liberal white fantasies of helping to save Browns, Blacks, and Yellows from themselves…

  • http://joshualipana.wordpress.com/ joshualipana

    They're obsessed with faking reality.

  • Martel64

    Ah, the old Tell-The-Lie-Again-And-Again-Until-It-Becomes-The-Truth tactic. Evil when The Right does it, but perfectly fine when The Left does it. We know the Unwritten PC Rules.

    • ajnn

      good point.