Hey, you remember how the story last week was that one of the VP candidates was so pig-shit stupid, that Africa's status as a continent was beyond the candidate's grasp? And that this came from supposed campaign aides who briefed the candidate?
Well guess what... it was an intentional hoax that the newspapers and networks ran with. It turns out that the hoaxers fed a bunch of other stuff into the news cycle, like stuff about Joe the Plumber having ties to a disgraced and convicted Wall Street Financier. The NY Times outed the hoaxers today, which is kind of ironic.
You should probably ask yourself what other little bits of insanity were hoaxes, and whether you lapped them up because they sounded too good not to be true.
It's called "confirmation bias." Most people suffer from it, causing various degrees of intellectual debilitation.
It's fine to question authority but it's probably useful to question yourself first. At least I try to. If I'm going to be attempting to throw some intellectual high heat, it helps if I'm not standing way out in left field when I throw. Detracts from the accuracy, you know?
Update: Just so's your clear, it's a bipartisan illness.