Murdoch media journalist Mark Schliebs appears to have fallen for a 'fake' press release and run with a story alleging that US presidential candidate Ron Paul is running a 'fake online campaign' :
Serious claims. The journalist is alleging that Ron Paul's campaign office is involved in online fraud.
Firstly, Ron Paul is a Congressman, not a Senator and his online campaigning is now winning plaudits from online media experts and journalists. The only mainstream media journalist to have seriously tried to claim the Paul online campaign is 'fake' is Schlieb, an Australian journalist.
Ron Paul has become a serious thorn in the side of other Republican presidential campaigners, like Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thomspon by actively campaigning against the Federal Reserve, the War On Iraq and the NeoCon-push for a War On Iran. Ron Paul has found a massive audience online, and his speeches and videos are being viewed by hundreds of thousands of Americans on YouTube, where Giuliani and Thomspon are receiving minimal interest. Hence the need to try and discredit Ron Paul's very successful online campaign. So why is the Murdoch media in Australia getting involved?
In an attempt to discredit Ron Paul's online campaign, a person claiming to be a supporter of Fred Thompson says he wrote up a fake press release alleging Ron Paul's office, and/or supporters, were committing online fraud, and sourced a 'Don De Bots' from the American Studies Program at Flinders University as someone worth quoting on the subject of online campaigning.
But there is no Don De Bots at Flinders University. There is a Don DeBats, who Schlieb claims to have talked to in this story. This whole story is getting a bit weird. We've contacted Schlieb, but haven't yet heard back from him.
Here's the proclaimed Fred Thomspon supporter 'I Love Hannity' admitting to the fake press release and laughing that a news editor was "stupid enough to publish it" :
I submitted a fake news story about Ron Paul and his online campaign. I used one of the free news release services and it just got published. Ha Ha!
It's only in an australian newspaper but im sure the us media will pick it up soon.
What do you think of my fake name? I'm Professor De Bots. Get it .. de bots..
Here's the paper it was published in:
I can't believe an editor was stupid enough to publish it. I'm very proud of myself.
The 'Senator Using Fake Online Campaign' story by Mark Schliebs has now gone out in major city Australian newspapers, including Australia's largest selling daily newspaper, the Herald Sun, and onto numerous other Murdoch media news sites.
Is it really that easy to con the Murdoch media?
More On The Ron Paul Smear Campaign, And Murdoch Media's Involvement In It Here