The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Debunking the “McCain Holiday”

Posted by ALmod on October 2, 2008

UPDATE: Snopes.com now has a page on this email and currently working on confirming/debunking it.  You can view the page by clicking here.

By now you may or may not have seen it.  There’s an email and blog post that seems to be making the rounds.  And for once, I’m going to defend John McCain on this.  Typically, these things have a very clear right-wing leaning.  For some reason, there are far more negative rumor-slingers who like Republicans, so I can relate.  I’m not going to reprint the rumor in full, but you can read about it here.

It’s too new for Snopes.com to have weighed in on it, but thankfully bloggers have been following up a bit.  For one, I noticed that at least someone who claims to be familiar with the author says that she’s contacted the New York Times.  I’ve also contacted the managing editor of the Times to verify whether or not this is true.  I’ll update if/when I get a response.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of Snopes and FactCheck.org, I’d like to say that the rule of thumb when we read these things in blogs and emails is to automatically assume them to not be true.  (It helps if you look at campaing ads in the same way.)  Assume nothing is true, and then work to see if you can find evidence that it is true.  Some red flags is if the source seems to be vague (a friend of a friend of a friend that this “really happened to”) and/or if there are no sources linked.

In this case, the alleged author is a real person, Anasuya Dubey (Ana for short).  The problem is that nobody can seem to contact her to verify whether or not she actually wrote it.  First and foremost, that’s the number one priority to verify/debunk this rumor.  Until we can verify that Dubey authored the email, we must assume that it is false.

Aside from this, at least one blogger has some points to make that are worth looking into, and he does a fairly decent job of sourcing his various points.  Among them:

  1. The dates are off.  At the very least, the author might have goofed.
  2. Turtle Island is a couples only resort, so the author’s claim that McCain brought his children along would have been a red flag.  There are a few weeks a year when those rules are bent for Family Time.  Again in defense of the author, she might have goofed on the date and it could have been a vacation during this time.
  3. One particular paragraph seems just too shocking to be true.

These could be just nit-picking, but I think that they’re valid points to consider.  And again, until we can confirm whether or not it’s true, I think it’s best to assume that it’s not.

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2 Responses to “Debunking the “McCain Holiday””

  1. Michael said

    If you read the blog at http://www.tellingthoughts.com/us-politics/my-holiday-with-mccain, there are specific citations that refute both points 1 and 2 above. The dates are confirmed- there was massive bombing of southern Iraq prior to 2000 during the Clinton WH. There are confirmed citations that McCain was in Fiji in Dec 1998 (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1571756,00.html) and the resort confirmed that the period when ‘family time’ is allowed is in December. As to the voracity of the claim, there are similarly shocking documented encounters that are published and witnessed – the ‘wheelchair’ incident for one.
    As far as mistaken authors – that is simply the result of the chain-mail release of this letter, and inadvertant inclusion of email addresses and signature blocks. Those issues have been clarified and resolved to my satisfaction.
    When it comes to the reticence of the original author ‘Anasuya Dubey’ – with the unexpected media glare, it’s understandably overwhelming. She may be regretting the release of the letter.
    The detail regarding circumstance seems to bear out from the research so far. If it is a hoax, it is certainly very well researched and constructed with collaberating facts. We will not know for sure until the original author steps forward into the public spotlight; and even then, there will be those that refuse to believe that John McCain may have acted this way in ‘private’, ala Clarence Thomas.

  2. ALmod said

    Those are some interesting points. I’m aware of the wheelchair incident and the ape joke. Hopefully, Snopes will have something for us soon.

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