I was working on a post about Tennessee’s gubernatorial candidates, and wanted to point out that candidate Zach Wamp was not unlike both the current and most recent former president in his history of cocaine use.
Of course everyone knows that President Obama admitted to cocaine use in one of his books. But I had been under the impression that it was common and accepted knowledge that Bush was a cokehead at some point as well. I was surprised to learn that apparently I was wrong.
The most authoritative thing that I could find when I searched “Bush cocaine” was this Wikipedia page (note the qualification of “most” before authoritative there), but it doesn’t even contain the word “cocaine.” The rest of my search led me to unsourced (or shadily sourced) no-name webpages which contained all sorts of the sorts of wild allegations that set off the bullshit alarms from a mile away and remind you that anyone can post anything on the internet.
I wasn’t as turned on to politics in 2000 as I am now, not by a long shot (the 2000 post-election debacle was probably my turning point in that kind of attention, with 9/11 sealing the deal that this was something worth watching), so my skeptism-meter wasn’t as high. I must have “heard” that at some point (from one of my college classmates? from some radio jock? who knows?)and just accepted it as fact, and, until today, still did.
Most people are a lot more like me in pre-election day 2000 than like me now. Kind of scary when you think about how they’re getting their information.