I have a good friend who is fond of sending me stuff allegedly attributed to one famous person or another, that invariably paints the current administration as the worst in history. How short our memory. Political denigration, painting the opposition as un-American, and questioning the partiotism of anyone who disagrees with the pundits, is at an all time high. Who would have thought that 57 years after McCarthyism, we would be back here. Maybe in the past it was just as bad, but I was young enough not to notice, and cocky enough not to care. There is an old saying, "ignorance is bliss".
Not that it makes any difference, the vitriol is the same, but many of the things attributed to celebrities and other noteable people on the internet were never said, nor written, by them, i.e. Buddy Hackett's wife, Bill Cosby, etc. Whether mis-attributing biblical sayings to Karl Marx, or hanging Malcom X quotes on Reverend Wright, the hypocrits and others who would mislead us seem to have multiplied exponentially. And everything is ended with the phrase, "pass this on to everyone on your mailing list". People must not have enough to do.
In the information age, everyone can reach large numbers of people, whether through the 24 hour news cycle (they used to say that a particular political party owned a particular television newservice, now I hear the newsservice owns the political party) or through mass mailings on the internet. Misinformation abounds.
There is a great resource, www.snopes.com, that can be used to verify most garbage that is sent over the airwaves. But most people won't take the time, nor make the effort, to verify what they hear; particularly if it fits with their belief system.
We'll have to wait for the election season to determine if this age old strategy is working.