Similarly, Keith Olbermann once went on air to report that parents lose 12 to 20 IQ points after having children, according to a study reported on a local fake news website (Indiana's version of The Onion). That's clearly an anti-Olbermann site there, but it's mentioned elsewhere, along with the fact he apologized on-air afterward. But childless people everywhere were probably saying, "Of course, that explains why my friends go goofy talking to their babies and buying them stupid baby products." And parents themselves were probably saying, "Well, I sure felt like a zombie for that first year, I guess that makes sense."
"At the time, I thought it was because I was tired as hell, but sure, maybe I just became dumber permanently."
And of course, there was a famous Internet-fabricated chart showing that people who voted for Bush had lower IQs, fooling big news publications like the Economist. It just seemed so obviously true to anyone anti-Bush at the time that there wasn't any need to check. And if you say you've got scientific proof that Bush himself has a lower IQ than any other president, well, no one was going to fact-check that. Certainly not Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau or The Guardian, as we've mentioned before.
I'm not saying Bush was not stupid, I'm just saying that journalistic integrity requires you to base that assessment on, like, things he's done or said, and not on fake "studies." But it's so, so tempting to say science backs you up on what you know.
I KNEW IT!