Maybe Chad Barefoot really believes Putin reared his head and Russia reached its tentacles into the anti-fracking forces in North Carolina.
Or maybe it’s just a cynical attempt to raise money from a Fox-fed mob of ignoramuses.
Or maybe it’s a desperate overreaction to a poll showing that voters don’t like fracking.
Whatever, Barefoot’s claim that Russia may be fighting fracking here (the theory is that fracking in North Carolina jeopardizes Russia’s economic power as a natural gas monopoly) could end up supporting my pet theory that Triangle voters have gotten wise to ludicrous and unsupported claims by politicians. And that they punish said politicians.
Barefoot started a recent fundraising email this way: “The environmentalists are on the attack again – and this time, Russia is in the mix.”
You may laugh, but Mark Binker at WRAL did a serious investigation into Barefoot’s claim. (You don’t know whether to applaud that, or just sadly shake your head in dismay.)
WRAL’s fact-check decision: “Hit the brakes. There seems to be scant evidence that Russians are funding the European fracking debates, much less dabbling in fracking policy here in the United States. Experts say it’s unlikely, bordering on silly,’ to suggest the Russians would have the time, money or inclination to bother with a North Carolina legislative race. Therefore, we give this fundraising email a red light on our fact-checking scale.”
Of course, this proves nothing. Binker may be a fine reporter and all. But do you really think he or any mere journalist is capable of cracking this Kremlin conspiracy? Surely these ex-KGB men can outwit WRAL.
So stay alert. If you see something, say something.