Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the conservative media outlet Breitbart, and Fox’s Laura Ingraham all recently on the unconfirmed story that Senator Harry Reid’s brother beat him up on New Year’s Eve.
Turns out, that was all just a hoax.
From The Raw Story:
[Larry] Reid did no such thing. Rather, Larry Pfeifer, former party promoter, made the whole story up and fed it to a right-wing blogger in a scheme to discredit the blogger’s reporting. The blogger, John Hinderaker, then published Pfeifer’s version of events, launching the conspiracy that — though Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) says he hurt his face exercising with an elastic resistance band in his bathroom at home — Reid is lying to the American public to protect his brother’s reputation.
Using the pseudonym Easton Elliott, Pfeifer pitched Hinderaker his Reid assault story in response to the blogger’s assertion that Reid’s facial injuries were inflicted by the mob.
“I thought the whole thing would be over in a day and a half,” Pfeifer told the Las Vegas Sun. “I wasn’t after 15 minutes of fame. I wanted a platform where I could present this as what it was and 2 million people would pick up on it.”
But the right wing media complex took the story and ran with it.
“I would really like to apologize to Harry Reid and his brother. What I did was (expletive) up,” Pfeifer told the Las Vegas Sun.
Pfeifer points out he deliberately added points to his story that would be easy to identify as false. Larry Reid couldn’t have possibly shown up drunk to an AA meeting on New Years Eve, for example; it would be against AA policy for the organization to let Reid in. such that AA allows people who are intoxicated to come to their meetings.
When he leaked the hoax story to conservative outlets, Pfeifer used a false name. But many of them didn’t even bother to verify his identity.