THE SWAT TEAM THAT WASN’T…. The rule rarely fails: if far-right blogs are worked up about a story that seems kind of odd, the story isn’t true.

Today, the fuss among conservative bloggers is over President Obama’s visit to a civic center in Quincy, Illinois, the other day. The event wasn’t especially remarkable, but outside the event, there was an assortment of protestors who wanted to express their outrage over … whatever it is conservatives are upset about this week.

To hear far-right blogs tell it, a “SWAT team” was called in to infringe on the rights of these oppressed patriots, because that rascally President Obama is “fundamentally afraid of the American people.”


The only problem with that? The SWAT team wasn’t called in. Local police, wearing riot gear, briefly marched down the street to clear it for the president’s motorcade.

The officers “did not come close to the crowd,” but that didn’t stop an enraged Tea Party activist from shouting, “This is communism!”

And now right-wing blogs are all over it.

Back in September, there was a fair amount of talk in professional media circles about the need for major outlets to take seriously the kind of stories bubbling up on far-right website and talk radio. I’d like to think anecdotes like this “SWAT team” nonsense are a reminder that the boy that cries wolf deserves less consideration, not more.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.