The Africa hoax

As most of us with functioning brains assumed, the story about Palin not knowing that Africa is a continent wasappears to be false. Actually, it appears to have been part of a larger media hoax:

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist.

How totally unsurprising. And note that the hoaxers correctly assumed that the news media wouldn’t think to question such a revelation about a Republican.