>Maybe sometimes I sound like a grinch, but I have watched the left wander down
>the dead-end canyons of rumor and conspiracism all too often in recent years.
Chip, there's a difference between people who take rumor as fact, and those who take rumor as fun stuff to kick around - properly labeled and all, of course.
Years ago, I talked with a former Vanity Fair factchecker who said she was regularly assigned to check out if things were rumors. She'd call people up and say, "Have you heard the rumor that....?" If they hadn't before, they did then.