sarah palin smear

Smears against Sarah Palin

The Beltway elites were not very happy at all about Sarah Palin being selected as John McCain's 2008 running mate, and they responded by lying, misleading, and generally smearing her. That started in September and ran all the way to election day, with the Washington Post being the worst offender.

Last modified Dec 31, 2008
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Joe Klein of Time got anti-Sarah Palin talking points from Journolist - 07/22/10

On the day that John McCain selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate (August 29, 2008) the liberal journalists and commentators on Journolist swung into action, trying to figure out the best way to oppose her ([1]).

Several reasons Frank Rich is wrong (Arizona immigration law edition #1) - 05/02/10

I haven't discussed a Frank Rich column here before, so let's start by showing several ways he's wrong in yesterday's "If Only Arizona Were the Real Problem" (nytimes.com/2010/05/02/opinion/02rich.html). It's centered around that state's new immigration law, but it's a wide-ranging rant. Here are just some of the ways he's wrong):

Politifact "Lie of the Year" misleads (Angie Drobnic Holan; Sarah Palin's "death panels") - 12/19/09

Politifact has named Sarah Palin's claim about there being "death panels" in Obama healthcare as their lie of the year; it was the top "lie" selected by both their editors and their readers.

Adrian Chen, Gawker promote violence against politicians (Nick Denton; Sarah Palin tomato incident) - 12/08/09

Yesterday at the Mall of America, someone threw a couple of tomatoes at Sarah Palin; he missed and hit a cop and is now under arrest. In response, Adrian Chen of Gawker offered "Who is the Hero Who Threw Tomatoes at Sarah Palin?" (150k screengrab here, URL at [1]) in which he calls the person who threw the tomatoes an "American Hero".

Canadian comedian tries to embarrass Sarah Palin; fails; shows abysmal level of debate in U.S. - 11/27/09

Mediaite offers "Canadian Comedian Fails Miserably In Trying To Embarrass Sarah Palin" (link):

During a book signing event in Columbus, Ohio, Canadian Comedian Mary Walsh ambushed (Sarah Palin) with camera crew and microphone to seek her thoughts on the Canadian health care system (and ostensibly embarrass her as well.)

While the event security detail prevented a meaningful interview, Palin did provide some basic comments consistent with her conservative position. While many websites are now presenting this video clip as evidence of her naivete, the video actually acquits Palin quite well, and makes the comedian look far more foolish than her target. Perhaps more stunning is that this clip has received a lot of play on numerous news sites, despite the fact it comes from a comedy show.

This is such low-hanging fruit that even Allahpundit of HotAir gets it mostly right (link).

However, neither of the above stress that this is yet another marker on the road to Idiocracy. Instead of asking political leaders tough questions about their policies - policies that affect hundreds of millions or billions of people - about all we get is one dumb stunt after the other.

There are a lot of forces working towards the current situation, including: entertainers want to get ratings no matter what; partisan hacks and authoritarians/borderline fascists don't want politicians to be asked questions at all; liberals who think the height of argumentation is asking questions in the style of the sleazy Mike Stark; and conservatives/libertarians who think the height of argumentation is throwing a tantrum in the tea parties style.

In case anyone else realizes how dangerous the path we're on is, help promote the question authority plan.

Going Rogue: Andrew Sullivan pretends he didn't "run" with the Sarah Palin pregnancy story - 11/20/09

In her book "Going Rogue", Sarah Palin claims that The Atlantic (meaning Andrew Sullivan) "ran" with the disgusting story claiming that Trig Palin was actually the son of her daughter. Sullivan takes umbrage at her claim, saying that he never "ran" with the story but simply asked questions.

Huffington Post, AP mislead about Sarah Palin book; opponents not effective (pipeline deal) - 11/18/09

The Huffington Post and the Associated Press are reviving a smear both perpetrated against Sarah Palin about a year ago. At the same time, most of Palin's defenders aren't taking effective steps to counter-act what HuffPost and the AP are doing.

Winner & Associates rep on NEA Office of Public Engagement conference call - 09/21/09

As discussed here, one of the people on the conference call organized by the National Endowment for the Arts was Bim Ayandele, a Senior Associate from Winner Associates, a public relations firm. Just about a year ago, officials from that firm were caught trying to make an anti-Sarah Palin video go viral. See the backstory at the link; at the time, it was pointed out that Winner had previously worked with David Axelrod, but they stressed that the last time they'd heard from him was a decade earlier. Obama opponents tried to show that, among other things, they'd used someone for the voiceover of their video that the Obama campaign had also used.

As for Ayandele, earlier this year he helped launch the White House Office of Public Engagement (winnerandassociates.com/reflections2.aspx). That office is headed by Valerie Jarrett, with Tina Tchen as the director and Buffy Wicks - who was on the NEA call - as its deputy director.

From the Winner link:

[intro:] The Obama administration has often spoken of encouraging greater citizen participation in the federal government, but many have wondered just how that would work in real life. We found out, when earlier this year, one of our Senior Associates, Bim Ayandele, was asked by the Obama Administration to help with the launch of the White House's Office of Public Engagement (OPE)... [Ayandele writes:]...During his inauguration, President Obama stated very clearly that "our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made. It means recognizing that government does not have all the answers, and that public officials need to draw on what citizens know." To help fulfill this commitment, the Obama Administration sought to create an expanded role for its OPL, one that would allow it to function as the open front door to the White House, engaging meaningfully with a broad range of constituencies across the country.

Jon Henke: Sarah Palin's "death panels" are a "cartoon" (Peter Wallsten on GOP's quest for acceptance, respectability) - 09/14/09

Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times - the reporter who refused to release the Obama/Khalidi tape (also here) - gleefully offers "Some fear GOP is being carried to the extreme/The Republican establishment hopes cooler heads will prevail over strongly anti-Obama parts of the conservative base" (link). In this case, Wallsten is what's called a "concern troll", and he's got some help.

Those weighing in on the side of pearl-clutching, intellectually-dishonest respectability include David Frum (former George W Bush speechwriter) and Michael Goldfarb (former spokesman for the McCain campaign).

Another is Jon Henke of TheNextRight (more about them later; for now see my comments here):

One WorldNetDaily article, which Henke called “hideously embarrassing” to conservatives, said that a Democratic proposal to create civilian emergency centers at military installations "appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany."

Henke said, "There is a substantial discomfort among the people who want to make intellectual arguments and want to have a substantive role in the debate." He compared the Obama birth theorists to those who said Obama's healthcare overhaul would create "death panels."

" 'Death panels' is not a substantive contribution to the discussion. It's a cartoon," he said.

Farah mocked Henke and other critics in a column this month, saying they were doing liberals' bidding.

Indeed. And, in addition to alienating those who want the truth about the Obama citizenship issue - including a good portion of the readers of HotAir and Freerepublic - it's good to see Henke extending his outreach to supporters of Sarah Palin. While Obama healthcare doesn't include anything formally named "death panels", any time there are limited resources there will be some form of rationing, resulting in the same impact. See this from Michelle Malkin, and see also "Senate committee scraps healthcare provision that gave rise to 'death panel' claims/Though the claims are widely discredited, the Senate Finance Committee is withdrawing from its bill the inclusion of advance care planning consultations, calling them too confusing" from the LAT (link). Just as in this other case, a "fact" that was promulgated by the mainstream media and the Democrats turned out not to be a fact at all. The so-called "moderates" would have let the MSM and the Democrats get away with it; it took an apparent "fringe" person like Palin to bring it to light and force action. The "moderates" would have helped Obama and the Democrats; the "fringe" took them on. Now, that doesn't mean that everything the "fringe" says is accurate, but the smarter way to handle things is for those who are punctilious about the truth to explain what's true and what's not without attempting any purges. Needless to say, the "moderates" aren't smart enough to do that.

For some of those who agree with Frum, Goldfarb, and Henke, see this. Those Obama supporters who are also "concerned" that the GOP needs to rein in their extremists include Washington Monthly, Pandagon, The "Moderate" Voice, "The Mahablog", and Dave Weigel of the George Soros-funded Washington Independent. Henke, Frum, and Goldfarb are helping them and the LAT rather than taking them on.

Regarding the "emergency centers", here's the smart way to discuss that issue.

And, while Jerome Corsi and WorldNetDaily occasionally get their facts or conclusions wrong, they're in general an invaluable resource for Obama opponents and those who oppose things such as massive/illegal immigration and steps towards a North American Union. Without their attention to the latter, attempts to "harmonize" things between the three countries might be further along than they are now. And, note also that Corsi was one of the main targets of the Obama campaign; they went as far as silently editing one of his quotes in an attempt to make him look bad.

The choice for Republicans doesn't have to be between the wimpy elite RINOs and the True Conservative "fringe". Someone who holds truly moderate positions could help the GOP and could effectively oppose the Democrats. The issue is that the word "moderate" is defined by the MSM and the Democrats, and in the case of GOP leaders it generally includes someone who helps the MSM and the Democrats, as can be seen above.

UPDATE: In comments, someone says that Lyndon LaRouche was the first to come up with the "death panels" claim. If that person is her, get in touch for free deprogramming. If the person is another Larouche supporter, maybe you're right; I'm not going to bother looking into the timeline. If the person left that message in an attempt to portray Palin as "fringe" in the LaRouchian style, no sale. If LaRouche says the sky is blue, I'm not going to say it's green just because I feel some need to always disagree with everything he says or because I want others to see me disagreeing with him.

Also, it's worth recalling a couple of the other "moderate" positions offered by the MSM and their allies: pandering to the National Council of La Raza and supporting comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. Neither are in any way moderate despite being sold as such by the MSM.

New York Times now admits: "A Basis Is Seen for Some Health Plan Fears Among the Elderly" - 08/22/09

On August 13, Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes of the New York Times offered "False 'Death Panel' Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots" (link):

The stubborn yet false rumor that President Obama’s health care proposals would create government-sponsored “death panels” to decide which patients were worthy of living seemed to arise from nowhere in recent weeks... Advanced even this week by Republican stalwarts including the party’s last vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and Charles E. Grassley, the veteran Iowa senator, the nature of the assertion nonetheless seemed reminiscent of the modern-day viral Internet campaigns that dogged Mr. Obama last year, falsely calling him a Muslim and questioning his nationality.

Now, via this, there's newtruth as Robert Pear of the NYT offers "A Basis Is Seen for Some Health Plan Fears Among the Elderly" (link):

White House officials and Democrats in Congress say the fears of older Americans about possible rationing of health care are based on myths and falsehoods. But Medicare beneficiaries and insurance counselors say the concerns are not entirely irrational... The zeal for cutting health costs, combined with proposals to compare the effectiveness of various treatments and to counsel seniors on end-of-life care, may explain why some people think the legislation is about rationing, which could affect access to the most expensive services in the final months of life.

Even if Palin is right about "death panels", will her supporters be able to do anything about it? - 08/13/09

I'm not familiar with the details of Obama healthcare so I don't know whether this post is right or not when it says that Sarah Palin wasn't wrong when she wrote the following:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

What I do know is that a wide variety of MSM and non-MSM sources have already mocked her over this. And, I also know that her leading supporters won't be able to do much about it because actually doing things isn't their "forte". They aren't the "doer" type.

If those leading supporters had a clue, they'd follow the tips here, adapting them to the present situation. Specifically, they'd encourage their readers to help discredit those MSM figures who haven't told the truth about this issue.

For a tangible example, the Spectator link claims that the New York Times didn't tell the whole truth about this matter, but without providing the name of the NYT reporter and without attempting to show that reporter's readers how she's misleading them. As can be seen from recent posts like this, this, or this, that's not how we do things around here. If we discussed that, we'd feature her name in the title of the post in a bid to show her readers how she's misleading them (if she is; the NYT report is here). Or, the Spectator could encourage their readers to point out in the comments sections of blogs and newspaper sites how those discussing the panels aren't being truthful.

Serge Kovaleski, Jim Rutenberg, William Yardley of NYT lie about Sarah Palin hair thinning (per hairdresser) - 07/19/09

Ask not why I'm writing a post about Sarah Palin's hair thinning. Ask why Serge Kovaleski, Jim Rutenberg, William Yardley, and others from the New York Times wrote an article making that false claim ("Palin’s Long March to a Short-Notice Resignation", link, via this):

Friends worried that she appeared anxious and underweight. Her hair had thinned to the point where she needed emergency help from her hairdresser and close friend, Jessica Steele... “Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart,” Ms. Steele said in an interview at her beauty parlor in Wasilla, the Beehive.

Unfortunately for the NYT, Steele claims in her Twitter feed that she never said anything of the sort, posting a series of "tweets" like this:

I will continue 2 tell people: I never said Sarah Palin's hair is thinning! The Left is desperate to attack Sarah Palin with stupid lies!!

If I find out which reporter Steele spoke to, I'll provide an update. Others listed as contributing to the article are Jo Becker and Kim Severson.

Note that this is in the citizen journalism tips section because this is an example of how to write posts that have a long-term impact on the mainstream media; the "Conservatives4Palin" writer made a few mistakes in the structure of his post that this post seeks to correct. In case that's not immediately clear, see the other entries at the last page.

This post is also an assignment: find others discussing this non-story and take them to task on your own site or in their comments sections.

McCain campaign - not Palin - came up with "palling around"; Schmidt regrets largely true ad - 07/10/09

Marc Ambinder has an advance copy (link) of a book about the 2008 elections from Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, and it might contain a good number of behind-the-scenes tidbits.

For instance, one of the mistakes that Sarah Palin made was to claim that Barack Obama was "palling around" with Bill Ayers.

Except, it was Nicolle Wallace of the McCain campaign - and not Palin - that came up with the "palling around" bit.

That allowed the mainstream media to mislead about the relationship between the two, dismissing that relationship by pointing out that they weren't close friends and using that distraction to cover up the series of past links between them. See the contemporaneous coverage of the article from Scott Shane of the New York Times. Despite the fact that that article tried to cover up the relationship, Wallace wrote the following:

"Governor and Team: rick [Davis], Steve [Schmidt] and I suggest the following attack from the new york times. If you are comfortable, please deliver the attack as written. Please do not make any changes to the below without approval from steve or myself because precision is crucial in our ability to introduce this."

Actual "precision" would have involved pointing out that they had a series of affiliations and that the NYT wasn't telling the whole truth about that. Wallace's idea of "precision" hurt Palin and the McCain campaign.

Further, Ambinder says:

At a post-campaign discussion I attended a few months ago, Schmidt said that he regrets two attacks: an ad linking Obama with an Illinois sex-ed program and the decision to go after Obama's friendship with Ayers.

The Illinois sex-ed ad - the one Schmidt regrets - was largely true.

Mike Murphy ignores GOP incompetence, self-defeating behavior (Sarah Palin) - 07/09/09

GOP consultant and former John McCain advisor Mike Murphy offers "To go forward, GOP must snap out of its Sarah Palin spell" (link). While his bad advice this time isn't as bad as his horrible immigration advice, he's still on the wrong side:

Unfortunately for McCain, the actual swing voters, the independents who do determine the winner of the election, didn't buy into this fantasy at all. After a three-week sniff, most couldn't run away from Palin fast enough.

He certainly has access to more polling data than I'll ever have, but what he completely fails to note is just how incompetent and bent on self-destruction the GOP was. Shortly after Palin was selected, the smears against her began.

She was selected on August 27, and then, just as a couple examples, the Washington Post smeared her on September 2, the Associated Press the next day, and Charlie Gibson on the 11th (last two here). The self-defeating incompetents - starting at McCain and including Murphy - did very little if anything to counter-act the smears. McCain postured against the New York Times when the biggest spreader of smears were Washington Post reporters; the McCain campaign said nothing that I recall about them. In fact, I probably did more to fight back against the Paul Kane smear than the entire GOP establishment. Me.

David Letterman smears 14-year-old girl; *CBS*, New York Times cover for him - 06/09/09

This site tries to avoid the Outrage du Jour, preferring instead to concentrate on topics that are actually important.

"How Obama Got Elected": documentary about Sarah Palin and media malpractice - 02/23/09

Former KFI talk jock John Ziegler has released his documentary "How Obama Got Elected" (link), which apparently contains example after example of the mainstream media lying about and smearing Sarah Palin. If anyone's seen it, please leave a review; note that I wasn't too very impressed with the Zogby poll Ziegler commissioned shortly after the election.

The trailer is attached; see also the early January interview Zeigler did with Palin here.

Here are over a dozen examples of the media's smears and lies about Palin.

And, on an ironic but not really unexpected note, even the promo tour for the film involves bias.

The interview Zigler did with Matt Lauer of the NBC News Today show features an introductory piece by Norah ODonnell that re-uses a pre-election smear. Back in September, the Associated Press, Charlie Gibson of ABC News, and Alternet all intentionally took a Palin quote about praying that our armed forces are being sent out on a mission that's from God out of context. They omitted the first part of the quote in order make it seem like she was supporting a modern-day Crusade. And, Nora O'Donnell does the same thing as Gibson et al, playing a Youtube video containing the second part of the quote and not providing the first part. That's then followed by a quote from Palin talking about how things she said were taken out of context.

And, O'Donnell's report also contains this Howard Kurtz quote:

What SP does is she takes a few outrageous incidents like those who question Trigg was really her baby and she uses that to paint with a broad brush the entire media establishment.

See the examples linked above; no brush can be broad enough for those hacks.

UPDATE: There's a segment from the movie here featuring discussion of an Andrea Mitchell report. And, Zigeler spoke to O'Donnell after her intro piece; that video is here.

Greg Mitchell misleads about MSM smears of Sarah Palin ("Why Obama Won") - 02/15/09

Greg Mitchell - editor of Editor and Publisher and author of the new book "Why Obama Won" - puts on his mainstream media apologist hat to offer the incredibly misleading "Hit or Myth: Did the Media 'Destroy' McCain's Chances By Mocking Sarah Palin?" (link):
In the months after the November election, and then gaining even more attention as Barack Obama became president, are charges that the media helped elect him by attacking, of mocking, Sarah Palin. Numerous pundits and conservative activists have alleged that she had given John McCain a big boost in the polls when first named and that she would have help drive him to victory if not for the later treatment by Katie and Tina and Charlie Gibson and all the rest.

But this is not true.
She did breathe new life into the McCain campaign, and as of September 12 (link) she did help him at least nationally. However, Mitchell intentionally misses the point: Palin could have helped McCain in the polls if the MSM had not almost immediately started lying and misleading about her. His is just a strawman argument intended to divert attention from the disgraceful MSM coverage she received and continues to receive. With impartial coverage, she no doubt would have helped McCain once most voters knew who she was, but the MSM stood in the way of that.

In fact, there's a couple examples of that bias in his article, one from Mitchell himself, the other from CNN. Mitchell quotes a CNN poll that showed 50% saying Palin wasn't qualified to be president. What he fails to note is this:
So far, according to the poll, four in 10 Americans are not familiar with Palin.
Obviously, there was a lot of room for her to introduce herself to voters and raise her qualification rating above 50%. However, she was introduced to those voters through a loosely orchestrated smear campaign by the MSM. And, asking whether she was qualified and not asking whether Obama was qualified was just a minor part of that campaign. See the Sarah Palin smear page for a partial list.

Patt Morrison's greatest journalistic accomplishment: getting a thrift shop to change their name (Sarah Palin) - 02/14/09

During the campaign, Sarah Palin said that her favorite place to shop was a thrift store in Anchorage called ''Out of the Closet". I happen to know that there's also a chain of gay-benefiting shops in Los Angeles by the same name. If I had initiated the process whereby that chain considered filing a trademark infringement case against the Alaska store and that store had then changed their name to "Second Run", the last thing I'd do is crow about it. In fact, I'd try to prevent anyone from finding out that I was so petty, so incredibly low-class, so lower than a snake's belly, so small-minded.

Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times has no such compunctions (huffingtonpost.com/patt-morrison/sarah-palin-finally-gets_b_166966.html):

I am proud to say that in my blog here and at the Los Angeles Times, I busted the Alaska shop's chops, right after Palin said it was her favorite boutique. The next day, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, citing Palin's remarks and my post, announced that it was looking into trademark infringement by the Anchorage store... With a name like ["Second Run"], it can still be Sarah Palin's favorite store. She can buy her 2012 campaign wardrobe there. With her own money.

This is truly Pat Morrisson's greatest, single journalistic achievement and a shining example of the MSM's keen interest in real reporting.

Ex-McCain strategist John Weaver: Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh are "extreme right" - 01/27/09

From July 2007 (link):

For the past decade, John Weaver had been Senator John McCain’s chief strategist, the man behind the whole Straight Talk barnstorming shtick that made the conservative Arizonan a media star. Then, after building ­McCain into an apparent shoo-in for the Republican nomination—a maverick savior for his party—he sank the campaign into debt and disarray, leading to his resignation last week.

From today (link):

John Weaver... said that Republicans must be careful not to allow their Democratic rivals to paint them all with the brush of (Rush Limbaugh). "The Democrats and the far left will do all they can to grab electoral turf," said Weaver. "And one sure way to do it is take some of the most controversial voices on the extreme right -- like Limbaugh and (Sarah Palin) -- and try to insist they speak for all members of the center/right movement."

Zogby poll shows how misinformed Obama's supporters are (and is yet another example of Obama's opponents making mistakes) - 11/19/08

John Ziegler - a former KFI talk jock who was pushed out after a dispute with John & Ken - has a video documentary including interviews with Barack Obama supporters showing how ignorant and/or misinformed they are.

His site (link) also includes a Zogby poll he commissioned that tries to show the same thing. Unfortunately, some of the questions that are supposedly true either aren't true or are disputed.

So, it's a two-fer. The poll shows not only how misinformed many Obama supporters are, but also provides yet another example of Obama's opponents making mistakes. See #18 at that list for a point directly relating to this poll.

Note that Obama's supporters will jump all over the mistakes the poll makes in order to blunt its impact. In fact, I'm going to provide a blank update section in expectation of them doing exactly that.

The poll was conducted after the election, with "97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates". Some of the questions are about Sarah Palin and show that people have bought the MSM/SNL caricature of Palin. And, very few people were actually doing effective things to fight that caricature; see the "mistakes" link above. Let's take a look at some of the Obama questions, like:

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

The veracity of this question is disputed; I haven't looked into who's telling the truth, but see mediamatters.org/items/200806020007.

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

The first part of that is wrong, the second is mostly right (the exact quote was "electricity rates", not "energy rates").

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

That question is not entirely correct: Ayers' home was only one of the places, not the exact place. In fact, Obama's surrogates spent a lot of time pointing out that the official location where he started his career was a hotel conference room; see the Lynn Sweet article. In discussing that, I said:

It helps illustrate a problem the McCain campaign has had that the Obama-supporting MSM has tried to drive a truck through. Namely, when speaking about the Bill Ayers-Barack Obama connection they haven't presented the matter in ultra-precise, lawyerly terms.

Obviously, that same inability to figure out the correct way to do things continues with the Ziegler documentary.

Are there any Obama opponents who have both a megaphone and the ability to figure things out?

UPDATE: [space reserved for Obama's supporters using mistakes in the above questions to blunt the impact of the poll.]

UPDATE 2: Zig made yet another mistake, at least on the video. Sarah Palin said you can see Russia from Alaska. In her SNL take-off, Tina Fey changed that to seeing Russia from her "house", and that's how it is in the Zogby poll excerpt provided at the link above. However, on the video he uses the word "home", which is a more general term than "house": Alaska is Palin's "home", and some on the video might have taken it in that sense.

And, in response to the first comment, by "Obama's supporters" I'm refering to the MSM and leftwing bloggers, not necessarily all his supporters.

Michael Crowley/TNR falls for obvious hoax (source of Sarah Palin smears) - 11/10/08

The New Republic - home to a long series of reprehensible folks like James Kirchick and Jason Zengerle - has fallen for another hoax.

Washington Post admits coverage tilted to Obama, doesn't admit their incredibly biased coverage for him and their lies for him - 11/08/08

Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell offers "An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage" (link). Unfortunately, about the only "tilt" she admits to is in the amount of coverage. She almost completely ignores the fact that the Washington Post served as little more than an arm of the Obama campaign by lying and misleading on his behalf and by serving as the source for and amplifier of smears.

New smear: Palin didn't know Africa was a continent or the three countries in NAFTA - 11/05/08

[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW]

An unnamed John McCain aide supposedly told Carl Cameron of Fox News - a tool if there ever was one - that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent instead of a country. The aide also told him that she didn't know which countries were in NAFTA. Needless to say, this comes on the heels of a long line of smears against Palin, and it's almost assuredly a smear as well. She obviously knows about Canada, and she also obviously knows about Mexico. There's the slight possibility that she thought that some of the countries that are in Central America were in North America, but that probably isn't likely either. So, this doesn't even pass very basic scrutiny.

For those just dropping by, there's probably almost no chance that the allegations are true and someone is playing a game.

Unfortunately, it might be an effective smear because of the foundation that the mainstream media laid in order to help Obama become president; many of the things you "know" about Palin are actually lies planted by the Obama campaign and/or the mainstream media (as if they were that separate).

See this for the transcript of the interview, this or this for some thoughts on the palace intrigue aspects (noting that the second is just speculation), and this for the video.

What's especially worrisome about this from the standpoint of an informed electorate is that, at the same time that this smear is spreading, Obama supports a Bush trade scheme known as "NAFTA Plus" (the Security and Prosperity Partnership, spp.gov) that might be a precursor to joining the three countries of North America.

When coming out in support of that Bush trade scheme, Obama spoke in code. And, I have yet to see someone besides me and Obama himself discussing the fact that he supports that scheme. His editorial supporting Bush's scheme appeared in the Dallas Morning News, but no one else wants to discuss what he supports.

The visitor should decide which is more important: a smear, or a secretive Bush trade scheme. Then, take those pushing the smear to task. And, note that those calling Palin dumb are actually the dumb ones: they can't figure out that this is clearly a planted smear and they're just being useful idiots.

~~ Who's helping spread the smear? ~~

* The Huffington Post (of course) has it at huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/05/palin-didnt-know-africa-i_n_141653.html, and that has over 2200 Diggs (of course)

* Andrew Sullivan has completely bought it without any reservations whatsoever: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/the-odd-truths.html
Can you trust anyone who'd be so gullible?

* Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress also completely buys it:
thinkprogress.org/2008/11/05/palin-africa-continent/

* However, in a report oddly similar to the one from HotAir linked above, ksh01 of DailyKos implicitly throws some cold water on this by discussing the palace intrigue aspects:
dailykos.com/story/2008/11/5/194551/287/976/651932

10/20/09 UPDATE: The full story is still not known, but it appears that a real McCain staffer said the things listed above to Carl Cameron. Then, a prankster tried to glom onto the story, pretending that he was that staffer. However, at this point in time it appears that the prankster wasn't the one who told Cameron the things listed above.

This quotes him as saying it was "senior McCain staff" who "put this out", and from this:

The pranksters behind [Martin Eisenstadt] acknowledge that he was not, through them, the anonymous source of the Palin leak. He just claimed falsely that he was the leaker--and they say they have no reason to cast doubt on the original story. For its part, Fox News Channel continues to stand behind its story.

Sarah Palin cleared in Troopergate - 11/03/08

From this:
A new report just released -- hours before the polls open on Election Day -- exonerates Gov.

Did Barack Obama flip the bird to John McCain? (give the finger) - 11/03/08

Back in April, Barack Obama might have "flipped the bird"/"given the finger" to Hillary Clinton. In September, BHO said "You can put lipstick on a pig, itaBack in April, Barack Obama might have "flipped the bird"/"given the finger" to Hillary Clinton.

ADN: AP Palin story on pipeline bids was "remarkably skewed" (Justin Pritchard, Garance Burke) - 11/01/08

The Anchorage Daily News - a paper that's endorsed Obama - offers "Misfire at Palin" (link) about last week's Associated Press "investigation" from Justin Pritchard and Garance Burke about bids for a major Alaskan pipeline project [1].
This report from The Associated Press is a remarkably skewed account with little new information to support the charge it implies. Presumably, readers are supposed to conclude that Palin tilted the gas line bidding toward a favored company, one that had previously employed one of her key staffers.

Here's the truth: The pipeline terms were not "Palin's." They were the terms requested by the sovereign state of Alaska, as provided in the Alaska Constitution.

While Palin did indeed start by proposing very similar bid terms, all of Alaska's key decisions about those terms and the contract award itself were made through an unusually open public process that culminated in formal and enthusiastic approval from the Alaska Legislature.
10/18/09 UPDATE: On October 29, 2008, the Juneau Empire offered "Democrats join defense of Palin, natural gas pipeline/Lawmakers say report by Associated Press was unfair to governor" (link):
"I thought it was a pretty shoddy reporting job, honestly," said Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, among many Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama who are coming to Palin's defense.

...Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, Senate minority leader, called the story "way off base."

...The AP story quoted only two legislators, Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, both in the minority who voted against the TransCanada deal.

Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula said AP reporter Burke talked with her, but didn't include her defense of Palin.

"I don't believe Gov. Palin should become vice president, but I don't think this story was fair and accurate," she said.
[1] "Palin pipeline terms curbed bids"
huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/25/palins-pipeline-deal-flaw_n_137825.html

Don't donate to Goodwill Industries (Palin smear) - 10/28/08

How could anyone encourage people not to donate to Goodwill Industries? Well, because they spent the money they received in past donations on smear ad campaigns like the one described here. The two page ad features "Dear Sarah Palin, We eagerly await your $150,000 clothing donation on Nov. 5th" in the left pane and "Dear Barack Obama, If you'd care to donate any of your $1,500 suits on Nov. 5th, we'd greatly appreciate it".

Naomi Wolf: *Sarah Palin* - not Obama - will usher in a police state - 10/28/08

Ah, the HuffPost. Other than scraps of paper on laundromat walls the only place where Naomi Wolf could write 'The Battle Plan II: Sarah "Evita" Palin, the Muse of the Coming Police State' (link):

Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state... Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal...

Keith Olbermann lies, says Sarah Palin is a socialist and described Alaska that way - 10/28/08

This site doesn't normally track the lies of Keith Olbermann since there are so many and no one outside his bubble trusts anything he says. However, sometimes he crosses the line, as he did with tonight's "Olbermann on Palin: Socialist, fraud/Governor doesn't have a problem with Alaska's socialistic collectivism" (link) which contains this:

Who was the collectivist share-the-wealther, who was boasting to the reporter visiting from "The New Yorker Magazine," of having been able to send a check for $1,200 to every man, woman and child in the state since, quote "Alaska is sometimes described as America's socialist state, because of its collective ownership of resources?"

And, the blurb under the video at the page above says this:

In this case, Sarah Palin is accusing Barack Obama of advocating socialism when she literally used that word to describe the collective wealth sharing in her home state of Alaska.

However, the quote in question is actually from the New Yorker writer (Philip Gourevitch), not Palin (link). There's only one instance of socialis* at that page, and it's the writer saying it:

Alaska is sometimes described as America’s socialist state, because of its collective ownership of resources—an arrangement that allows permanent residents to collect a dividend on the state’s oil royalties. It has been Palin’s good fortune to govern the state at a time of record oil prices, which means record dividend checks: two thousand dollars for every Alaskan. And because high oil prices also mean staggering heating bills in such a cold place—and because it’s always good politics to give money to voters—Palin got the legislature this year to send an extra twelve hundred dollars to every Alaskan man, woman, and child.

~~ Who's helping spread the smear? ~~
* User voxlisa999 links to the MSNBC page and invents a Palin quote, one she did not say and does not even appear at MSNBC: "Alaskans Share the Wealth Collectively as Socialists" (digg.com/2008_us_elections/Palin_Alaskans_Share_the_Wealth_Collectively_as_Socialists)

* The HuffPost lies, saying "Sarah Palin is accusing Barack Obama of advocating socialism when she literally used that word to describe the collective wealth sharing in her home state of Alaska" (huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/olbermann-sarah-palin-is_n_138765.html)

Alexander Lane, Amy Hollyfield/Politifact spin redistribution for Obama - 10/28/08

Alexander Lane and Amy Hollyfield of Politifact continue to show that that "fact checking" site might as well be working for the Barack Obama campaign by offering 'Obama would "experiment with socialism."/The McCain campaign experiments with dishonesty' (politifact.org/truth-o-meter/statements/826). It's another example of the MSM taking a statement that wasn't phrased in a painfully legalistic fashion, playing dumb, and then spinning things Obama's way.

In this case, they discuss the following Sarah Palin statement:

"Senator Obama says that he wants to spread the wealth, which means - you know what that means... It means that government takes your money, (handed) out however a politician sees fit. Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth, and Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic. And yet to Joe the Plumber, he said it sounded like socialism. And now is not the time to experiment with socialism."

They then go on to point out correctly that progressive taxation is not socialism, and give her statement their ultra-classy 'Pants on Fire' animated GIF.

If she'd said that Obama's statements to Joe the Plumber were socialistic instead, one wonders how they would have spun it for the benefit of what's clearly their candidate, because what Obama stated was very clearly socialistic.

There's a huge difference between progressive taxation and just spreading the wealth around "because it's good for everybody". The first is to pay for things like roads. The second is a socialistic notion that attempts to normalize incomes. And, the second is what BHO supports. He didn't say the government should tax people just to pay for needed infrastructure. He specifically supported redistribution in and of itself. That doesn't mean he's a socialist, but he does have socialistic notions above and beyond progressive taxation.

More on Politifact here and here.

Palin's wardrobe: $150,000. Obama's trips to Hawaii: $800,000. Obama at Invesco: $5.3 million - 10/27/08

The fact that Sarah Palin and/or her GOP helpers spent $150,000 or so on her wardrobe should be a very minor matter. Except, it isn't because the BHO campaign and their surrogates in the MSM have blown it into a major "scandal". Meanwhile, they've ignored the cost of Obama's trips to Hawaii: $800,000 (link).

Paging Andrew Sullivan, MSM: Palin in a noose - 10/26/08

Chad Michael Morrisette of West Hollywood shows how low "liberals" are willing to go with the following Halloween decoration of Sarah Palin in a noose (link):

Wonderfully "liberal" person that he is, he also has a display of John McCain emerging from flames of some kind.

Now awaiting the condemnation from "liberals" in 3,023,094,392,393... 3,023,094,392,392...

UPDATE: New frontiers in vetting await!

ZOMG! Sarah Palin wears donkey scarf at Reno rally! (Democrats!) - 10/23/08

dailykos is the sewer of the internet

OMG! OMG! At a rally in Reno, Sarah Palin wore a donkey-themed scarf, just like the Democratic Party's logo!

The mindless, Obama-supporting drones across the internet are using this as yet another instance of their attempts to portray Palin as the new Dan Quayle. Just one problem: there's the strong possibility that some cute little prankster planted it on her.

Drew Griffin/CNN smears Sarah Palin with completely out-of-context National Review quote - 10/21/08

Drew Griffin of CNN recently conducted an interview with Sarah Palin and asked her this:

Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.

As detailed here, Griffin took that NR quote completely out of context; the laundry list referred to the impression that the media has been trying to give of her. How recursive!

Here's the article in question:

Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above. Palin, the governor of Alaska, has faced more criticism than any vice-presidential candidate since 1988, when Democrats and the press tore into Dan Quayle. In fact, Palin may have it even worse than Quayle, since she's taking flak not only from Democrats and the press but from some conservative opinion leaders as well.

UPDATE: Drew Griffin spent a minute apologizing on the air for this (link), but CNN has apparently not posted a correction on their site. Others say Griffin has been at least somewhat of a fair reporter, so perhaps he made an honest mistake or a producer/writer snuck it in.

UPDATE 2: This quotes Media Research Center President Brent Bozell as saying:

"We also take Drew Griffin and CNN at their word — that this mistake was not intended to mislead viewers to think a conservative magazine had trashed Gov. Palin... Conservatives have endured hundreds — even thousands — of examples of the media deliberately distorting our words and positions. In this case, there was not a deliberate attempt...As far as the Media Research Center is concerned... this case is closed."

Is Jimmy Lee Shreeve trustworthy, or does he just make things up? (Sarah Palin) - 10/21/08

Jimmy Lee Shreeve wrote an article for England's Telegraph yesterday ("Sarah Palin: Pointing a loaded gun at the environment?", link via this) which contained this completely fabricated Palin quote:

"magnificent, cuddly white bears are doing just fine and don't need our protection. If the ice melts, they'll adapt to living on the land."

That article went on to get over 3300 Diggs. While the person who submitted it has now also posted a mea culpa, the damage has already been done.

The Telegraph has now deleted that quote from their article, without noting that it was deleted.

So, if you want to trust Jimmy Lee Shreeve go ahead, although I don't recommend it in the least.

Dana Milbank/WaPO lied about Secret Service; may have lied about "kill him" - 10/18/08

Showing once again that it's the dumb ones that give the game away, on the 16th Dana Milbank of the Washington Post claimed the following during an online chat:

In cooperation with the Palin campaign, [the Secret Service has] started preventing reporters from leaving the press section to interview people in the crowd.

As could be expected, various "liberal" sites rushed to retransmit Milbank's claim; for instance it got almost 1000 comments at the HuffPost (huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/16/secret-service-blocking-r_n_135336.html).

However, the Secret Service denies that there's such cooperation (link), pointing out that members of the press are isolated as a matter of course.

And, Milbank was one of the originators of the "McCain's angry mob" meme, when on the 6th he claimed that an audience member at a Clearwater, Florida rally had shouted "kill him" (second link above). Although Milbank later pointed out that the remark had been made in relation to William Ayers - and as shown by a correct reading of his post - many others played dumb and assumed that the remark had been made about Barack Obama. If Milbank hadn't wanted to give the wrong impression or help start a meme he would have written the article in a different fashion.

Now, it turns out that the remark might have been made, or it might have been "tell him" instead (link). That's less clear-cut than the lie about the Secret Service, but based on the article's overall attempt to smear Sarah Palin and her supporters, it's certainly not impossible that Milbank simply made it up. Note also that there were two alleged instances of "kill him"; the second occurred in Scranton PA and didn't involve Milbank; the Secret Service has been unable to find any evidence that anything like that was shouted in Scranton (link).

Rachel d'Oro/AP's sleazy race-baiting to support Barack Obama - 10/18/08

Rachel d'Oro of the Associated Press offers an extremely sleazy, disreputable, race-baiting article called "Alaska's minorities feel ignored by Palin" (link). Articles like this show exactly how a Barack Obama presidency would operate: surrogates - assisted by the mainstream media - would attempt to racialize every decision made by Obama in an attempt to silence critics.
Alaska's black leaders say they're not surprised to see Gov. Sarah Palin at the center of the controversy over injecting the race issue into the presidential campaign.

Palin, Republican John McCain's running mate, has repeatedly insisted that Barack Obama's former preacher, the inflammatory Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a legitimate issue even though McCain himself has said it's out of bounds.

"She has no sensitivity to minorities," said the Rev. Alonzo Patterson, a Baptist minister and president of the Alaska Black Leadership Conference. "She's really inciting a lot of African-Americans to get out and vote."
Discussing Wright isn't "injecting the race issue", despite the fact that McCain apparently thinks it is (or is afraid of a tu quoque argument involving his and Palin's religious activities). Wright's comments would still be "inflammatory" were he white; the issue with Wright's comments is certainly based on his race, but others have made similar comments despite not being black: no doubt Father Pfleger is considered off limits by the McCain campaign as well. The last paragraph above attempts to give the impression that it would be "[in]sensitive" to bring up examples of Wright's radicalism, when the race of someone engaging in such radicalism shouldn't be an issue. Obviously, Rachel Doro and Obama's surrogates want it to be out of bounds simply because Wright is black.

Continuing:
Since taking office in December 2006, Palin has had a sometimes tense relationship with black leaders, who say they've been ignored in their efforts to get more minorities hired in her administration.
For more on that, see "How Sarah Palin Excluded African-Americans in Alaska" by, drumroll please, Max Blumenthal (thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters/371959):
Gwen Alexander, the president of the African-American Historical Society of Alaska, told me that Palin stated defiantly that she had no intention to hire any minority staffers.
You combine the fact that Blumenthal is known to lie with the fact that no politician in their right mind would make that statement and you come up with two possibilities: either Alexander is lying, or Alexander misunderstood what Palin said. In the latter case, Palin could have expressed her unwillingness to establish a quota system (Alaska's black population is 3.7%, link). Back to D'oro:
At one point [in a meeting with black leaders], [Alaskan Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell] broke in and asked the group if they were accusing Palin of being racist, participants said. Parnell said the group was making "outlandish claims" and added, "I'm not going to let somebody say that about her or me." He said the meeting ended on a positive note with Palin's assurances that minorities have an equal shot at appointments and state contracts.
Apparently that wasn't good enough. There's more, including an attempt to blame Palin for "fringe" people who've attended her rallies without, of course, acknowledging that Barack Obama is linked to several people on the "fringes" as well as a discussion of "Juneteenth", something that Palin didn't issue a proclamation for in 2007 (link) but did in 2008 (link).

Live coverage: John McCain/Barack Obama Hofstra "debate", 10/15/08 - 10/15/08

Live coverage of the "debate" at Hofstra University between John McCain and Barack Obama commences now.

McCain is taking BHO to task for the "Sarah Palin is a ****" t-shirts and for BHO's implication of widespread rabble-rousing at McCain/Palin rallies.

And, BHO is stumbling. He indeed has a "glass jaw", yet no one wants to take advantage of his lack of experience at being challenged.

No class: Barack Obama supporters boo Sarah Palin, eight-year old daughter - 10/11/08

Some might question why the Philadelphia Flyers were celebrating hockey moms instead of getting to the game. Some might question why Sarah Palin was bringing her daughters out onto the ice.

CQ Transcriptions/NYT/CNN made transcript "error" for Palin/Biden debate (no funny business at all!) - 10/11/08

As pointed out here, the transcripts of the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden debate from both CNN and the New York Times contained a rather curious "error".

Pages