Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Enough of the Palin feeding frenzy

 Jacoby makes a few good points and some really dopey ones in this defense of Palin (and attack on her critics).  It's very cleverly written to leave a misleading impression.  For example, he writes:
For someone who has been in the national spotlight for only three weeks, Palin has been the victim of an astonishing array of falsehoods. Voters have been told that she slashed funding in Alaska for special-needs children. That she tried to ban books from Wasilla's public library. That she was a member of the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party. That she links Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11. That she backed Pat Buchanan for president. That she doesn't want students taught about contraception. That she called the war in Iraq "a task from God." All untrue.
He makes 7 claims here.  I actually followed the link under All untrue, and did some sleuthing and discovered that Jacoby is himself playing fast and loose with the facts: 
A) "Voters have been told that she slashed funding in Alaska for special-needs children."  I'd never heard this one -- and he's correct that it's untrue.
B) "That she tried to ban books from Wasilla's public library." The facts are that she asked the librarian about banning books and when the librarian said she would object strongly to any attempt to do so, Palin fired her THE NEXT DAY!  (And then, after a firestorm of criticism, rehired her the following day.) Smells pretty fishy to me...
C) "That she was a member of the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party."  This rumor started because the Chairman of the Party SAID she was a member!  It turns out that her husband was a member for years and she's attended at least one of their conventions.  If feel so much better! (NOT!)
D) "That she links Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11."  She DID!  Watch the video for yourself:  She tells the troops that they are going to "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."  Is it possible she's dumber than Bush???
E) "That she backed Pat Buchanan for president."  Jacoby is correct.  She backed Steve Forbes.
F) "That she doesn't want students taught about contraception."  Jacoby is incorrect (unless he's being very clever and misleading with the wording).  A quick Google search yields this web page (, which says: In an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire , Palin gave this response to the following question: "Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?" Palin: "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."
G) "That she called the war in Iraq 'a task from God.'"  While she didn't call the war itself "a task from God", she said that our leaders are sending out our troops "on a task that is from from God...that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."  Watch the video:
Jacoby then proceeds to highlight a few of the most radical/outrageous things a few people have said/written, as if these were representative (they're not; these wacky things are dwarfed by the 100x more common thoughtful critiques).
This is just stupid: "For months they refused to mention the infidelity of John Edwards, yet they leaped with relish onto Bristol Palin's pregnancy."  The reason the media didn't report on Edwards' infidelity is because they had no proof and Edwards was vehemently denying it, whereas there was no doubt about Bristol's pregnancy.  And when Edwards was finally exposed, there WAS a media frenzy, ripping him to shreads!
This is a total distortion as well: "Ravenous for any negative morsel on the GOP running mate, they deployed legions of reporters to Alaska, who have produced such journalism as the 3,220-word exposé; in Sunday's New York Times that upon winning office, Palin - gasp! - fired opponents and hired people she trusted."  Gee, what a shocker that the media would rush to learn more about a total unknown, picked at the last moment with no vetting whatsoever, who very well might become PRESIDENT!  And the NYT article was a thorough piece of journalism that documented dozens of cases of vindictiveness, hiring totally unqualified people, secretiveness, etc.
Jacoby only slightly redeems himself with some valid points at the very end:

Yet the more she has been attacked, the more her support has solidified. In the latest Fox News poll, Palin's favorable/unfavorable ratio is a strong 54-27. She is named by 33 percent of respondents as the candidate who "best understands the problems of everyday life in America," more than those naming Obama (32 percent), McCain (17), or Joe Biden (10). Among independent voters, Palin's lead over Obama on this measure widens to 13 points. In a recent Rasmussen poll, 51 percent of voters said the press was trying to hurt Palin through its coverage, versus just 5 percent who thought it was trying to help - a 10-1 disparity.

Millions of Americans, not all of them conservative, instinctively identify with Palin. That is why the left's scorching assault, so ugly and unhinged, is backfiring. The longer it goes on, the more it undermines the Democratic ticket - and the more support it builds for McCain, and his refreshingly normal running mate.

Enough of the Palin feeding frenzy

IN POLITICS, cheap shots and invective are occupational hazards. But when have we seen anything to match the frenzy of rage and contempt set off by the nomination of Sarah Palin?

Virtually from the moment John McCain selected her, Palin has been under assault. There has been legitimate criticism, of course. But there has also been a gusher of slander, much of it - like the slur that she isn't the real mother of her infant son, Trig - despicable.


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