There was a story reported to Fox News yesterday that had an anonymous McCain aide complaining about Sarah Palin resisting their input in prepping her for interviews. The story says that Palin didn’t even know Africa was a continent and not a country.
I am sorry if I don’t swallow the bait, but something smells fishy about the story.
First, it’s from an anonymous source leaked to the press. It may be a distortion or sour grapes. At most I imagine the following scenario: in a mock interview she may have mistakenly referred to Africa as a country. Of course, we all make mistakes and missteps in our speech when we are tired.
Second, it plays into the line that Plain didn’t have enough foreign policy experience to be president. It is true that in just two years as a governor, she doesn’t have much experience, but I don’t believe that she didn’t know Africa was a continent.
Third, it plays into the misperception that Palin is dumb, in the same way that Dan Quayle was painted as a lightweight because he supposedly didn’t know how to spell “potatoe” when he dutifully read a spelling bee flash card at an elementary school that had the word misspelled. (Note that none of the press attacked the “stoopid publik skool teecher” responsible for the gaffe.)
The Africa bungle is obviously fabricated, but because it was told on a conservative news network, it is being taken as an established fact. It will be drivel for the left to gleefully spew for years to come: “Palin thought Africa was a country! Can you believe how dumb that is!”
What bothers me most about the story is it is hearsay from an anonymous aide leaked to a reporter. If this has any credibility then it behooves the alleged witness to make himself known. But amateurish second and third-hand reporting with an agenda doesn’t bother the press. In fact, there is little distinction now between what used to be worthy news outlets and the frothing-at-the-mouth screeds of liberals blogging from their mothers’ basements. Just watch MSNBC on any given night if you want an example.
Back when our pro-life activist group in Melbourne, Florida was often in the news, I discovered how often the press distorted news, got the facts wrong, and repeated unconfirmed fallacies. If you are a news maker, you become extremely suspicious of the press after you see the low standards of local reporters for confirming the facts. These stories get passed on verbatim in other news articles.
It’s also obvious that the liberal press is going to continue to work hard to smear Palin amid any speculation that she might seek the presidency in 2012. It’s interesting that they are keeping up the campaign. They must instinctively fear something. However, in all the lies and distortions we can see that they are fearful of a pro-life Christian who could become a powerful force in conservative politics. Therefore, her opponents simply dismiss each of her strengths by floating a contradiction.
Her ability to connect and communicate with the average voter electrifying huge crowds wherever she speaks is met with the falsehood that she is dumb and inarticulate.
Her knowledge of the oil industry and campaign for energy independence is met with the glib accusation that she knows little about economic or foreign policy.
The plain fact that she is a self-made woman from working class roots plays into the contradiction that she is a “diva with a $150,000 wardrobe.”
Her charming and gracious personality is countered with the charge that she is mean-spirited and vindictive. Most were misled to think she was convicted of a crime in “troopergate” when in fact the first opinion saying she “abused power” was just that of one independent investigator. When the board that had the legal authority to decide made a ruling, she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
I could go on. The point is that whatever poison that liberals spew at Palin, you can be sure that they are reaching and the opposite is true.
None of the facts surrounding these mini-bites of misinformation matter much to liberal bloggers and political pundits searching for fodder. They are just convenient barbs that the public may be led to believe if the lie is repeated enough times. You can be sure that the “Africa bungle” is just one of many fabricated falsehoods about Sarah Palin.
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