WaPo’s Facts Perform a Disappearing Act

Rachel Weiner, a writer for the Washington Post’s The Fix, posted a very disingenuous piece on Wednesday claiming that Governor Palin had somehow ‘disappeared’ from the debt debate. To suggest such a thing indicates that Weiner hasn’t been paying much attention to what the governor has had (on many occasions) to say bout the matter. Which in the WaPo’s writer’s case, might benefit her in more ways than one.

Weiner writes:

During Washington’s long-running debt debate, one name you didn’t hear very often was that of Sarah Palin.

Googling the words “Palin Debt Ceiling” gives you a pretty good indication how out-of touch with reality that first sentence is. The search yields many results, all which could have aided Weiner’s research efforts had she chose to engage in such a task. She goes on:

But then, just as the debate lurched to a final close on the day the country threatened to default, the 2008 vice presidential candidate suddenly reemerged on the political scene.

On Tuesday’s Fox News’ “Hannity,” Palin seemed to take it very personally when Democrats compared tea-party House Republicans to “terrorists” in referring to their tactics in the debt fight.

“I’m not just going to roll over with a sticker plastered on my forehead that says, hit me baby one more time, call me a terrorist again, call me a racist,” she told Hannity.

“And I’m going stand up for those fiscally conservative patriotic independent Americans who want the best for this country.”

Palin also criticized former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a potential rival in the 2012 presidential race, saying he “waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling” before coming out against the compromise.

Those kind of headline-grabbing comments raise questions about Palin’s future plans. But the former Alaska governor has a tendency to insert herself into debates with a splash and retreat just as quickly as she appeared, going dark for weeks at a time. Given recent history, it won’t be long before Palin disappears again.

Don’t they wish…

And yes, Weiner is suggesting that Governor Palin hadn’t weighed in on the debt debate until Tuesday’s interview with Sean Hannity… Somehow Rachel missed that whole episode when some in the establishment wing of the Republican party got somewhat wee wee’d up over a certain statement she posted on Facebook. Maybe she also missed these interviews the governor gave to Greta Van Sustren here and here, and this one on Fox Business here.

She continues:

As other 2012 presidential candidates ramp up their campaigns heading into next week’s Ames straw poll and this fall’s debates, Palin is barely a presence in Iowa or any other primary state. She has shot down reports that the high-profile bus tour that took her to New Hampshire in June is over, but two months later it has yet to restart.

The end of that tour was her last major media blitz. On June 2nd, wrapping up her trip, Palin criticized Romney in New Hampshire. She appeared on “Hannity” on June 3rd and on “Fox News Sunday” on June 5th. A few days later she was on the cover of Newsweek saying she could beat President Obama.

Wait a minute, she wrote that the governor did interviews on June 3rd & 5th and that a “few days later she was on the cover of Newsweek saying she could beat President Obama.” A few days? The Newsweek article that Weiner links to was posted on July 10th, which is nowhere near a “few days” after June 5th. That’s more than month! That is some horrible reporting.

Here’s more:

Then Palin disappeared — even as archives of her emails from her time as Alaska governor were released and pored over by the media. On June 28th, she went to Pella, Iowa, for the premiere of “The Undefeated,” a movie about her governorship, but said little. At no point did she get back into the political debate.

Oh really? Not only did Weiner not read the date of that Newsweek article, she didn’t read any of the content either. From the Newsweek article:

“I believe that I can win a national election,” Sarah Palin declared one recent evening, sitting in the private dining room of a hotel in rural Iowa. The occasion for her visit to quintessential small-town America was a gathering of the faithful that would have instantaneously erupted into a fervent campaign rally had she but given the word. Instead, it had been another day on the non–campaign trail, this one capped by a sweet victory: she had just attended the premiere of a glowingly positive documentary about her titled The Undefeated.

Talk of winning a national election would certainly indicate being part of “the political debate.”

It continues:

On Twitter, Palin promoted her daughter Bristol’s book and little else. Her other comments on the debt ceiling were via a couple vague Facebook notes.

Did she or did she not read the Facebook notes? Those were Governor Palin’s statements regarding the debt ceiling, which indicates that she is engaged in the current debate. Weiner tries to downplay them but there was nothing “vague” about what Governor Palin was saying. Just ask Laura Ingraham.

Then Weiner implies that the governor didn’t weigh in on the debate via Twitter by writing “Palin promoted her daughter Bristol’s book and little else.” In reality, Governor Palin had tweeted the following:

@BarackObama wants us to contact Congress. Great idea! Tell them to rein in our dangerously unsustainable debt to protect our credit rating.

@BarackObama wants us to support a “balanced deficit solution.” Great idea! How about a balanced budget amendment?

@BarackObama you’re wrong, threatening to throw seniors under the bus because you refuse to prioritize govt spending.Time to #womanup & lead

After stating at the beginning of her article that Governor Palin had “reemerged” on August 2nd to talk with Sean Hannity, Weiner curiously writes this paragraph towards the end of her piece:

Then, Palin reemerged. On July 26th, she was on Greta van Susteren’s show. Two days later, she posted a Facebook comment that included a threat to House Republicans at the end: “P.S. Everyone I talk to still believes in contested primaries.”

So she did see at least one of the interviews with Greta, and she indicates that she’s read the Facebook note that caused some in the establishment wing of the GOP to get upset. But her whole article is centered around the notion that Governor Palin had been entirely absent from the debate. So which is it?

This maddening article continues:

Yes, Palin explicitly positioned herself as an observer of the debt debate, saying that “out here in proverbial politico flyover country, we little folk are watching the debt ceiling debate with great interest and concern.”

Hey Rachel, Governor Palin stated she was watching the debate WHILE she was weighing in on it. Your whole point moot.

Weiner ends the article by writing:

“Doggone it, I want these candidates who are in there,” Palin said of Romney yesterday. “I want them to not be sitting back.” Her sporadic involvement in the political debate suggest that she won’t be one of those candidates. If she does, it would still shake up the race in a major way — but she would be forced to follow her own advice.

She has been following her own advice, despite Rachel Weiner’s messy attempt to make Governor Palin look like a hypocrite. Unlike Romney, Governor Palin has been giving her opinion about the debt debate since it became an issue in the realm of politics. Well before the debate had wall-to-wall coverage on the 24-hour news cycles, she spoke about the matter. She’s also remained consistent throughout the debate in her position. Something else Romney would have a hard time doing, on any issue.

From start to finish, the whole piece is designed to create a perception that the meat of the article doesn’t back up. Weiner gives the impression that she’s following some sort of time-line in her reporting, leading her to make this conclusion. But that time-line doesn’t match reality and it doesn’t even match her own story. Pay attention to detail when reading anything the Washington Post publishes considering their “facts” are nothing more than empty props.



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