The Washington Post

Sarah Palin, in health-care Facebook messages, shows her media bona fides

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a fund raiser at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colo., on Monday, May 2, 2011. The event raised money for a charity for families of fallen service members. (Ed Andrieski/AP)

Qualification No. 1: No corrections — she stands by her story!

In 2009, Palin wrote that President Obama’s “bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’” whether certain individuals merit health care. Three years later, Palin states, “I stand by everything I wrote in that warning . . .

Qualification No. 2: She complains about context and thrust.

You hear it all the time from journalists under siege: They’re focusing on one line of my story. Read the whole thing! Palin delivers a comical variation on this classic. “It was a pretty long post, but a lot of people seem to have only read two words of it: ‘death panel.’ ” According to Microsoft Word, that “pretty long post” was all of 316 words.

Qualification No. 3: She is willing to make predictions, like any good pundit.

Regarding her death-panel comments Palin states: “[W]hat was true then is true now, and it will remain true as we hear what the Supreme Court has to say.” What confidence and certainty.

Qualification No. 4: She gets her facts straight.

In her new Facebook post, Palin writes that she was “called a liar for telling it like it is . . .” Indeed, the death-panel thing won PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” distinction, as buttressed by the masses:

PolitiFact readers overwhelming chose Sarah Palin’s claim that the health care bill contains “death panels“ as Lie of the Year. A resounding 61 percent of our 4,864 voters picked death panels as the top lie. No other finalist in the field of eight statements came close.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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