Democratic Party front group Media Matters for America has published yet another attack on Republican Sarah Palin. This one a dishonest portrayal of media coverage of her recent slip of the tongue regarding the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
In a Thanksgiving Day message posted Nov. 25th on her Facebook page, Palin opened her post with a tongue in cheek send-up of President Barack Obama in which no fewer than ten of his verbal gaffes and misstatements were included and sourced.
My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…
The point Palin was making was that though everyone occasionally goofs up — including the President, you might not remember hearing about his, “because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy,” Palin wrote.
Such is not the case when it comes to Palin who in the course of a radio interview with Glenn Beck, mistakenly referred to South Korea as North Korea, but then quickly corrected herself. Media Matters blogger Oliver Willis, writing at his personal blog, posted the audio clip of Palin’s slip. Willis is one of several liberal bloggers who met recently with President Obama at the White House.
Responding to Palin’s “57 states” comment, Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert wrote “Palin Concocts More Media Sins“. Boehlert uses a search of Nexis to make Media Matters’ disingenuous case that Palin has overblown media coverage of her “We have to stand by our North Korean allies” flub made during the interview with Beck on his radio show last Wednesday.
Boehlert smears Palin, describing her as being nuts in some manner or form, “self-obsessed” and imagining things.
“Fox News’ Sarah Palin is now so consumed with every real or imagined media wrong against her that she’s to the point where she’s attacking the press for stuff they don’t even do.”
Even though Palin’s slip was reported in headlined stories by American and international wire services, as well as major news sites across America and around the globe, Boehlert claims “major American newspaper(s) did not turn the Palin/North Korea gaffe into a “major political headline,” did not treat it as news, and did not even mention it as news when it occurred .” Boehlert changes Palin’s assertion of major political headlines to major newspaper headlines, a sleight of hand that allows Boehlert to use Nexis to list major American news outlets that supposedly did not report on Palin’s slip:
“New York Times; Wall Street Journal; Los Angeles Times; Washington Post; New York Post; Houston Chronicle; Philadelphia Inquirer; Newsday; Denver Post; Arizona Republic; Minneapolis Star Tribune; Dallas Morning News; Cleveland Plain Dealer; Seattle Times; Chicago Sun-Times”
Boehlert also claims broadcast media did not cover Palin’s slip:
“What other news outlets ignored Palin’s verbal gaffe when it occurred? All three major networks–ABC, CBS, and NBC–as well as CNN, Fox News, PBS and NPR.”
However, Boehlert fails to note the story exploded on major news sites on the Web within hours of Palin’s slip.
Boehlert also conveniently fails to note that the faux scandal was initiated by his fellow Media Matters writer Oliver Willis.
A Google News search reveals the following global reporting trying to paint Palin as ignorant for what a transcript of the interview with Beck reveals to be a simple slip of the tongue.
The Associated Press article Palin Draws Fire With North Korea Gaffe was published at 162 news sites according to Google News, including The Washington Post; Newsday; CBS News; The Miami Herald; The Kansas City Star; and The Huffington Post.
Newsbusters reported that ABC News mentioned Palin’s slip on Good Morning America.
Also contrary to Boehlert’s shoddy propaganda is this Wall Street Journal report titled, Sarah Palin Says US Must ‘Stand With North Korea Allies’ and a Los Angeles Times piece titled, Why Make a Big Deal Out of Sarah Palin’s ‘our North Korean allies’ Gaffe which concluded the media should make a big deal of it.
In addition to carrying the AP article, CBS News did a stand alone article titled, Sarah Palin Mistakenly Calls N. Korea an “Ally” which drew 1075 comments.
Political news sites played up Palin’s slip, including MSNBC; The Hill; Politico; and The Atlantic Wire, which gleefully headlined their article, Quote of the Day: Palin Sticks With ‘North Korean’ Allies.
The Daily Express headlined their article Let’s Back North Korea Says Blundering Sarah Palin.
Clearly, the Nexis version of news does not reflect online versions of the media’s dead tree editions. Moreover, the vast majority of people are reading their news online. Boehlert’s sleight of hand claim that Nexis has no record of the story being published in the majors is disingenuous.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from Media Matters ginning up a political hit only to follow it up later with commentary that Sarah Palin is delusional, it’s this: reporters relying on Media Matters for accuracy are setting themselves up to be played for fools.