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Gibson: Exact words.
Palin: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said—first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words. But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.
This story appears to have originated with an Associated Press dispatch of September 3, which began: “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a ‘task that is from God.’” Yet the day before the AP’s report, the liberal-left Huffington Post had posted a video of Palin’s actual words:
Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them [soldiers] out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.
ABC apparently realized its mistake. When it aired the interview, the network cut the lines in which Palin disputed the quote and Gibson insisted it was her “exact words.” In their place was a YouTube clip that made clear Palin was praying, not asserting, that Iraq was a task from God.
An AP dispatch on the interview relied on the wire service’s own inaccurate reporting of a week earlier in claiming that Palin had “contradicted an assertion she made at her former church that ‘our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.’ ” That claim disappeared from later versions of the AP story.
Neither the AP nor ABC issued a correction. And although a September 13 New York Times news story pointed out ABC’s YouTube sleight-of-hand, a Times editorial the same day repeated the false story:
Her answers about why she had told her church that President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq was “God’s plan” did nothing to dispel our concerns about her confusion between faith and policy. Her claim that she was quoting a completely unrelated comment by Lincoln was absurd.
When they weren’t portraying her as a religious nut, journalists in and out of the mainstream were trying to paint Palin as a bad mother. At its most respectable, this took the form of a September 2 New York Times story titled “A New Twist in the Debate on Mothers”:
With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try.
In his convention keynote speech the next day, Rudy Giuliani asked indignantly: “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president? How dare they do that? When do they ever ask a man that question? When?” Indeed, neither the Times story nor most others in the genre noted that when Joe Biden took his Senate seat in 1973, he was the single father of two boys, two and three years old. (Biden’s wife and their year-old daughter had died in a car accident three weeks earlier.)
Palin had announced that her daughter Bristol was pregnant in order to put an end to a bizarre rumor that Bristol was the real mother of Trig Palin, the governor’s youngest son, who was born in April 2008 and has Down syndrome. This crackpot story originated on the Angry Left website DailyKos.com, and mainstream media mostly kept mum about it.
But there was one notable exception: the Atlantic, which published a series of screeds on its website demanding that Palin provide proof of maternity.
Bristol’s pregnancy moved this theory from the realm of the preposterous to the impossible. But the Atlantic wasn’t finished with Trig Palin. Its writer repeatedly described Palin’s decision to give birth to a child with Down syndrome as a act of politics—a salvo in a “culture war” and an effort to prove her “pro-life credentials”—rather than of maternal love. A writer for the left-liberal Salon.com echoed the claim: “Her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove… that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right.”
Newsweek’s website even published an article by a professor at the University of Chicago, where Barack Obama once taught, that said of Palin: “Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.” This does not speak well for the state of sex education in Illinois.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?