Tim Shipman’s secondhand reporting twists a nothing of a story into a scary headline:
Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama
But you read down into the story and there’s nothing to support the lede except:
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks. . . . The revelations, contained in a Newsweek history of the campaign, are likely to further damage Mrs Palin’s credentials as a future presidential candidate. She is already a frontrunner, with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, to take on Mr Obama in four years time.
“Revelations,” eh? Let’s take a look at what that Newsweek story actually says, shall we?
“I’m worried,” Gregory Craig said to a NEWSWEEK reporter in mid-October. He was concerned that the frenzied atmosphere at the Palin rallies would encourage someone to do something violent toward Obama. He was not the only one in the Obama campaign thinking the unthinkable. The campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and very disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October. Michelle was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” she asked Valerie Jarrett.
Except for the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, there is no reason to connect (a) Sarah Palin with (b) assassination threats against Obama. You’ve got Democratic operative Craig (whom we remember from the Clinton impeachment) who’s worried about the “atmosphere” at Palin rallies. Then you’ve got a post-Labor Day increase in threats against Obama. And . . . that’s it?
That all death threats are made by subnormal mouth-breathers, I take as a given. (If you really want to assassinate somebody, you don’t make threats. Sirhan Sirhan — to whom Bill Ayers dedicated a book — didn’t make threats.) The only threat against Obama that actually led to arrests was made by a couple 0f teenage losers in Memphis, Tenn., a place where Sarah Palin never campaigned. There was nothing Sarah Palin said or did that was responsible for threats against Obama. If the threats spiked up after Labor Day, it was only because subnormal mouth-breathers don’t pay attention to elections until after Labor Day.
Newsweek clearly is trying to peddle a disgusting smear by the Obama camp, and in the process take out a potential future rival. Tim Shipman merely makes explicit what Newsweek implied, but it’s like Oakland — there’s no “there” there. The Secret Service did not — repeat, did not — blame Sarah Palin for threats against Obama, and Shipman’s story is thus a lie.
(Cross-posted at The Other McCain.)
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