Thursday, November 13, 2008

So Does Palin Know Africa is a Continent or Not?

Does Sarah Palin know that Africa is a continent? Well, she probably does by now. Did she know it before the election? I have no way of knowing for sure.

One of the most bizarre stories of the post-election season began when Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron cited anonymous McCain campaign staffers who claimed that Sarah Palin didn't know some pretty basic stuff. Gov. Palin has denied the allegations.

Then one Martin Eisenstadt identified himself as the source of the Africa claim, and MSNBC and other outlets reported it. Pretty soon, MSNBC et al. had to retract the story because "Eisenstadt" doesn't exist. That much was a hoax.

Fox News, on the other hand, is standing by its original report, and pointing a bit gleefully to the fact the MSNBC and a number of others were duped by the "Eisenstadt" claim.

Does this weird episode demonstrate afresh why information from interested sources, especially anonymous sources, must be viewed with skepticism? Yes. Does it lend credence to the idea that the media is quick to jump on stories suggesting that conservatives, especially popular, populist conservatives, are ignorant? Yes. Does it prove that Gov. Palin knew Africa is a continent? Unfortunately, no. But it does remind us why she should be given the benefit of the doubt.

4 comments:

MainTour said...

Rumors have it that if Ted Stevens (R) wins the senate seat, he will resign immediately because of his felony convictions. Then Palin will run for his seat (and probably win easily in super red Alaska). They she will start racking up lots of foreign affairs experience to prep her for a run for the White House in 2012.

Citizen Tom said...

Anonymous McCain campaign staffers? Given the bias of the news media and monetary interest reporters have in getting out the "news," why should we believe a news story without any credible sources?

I am disappointed people read such stuff. When a story is this stupid and silly, what is the chance the story is true? Frankly, this kind of stuff reminds me of the silly made-up garbage that circulates around the Internet. The only difference is that instead of using anonymous sources, Internet amateurs say people said things they did not say. That is, the "professionals" tell lies without attribution.

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