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Saturday, September 06, 2008

How Media, Liberals and Obama Supporters Helped Sarah Palin

When Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican vice presidential running mate to John McCain, it caught many people off guard, the media assumed they knew his "short list", the Obama campaign prepared videos and responses to a potential Romney, Pawlenty, Ridge, Lieberman pick and didn't have a response to a Palin pick arranged, the Obama supporting liberal blogosphere did the same.

That set the scene for what happened next.

Instantly rumors started flying, compliments of the very popular liberal blog Daily Kos, about Sarah Palin's youngest son, Trig, born in April, where they claimed it was her daughter's son.

This sent ripples throughout the Internet with people repeating the rumor, even quoting the dates on certain photographs of Palin's daughter Bristol, which turned out to be the wrong dates and the media started digging.

Then the announcement from Palin that her daughter was pregnant and to be married, date unknown, which showed that her family was like any other, dealing with hard decisions, teenage angst and private issues that were now thrown into the public eye instead of people focusing on Palin's policy stances and record, her family had come under attack.

The media helped things along by publicly questioning her parenting ability and asking if a mother of five,one of which is old enough to have joined the service and is deploying out and the other about to start her own family, had the "time" to become a vice president.

Then came the discussion throughout forums, blogs and even comments on news articles that allowed them, which wondered why Palin, mother of five, was questioned about the her ability to work and raise a family when Barack Obama, father of two, was not asked the same questions.

To some this implied sexism.

Stopping right there for a second to point out that it was right then and there the damage had been done, not to Palin, but to the credibility of DailyKos and every single person that repeated the original rumor which started that type of conversation online and offline, in the media and over dinner tables across America and probably beyond.

Some people started identifying with Palin, a working mother, raising children and being the subject to attacks on her character, her parenting skills and her ability to have a career and raise a family.

How do I know people started identifying with her?

Well a report today from The Politico, about the crowds lining up to see Palin at campaign stops in Milwaukee and Detroit, both drawing approximating 10,000 people, and what they are telling reporters.

One woman, Cheryl Hauswirth, explained why she was enthusiastic about Sarah Palin, stating, "She's a real woman, she's a real feminist but she's not strident — she's like us. She’s strong, powerful and opinionated, all the things a women should be, while still retaining her femininity, her womanhood.”

Another woman, Melody Halstrom, a middle-aged women from River Hills, Wisconsin says, "She’s got a real family with real troubles, just like the rest of us. You know, she’s got teenagers."

What those false rumors had done, was the opposite of what they intended to do, instead of destroying Sarah Palin in the eyes of the public, they had brought her private family life, her story, right into homes of America and many woman started identifying with Palin.

Identification wasn't the only thing people started expressing.

Disgust for how nasty the rumors were as well as being false, also started becoming apparent, with people seeing that the far left liberal Daily Kos, as well as those repeating the viscous lies, were prepared to use a 17 year old girl to attack her mother because the mother dared to accept the position of running mate to the Republican presidential candidate.

Perhaps Barack Obama foresaw the damage this could potentially do by way of bringing support to Palin, or perhaps he truly was as disgusted with the personal attacks on Palin and her family, whatever the reason, he "strongly" advised people to "back off" those types of attacks.

It was too late though because his supporters weren't listening.

The National Enquirer teased the public with a story that Palin "may" have had an affair, without any details as they had provided with the John Edwards story, they used words like "allegation", with maybes, mights, and possibly as their basis, but it was enough to have liberal bloggers again, off and running.

When news hit the liberal blogosphere yesterday that an associate of Todd Palin's had requested his court records of his divorce be sealed, the bloggers went tearing after the rumors again, assuming that the requested stemmed from some desire to protect Sarah Palin, with many saying outright, she was named in the divorce for having an affair with the husband in question.

The judge denied the request saying there was no justification to seal the records and keep them confidential.

The court papers, 98 pages of them were obtained by The Smoking Gun and lo and behold, Palin's name was mentioned but only in the sealing request, not the in the divorce itself as The Politico reports.

Surely, the Netroots speculated, that friend must be the unnamed business partner whom this week’s edition of the National Enquirer alleges — without proof so far — was romantically linked to Palin. The McCain campaign's characterization of the story as a "vicious lie" seemed to only fuel more speculation.

And then the moment of truth, as the motion to seal was denied. The filings, housed in a district courthouse in this town about eight miles east of the Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, contained a lot of hot news — presuming, that is, you’re interested in the child-custody agreement reached by Scott Richter and his ex-wife Deborah Richter, or in the former couple's holdings, which include a recreational property that Scott owns with Sarah and Todd Palin.

It seems the man in question, Scott Richter, wasn't trying to protect Palin, he was trying to protect details about his home, workplace, and phone numbers, because reporters and news agencies were using the information to contact him.

In the motion presented to the court, Scott Richter, wrote, "I am friends an [sic] landowners in a remote cabin property with [the Palins] and as her campaign moves forward, my phone #’s and addresses are being used thru this file to obtain unwanted contact daily. My cabin life and private life is extremely important to me and my young son, who find ourselves and our lives disrupted by such contact.”

Another rumor bites the dust, after a full day of speculation and dedicated ink to the topic.

Then came the media's part in helping Sarah Palin by reporting a couple stories, again without fact checking, specifically one written by the Washington Post blog about Palin "slashing funding for teen moms," where they produced a fact that Sarah Palin had denied a request for $5 million to go to a group called the Covenant House and changed the amount to $3.9 million.

That she did, but what the article, at the time, did not mention when they headlined their piece called "Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms," is the $3.9 million dollars she approved was triple the amount the Covenant House had received the previous year.

Instead of "slashing" the funding, Palin has increased the funding, but that did not stop the New York Times from running the same incorrect story the next day as the Carolina Journal Online reports.

The same thing was done with special needs funding, Daily Kos struck again, CNN's Soledad O'Brien reported it that Palin decreased funding for special needs children, and Education Week showed that Palin actually increased it.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien reported that Palin had cut the budget for special needs children by 62 percent. Was it her intrepid reporting that uncovered that “tip”? No, it was taken from a far-left Web site, which has apparently become the mainstream media’s new source for story ideas.

Instead of focusing on legitimate questions about actual events, the media, taking tips from the liberal blogosphere, has decided to to attack without verifying, fact checking or even doing the minimal amount of research into stories, they they are shown to be incompetent in their reporting.

It has gotten a level where the majority of Americans, 51 percent, believe "Reporters are trying to hurt Palin" as reported by Rasmussen.

Sarah Palin was watched by tens of millions on the night of her speech at the Republican convention. She is drawing crowds everywhere she goes. She is being identified with and spoken about and some might say that without the help of the liberal blogosphere and their rumors and without the help of the media actively misreporting and helping spread false rumors, Palin might have simply gotten a little attention but remained largely unknown.

Perhaps conservatives and Republicans everywhere should be thanking the progressive, liberal rumor spreading supporters and media for helping to make Sarah Palin a household name.

More from Hot Air and Explorations, here or here.