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Do you think Steve Benen might be a tad biased?


HALF-TERM GOVERNOR BREAKS HER SILENCE…. As tempted as I am to simply ignore former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) latest statement, I suppose there’s no point in pretending it’s not of some interest to the political world this morning.

Palin has been unusually quiet since Saturday’s massacre in Tucson, and as interest in the toxicity of political rhetoric has grown more intense, her role in cheapening and dragging down our discourse has generated a fair amount of attention.

Today, Palin broke her silence issuing a video, which is nearly eight minutes long. It’s a standard tactic — the right-wing media personality can’t subject herself to questions or muster the confidence to deal with cross-examinations, so to communicate, Palin’s forced to hide behind statements others write for her, and then upload them. It’s not exactly the stuff Profiles in Courage are made of.

In any case, the statement/video is about what one might expect. Palin, speaking from Alaska with an American flag over her right shoulder, has no regrets and no apologies to offer. Instead, she’s concerned about “blood libel.”

“If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

I don’t imagine Palin actually knows what “blood libel” means, but historically, it’s referred to the ridiculous notion of Jews engaging in ritual killings of Christian children. More commonly, it’s a phrase intended to convey the suffering of an oppressed minority.

In other words, Palin is apparently feeling sorry for herself, again, using a needlessly provocative metaphor that casts her as something of a martyr.

Benen uses the phrase “half-term governor” at least three times in his post. That right there indicates that maybe he’s not being entirely neutral and objective.

I like the “breaks her silence” jab too. On Saturday, soon after the news of the shootings broke, Sarah Palin posted this statement on Facebook:

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

She then went about her business. Various people have been criticizing her for not saying more, specifically for not admitting it was all her fault, apologizing and promising to never show her face in public again.

Of course if she had been giving interviews she would have been criticized for trying to steal the spotlight for herself.

Apparently Benen hasn’t got the memo that Sarah was dogwhistling to her fundiegelical supporters when she used the words “blood-libel.” He thinks she’s just a stupid girl who was using words she didn’t understand.

As for the flag reference, I wonder what Benen thought when candidate Obama gave his Greatestest Speech on Race EVAH with about 10 American flags behind him?

That’s it for another episode of “Look over there! It’s Sarah Palin!

158 Responses

  1. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling…..


    Hillary 2012

  2. It’s expected that a JournoList would be biased. If it was an AP story, the “half-term governor” would have been strategically placed in the middle of another negative remark.

  3. It’s because she was finished politically once she quit as governor, haven’t you heard? /snark

  4. The Westboro church isn’t going to picket the Tucson funerals after all ::

    Phelps’ Tucson pickets called off

    After receiving an offer to be on a nationally syndicated radio talk show, Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church won’t picket the funerals of any of the six victims of Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., after all, a church spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon.

    Shirley Phelps-Roper, a church spokeswoman, said the pickets had been called off after radio talk show host Mike Gallagher offered to have her on his radio program Monday.

    Apparently Gallagher has invited them on his show before to keep them away from some high-profile funerals.

    This isn’t the first time Westboro Baptist Church has traded picketing at a funeral for radio airtime.

    In October 2006, the church cancelled plans to protest at the funerals of five Amish girls who were executed in their Pennsylvania school in exchange for an hour of airtime on Gallagher’s radio show.

    Phelps-Roper said the church also cancelled plans to protest at Virginia Tech after a gunman killed 32 people in a massacre in April 2007 for airtime on Gallagher’s show.

    • If they want to protest against homosexuality they should picket the Castro District in SF

      I’d pay to see that.

      • I guess it’s a sign of their cowardice that they’re not doing that.

      • I’d organize a whole bus tour to go see it.

      • They should man-up and do it. 🙂

      • Actually, they’ve been by many a time. I went to Metropolitan Community Church for more than a decade, when it was the “little pink church in the Castro” over on 18th (IIRC).

        Phelp’s band of kooks used to show up fairly regularly at funerals. We just ignored them, other than to sweetly invite them to use the toilets, come in for a thought-provoking sermon, or enjoy some treats at coffee hour.

        In fact, I sort-of adopted the hospitality crusade as my own. They had to keep saying “no, thank-you” to me over and over. I think it drove them a little crazier than they were already!


  6. BlueLyon has a great post up today:


    Basically, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, respected psychiatrist and one of the foremost experts on paranoid schizophrenics, says Mr. “The Government is Controlling My Grammar” is a textbook case paranoid schizophrenic, which anyone who saw his youtube posting could have guessed.
    And, in case Mr. Benen doesn’t know this, I’ll repeat myself again: schizophrenics listen to the voices inside their head, not external stimuli. And, in case Mr. Brenen is like a fb friend of mine who actually asked “but what if the external stimuli feeds their voices?” let me explain this: That isn’t how it works. A red ball, a glass, a barking dog can “feed” their voices. In other words, nothing and everything can “feed their voices” because their brains do not work like non-psychotics’ brains work. And finally, if Mr. Brenen thinks that the fact that this guy was obsessed with a politician makes this tragedy political, I remind him that John Hinkley shot Regan because he was obsessed with Jodi Foster & wanted to get her attention. It wasn’t political, and neither was the tragedy in Arizona.
    I realize that schizophrenics only make up 0.3% of the population so Mr. Brenen is probably luckily enough to not know one personally, but I suggest maybe he eat a bottle of Metamucil so that he *might* be able to extract his head from his ass & point his ire at the inadequate medical attention that allows people like Jared Loughner to slip through the cracks instead of trying to pin the blame on Sarah Palin.

  7. By the way, just so you all know, it wasn’t politicians, movies, rhetoric, or even video games that caused this. It was, of course, wait for it, the internet. I just noticed a few random people start to say related things, so I thought I’d jump out ahead and start the meme officially. You heard it here first. 🙂

  8. Wow, Sarah is getting “crucified” for using the words blood libel.

    • Such an obvious trap, and their falling right for it. Silly media.

    • I’m surprised nobody is trying to sue her for blood libel.

    • I think she used the term correctly, What’s the deal did Jews copyright the term or something? Does a person have to ask permission before they use the word correctly and if so who from? What other words are not permissible?

      • You have to consult the book of rulz.

      • Legal Insurrection (wingnut warning):

        In fact, as Jim Geraghty of National Review Online documents, the use of the term “blood libel” in political discourse is common both on the left and the right to describe incendiary false accusations which tend to blame a person for inciting violence and making the person a target of violence.

        Much like the use of the term “holocaust” (e.g., nuclear holocaust) is not used in the strict sense of The Holocaust, the use of the term “blood libel” does not offend the traditional meaning of the term.

        The looser, more modern usage of the term certainly seems to fit here.

        Professor Jacobson is Jewish, btw.

        • not according to NBC and Andrea Mitchell’s report… get with the program, Palin is toast, her political career is over.

          • And we can tell by how they’re not ever going to talk about her ever, ever again. 🙂

          • Sarah Palin’s career has been pronounced dead about 100 times just this week.

            Andrea Mitchell also suggested Palin was just stupid. Yep, stupid and evil. That’s the kind of attack that lost Reagan the 1980 election.

          • Andrea Mitchell is the one who needs to retire, like her husband.

    • The blogosphere is afire accusing SP of using “blood libel”. She should have said that she, having committed no crime, was crucified like JC. LOL.

      I can’t wait to see how she’s going to double down.

      • When I think of proggers these days, I have an image of a confused puppy chasing its tail…round and round.

    • Oh man, that was the obvious punchline to a comment about both words that I made earlier on RDs post, and I totally missed it. I better pay more attention next time.

  9. Thank you so much Angeinc for linking to Blue Lyon’s post today. I’ve been waiting and waiting for this energy being spent on blame to education and awareness of MENTAL ILLNESS.
    Its a complex and misunderstood disease that I bet every single one of us has dealt with. Maybe personally or through a family member. I can tell ya it is horrible and help is hard to find when it goes unrecognized. We’re paying the price for it and I hope we will change the conversation to it.

    • You are welcome glennmcgahee! In case you missed it, I wrote yesterday that my aunt is a disorganized schizophrenic. My family takes care of her, but it pisses me off that most people like her can’t get the help they need until they do something to harm others or themselves.

      • I have held off on commenting a lot on the whole “what to do about the mentally ill” discussion, because I find myself unable to do so without writing 27 paragraphs in way too much detail. I lived it all my life, with my Mom.

  10. She should’ve given an interview. Heck, Fox would be more than glad to give her a softball interview. She looks cowardly hiding behind facebook and twitter and prerecorded statements.

    • I dunno, she doesn’t look cowardly to me. She reminds me of the third little pig, sitting in her house of bricks while the media big bad wolf is huffing and puffing in vain.

      • Nor to me. She seemed calm, cool, and collected.

        Unlike Steve B., who seems at best hasty and at worst ridiculous accusing her of misusing ‘blood libel’ and then defining it as “a ridiculous notion…” There’s nothing ridiculous about making unfounded accusations that a person or persons is responsible for blood letting or death of another.

      • wearing lipstick I presume

    • No, She looks incredibly powerful. She trumped Obama’s speech which was no doubt covered by every network and she didn’t need the power of the Old Corporate Media to do it.

    • She was better off doing this on her own terms and platform. If she had done this on Fox, the left and maybe some on the establishment right would have attacked her for trying to incite more violence and mayhem on national media. Basically most mainstream media online and offline right now sux cock.

      • Accusations of defensiveness are impossible to recover from- there’s no way to defend yourself from them. And that’s what her giving an interview now would look like: defensiveness.

  11. The “logic” of that post is mind-boggling. Sarah Palin has to “hide” by posting a statement to her Facebook page. Yet, even though he wants to ignore the statement, which would less her impact, he chooses to increase his own traffic by posting it because everyone is so interested in politics. Classic.

    Tonight, former half-term Senator and current half-term President Obama will give a speech. Will there be one memorable word or phrase in it?

    • Not as good as “blood libel”.

    • nope just the usual droning of banal platitudes held together by a couple of umms and a few let me be clears

    • So, Benen ran a Palin story to increase his own traffic? Who got played here?

    • There will be memorable phrases in it, but we have to wait until the “state” tell us which ones they are. Then we can go around saying them and saying how it was the greatest speech evah. Or you can just watch MSNBC. They always give you the correct things to think.

      • Watch for the ultimate Obotian praise:

        “I was moved to tears just reading a transcript.”

      • It may be memorable watching him struggle to access any real, innate compassion, and secondarily, to say his words in a way that seems authentic.

        But if that’s not enough, we may be amused by his attempts to stay awake despite great boredom, cause, you know, it’s not about him.

        Course, we could be entertained by counting how many times he tries to make it about him.

        So, all in all, I predict it will be memorable “enough.”

      • I heard Lardball on MSNBC talking about the expectations for the Best Speech Evah tonight. I assume the Obots’ great expectation is that Obama doesn’t actually move his bowels or noticably drool during it. it makes it easier for them to edit a good snippet that way.

  12. Washington Monthly is unabashedly liberal so expecting Steve Benen to not be biased is like expecting The Condlfuence to not be retarded.

  13. Has anyone else noticed that when the topic is Palin over at MSNBC and the rhetoric is heated, Gloria Borger gets all bent out of shape, physically. I mean she sort of gets all jerky and such. I wouldn’t point it out if she had some disorder of course, but she only does it when the topic is Palin. I think she’s working hard to keep her head from exploding. But it’s just a theory so far.

  14. As if dogwhistling never occurs on the left. Obama’s campaign was one extended dogwhistle to guilt-ridden 70s survivors–people who, as children, were swept up in the desegregation controveries, and who never quite sorted out the contradictory cultural messages.

  15. “Palin’s forced to hide behind statements others write for her”

    but she comes up with “blood libel” all by her widdle self

    • She’s got a much better speechwriter than Obama. True to her voice and meaning and emotion, well constructed. Curious who it is.

  16. The CSM was part of the media connecting imaginary dots.

    As portrait of Jared Loughner sharpens, ‘vitriol’ blame fades

    • Talk about a day late and a dollar short.
      Thanks for the link, Dario.

      • If the progressive media were taking a law school torts exam on this fact pattern they would have failed miserably.

        It’s “Duty-breach-causation-damages” not “duty-breach-damages”

    • You know what’s funny? I was watching Greg Gutfeld on Fox talk about how political rhetoric is actually a safety valve, rather than a pressure cooker. People like to complain and the inability to do so is what nakes groups of people revolt.

      That got me to thinking that as television viewing has increased, it has only made people less active and more sedentary. The people who watch this stuff on TV or listen to the radio or read it on the internet are all sitting down at the time, possibly eating snack food. The vitriol is doing more than eating away their souls, it’s eating them away. The natural response seems to be even more sitting, not getting up and planning a physical assualt.

      Loughner didn’t watch TV.

  17. So Palin calls the constitution “our sacred text”?
    Holier-than-thou much?

    Zogby (a Lebanese Christian and on-target as usual) calls it idolatrous and blasphemous before he goes on to discuss the deeper (political) purpose.

    • What is strange is that even while Congress is reading the Constitution, giving it near scriptural status as “sacred text” most Americans, from right to left, have no idea what it is or what’s in it. In the first place it is not “sacred”. It was written by men, and has been changed by men

      So was the Bible

      • “So was the Bible.”

        Can I get an AMEN to that? LOL!

      • Meh. I use that sort of phraseology myself at times, and have heard many fellow liberals do so. How often have we opined that free speech or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure was “sacrosanct”?

        sacrosanct definition: inviolable, must be kept sacred

        It’s a little squeamishly hyperbolic, but not out in lala land, and to call it “blasphemous” is just grasping at rapidly dissolving straws. Zogby ain’t building a raft to float the left away from the shitpile they dug themselves into with THAT thin timber, I can tell you that.

    • It isn’t sacred but it isn’t idolatrous and blasphemous either. They’re both idiots.

      • How’s about it’s (the Const.) sacred in a secular way?

        • Sacred cannot be secular, imo. So likening it to something like God goes too far. But it is entitled to reverence and respect. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise, but unlike things that are, in fact, sacred, we can change it if we want to — and we have added 27 amendments.
          Meanwhile, Zobgy can pretend to be all erudite by calling it blasphemous, but I bet she likes to be able to speak out against the government, and the fact that he can’t be arrested without probable cause (all rights she would NOT have had pre-constitution when the king could have you thrown in a dungeon on a whim because you insulted him).

          • Well, I don’t believe in a transcendent deity (or any other kind) so I don’t recognize anything as sacred in that sense. Apologies if I’ve given offense.

          • But the ability to amend the Constitution is one of the most important parts of the Constitution. Those 27 Amendsments ARE the Constitution. When the House read the Constitution, they didn’t just leave out the uncomfortable slavery parts, they chose to read what is the Constitution of 2011, not the Constitution of 1789.

            That piece of paper sitting behind glass in Washington is not the Constitution, the Constitution is the culmination of two centuries of refinement and dozens of Amendments.

          • LandOLincoln — No apology needed — you didn’t offend me. I actually didn’t express myself properly — I only meant that “sacred” is used too loosely so Zogby is *technically* right that the term is improper, but as WMCB points out people do it all the time & it isn’t a big deal, so Zogby is more of a dick to try to make a federal case about it.

    • So, the Constitution isn’t “entitled to reverence and respect?” I tend to disagree, since Congress swore an oath to defend it and all.


    • She’s partly playing to the 70% of the nation that is Christian…not all fundies, not all right wing. Apart from that though, the proggers have been bleating against the Constitution in recent months…again reacting in knee jerk fashion to the reading on the floor, or to valid Scotus debates. Not sure how that will play to most of the nation though. Most people like the Constitution.

      • I’m both a big fat atheist and a Canadian, and even I’d agree that the Constitution is sacred. It’s an inviolable text that inspires awe and respect and that sums up the core values of a nation. Sounds pretty fucking sacred to me.

  18. Alan Dershowitz, certainly no conservative, has chimed in on the Palin use of the term blood libel and called it perfectly appropriate and definitely not anti-semetic. (Apparently some have tried to tar Palin with anti-semitism over this.) At this point, I find myself concluding that Palin is absolutely not just not stupid but actually a light bulb ahead of just about everyone on the left. Blood libel was deliberately chosen and is provocatively on “target”; like the phrase “death panels” it sends the pundit class into a titanic spin and then sits there on the horizon dominating. Very skillful to break her “silence” on the day of O’s next “best speech evah”. This woman has either political instinct or a media magic button—she knows how to suck the air out of the room.

    • Proggers can’t keep up with her. It’s both sad and ironic to watch because they created her. She would have most likely faded from the national scene were it not for the enormous energy proggers expended trashing her, which she turned to her advantage. She’s a pro at recycling. And progger activists are misogynists. When they recognize and correct that, they will become more effective.

      • If she had been allowed to return to her life, pre-VP race, I imagine she would be Governor of Alaska now. Chances are not considering a run for President.

  19. I have been wondering about the fact that this tragedy occurred on 01.9.11. I have not heard any chatter about this and wondered if it has struck any of you that we have another 911 event?

    • Not at all, nor should it imho.

    • Giffords scheduled her no-security meet and greet a 5-minute drive from Loughner’s home. (He had to take a taxi.)

      I doubt that she had symbolism in mind when she chose the date.

  20. I don’t see anything especially objectionable in the post that was cited. At this point in her career, all I can think of to say is that Pain is loving every minute of being at the center of attention.

  21. Has this guy been properly diagnosed?

    Boo hoo hoo!!!

    The republican victim chorus is in full howl over how unfair it is that their good name is being besmirched with accusations of violent rhetoric.

    Funny thing that, because I remember how they gleefully lied about Al Gore and John Kerry in order to get the Texas Nitwit elected.

    Now that they may be unfairly accused of pushing this guy over the edge they cry.

    • The vast majority of commenters here are not registered Republicans or right wingers. But then you knew that.

    • Perhaps I should have made myself clearer. I was referring to listening to the AM conservative blo-hards, not commenting about anything here on TC.

      But this does bring up a point, if this guy were spouting some sort of Tree Hugging, Antiwar, Save the Little Baby Seals nonsense, the republicans would be demanding sack cloth and ash from any and ever Democrat of consequence.
      The sad part is that they would get it.

      • This line should have had [snark]Tree Hugging, Antiwar, Save the Little Baby Seals [/snark] but I used the less than greater than symbols so it was deleted.

  22. Interesting. Jake Tapper is facebooking this cartoon.

  23. I kind of love watching Taylor Marsh’s head explode.

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