I think its important for bloggers to lay their biases out in the open.
Particularly if one happens to be a moderate/centrist/independent.
Moderates are supposed to be more objective than their more partisan counterparts. Having said that here's my latest bias. I don't like Sarah Palin. Not one bit. And I don't have a good reason for it. Literally as soon as she came onto my radar the alarms started going off. The last time that happened during a presidential race was in 2000 when W declared his candidacy. So I'm going to trust my instincts about her but for the purposes of this blog try to be as objective as possible.
Having said that I do think that the feeding frenzy the media and blogtopia has gotten in over Sarah Palin has reached unprecedented levels. Certain actions of hers have been misrepresented and then in turn presented as the truth repeatedly
by both liberal and moderate bloggers. In particular the book banning inquiry and subsequent firing of the questioned librarian has been woefully misconstrued. The latest blogger of note to propagate that myth (and others) is Juan Cole over at Salon. His recent post, "What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick" presents several half truths as fact. So below are a list of his assertions contrasted with what FactCheck.org has to say on the same matter.
while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin inquired of the local librarian how to go about banning books that some of her constituents thought contained inappropriate language. She tried to fire the librarian for defying herFact Check:
Palin never asked that books be banned; the librarian continued to serve in that position; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication.Cole:
It's true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla's librarian, on at least two occasions.
Palin never asked that books be banned; the librarian continued to serve in that position; no books were actually banned
Moreover, although Palin fired Emmons as part of a "loyalty" purge, she rehired Emmons the next day, and Emmons remained at her job for two-and-a-half more years. Actually, Palin initially requested Emmons' resignation in October 1996, four days before the public discussion of censorship. That was at the same time she requested that all four of Wasilla's department heads resign.
Palin argued when running for governor that creationism should be taught in public schools, at taxpayers' expense, alongside real science.Fact Check:
On Aug. 29, the Boston Globe reported that Palin was open to teaching creationism in public schools. That's true. She supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor.Cole:
The GOP vice-presidential pick holds that abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape, incest or severe birth defects, making an exception only if the life of the mother is in danger. She calls abortion an "atrocity" and pledges to reshape the judiciary to fight it. Ironically, Palin's views on the matter are to the right of those in the Muslim country of Tunisia,Fact Check:
Palin's stance is even stricter than that of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In 2005, the legislature in Tehran attempted to amend the country's antiabortion statute to permit an abortion up to four months in case of a birth defect. The conservative clerical Guardianship Council, which functions as a sort of theocratic senate, however, rejected the change. Iran's law on abortion is therefore virtually identical to the one that Palin would like to see imposed on American women
Saudi Arabia's restrictive law on abortion likewise disallows it in the case or rape or incest, or of fetal impairment, which is also Gov. Palin's position.
*crickets chirp*(OK, he's right on that count.)
There are real issues that Palin can be taken to task on like fiscal responsibility, accepting earmarks while claiming to be a reformer, CCing her husband on all executive level emails. In fact if you'd like to see a conservative do a fine job of it check out the blog Eunomia over at American Conservative magazine. He smartly points out her faults without ever once propagating a single falsehood. Ultimately that is what separates vetting from sliming. We need more of the former and less of the latter. I may not like Palin but that doesn't mean I don't want her to be treated unfairly.
However at the rate mistruths are being propagated about she may eventually catch up with Obama on the slimed scale. And given how heated things get during presidential election that might be about as fair as blogtopia can manage.
Thanks to Northloop Neighborhoods for linking to this post.