Factually Challenged Fox News Channel Hires Factually Challenged Palin

The New York Times reported that Fox News has hired Sarah Palin as a contributor who "will appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal" and "will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time."  Fox News hired Palin despite her months of pushing false claims and bogus information, including the "Lie of the Year" that the Democrats' health care bill includes "death panels."

Palin reportedly hired as Fox News contributor

From a January 11 New York Times report:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska has signed on as a contributor to the Fox News Channel.

The network confirmed that Ms. Palin will appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ms. Palin will not have her own regular program, one person familiar with the deal said, though she will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time. This person would not elaborate, but the network does have a precedent for such a series. Oliver L. North is the host of an occasionally running documentary series on the military called "War Stories."

Many suspected that when Ms. Palin retired as the governor of Alaska last summer she was doing so to pursue some sort of career in television. The Fox News deal, however, would not seem to be all encompassing, and would appear to give her room for other pursuits, as well.

In past months, Palin has frequently misled public on variety of issues

"Death panel."  In a Facebook post, Palin claimed that under Democratic health care reform, "Obama's 'death panel' " would "decide" whether her parents or her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, were "worthy of health care."  Palin's assertion was based on the widely debunked claim that the House health care reform bill would require end-of-life counseling.  Numerous Fox News personalities subsequently advanced Palin's false claim.  PolitiFact.com named Palin's death panels claim its "Lie of the Year."  During the health care debate, Palin also falsely linked the Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the Senate health care reform bill and nonbinding mammogram guidelines to death panels.   

Palin's memoir goes rogue on facts.  Media Matters for America has documented numerous falsehoods in Palin's memoir, Going Rogue: An American LifeFor instance: 

Media Matters previously documented numerous falsehoods Palin made during the 2008 campaign as Sen. John McCain's vice presidential candidate, including the false claim that as Alaska governor she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the bridge to nowhere and the falsehood that a New York Times article supported the assertion that Obama was "palling around" with terrorists. 

Palin misleads on climate change.  Palin wrote a December 9 Washington Post op-ed calling on President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen conference.  Palin's op-ed advanced several debunked claims about what recently stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia "reveal" about the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, including the claims that climate scientists "manipulated data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals." Palin also claimed that "we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."

Obama's birth certificate.  As Salon's Alex Koppelman detailed, Palin appeared on a conservative radio program and was asked if she would "make [Obama's] birth certificate an issue" should she run for president. Palin replied that "the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue," and that "it's a fair question" to wonder whether the president was born in the United States. She went on to denounce, once again, the "weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son," but then counseled that "maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on [Obama]."  Birthers subsequently used Palin's remarks to promote and legitimize their campaign that Obama was not born in the United States.


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