Sarah Palin's Paul Revere Revisionism, and Other Gaffes

As Sarah Palin's bus tour/"family vacation" rolls on, speculation is increasing that she's using this jaunt to drum up support for a potential 2012 run. Though she is still "weeks off" from making a decision, Dem leaders and pundits are beginning to take the possibility of her candidacy seriously.

Former DNC Chair Howard Dean, for one, told The Hill, "I think she could win. She wouldn’t be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win." Most media outlets are framing his statement as a warning or a sign of fear, but in context he was, simply, pointing out the stakes in the nextelection. 

“Any time you have a contest — particularly when unemployment is as high as it is — nobody gets a walkover,” Dean said. “Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses — my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don’t care what people write about you inside the Beltway,” Dean said.

 Meanwhile, as Palin makes various media stops during her bus tour, she continues to stumble on serious questions related to policy -- not only seeming unaware of the details, but perpetuating outright lies. For Palin's recent appearance on Van Susteren, The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" awarded her "Four Pinocchios" for her lacking grasp on the facts. Those gaffes were some of the most damning evidence in her unsuitability to run the country, but another news bit is getting more attention: Paul Revere.

 Last week in Boston, Palin gave a brief lectureon Paul Revere's midnight ride. Not only was it slightly painful -- "shots and bells" are mentioned and stumbled upon multiple times -- Palin stated that Revere warned the British that they weren't going to "take away our arms," rather than warning the Americans that the British were coming. (Some may recall his fabled call, "The British are coming! The British are coming!") When the media reported her error, supporters took to the Paul Revere Wikipedia page, changing the facts in order to support her defense and adding the very Palin-phrased line, "also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects." That was later deleted, as its cited source was... Sarah Palin. Yesterday, in her own defense on Fox News, she tried to clarify her statement. The Huffington Post:

She says there were British soldiers in the area for years before Revere's legendary ride, and that he was warning them, as well as his fellow colonists.

"Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that 'hey, you're not going to take American arms, you are not going to beat our own well-armed persons individual private militia that we have.'"

She blamed her previous answer on the media, saying it was a "gotcha question."

Patrick Leehey, the research director of the Paul Revere House, disputes Palin's version of events.



In lighter news, a photo of Tina Fey performing on SNL was accidentally substituted for a Palin pic on a national news report. The network? Fox News, to which employees were rewarded with a stern memo, via Mediaite:

Effective immediately, there is zero tolerance for on-screen errors. Mistakes by any member of the show team that end up on air may result in immediate disciplinary action against those who played significant roles in the “mistake chain,” and those who supervise them. That may include warning letters to personnel files, suspensions, and other possible actions up to and including termination, and this will all obviously play a role in performance reviews.

Oops. Just another example of the lamestream media. Or, as Palin might say... gotcha.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at June 6, 2011, 6:12am

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