Howard Kurtz, in accusing Sarah Palin of misstating some facts, misstates some facts:
While taking swipes at bloggers — “probably sitting there in their parents’ basement, wearing their pajamas” — Palin also misstated some facts. She complained to Lauer about “the rumors, the speculation, even in mainstream media, that Trig wasn’t actually my child, that Trig was somebody else’s child and I faked a pregnancy,” calling that “absolutely ridiculous.”
Wow. That misstates some facts?? Has Kurtz taken on Trig Trutherism? Let’s read on:
In fact, no mainstream outlet published the Internet rumors until the McCain campaign issued a statement, during the GOP convention, that Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol was pregnant. McCain officials told reporters they were putting out the news because of inquiries about whether the governor was really Trig’s mother.
First, how does that show Palin misstated any facts? She didn’t say: the mainstream media published scurrilous rumors about Trig’s parentage before we announced Bristol’s pregnancy. She said: the mainstream media published scurrilous rumors about Trig’s parentage. And you people did, Howard. Now you’re acting like you had no choice; as if McCain forced your hand by announcing that Bristol was pregnant.
But in any event, Kurtz is still rewriting history on this issue.
Is the Atlantic not part of the mainstream media? Because Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic most assuredly was publishing these rumors before the McCain camp announced Bristol’s pregnancy.
In this post from August 31, 2008, Sullivan disgraced the Atlantic by publishing rumors that had previously been confined primarily to the fever swamps of the Daily Kos. Sullivan ticked off a number of facts that he found suspicious about Trig’s birth, and referred to “the rumors buzzing across the Internets and the press corps.” He said:
There must be plenty of medical records and obstetricians and medical eye-witnesses prepared to testify to Sarah Palin’s giving birth to Trig. There must be a record of Bristol’s high school attendance for the past year. And surely, surely, the McCain camp did due diligence on this. But the noise around this story is now deafening, and the weirdness of the chronology sufficient to rise to the level of good faith questions. So please give us these answers – and provide medical records for Sarah Palin’s pregnancy – and put this to rest.
It was not until the next day, September 1, that Palin made her daughter’s pregnancy public. I imagine the campaign felt compelled to respond because someone blogging on the site of a mainstream media outlet was chasing the story and giving it an undeserved aura of seriousness.
Maybe Kurtz is hesitant to point all this out because he was part of the ridiculous frenzy himself.
Kurtz should be writing about the fact that Andrew Sullivan, a blogger for a mainstream media outlet, is so unhinged that he still thinks this is a legitimate story, and still pledges to chase it down. Sullivan is certifiably insane, and yet retains his post at a mainstream outlet.
And Kurtz should not say Palin misstated facts. Instead, he should admit that he misstated the facts in this piece.