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Palin And Breitbart: We’ve Got A Secret Tape That Proves The Liberal Media Is Out To Get Joe Miller

Reported by Ellen - October 31, 2010 -

On the heels of a big outcry about Andrew Breitbart’s upcoming gig with ABC News on Election Day, he has coughed up his latest suspect tape, this time purportedly showing a group of reporters for CBS affiliate KTVA conspiring how to smear Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller. Fox News reporters have at least twice cast doubt on the veracity of the tape. Yet when Palin told Fox News Sunday’s Christ Wallace that “we have the tape that proves it,” Wallace neither challenged her allegation, reported the other challenges to the tape (including KTVA’s vigorous denial) nor pointed out that the tape comes from the discredited Breitbart whose previous tapes have been proven to be deceptively edited. He did not even ask to hear it.

It was pretty clear from the tenor of the interview that Wallace did not exactly endorse Palin’s claim. In fact, there was an undercurrent of tension throughout.

The 13-minute interview was unexceptional for the first several minutes. Then, at about 5:33, Wallace asked Palin about her endorsement of marginal candidates such as Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller. “In the Delaware Senate race, your candidate, Christine O’Donnell has turned what looked like a sure Republican pick up into a likely loss. In the Alaska Senate race, your candidate, Joe Miller is in free fall when it turned out that he misused government computers and lied about it.”

Palin began to interrupt him, at which point, Wallace said, “Let me finish my question.” Palin responded to that by saying, “Well, hurry up, then, ‘cause I’ve got lots to say.”

Wallace laughed. But her arrogance must have rankled because he zinged her with it later.

First, Palin defended her support of O’Donnell. “Given a choice, I’m always gonna go with the common sense conservative in a race,” Palin said. Wallace never challenged the description of O’Donnell as a “common sense conservative.”

Palin continued, “As for Joe Miller, the things that this fella has had to put up with, up against the GOP machine and the Democrats and the liberal media in Alaska, it’s no wonder that the numbers are tightening in that race.”

Then she added, “Just last night it was revealed that the rally that I had for Joe Miller on Thursday, it was revealed – and we have the tape that proves it – that the CBS reporters, the affiliate in Alaska, conspired to make up stories about Joe Miller. We have the tape, Chris, and I can't wait ‘til it busts out all over the nation to show what it is, that we, kind of what I put up with for two years now with the media, but what Joe Miller is faced with in dealing with somebody who feels – Lisa Murkowski – so entitled to that seat that she and some of her people, including some complicit in the media will do anything. They will stop at nothing to allow Lisa Murkowski to get back (into office).

“Wait a minute,” Wallace said. “You’re saying that local reporters in Alaska conspired with the Murkowski campaign to put out false information about Joe Miller?“

Yes, she was. Palin continued, “I am saying, and we have it on tape, that CBS reporters… in the affiliate up there in Alaska, on tape, are saying, ‘Let's find a child molester in the crowd as a supporter for Joe Miller. Let's blast that. Let's concoct a Ron Paul moment there (I think she meant Rand Paul). Let's find any kind of chaos so that we can Tweet an alert saying, ‘Ooh, there is chaos. Joe Miller got punched.’ That's sick. Those are corrupt bastards, Chris. That's what is wrong with the media today, when they have their chosen one, and nine times out of ten -- heck ten times out of ten in the liberal media, it's going to be the liberal as the chosen one.”

Despite her use of the word "we," Palin seemed to be referring to Breitbart TV's tape. Wallace never asked any questions about who had the tape or whether he could listen to it in its entirety.

Palin went on to accuse Lisa Murkowski, Miller’s Republican opponent, running as a write-in candidate, of getting a conservative talk show host kicked off the air because he supported Miller.

Then it was payback time for Wallace. He interrupted her, “Alright. You told me to get on with it. I’m telling you to get on with it.”

It was curious to me that Wallace had no further comment about what would have been a bombshell if it were true. One can only think that that’s because he knew that the tape is highly dubious at best.

As Raw Story noted, Fox reporter Dan Stringer could find no evidence to back up Palin's allegation that KTVA is running a smear job against Miller. To the contrary, Stringer said that Fox had reviewed some of KTVA’s recent reporting about Miller and “We could not see any obvious signs of bias or hit pieces done by KTVA against Joe Miller.” Similarly, Fox’s Carl Cameron reported that Fox could “not verify” the claim and that Fox had not been able to listen to the entirety of the tape. Fox’s desire to listen to the entire tape is understandable given that Breitbart has previously put forth deceptively edited material. But Wallace did not, apparently, think Breitbart’s history of dishonesty worth mentioning to the “we report, you decide” network’s audience.

Also not mentioned was KTVA’s unqualified denial. As Politico reported, General Manager Jerry Bever said, “While the recording is real, the allegations are untrue… The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”

Methinks that Fox was trying to walk a fine line between a rock and a hard place: not wanting to get burned by Breitbart again but also not wanting to do anything to look unsupportive of one of their star contributors. The result, in my opinion, is that they looked bad on both counts.

We join Media Matters' challenge to Palin that she release the entire tape. If she's going to make such serious allegations then she also has the responsibility to prove them so that the public can review and evaluate the complete record.

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