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Fox News Sunday Helps Make Palin Look More Presidential And Helps Whitewash Her Paul Revere Flub

Reported by Ellen - June 5, 2011 -

While Fox News continues to allow Sarah Palin to remain on its payroll, Chris Wallace and Fox News Sunday today helped boost her potential presidential candidacy and all but declared her a candidate. After a two-part interview in which Palin discussed what a “President Palin” would do regarding economic policy and in which Wallace offered no challenge to Palin’s attempt to whitwash her shocking ignorance of Paul Revere, Wallace gushed about her “boffo performance” and how like a serious candidate she seemed. He also kept quiet as Palin gratuitously attacked colleague Shepard Smith.

The fact that Palin was included at all in Fox News Sunday’s “2012 One on One” interview series was an automatic cred boost for Palin. It was also especially troubling given Palin's continued employment by Fox.

She called our economy a “sinking ship” and later sneered it was “very noble of President Obama to want to stay at the helm and maybe go down with this sinking ship… We don’t have to go the way of the Titanic." So much for American exceptionalism, eh?

Wallace asked, "What would President Palin do specifically to boost the economy?

Palin not only did not object to being called "President Palin," she responded, “What President Palin would do is cut the federal budget…"

At about 14 minutes in, Wallace asked what she was “up to” with her bus tour. You may recall that Smith announced he would not cover her tour because it wasn't newsworthy. Palin replied to Wallace as though only he - and not she - were a colleague of Smith. “Reporters don’t seem to be understanding it. Even your own Shep Smith there on Fox News. He announced the other day that I’m on some kind of publicity tour. I wanted to say, ‘Shep, take it one step further. What am I publicizing on this tour?’ I’m publicizing Americana and our foundation and how important it is that we learn about our past.”

Wallace made no attempt to defend his colleague.

But once Palin brought up learning about the past, Wallace asked, “You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?” He was referring to Palin's jaw-dropping statement last week that Revere “warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms uh, by ringing those bells.”

Instead of explaining and revising her remarks, Palin doubled down.

You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here’s what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that “The British were coming, the British were coming.” And they were going to try to take our arms so we got to make sure that, uh, we were protecting ourselves and, um, shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take ‘em.

But remember that the British had already been there — many soldiers — for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride - and it wasn’t just one ride - he was a courier. He was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, “Hey. You’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not gonna beat our own well-armed, uh, persons, uh, individual private militia that we have." He did warn the British. And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history.”

No, she doesn’t. As Think Progress explained,

If Palin knows her American history, this latest bit of jujitsu shows no evidence of it. The purpose of Revere’s ride was to inform John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and other colonial American patriots that the British Army was marching from Boston to Lexington. As such, secrecy and stealth were essential. So contrary to Palin’s claim that Revere warned the British they would not succeed, Revere attempted to avoid all contact with British troops or British loyalists already living in the colonies. The entire point of Revere’s mission was to inform the patriots of the British movements without the British knowing they were being informed.

At one point in the night, Revere was temporarily detained and interrogated by British soldiers at a roadblock. He intentionally provided them a falsely inflated description of the colonial militia’s strength, though only in the most strained metaphorical reading could this be considered a “warning.”

Furthermore — again due to the need for secrecy and stealth — Revere used no bells or warning shots, and delivered his message in face-to-face contacts throughout the night. (Palin seems to simply forget her creative inclusion of the bells and warning shots in her initial recounting.)

The Paul Revere House, on a web page called, The Real Story of Revere's Ride, says nothing about Revere warning the British against taking away American arms:

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere was sent for by Dr. Joseph Warren and instructed to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them. After being rowed across the Charles River to Charlestown by two associates, Paul Revere borrowed a horse from his friend Deacon John Larkin. While in Charlestown, he verified that the local "Sons of Liberty" committee had seen his pre-arranged signals. (Two lanterns had been hung briefly in the bell-tower of Christ Church in Boston, indicating that troops would row "by sea" across the Charles River to Cambridge, rather than marching "by land" out Boston Neck. Revere had arranged for these signals the previous weekend, as he was afraid that he might be prevented from leaving Boston).

On the way to Lexington, Revere "alarmed" the country-side, stopping at each house, and arrived in Lexington about midnight. As he approached the house where Adams and Hancock were staying, a sentry asked that he not make so much noise. "Noise!" cried Revere, "You'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming out!"

Let's face it, Palin has had enough media experience by now that she ought to know how to handle what she considers an inappropriate “gotcha” question. Also, if she was so confident in her answer, she wouldn’t have been complaining about the question to begin with.

But Wallace let her slide on the whole thing. He laughed and said, “Well, I gotta tell you. I wasn’t sure entirely before I asked you that question so I went on Google to make sure that I knew as much and (he laughed again) and we both know now.”

He never said exactly what it was that they both now knew.

Later, during the panel discussion, Wallace gushed that Palin had given “a boffo performance” during their interview. “It was the first time that I ever saw her and thought, ‘this woman is a serious – if she decides to run – candidate for president and a serious possibility to be president.’”

Wallace addressed his comment to Kimberley Strassel who had written what Wallace called “a tough column” about Palin in the Wall Street Journal the Friday before. Strassel noted that Palin is always a “boffo” performer - meaning that it's substance she lacks.

“She was pretty sharp on the issues,” Wallace interrupted.

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