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FOX News Pundits Overlook Sarah Palin’s Lies While Praising Her Speech To The Hilt

Reported by Ellen - September 4, 2008 -

Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin told a passel of lies during her convention speech last night (9/3/08). But you’d never know it from watching FOX News’ analysis. Not only did the “all star” panel unanimously gush over Palin but even recent Hillary Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson didn’t seem to notice or consider it any big deal that Ms. Holier-Than-Thou seems to have a problem with the truth. Not even after Chris Wallace almost begged Wolfson to say something critical. With video.

Some of the untruths Palin told:

She falsely claimed (again) to have opposed the Bridge To Nowhere. As AP pointed out,

As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

Palin also falsely alleged that Obama had authored no major legislation and wrongly asserted Obama would “increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

Also not discussed in the “We report. You decide” network’s review: That pesky corruption investigation which she is now stonewalling. And just as Palin tried to present herself as an average “hockey Mom,” none of the FOX News pundits brought up her radical views, not even her radical pastor who preached that critics of President Bush will be banished to hell and questioned whether people who voted for Sen. John Kerry in 2004 would be accepted to heaven. And we all know that radical pastors are usually hot topics on FOX News - at least when they preach to Democrats.

Also not discussed, the National Enquirer's reporting of an extramarital affair between Palin and her husband's business partner. Considering how significant FOX News found the National Enquirer report about John Edwards' extramarital affair when he was no longer a candidate, it's more than a little telling that the "fair and balanced" network should remain silent about a similar report on a current candidate.

Mort Kondracke, a supposed Democrat, was the first to comment on Palin’s speech. He called it, “Simply brilliant... incredibly sophisticated and effective. It was derisive of Barack Obama in a sort of a funny way but a very pointed way.”

Conservative Bill Kristol said, “It was terrific.” He predicted the speech would “do in” the criticism against Palin.

Host Brit Hume, FOX News’ Washington, D.C. managing editor, also didn’t seem to think the falsehoods or omissions noteworthy. He enthused, “The poise itself was kind of remarkable.”

Nina Easton, supposedly a balance to Kristol and conservative Fred Barnes (though she’s married to a Republican strategist) was the most glowing. She said, “I think the speech was a home run (though Easton later added it was “a home run in the first inning”)... The barbs against Barack Obama were the funniest (her emphasis) – well, Giuliani’s barbs were pretty funny, too.”

Easton even singled out Palin’s lie that Obama has not written a major piece of legislation for particular praise. “These were really terrific, terrific lines,” Easton said.

Barnes said, “It’s a gift. She’s a natural. You can’t teach this.”

Chris Wallace, another supposedly serious news person, added his own effusive raves. He said, “I don’t think it’s overstating it to say... A star was born tonight, a new star in the political galaxy.”

After a predictably approving Karl Rove came Hillary Clinton’s former communications director and current FOX News contributor Howard Wolfson. Wallace actually tried to prod Wolfson into offering some kind of criticism but Wolfson continued the Palin applause and added his own digs at Obama.

“Well, look, I think Senator Biden’s got to bring his A game when he comes to this debate,” Wolfson said. “She gave a heck of a speech and what I was particularly impressed with was her ability to stick the knife into Barack Obama with a smile, do it effectively. She was very, very good.”

And in case that wasn’t enough drooling over her, Wolfson later said, “That shot at the end with she and her family on the stage, cradling her baby, that was priceless. You can’t buy that kind of imagery. And look, she did a very, very good job. I agree. Democrats have reason to be concerned.”

“You know, we have you here to say something critical, so say something critical,” Wallace laughingly pleaded.

But even then Wolfson couldn’t think of anything. “Look, I don’t agree with her on anything that she said... but in terms of pure political theater and rhetoric, in terms of imagery and stagecraft, in terms of her ability to make a case against Barack Obama and do it with a smile. I thought she was very good.”

Is Wolfson, like his fellow FOX News Democratic Palin admirer Lanny Davis deliberately cheering for McCain so that Hillary can run again in 2012? Are they just hopelessly naïve about the role they’re playing on FOX News? Or are they panderers extraordinaire?

I report. You decide.