Saturday, October 11, 2008

When Headlines and Facts Collide

The New York Times and other media outlets, like CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, etc., all claim the same basic headline - that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power in the allegations that she fired a state trooper.

Here's the text of the 263 page report that was written by a single individual charged to do so by a partisan hack. 263 pages of essentially saying that Governor Palin was within her rights to do so.

Consider that the report states clearly:
I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
So, if it's within her rights to hire and fire executive branch department heads, where's the ethical breach?

There isn't one. She had the authority to do so, and carried out her obligations. The fact that the report claims there is an ethical lapse, but then turns around and says that there is no reason to sanction Gov. Palin shows that there is nothing to these charges. It is simply designed to embarrass Gov. Palin and score points politically, nothing more.

The headlines carried by the media outlets is where the damage is done. Most people will not read deeper into the story, let alone read the actual report, as folks like Beldar have done. Beldar eviscerates the entire story and breaks it down into its component parts.

I can't say it better than Beldar can:
Here's a note to Mr. Branchflower, who clearly is verbose, but obviously none too keen a scholar of logic: Gov. Palin's so-called "firing" of Monegan (it wasn't a firing, it was a re-assignment to other government duties that he resigned rather than accept) can't simultaneously be a violation of the Ethics Act and "a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority." This, gentle readers, is a 263-page piece of political circus that actually explicitly refutes itself on its single most key page!
This report was produced by a single individual, and the Alaska Legislature did nothing more than have a single 12 member committee of legislators vote to release the contents of this report.

The McCain-Palin campaign has issued a press release refuting the report and pointing out the clear partisan nature of those pressuring the legislature to investigate this matter despite that it was clearly within the rights of the Governor to do.

So, what do we have here? A report that doesn't say what its proponents want it to say in as clear a language as they needed, but a media that is more than willing to overlook the deficiencies to run headlines that claim that Gov. Palin abused her power.

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