10/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Media All Over The Map On 'Bridge To Nowhere' Story

UPDATE: A round of thanks is due Homer, Alaska's Charlie Stock, who notes that the original image I provided totally Swift-Boated the wrong bridge! I regret the error. A correct map has replaced the erroneous one.

As all politics are local, it makes sense that the most plainspoken account of VP nominee Sarah Palin's involvement in the famous "bridge to nowhere" fiasco is found in the Anchorage Daily News:

"I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere," Palin told the cheering McCain crowd, referring to Ketchikan's Gravina Island bridge.

But Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it.

The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them "nowhere." They're still feeling pain today in Ketchikan, over Palin's subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for other projects -- and over the timing of her announcement, which they say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news deadlines.

This morning's Washington Post actually takes the story a step further, with this statement, attributed to Palin:

While campaigning in Ketchikan in September 2006, Palin indicated support for the bridge project, assuming there was no better alternative. "This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper," she told the local chamber of commerce, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News.

Again, that's Palin, supporting the bridge. Yet somehow, Post editors gave this piece the headline, "Democrats Say Palin Initially Backed Bridge," and began the story by reporting, "Democrats accused Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday of misrepresenting her role in scuttling a controversial bridge project to a remote island in southeast Alaska." But what "Democrats say" is entirely irrelevant when you have what Palin said staring you straight in the face.

The New York Times went even farther in obscuring the story, which has Dan Kennedy wondering:

So why does the New York Times today weigh in with a weak story, headlined "Account of a Bridge's Death Slightly Exaggerated," that leaves you thinking that maybe she did, maybe she didn't?

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