10/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

AP Claims Liberals' "Belittling" Palin -- With No Evidence

Here's the lede from an "analysis" piece from the Associated Press:

Liberals sound like conservatives; the right sounds like the left. John McCain's surprise choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate has upended conventional wisdom and brought about a seeming role reversal.

Many liberals are belittling the choice, suggesting that as a mother of five children -- including an infant with Down syndrome -- she has neither the time nor the experience to become vice president.

Naturally, with such a strident accusation -- that "liberals" are actively "belittling" Sarah Palin, specifically on the choices she's made as a mother -- one would expect the author, Tom Raum, to successfully identify one such belittler by name, or at least cite a single example of such belittlement. One would be incorrect! In fact, no examples of any such activity is cited. The first "liberal" quoted in the piece, in fact, is Barack Obama, who says:

"I think people's families are off limits and people's children are especially off limits."

Now over the weekend, I, like many people, read through a lengthy post on Daily Kos, which attempted to present a case that Palin's fifth child was actually the offspring of her eldest daughter. At the time, I felt that the allegations weren't very convincing, and even if true, weren't something that made sense to criticize. (Apparently, the powers-that-be over at DK agrees, as the post seems to have been taken down. Also, it's been well and thoroughly debunked, to my recollection.)

Nevertheless, I haven't encountered an abundance of "belittlement" on the matter. On our site, Lee Stranahan rightly called the post a "hot mess," noting that it was "uncited, breathless, and spins a story that's totally far-fetched." Just like this AP article's lede! Anecdotally, I'd say that most of what I've encountered on the liberal blogosphere on this matter runs in the same direction of Spencer Ackerman's post, here, which begins:

There are many, many, many reasons to be concerned about Sarah Palin's fitness for vice president. A scurrilous and unfounded rumor about her family is absolutely not one of them. Same goes for her appearance. As progressives, we have an absolute obligation to defend Palin when it comes to the same kind of private crap that the right put on Clinton or on John Edwards or any number of others. Some flimsy discussion about "hypocrisy" is a fig leaf for exploitative opportunism.

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