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Sarah Palin: WaPo Faces Heat For Running Op-Ed

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:55 PM ET

Palin

Wednesday's edition of the Washington Post features an op-ed by Sarah Palin, who reprises her call -- first made in a Facebook post last week -- for President Obama to "boycott" the major climate talks in Copenhagen due to the "Climate-gate" controversy (actually a non-controversy).

"Policy decisions require real science and real solutions," Palin argued on Facebook, "not junk science and doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that capitalizes on the public's worry and makes them feel that owning an SUV is a 'sin' against the planet."

The reaction to Palin's latest piece, however, is focused not on what she wrote, but on the fact that the Washington Post chose to run it in the first place.

Shortly after the op-ed was published online, Post media reporter Howard Kurtz tweeted that his paper was being "ripped for running Palin op-ed." Kurtz highlighted a blog post whose author refused to link to the op-ed because "[t]hey shouldn't be rewarded with the clicks, which is pretty much what this is about, I figure."

Politico's Ben Smith wrote on Twitter that it "struck me as slightly odd [that the Post] published an expanded version of her Facebook piece." He added later, "I agree she's relevant and boycott call is news."

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder begged to differ with Smith's latter point. "Her boycott call is like a video press release," he wrote. "She's looking for a way to inject herself into this and found it." Ambinder published a critical "annotated" version of Palin's piece, noting at the onset, "Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour."

The response to the op-ed was even more critical from science writers. ScienceBlogs.com's Tim Lambert chose to headline his piece on Palin's op-ed: "The Washington Post can't go out of business fast enough." He pointed out that the Post's own reporting contradicted claims made by Palin in the op-ed. "The Washington Post simply does not care about the accuracy of the columns it publishes," he concluded.

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Filed by Nico Pitney  |