This post has been updated.
In what can only be called a valiant effort, Sarah Palin has defended her monetary policy remarks from the Wall Street Journal's pointed criticism.
On her Facebook page, Palin claims the WSJ reporter who has pointed out a factual error in her speech is himself in the wrong. "Do Wall Street Journal Reporters Read the Wall Street Journal?," her Facebook note asks.
In remarks delivered at a Phoenix convention, and first leaked by the The National Review, Palin criticized the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy, in which the bank will purchase up to $600 billion of new U.S. government debt (as part of a plan that could reach $900 billion), and urged Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to "cease and desist."
As HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour noted Monday, the Federal Reserve operates independently of any other government body, and so political criticism of it is unusual.
Even more unusual were the specifics of Palin's critique: As WSJ's Sudeep Reddy pointed out Monday, she doesn't get all of her facts right. In response to Palin's assertion that "everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so," Reddy wrote Monday that "Grocery prices haven't risen all that significantly, in fact." He notes that prices have actually increased only 0.6 percent over the past year. It's the lowest rate on record -- so low that it inspired a high-profile Twitter fight late last month.
But Palin would have none of it. She wrote in her Facebook note, "That's odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy's own Wall Street Journal titled 'Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices: Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.' She continued:
Now I realize I'm just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper. I'm surprised a prestigious reporter for the Wall Street Journal doesn't.
Reddy has responded to Palin on Twitter, pointing out that she has actually misread the WSJ article she refers to. As Reddy notes, the article's first sentence discusses "the tamest year of food pricing in nearly two decades."
The source of confusion comes in the next paragraph. The article says the cost of goods has risen, a burden that food sellers must decide whether to pass on to customers via prices. The rise in prices hasn't actually happened yet. Palin omits this key fact.
Palin has a journalism degree, so I'm guessing she knows what an ethical no-no it is to misquote somebody like that. It ought to be awfully hard for her to get on her pedestal and condemn the media when she can't even quote somebody honestly. How about to make it up to Reddy, Palin lets a real reporter like him fly out to Wasilla to interview her for once instead of going to her house folks at Fox News?
Sudeep Reddy has responded in the WSJ to Palin's Facebook note. He cites Labor Department data to reiterate that Palin's argument about food prices is not grounded in fact, and he continues:
Weak demand, high unemployment and thrifty shoppers have led retailers to keep many prices from rising despite the rising cost of some commodities, including coffee and sugar. ... Critics of the Fed's quantitative easing policy are focused primarily on concerns about potential future inflation.
Sarah Palin is a news analyst for Fox News, whose parent company also owns the Wall Street Journal.