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David Vines Headshot

If It Were Me, I'd Be Embarrassed

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It's nice to see that even after the election, conservatives are still playing the "liberal gotcha media" card every time they expose themselves as being shamefully ignorant regarding the issues they care about most.

Last Wednesday, a media firestorm erupted after a seventeen-year-old girl named Jackie was interviewed by MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell while standing in line during Sarah Palin's Michigan book signing. Jackie, wearing a shirt that read, "The US government handed out $700 billion in Wall Street bailouts and all I got was this lousy t-shirt," was caught off-guard when O'Donnell informed her that Sarah Palin was on record as supporting the bailout.

You can see the exchange below:

It didn't take long for Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck to feature this clip on their respective shows and praise Jackie while condemning O'Donnell for her pesky questions backed up by fact-based research. Then, Jackie was given a platform to tell her side of the story by the blog, Red White & Conservative.

To summarize:

This all started as me, a young 17 year old American going to see a woman I admire and turned into this crazy event hah I'll start at the very beginning.

She had me read my shirt and then proceeded to ask me "Did you know Sarah Palin supported the bailout" to be 100% honest I was like, are you kidding me? She is trying to use my shirt against me. I was so shocked by the craftiness she had that I was truly stumped. I asked her where she got her fact and she read her little note. Then she asked me what I liked about Sarah, and I talked about the Constitution.

In one day I met a role model, and met the liberal media and their crafty schemes. I fell prey to liberal bias, but I'd like to think I did an okay job.

As a fellow high school senior, I feel a strong urge to respond.

This notion that a reporter is being "crafty" and "biased" when they correct factually inaccurate statements is ridiculous. Sure, Jackie might have a point if O'Donnell ran up to her at random and stuck a microphone in her face as she was walking down the street, but that was not the case. This girl was at the book signing of a prominent politician, wore a t-shirt indicating that she had strong political views, agreed to be interviewed, and failed to answer a very simple and straightforward question.

The job of a good reporter is not to ask softball questions or cast everybody they speak to in a positive light. A reporter's job is to collect facts and seek the truth. So, while some may object to O'Donnell's speaking to a seventeen-year-old girl, nobody can accuse her of reporting anything but the facts.

Which brings me to my final point: Jackie is seventeen-years-old, she's not seven.

In her piece for Red White & Conservative, she feels the need to drive home the fact that she's only seventeen four separate times, as if that were some sort of defense.

Now, I understand that much of the electorate is made up of low information voters who don't closely follow politics. That's fine -- it's not ideal, but it's perfectly understandable.

But according to her school profile, Jackie is very politically involved. She is an intern with the Michigan Republican Party and is clearly excited and passionate about what her political "role model," Former-Governor Palin, represents. And yet, when she cannot correctly identify one of Palin's most basic political positions, she plays the victim and blames everybody but herself.

Then, conservative members of the media take the bait and praise her as some sort of Republican hero. They are more than happy to glorify this culture of ignorance and hide behind the veil of "elitism" and "media bias" when anyone approaches them with facts.

All I can say is that if Glenn Beck had heard me express my political views and then assumed that I was a thirteen-year-old, I would not lift the paper bag off my head for quite some time.

*Correction: It has been brought to my attention that Red White & Conservative is Jackie's own blog. It is not, as I had previously written, the blog of someone else who had given her a platform to speak.*