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Janet Turley Headshot

Going Rogue with Fact Checking

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It's no surprise that Going Rogue has spun such a widespread reaction. Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure that rarely makes anyone indifferent to her. But when eleven Associated Press (AP) reporters fact check her memoire, it is becoming evident that the liberal media is unfairly giving her the 'gotcha' treatment. Was the same scrutiny extended to Dreams of My Father? If it was, I wouldn't know because it generated nowhere near the blitz of media coverage.

The underlying question is this - Is Sarah Palin's autobiography 100% accurate? Well, no because that's the nature of memory - flawed and solipsistic. Thus, a memoire's veracity has always been tenuous. Ben Yagoda's new book discussing the memoire's recent popularity states "Even when people are trying their damnedest to recount the precise details of some recent experience -- when they're, say, testifying under oath in court -- they get a lot of stuff wrong, often in a way that suits their own desires and needs." George Bernard Shaw went so far as to state "All autobiographies are lies." Palin's book is no different. Neither are the memoires from Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy or even Lance Armstrong.

So why is Going Rogue galvanizing eleven people to fact check it while our beloved politicians remain immune to such skeptical and fault-finding treatment? I don't oppose fact checking any work, but this single-sided onslaught doesn't make anyone look more discerning or educated, but rather like a bunch who can't think for themselves with a predetermined decision to condemn the woman. Such behavior reeks of conclusions being formed before gathering and analyzing the evidence. Whether Going Rogue is complete fabrication is best determined by those that are a part of it, such as Nicolle Wallace. There are two sides to every story and Going Rogue is merely one of them.

What's worse is that the AP doesn't realize that they're shooting themselves in the foot by strengthening her loyal supporters and gathering sympathetic converts. During the election last year, I called registered voters in North Carolina on behalf of the Obama campaign. The first call was unexpectedly a Republican, which incited a debate about the unfair treatment that the liberal media has dealt Palin. And now, a year after the election, even I have joined Team Palin in this debate.

Even those that hate her might have to admit that Palin's backbone is admirably strong. Some could attribute it to narcissism , but any politician who thinks he or she can run a country would have an inflated sense of self. Despite being the target in a relentless game of vitriolic dodgeball, she's a Weeble Wobble who can take punch after punch and always manage to stand up with a smile. As Camille Paglia's said - "I have been thoroughly enjoying the way that Palin, despite all the dirt thrown at her by liberal journalists and bloggers, keeps bouncing back as if unscathed."

As a registered Democrat firmly opposed Palin's political platform, even I have to agree with her Facebook post: "Imagine that. 11 AP reporters dedicating time and resources to tearing up the book, instead of using the time and resources to 'fact check' what's going on with Sheik Mohammed's trial, Pelosi's health care takeover costs, Hasan's associations, etc. Amazing." It's not that fact checking in and of itself is unnecessary, but reserving such intense scrutiny for Palin's book stinks of ill-informed bias. No one has to vote for or like her, but a fair trial should be extended to anyone high profile. The AP is becoming a clique bent on chastising the outsider, and turning me into someone defending the underdog.