Actually, Politico allowed guest opinion writers take a factually inaccurate cheap shot at TPM. But Politico still takes the blame. It has control over its editorial content and should not allow outside opinion writers to simply fabricate claims.
That's what conservative Gary Bauer and his co-writer Daniel Allott did in their pro-Palin piece for Politico:
Why Trig has divided America
The premise was rather dubious, to say the least. Palin's newborn Down syndrome son had really "divided" America? There was a large faction that somehow opposed him? That's simply absurd. But Bauer and Allott did their best to prop up the notion. And they even had proof that (liberals) had written nasty things about young Trig:
At Talking Points Memo, an article sarcastically suggested that Palin resigned because "she wants to spread Down syndrome ... because Down syndrome is just too cute to be reserved for one in 800 births."
Wow, an "article" in the highly respected Talking Points Memo trashed Palin and her son in such a derogatory manner? According to Bauer and Allott, that was the case. And the right-wing Free Republic had also recently made that point:
The liberal Talking Points Memo website, which is deemed a respectable political site by the mainstream media which regularly quotes from their articles, published an article last night that speculated Alaska Governor Sarah Palin resigned because "she wants to spread Down syndrome." Palin's infant son Trig was born last year with Down syndrome.
What the heck is going on over at TPM?? Do editors there have no decency?!
Well, if I have to explain how the blogosphere works to Free Republic and Bauer/Allott (and Politico), I will. Sites like TPM have what are called diaries where readers can create their own content and post it online. It is sort of the cyber-equivalent to callers on AM talk radio shows. Meaning, they say whatever they want but nobody thinks the radio talk show host has any control over caller content, and nobody thinks the host is responsible for what comes out of callers' mouth.
In this Palin case, the ill-advised "800 births" comment was posted within a TPM reader diary. It was not an "article." It was not prepared by a TPM staffer, it was not edited and it was not okayed by the site. It was a reader comment. Period.
So why did Politico let conservatives take that kind of cheap shot at a hallmark netroots site?
We noted that yesterday Politico posted a stand-alone news story about the fact that Sarah Palin had posted some tweets about grizzly bears.....That's it. That was the news.
So we'd be remiss if we didn't also note the Politico effort this week to document the ways Obama was losing his "cool." Wafer-thin barely begins to describe the piece, as well as the 'proof' used to back up the pointless enterprise.
The first item:
It started on Monday. Speaking at the White House, Obama was just getting into a sharp defense of his economic agenda when one of the teleprompter screens holding his speech crashed to the floor and shattered into pieces.
Got that? Obama was at some official function and using a teleprompter and then the teleprompter, untouched by Obama, fell over and broke. That's the Politico's first, best evidence that Obama was losing his "cool factor."
And in one more embarrassing incident this week, Obama, a stickler for pronunciation, stumbled over the name of his surgeon general-designate's hometown – and had to ask Dr. Regina Benjamin for help pronouncing "Bayou La Batre."
Oh my. At another one of Obama's endless public functions, he mispronounced the name of a very unusual and foreign sounding town. That was his "embarrassing" incident.
Trust me, after reading this piece it's not Obama who comes off as embarrassing.
Members of the media continue to do their best to portray Sarah Palin, post-resignation stunner, as being "popular." The latest is Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. And yes, you might want to keep in mind that Van Susteren's husband has served as an adviser to Palin.
From Van Susteren's program last night:
And she's still popular! Some think very soon to be former Governor Sarah Palin could be eyeing a run for the White House in 2012. If so, a new Gallup poll is good news for the governor. In a poll of Republicans and right-leaning independents, 72 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Governor Palin. That being said, when given six choices of possible presidential candidates, Governor Palin comes in second, with 21 percent listing her as the top choice. In first place, according to the poll, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Like the New York Daily News did previously, Van Susteren built her case for Palin's popularity around partisan polling that only sought the opinion of people who were already predisposed to liking her. Namely Republicans and right-leaning independents. Honestly, why would Palin not be popular among them?
But in the broader Gallup survey that Van Susteren cited to prove Palin's popularity, when voters across the political spectrum were asked about Palin, a majority indicated they would likely not vote for her for president. And that included a clear majority of independent voters who suggested they wouldn't vote for Palin.
Sort of a new definition for "popular," no?
And just curious, why did Van Susteren run a Palin-friendly, she's-still-popular segment last night when the polling data used as the hook for the discussion was nearly a week-and-a-half old?
Witness his attack last night on The Rachel Maddow Show, in which he claimed he graduated from Georgetown University "as high as [Sotomayor] did" at Princeton, and added, "I'm not qualified for the United States Supreme Court. And neither is she."
But in his 1990 book, Right from the Beginning, Buchanan wrote that after being arrested and expelled for assaulting police officers and subsequently allowed to return after his father, "by personal pleading, had the expulsion reduced," "I was graduated cum laude" [original emphasis] from Georgetown in 1961.
Sotomayor graduated in 1976 summa cum laude from Princeton.
On Wednesday, Media Matters posted a clip from Glenn Beck's radio show in which Beck "Lose[s]" his "mind" and screams at a caller: "Get off my phone you little pinhead!" The clip is burning up on YouTube and is currently ranked the #5 video overall with more than 250,000 views.
The video has even spawned a very funny remix titled: Glenn Beck "Get Off My Phone" Radio Freak Out (Twilight Vampire Metal Remix). Check it out:
Be sure to check out the original clip.
Because apparently it's for sale to the highest corporate bidder.
Politico reports today that the influential ACU solicited a $2-3 million payment from FedEx in return for the "grassroots" group's support:
The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group's endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.
For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: "Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU's Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU's board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)"
Talk about naked pay-for-play. The fact that that goes on is one of the worst kept secrets on K Street. But the arrogance of the ACU's demand does seem shocking. And more troubling is the idea that Hill columnist David Keene may be in the business of auctioning off his efforts to the highest bidder.
How will The Hill justify publishing Keene's column in the future?