Media ignore "bridge to nowhere" falsehood in Palin speech, despite having previously flagged it

››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post have previously challenged Gov. Sarah Palin's assertion that she "told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere," but they did not report that she repeated the false claim in her September 3 vice-presidential acceptance speech.

Several media outlets, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, that have previously challenged Gov. Sarah Palin's assertion that she "told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that bridge to nowhere," did not report that she repeated the false claim in her September 3 vice-presidential acceptance speech. Previously, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Post (in four separate articles) had noted that, in the words of a September 2 Post article, "Palin said she told the federal government, 'Thanks but no thanks.'" But, as the Post also reported, "she does not mention that she endorsed the bridge when she was a candidate for governor. And the money did not go back to Washington. It stayed in Alaska for a different road project." While the Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times each had reported that Palin had previously supported the bridge, and at least one of those articles in each paper additionally noted that Alaska kept the money that had been appropriated for it, none of the three newspapers -- in two September 4 articles in The New York Times, two articles in the Los Angeles Times, and two articles in the Post -- reported that Palin's nomination acceptance speech included the falsehood.

Moreover, the claim that she "told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' " is false, not only because Alaska kept the money, but because, as The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby noted, while appropriating the funds, Congress had abdicated responsibility for how they would be spent a full year before Palin was elected governor. Congress authorized funds to be spent specifically on the bridge project in August 2005. But, a year before Palin took office, in an appropriations bill in November 2005, Congress specified that Alaska could but was not required to spend those funds on the bridge; thus, as Somerby wrote, "no one had to 'tell Congress' anything about the Bridge to Nowhere, because Congress had removed itself from decision-making about the project."

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times
Person
Sarah Palin
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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