9/16/2008

New Op-ed up at Fox News: Media One-Sided in Covering Palin

I really like this piece. I hope that people find it useful. The new piece starts off this way:

Vice presidential choices aren’t supposed to make much difference. Yet, Governor Sarah Palin’s impact is undeniable and extremely large. Twelve days ago, presidential election futures markets indicated that Barack Obama had a 62 percent probability of winning the election. By Sunday, Obama’s probability has fallen to 46.5 percent, with McCain at 52.1 percent.

With the election at stake and Palin so crucial to the outcome, Democrats have sent “a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers” into Alaska. The media has also understandably descended in large numbers in Alaska. Despite Palin’s name being on the short list of potential vice presidential nominees for months, neither Obama’s campaign nor the media were prepared.

Yet, as Hillary Clinton’s own pollster has warned:

“the media is on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don't do that for all four of the candidates, they're on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far has been the biggest loser in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems. . . . I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they're not doing on the other candidates.” . . .

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100 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps there is more critical coverage of McCain's recent ads, because the ads themselves are more problematic? The media coverage if anything seems biased toward Palin- trying to reflect a 50/50 view, when in fact the landscape itself is anything but 50/50.

As an experienced thinker yourself, and a man with a Phd and government experience, would you go to Palin for advice? Barack, Bill, Hillary- these are all highly educated, gifted people who have the potential to do anything.

Can you seriously look at Palin and think the same?

Experience does not really matter, it matters what kind of person you are. Curious about the world? Did you spend your life thinking about world affairs and how to make change? You did, Palin did not.

If you were honest and unbiased, you also would be on the "critical" side.

9/16/2008 3:30 PM  
Blogger Mercedes said...

maybe if she actually talked to the media and said things like "I reduced earmarks" instead of "I am against them" there would be more "balanced" information out there.

9/16/2008 3:33 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous:

I went through the ads and explained why they were accurate, not problematic. If you disagree, please be specific. If you have some evidence that the media is treating Palin favorably, please provide it.

Dear Mercedes:

Cutting earmarks by 64% within one year and promising more reductions in future years sounds like a very promising start to me, especially since she does not have control over all earmarks coming to Alaska (e.g., many go straight to state universities, etc.).

I also did a Google news search on -- Palin "I am against them" earmarks -- and I got zero matches. If you can find where she used this quote in discussing earmarks, please point to that reference. There are many blog posts that seem to paraphrase Palin's comments that way, but I can't find any place where she actually said what you are claiming that she said.

9/16/2008 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought your piece was well written and well informed. I've been googling sarah palin daily since her candidacy was announced and found that the pieces were overwhelmingly negative toward her. I attribute that to either the media coverage on the whole, or to google's presentation of the data. Is google liberal biased?

9/16/2008 4:24 PM  
Blogger Ivars Fabriciuss said...

Hi John

I am from Latvia. Happy to see your analysis. It is exactly the feeling I get when reading about elections in US.

Media picks on Sarah Palin are pure envy and hate, not just biased.

I do not know- because they are just normal family - and that should be stressed - not just Sarah the woman but a married couple who together are more than just a sum of man and woman- while media creates/writes about freaks for a bored public - freaks like many "celebrities"?

Being normal and achieving something seems to be a thing media can not grasp.

Ivars

9/16/2008 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Ricky P said...

Thank you, John Lott - I have been astounded by how the media is constantly fishing for anything that makes Palin look bad, while candy-coating anything that comes out about Obama. He is their golden child. For example: Palin has been criticized standing up for her Christian creationist beliefs, but no one has mentioned the fact that Obama goes to a Christian church. Evidently it is okay to have beliefs as long as you don't stand up for them.

9/16/2008 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When all the hoopla dies down, can Palin really debate the issues? She did not seem to know what the Bush doctrine was and she should have which makes me doubt her knowledge of foreign and domestic issues. Can we afford to have a VP who is so ill-informed? I do not think you will post this as it is not pro-Palin and she needs all the pro she can get. I will not be voting for her and Mc Cain because of their views on abortion as well as our foundering economy, and their failure debate the real issues. Mc Cain and Palin would rather point fingers and wallow in mud-slinging. The Republican platform clearly says - NO ABORTION - and I believe every woman has the right to choose - not some panel of judges or state law. Federal law now gives that right - it was a long hard road to get the right and Mc Cain/ Palin should not be allowed to encourage striking down Roe v. Wade.

9/16/2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I greatly disagree with your article today. You suggest that language in the bill allowing for "sex education offered in any of grades K through 12" automatically means inappropriate references to sex will occur in kindergarten; this is an assumption rather than a logical conclusion, and McCain's characterization as the latter without any additional information is distortion.

Also, media coverage on Palin's real opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere is accurate, as factcheck.org has shown (see http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/gop_convention_spin_part_ii.html)

Finally, you cannot compare the number of stories under a google.com search using "Palin" and "ear marks" versus another using "Palin" and "cuts ear marks" or some such variant and not dramatically reduce the number of news stories; moreover, Google does not capture the radio news which is dominated by conservatives nor many blog sites (also led by conservatives), so using it as a measure of media bias is flawed. Most fundamentally, this idea that the press is fair only when it gives equal coverage to both sides (even when one side is being untruthful) rather than providing accurate context to stories is the very problem with today's media.

9/16/2008 4:39 PM  
Blogger Mercedes said...

Dear John,

I guess I was not disagreeing with you about the one-sided media but this is mainly on things that she has not herself talked about. I should not have put "" on my remarks since I was trying to make a point, not quote directly.

The point is: if she does not talk to the press then one has to paraphrase or take things based on her record. For example, I had seen the video of her saying that the war on Iraq is a mission from God, read that she tried to ban books and is pro-life to the extreme. Only after speaking out to the media do we learn what she meant about the God and Iraq comment, that indeed she is pro-life to the extreme but that is her personal opinion but respects other opinions, that she did inquire about banning books but it was just a rhetorical question and nothing was banned. After this interview, this was clarified and well reported by the media.

I still do not know what the media can report about her views on women's policies such as FMLA leave, domestic violence, etc. because she does not talk about it. All media can do, I suppose, is look at her record as mayor and governor. Otherwise one could only write about her family and children (which btw I think should be out of this) or the ebay thing and old boys network comments because that is the only thing she talks about but does not really offer anything else of substance.

In short, I think the media is one-sided when she does not provide the media with answers. Otherwise I think the media just reports on what her record shows, which in many cases seems to be the opposite of what she claims (fiscally responsible yet leaving Wasilla with 22 m deficit, for example). The alternative would be knowing NOTHING about a person that might even become a president. Mind you, when she did speak to the press, it clarified a lot of things going against her, at least it did for me, thanks to the media reporting of it.

9/16/2008 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. There is finally some honest reporting being done about Sara Palin.

9/16/2008 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin is entitled to her beliefs - I think they should be separate yet she supports teaching creationism in our schools - but not sex ed. Her idea is "abstinence" which she could not sell to her own daughter - so do you think she can sell it to America? Women of America need to wake up to learn what she is all about - and it is not about women's rights, the economy, global warming(oh, that is manmade?), health insurance for all. Once again, you will probably not post this as it is not a pro-Palin comment

9/16/2008 5:10 PM  
Blogger TheSmartBlogger said...

Totally agreed with the analysis of this article of John Lott. The media is afraid of criticizing a black. If they appear to be KIND to a black, they think they will be regarded as KIND human beings.

9/16/2008 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin's did an ncredible interview even on ABC, the All Barrack Channel, with Charlie Gibson I think all of American will now agree that expertise is overrated. Gut instincts, being tough,and being decisive,and not blinking are all far more important than actually knowing things.

Our new savior of the GOP, Sarah Palin, is the one who is finally waking everyone up. Sarah is serious about foreign policy. Sarah is serious about cutting taxes. Sarah is serious about an energy policy drill, baby, drill

She has it all. She is honest. She is a religious She is incurious . She is anti-science. She may be inexperienced, but Sarah works from the gut and places a greater value on instinct than knowledge.

Sarah he is supremely self-confident to the point of not recognizing how ill-equipped she is to lead the country. And this drives the liberal elite media like Gibson crazy.

Palin’s willingness to go to war with Russia says more about her than anything else so far. The liberals kept telling us there was a reason why for sixty years both nations bent over backwards to avoid all-out war: they said there would be no winner. Notorious softy Nikita Khruschev once observed that if there was a nuclear exchange "The living would envy the dead."

Palin will show those Russians that Nuclear Winter is followed by the bounty of Nuclear Spring and the balmy warmth of Nuclear Summer

Palin is the antidote to all those pointy-head resume thick elitists who inhabit Washington.

She is clearly a common sense straight shooter.

9/16/2008 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please.

The media ate Palin up with whipped cream, just like they did Obama. Any press is good press(and she got a lot of it, both positive and negative) so let's tell it the way it is, OK?

The media delved into EVERY aspect of the Clintons' lives while giving Bush a "free pass" on nearly everything - until now, when it's too late.

"With the election at stake and Palin so crucial to the outcome, Democrats have sent “a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers” into Alaska." - this has been debunked.

- A Reporter

9/16/2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

Mercedes said...

maybe if she actually talked to the media and said things like "I reduced earmarks" instead of "I am against them" there would be more "balanced" information out there.

AMEN!!!!

How do you hide & deceive everyone you possibly can and then you complain because you don't get "balanced coverage"

"country first"

that is the biggest BS I have heard in a long Long LONG TIME!!!

9/16/2008 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) It is unfair to not mention that there are at least 3 Bush Doctrines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Doctrine):
1 - Preemptive Strike
2 - Unilateralism
3 - Treatment of Detainees (as Enemy Combatants)
Rightly or wrongly, a bookish knowledge of these is not a requirement. If that was the case and the President had listened to our book-keepers, the US would have withdrawn after the 2006 mid-term elections and lost the Iraq War - a war that Biden voted for. Instead, our "dumb" and "gut-driven" President ignored the many nay-sayers, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff (WPOST), opened a back-channel inside the Pentagon and came up with the Surge Solution - a solution that even Obama has now reluctantly acknowledged as having 'succeeded beyond the wildest expectations'. And in so doing, our "dumb" and "gut-driven" President created monumental doctrines, some far greater in importance than, say, President Clinton's.

(2) It is unfair to not quote that the Alaska National Guard (http://www.akguard.com/), under the leadership of Governor Palin, held joint border exercises with its Russian counter-part over the course of the last 2 years. Please also quote her follow-up response, something like: 'It brings up the neighbor's perspective that we live in a small world; that Russia is not far removed, but right next door.'

(3) It is unfair to question Governor Palin ability to handle her job and her family while also praising Biden's commitment to riding the train for 2+ hours everyday and returning to work soon after his wife's fatal accident (Obama thus praised him in their first introduction).

(4) It is unfair to question Governor Palin about her teenage daughter's pregnancy without also not questioning Obama about his teenage mother's pregnancy when she had him at 18 (Obama).

(5) It is unfair to argue that Governor Palin by putting her family on the convention stage cannot rightly protect it from the media, when the same protection is extended to Obama's 2 daughters.

(6) It is unfair to accuse Governor Palin of charging her state monies without also emphasizing that she charged less than legally allowed, and much less than her predecessor (WPOST).

(7) It is unfair to make simple per capita funding comparisons between Alaska and Illinois given that Alaska's infra-structure is not as developed, but when developed it will benefit capita in many more other states because of its rich natural resources.

(8) It is unfair to claim that Governor Palin linked Iraq with Sep 11 when she linked it with Islamic Fundamentalists, like so: "...defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans" (ABC).

(9) It is unfair to publish articles belittling Governor Palin's choice for a down-to-earth hair-salon while also keeping mum on Biden's hair-plug (NYT).

(10) It is unfair to not carry a story of equivalent coverage emphasizing that the infamous State Trooper is still employed as a State Trooper even after threatening the family of the sitting Governor, given Union Policies.

(11) It is unfair to not carry a story of equivalent coverage debunking the false claim that Governor Palin banned books from her public library (including popular ones like Harry Potter's).

(12) It is unfair to not present the full quote by Governor Palin wherein she explained her religious belief as a personal matter, and how she believes, like many of us, that "everything happens for a reason" (albeit God's reason).

(13) It is unfair to not carry a story of equivalent coverage outlining the lack of executive government experience of Obama and Biden, and how neither has ever balanced a budget nor questioned about balancing a budget, unlike Governor Palin's 2.

(14) It is unfair to not carry a story of equivalent coverage investigating the many national benefits of the $40 billion pipe-line project, the biggest infra-structure project in North American history, and the creative solutions executed by Governor Palin undermining the grip of the 3 Big Oil companies.

(15) It is unfair to not investigate the sources behind the attacks by the bloggers, falsely claiming that Governor Palin's son was her daughter's child.

(16) It is unfair to not contrast performances in political interviews from both sides, like Obama v Rev. Rick Warren and Obama v Bill O’Reilly’s.

(17) It is also unfair to not extend similar privacy to Governor Palin's daughter when the media complied with Al Gore's request to not publish reports about his son's dope-bust in early-2000.

(18) It is also unfair to not carry a story of equivalent coverage investigating the lies of the Obama campaign ad alleging that McCain opposes Equal Pay for Equal Work when in fact he does not - he opposes extending the statue of limitation when the descrimator is dead.

9/16/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfair to present the question facing the electorate as "Is Governor Palin the best choice?", when the real question is "Is Governor Palin the better choice?". I do not believe that she is the "best" choice, but I do believe that she is the "better" choice. Infact, Obama is better qualified to be our Vice-President than Governor Palin.

Obama has written 2 books, all about himself, one or both as a State Senator at a fairly young age. It lends credibility to the often-repeated Republican charge that many Democrats are often so self-driven that they can acknowledge nothing greater in their actions (not just words or letters).

I sincerely believe that actions speak much louder than words, and therefore, and solely therefore, McCain and Palin trump Obama and Biden.

9/16/2008 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

# Democratic Party War Room http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4mKWceq0vY
# The Lying King Sarah Palin Parity Voice Over http://copiousdissent.blogspot.com/2008/09/lying-king-sarah-palin-parity-voice.html

9/16/2008 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of LOPSIDED, your article certainly tips the scale. You present no counter-argument to your own, and it's obvious that this is because there is more support for the information presented by the "other side." There are not many por-Palin articles to be seen because she isn't really earning them.

Obama does not want to teach kindergartners about sexual intercourse, but about sexual assault. What caring and loving parent would object to that? Its so sad how such a tiny tidbit of information can get so twisted around when the Republican Party has been feeding straight faced lies to its supporters about HUGE NATIONAL ISSUES like energy and foreign policy experience over the last two weeks. Your article is beyond weak.

9/16/2008 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

"Anonymous said...
Perhaps there is more critical coverage of McCain's recent ads, because the ads themselves are more problematic? The media coverage if anything seems biased toward Palin- trying to reflect a 50/50 view, when in fact the landscape itself is anything but 50/50.

As an experienced thinker yourself, and a man with a Phd and government experience, would you go to Palin for advice? Barack, Bill, Hillary- these are all highly educated, gifted people who have the potential to do anything."

It is true that Obama, having attended elite schools, has packaged himself well to appeal to the highly-educated.

However, most of what he says, on reflection, is vacuous nonsense, so only "intellectuals" will truly believe it.

"Change?" "Hope"? "Racial Healing"?

Give us all a break!

9/16/2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Fourth Anonymous:

The point was clearly that you can't teach about the sexual transmission of the different sexual diseases without some discussion of sex itself. If you can do otherwise, please let me know how. I would be really interested. This seems like something clearly outside the discussion of sexual predators. If not, please explain.

As to the Bride to Nowhere, yes she initially supported it, but you would think that someplace in the media that there would be a mention that the Alaska Democratic party was saying that she killed the bridge.

Dear Mercedes part 2:

There is plenty of information that the press has been given that supports the position that Palin dramatically cut earmarks. The campaign put this out, it is also part of the public record.

As to the "FMLA leave, domestic violence, etc.," I am sure that she will be doing more and more interviews. She has another one today on Fox. She gave ABC two full days of access to her. The interviews with ABC were open ended in length. They could have asked more questions if they wanted.

As to Wasilla, there is a big difference between a debt and a deficit. She left the city with a debt because they build the building. Everyone does it that way regarding capital projects. You borrow money to buy your house. The coverage on that is just dishonest, because I am sure that the reporters have talked to experts who explain this to them if on the small chance that the reporters didn't know that themselves.

Dear Sixth Anonymous:

Your comments are a prime example of the misinformation in the media.

Palin does not support teaching creationism in schools. She said that it is a topic that students should be allowed to raise and for the issue to be discussed, but even then she said it was a local issue and she wasn't going to mandate even that be the case.

Palin did not oppose teaching contraception in schools.

Dear Seventh Anonymous:

Thanks for the sarcasm. 1) She is smart. 2) What she said about going to war was simply saying that we might have to go to war if one of our NATO treaty members was attacked. That is what the treaty obligates us to. If you don't like that in the NATO treaty I guess you can complain to Harry Truman and the other Democratic presidents since then who have not tried to change the treaty.

Dear Eighth Anonymous (reporter):

Any good may be good news, but as I have shown before in a piece that I did for Fox, Biden got a lot better coverage from the media than did Palin.

As to the mini-army comment by the WSJ being debunked, please provide a reference.

9/16/2008 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your article, and I'm a supporter of McCain/Palin.

However, I found your distortion of fact a blatent lie that only adds fuel to Obama's criticism.

I know how to research bills on "thomas.loc.gov". And in the Obama bill S.1790 introduced on 7/16/2007 there is no mention anywhere of "K through 12". The only references to grade state "secondary school", and the minimum age mentioed is 13.

So, again I find your article to be inaccurate by including within quotes that which did not appear in the referenced text.

9/16/2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

1) It was legislation proposed while he was in the Illinois state Senate. Not federal legislation.
2) I provided you the link in the piece. Please follow it. It is from the Illinois state legislature.
3) I guess that I am quite dubious that you are really a McCain supporter, but I will let others judge that for themselves given how inaccurate about points 1 and 2.

9/16/2008 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Dear John Lott,
I feel that your article was exactly what you criticized against. It was one-sided and so are you. She intially supported the bridge, because she was forced to, not because she wanted to. Where has the money gone? For her to spend.

Yes she says that we will go to war if anyone attacks NATO, but guess whom she wants into NATO? Georgia and Ukraine. My God, when, NOT IF, they become part of NATO, we WILL go to war with Russia "without blinking." Without blinking? War with Putin? Do you truly think that she has right of knowledge just because in Alaska, she can see Russia?

Can you actually and truly say that you want McCain/Palin to run this country for 4 years? Will you entrust your children's lives to them as Russia could possibly start another Cold War and as China grows into dominance over the United States? I cannot, and I'm not even within voting age yet.

Please refer to http://marklevinshow.com/gibson-interview/.

9/16/2008 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, thank you Mr. Lott. I loved the article. An aside, I live in Illinois. Not once did "downstaters" benefit from Obama. We are experience radical levels of unemployment and are rapidly becoming a welfare state. I hate to say it, but even though I am pro-McCain/Palin, my vote will not matter because Illinois ALWAYS goes democrat. Even though it will not count, I would never vote for this man. Check his proChoice rhetoric. The man supported a proChoice bill in Illinois that allowed late second term abortions. (Sorry, I can't find the link right now and I need to get kids to bed.) In any case, I am proChoice, for the record, but I am not pro murder and if the baby is born breathing, it's a life. Obama supported a law that would not have differentiated. Illinois has some of the most liberal laws in the nation. Trust me, it isn't getting us anywhere. Putting this guy in charge of the country, no thanks. I want to know where the national media is when it comes to his Illinois record. Why aren't any Illinoisians being asked questions. We, particularly those of us downstate, have a lot to say.

9/16/2008 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Lott, your Google news quotation searches are ludicrous.

I Googled the phrase "Jesus was lachrymose" along with Lazarus, and got only one match, from a 1908 book, when we all know that Jesus wept when he saw Lazarus dead. Imagine that.

Palin's misleading claims in regard to the Ketchikan bridge tell me everything I need to know about her.

9/16/2008 9:09 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Andy:

Having the Ukraine and Georgia become members of Nato has been US policy for a decade. Democrats in Congress have supported this. Hillary Clinton supported this during her presidential campaign:

http://www.ukrainians.ca/content/view/298/2/lang,en/

Did you get this upset when the congressional Democrats or Hillary Clinton supported this?

9/16/2008 9:15 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

I am not sure what a general google search on "Jesus was lachrymose" (weeping/causing tears) and Lazarus proves. We are talking about news searches over common terms using a Google news search over a recent time period. With thousands of news hits, we know that the stories are there. The point is what the words are in those stories. If I wasn't finding the initial news stories, you might have a point. Do you understand the difference?

9/16/2008 9:52 PM  
Blogger Palin for President said...

The media's plan to bring down Palin will backfire when Americans put Palin in the White House.


http://sarahpalinforprez.blogspot.com/

9/16/2008 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am more ashamed of the women in this country. We pretended to fight for equal rights for women in the work place, but when the opportunity arised, like in Palin's case, women are the one that tried their hardest to destroy her. It is very clear that Palin has more qualification for a VP than Obama for a president. If anyone believed that Obama can be a President than they should not ignore the facts that Palin can be a better president. Obama is nothing but big talks. He called Palin a PIG, and McCain an Old Fish infront of thousands of people and refused to admit it when he got caught in his lies. His audiences knew that he lied when he said he only referred to Bush policy. This guy must think his audiences are so stupid or maybe they are, who knows?

9/16/2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger ericanl51 said...

I am sick and tired of Republicans claiming that the media is treating Palin unfairly. The public has every right to know who they are placing one heartbeat away from the presidency and the media is the only means we have of finding out about her. The party knows she cannot answer the tough questions and that is why she is shunning the press. Every other candidate has been on shows like Meet the Press answering all the tough questions that help us decide if she is ready to be president. As with her troopergate
investigate, she will not cooperate and let us find out about her policies and who she is.
We can only assume that she indeed, is not ready. The media should be calling her out on this as welling as calling out McCain for choosing such an inappropriate
running mate.

9/16/2008 10:52 PM  
Blogger ericanl51 said...

I would like to know why you won't post people's comments that you disagree with.

9/16/2008 10:57 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear ericanl51:

I do post the comments, with the exceptions of those that use a lot of swear words and are extremely abusive. This is however a moderated forum and posts don't go up instantly. It just took me a while to post the newest comments.

As to your comments, I have no trouble having the media critically evaluate candidates. My concern in the piece was that the media did not provide very balanced or accurate coverage and I tried to measure exactly how this coverage was biased. If you disagree, please provide a concrete discussion of why you think so. Thanks.

9/16/2008 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Gehrke, the DNC's research chief, e-mails to say that Democratic staffers have not traveled en masse to Alaska to join the Sarah Palin hunt.

"Not a single person from DC or Chicago has traveled to Alaska to do research," he writes. Not a single Obama staffer, not a DNC staffer, not a hired gun, he says.

Local Democratic operatives are helping out, and Obama has a field office open, he said, but John Fund's report of an "army" of 30 officials being airlifted to Alaska are false.

From http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/09/dncobama_operatives_flood_into.php

- A Reporter

P.S. You didn't cite any source until I questioned your flat statement. Also, the VP has 2 roles - breaking a tie in the Senate and stepping in for the Prez in case s/he can't perform his/her duties. So saying "Vice presidential choices aren’t supposed to make much difference" shows ignorance (or deliberate misdirection) on your part. As an unknown quantity she required close scrutiny. That's what the media is for.

9/16/2008 11:14 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous (Reporter):

The sources for all statements in the piece are in the links embedded in the piece. Just click on the colored words and you will be taken to the web page upon with the statement in the piece are based. Sorry, I thought that the links would be clear to most people.

As to the information, the WSJ reporter, John Fund, has stated this several times now that he stands by his reporting (I have also seen him discuss the point in interviews). However, I will email Fund and see whether he still stands by his report and see if he can provide additional information.

As your claim that I am ignorant, the statement that the "Vice presidential choices aren’t supposed to make much difference" was in a paragraph regarding the outcome of elections. And the rest of that paragraph clearly says that it is her pick as VP that has greatly impacted the race dramatically. From that discussion, how do you get into a discussion of me not recognizing the constitutional role of VPs? Can you please try to justify your claims?

9/16/2008 11:54 PM  
Anonymous John C. said...

We all know what we are watching...you can argue, lie ,spin all you want. The media thought conservatives were excluded from the presidential race and with the introduction of Palin a tidal wave was released. The media and hollywood, in a collective snear have openly and brazenly reviled Palin and showed the world they are hostile, vicious (just read the blogs), condescending and bigoted. It's been put on display for everyone to see. Keep it up...a landslide in November and Matt Damon I don't think I'll ever watch one of your movies again.

9/17/2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger richard o. said...

I googled "state of alaska killed bridge. I got this from a democatic website.
"Gov. Sarah Palin said the $398 million bridge was $329 million short of full funding, and only $36 million in federal funds were set aside for it. She said it was clear Congress had little interest in spending any more money for it and that the state had higher priorities. [State abandons Ketchikan 'bridge to nowhere,’ Anchorage Daily News, 9/21/2007; Don Young's Way, Wall Street Journal, 2/7/2006]"
It also states that Senator Stevens threatened to resign if the Senate took money away from the bridge and redirected it to Hurricane Katrina repairs.
Senator Murkowski mother is co-owner with her three siblings of a 35-acre parcel of land on Gravina Island. The plot is valued at $245,000 and is within a mile of the bridge’s western end. While critics charge that the bridge would increase the value of their property, the Murkowski family has taken umbrage at any suggestion of impropriety. Murkowski called her family’s undeveloped Gravina parcel “a worthless piece of property.” [Don Young's Way, Wall Street Journal, 2/7/2006]mother
What is interesting is this site is all about TED STEVENS. RETIRETED it at the very top of the page. When this page was quoted, it was taken offline. Later it was put up with another web address. Take a look. It can be found at http://www.retireted.com/category/real-estate/gravina-bridge/
It appears that what Mr. Lott says is true. To outright state a untruth is a lie. To leave out part of the truth is still an outright lie.

9/17/2008 12:26 AM  
Anonymous EA said...

"The media, though, has done more than simply subject Palin to questions not given to the other candidates." Weren't questions similar of this given to Hillary Clinton? Conservatives constantly grilled her and tried to discredit her and told her that just because she was a woman didn't mean she could be excused from tough questions. Why is Sarah Palin all the sudden excused from tough questions?

9/17/2008 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Governor Palin has the intellectual horsepower of a box of rocks. Period. I don't understand why anyone would support such an unqualified, closed-minded, womens'-rights-opposing, incurious candidate. It took her 6 years and 5 schools to graduate college. She worked as a sports reporter, for God's sake. Is no one paying attention? It's embarrassing, folks.

9/17/2008 1:23 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear EA:

The quote at the beginning of the piece that noted that Palin was not being asked the same questions was from Mark Penn. Mark Penn was Hillary Clinton's pollster and chief campaign strategist. If you disagree with Hillary's top campaign adviser on whether Palin is being treated differently, possibly you might want to take it up with him. The sentence that you quoted was based on that statement. The point of my piece was that the media is protecting Obama and misreporting information on Palin. What is wrong with any of my examples?

Dear Last Anonymous:

When will Obama release his grades from college? I for one would be extremely interested in seeing them because I would guess that they are no where as high as you think that they are.

As to Palin, she had to pay her own way through college. She had to pay everything herself. She also didn't feel that she fit in with the first couple of colleges that she went to. So big deal? She probably got a very good education and took a lot more diverse set of classes than most people.

9/17/2008 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought,

You keep citing that the news releases are biased when using your google searches, but I find you google searches to be biased itself. It seems you ignored most boolean formulas when searching for negative articles and used much more detailed searches, including more boolean when searching for positive articles on Palin.

You seem to also omit many facts that cannot be disputed. Such as her intent to place a bounty on wolves which had to be overturned by the State Judge.

I guess wolf killer doesn't paint her in a good light either, so lets not mention that.

If you are a Palin supporter, good on ya. But don't disguise yourself as being unbiased.

reference: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/187170/alaska_pays_bounty_to_kill_wolves.html

9/17/2008 1:39 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

If you have a specific logical error that you think that I made in my searches, please point to it. If you look at my past op-eds that do these types of searches, you will see that I frequently use Nexis to do the same searches and that qualitatively the results are usually similar to what I get with Google News searches.

As to the wolf hunting, I have studied this issue more than a little bit and I am not sure that I understand your objection. This type of population control is used for many species to prevent the normal boom and bust cycles found in nature. Animal populations expand until their food supply runs out and then the population crashes. Starvation seems like a nasty way for animals to die. Having starving wolves would also generate other problems. What is wrong with this type of animal population control?

9/17/2008 2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you check your first sentence? They have already debunked that.

Update, Sept. 10: After this article was posted, the Obama campaign contacted us to say that John Fund's article is wrong.

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, Sept. 10: John Fund's claim that we "air-dropped" 30 lawyers into Alaska is false. No one from the Obama campaign or the DNC has been sent to Alaska. We've asked Mr. Fund for a correction.

factcheck.org

I believe that your comment about the sex education is misleading too. You say, "How can you teach how to prevent these different sexually transmitted diseases without getting into some details about sex?" It seems one-side because you don't mention the first sentence, "No pupil shall be required to take or participate in any class or course in comprehensive sex education if the pupil's his parent or guardian submits written objection hereto, and refusal to take or participate in such course or
program shall not be reason for suspension or expulsion of such pupil." Do you think that talking about sex is age appropriate for a 5-6 year old? I would guess that that wouldn't be age appropriate. I would assume that they talk to the kids about being touched incorrectly.

Obama is often quoted as saying that when it comes to sex education in public schools, “it’s the right thing to do ... to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools,” placing an emphasis on the word "appropriate." But Obama has also said he does not support, "explicit sex education to children in kindergarten."

factcheck.org too

I won't argue how this can be taught my position is that participation is voluntary. In addition, the legislation used to say "K6" before it was amended. Did he support the legislation before or after the change? Finally, it isn't uncommon to support the majority of a bill but due to politics you end up with stuff you may not agree with. You have not in my mind proved that this isn't inaccurate.

Lipstick gate - I listen to the speech. He preferenced the remark by saying John McCain. The main reason that people drew a parallel is because yes, Sarah made the joke a couple of days earlier. The AP comment is one person interpretation. The fact that other people believe that's what he meant doesn't make it true. That's sort of interesting. Actually, that what the Republicans do, they believe that if someone says something over and over it must be true. I have a bridge in Alaska to sell you, wanna buy it? I own it, I own it, I own it...

Man, you really leave out stuff. Luckily, you do site your sources. The Political reference, "Though on a day when..." It also says, "The crowd apparently took the "lipstick" line as a reference to Palin". Speculation. You said first but I don't see any other points.

Bridge - the article says that she killed it because of lack of funding. Ok, she gets credit for killing a project that she didn't have the funds to complete. After reading this extra tidbit about Ted, I don't see that much extra value because yhey still got the money! It just wasn't specifically tied to that project. I must have a different meaning of killing a project. If I kill a project, I would expect to get the money back. In this case, the project was killed but the money was still given to them. This is misleading at best.

Your article seems to lack recent facts.

9/17/2008 3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John,

You asked:

"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” How can you teach how to prevent these different sexually Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV.” How can you teach how to prevent these different sexually transmitted diseases without getting into some details about sex?"

Seriously? You don't get this?

Perhaps you need to take a class yourself.

Kindergarteners and other young children are taught about BLOOD and SALIVA transmission in an attempt to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, for while this is a sexually transmitted disease, I would expect someone as educated as you are to know that it is also spread through bodily fluid contact [though there is no evidence it is spread through saliva, other diseases are.] Kindergarten and other elementary school teachers warn about how to deal with playground accidents that involve blood loss, scraped knees, etc, loose and lost teeth, sharing glasses, etc. Comprehensive sex ed for kids of this age is completely PREVENTATIVE and it's all about self-esteem, health and not being taken advantage of by others. Are you REALLY against this?

As a kindergarten teacher, I am always saddened to see young people I taught to be interested and engaged in knowledge of the world grow up to actively seek to be ignorant, and to keep others ignorant as well. Given that the program in question had a no-questions-asked opt out clause, there is absolutely NO excuse for making it sound like a bad thing. It's this sort of distortion and lies that make independents like me outright FEARFUL of a McCain/Palin administration, which seems willing to bring us more of the lies that have gotten us into the horrific state of affairs we are in right now.

9/17/2008 3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it so necessary to always place such 'spin' on Palin? As a conservative, who unfortunately voted for Bush the first time, but certainly not the second time and one who voted against Clinton the first time but voted for him the second time--I look at the candidates and the issues. Everything, and I mean everything that I have read about Palin has not endured her to me in any way. I think this is a dangerous woman, lacking experience and character. And the media should vet Palin. It is not the media's fault or doing that she was under investigation for abuse of power. It was not the media who said that she was against earmarks or the Bridge. The speech writers wrote it but Palin could have refused to say it--she did not. Unfortunately, it appears that Ms. Palin is lacking in basic character and this conservative will now support Obama, based on Ms. Palin's lack of experience and character. You may spin it however you wish, but facts are facts.

9/17/2008 3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked at the pictures of your search queries. There were quotation marks enclosing your queries which returned very few stories, but there were no such quotation marks enclosing the search queries which returned a lot of results.

Verdict: You are either a Luddite, or intentionally trying to mislead. And, you have just lost McCain another swing vote.

9/17/2008 4:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey john lott,

why is this piece and discussion all about palin and not mccain? i thought mccain was the one running for president, here, no? the fact remains that if you are a politician, you open yourself up for criticism just as much as a celebrity in the lime light. if the media has been one sided, that is purely a by-product of mccain picking a running mate who nobody has known anything about.

9/17/2008 4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey john lott,

why is this piece and discussion all about palin and not mccain? i thought mccain was the one running for president, here, no? the fact remains that if you are a politician, you open yourself up for criticism just as much as a celebrity in the lime light. if the media has been one sided, that is purely a by-product of mccain picking a running mate who nobody has known anything about.

9/17/2008 4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Mercedes is confusing a McCain quote with a Palin one. On 'The View' last week, Barbara Walters said about Sarah Palin, "She also took some earmarks." John McCain replied, "Not as governor she didn't."

It's easy to google up that whopper.

9/17/2008 5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an observer of this American Election from Africa, I must say that never have I seen such a spectacle.
McCains choice of Palin as a VP was a brilliant strategy.
The press have indeed savaged her.
Does one not think that Palin's people knew this would happen? er..Palin has a degree in Journalism.. She is strong enough to take the hits from the press. She is far from 'punch drunk' and will 'not blink' on her mission to get to the White House.'
-Obama's VP, Biden has had little or no press coverage. Hillary, where are you?
-Obama, the, 'intellectual', should stop digging up dirt on Palin and focus on his original message. Yet, he is flummoxed and has veered off course, instead of 'getting down' to the people.
Palin, 'intellectually incapable' or whatever, is no fool, and will continue to taunt the press, simply because that keeps her in the spotlight and awards her a pseudo 'celebrity status.'
People, wake up and phone Nelson Mandela for some advice! ;-)
Peace out.

9/17/2008 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin's views on pregnancy and sex-education are very open to criticism. How can you say that only abstinence education is what work, when in her own family you have an example of its failings?

Isn't the definition of insanity trying the same thing and expecting different results?

There's this view that the media should be deferential to Palin, but why?

9/17/2008 6:12 AM  
Blogger maina mwangi said...

One thing we are all clear about is that we don't know much about palin but check out what those who served with her as mayor have to say
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/17/palin_mayor/

9/17/2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Melissa Owens said...

Dear Mr. Lott,

I, too, have been very disappointed in the media's coverage of Sarah Palin. That, coupled with the Hollywood celebrities trashing her on a daily basis, just makes for a disgusting, frustrating situation.

Thank you for your very well-written piece on this matter--it summed it up nicely and with substance to support it. I also appreciate that you post responses to comments to your blog--sometimes it's frustrating for me to read comments on articles that are so clearly in error but are never refuted.

Keep up the good work! I'm now a follower of your blog and will support it on my own blog!

9/17/2008 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

First off thank you for the article. I have a few things I'd like to say. First off to the person who stated negatively that Palin changed schools and took 6 years to graduate college, what exactly is wrong with that? As a collge student myself I have often thought about changing schools, however have only stayed because I would like to graduate as soon as possible. Palin made the decision to have a better experience at a different institution (multiple times it would seem) instead of having a horrible experience and finishing in 4 years. I for one see nothing wrong in this. Secondly the whole Gibson interview discussion of the """Bush Doctrine""" is ludicrous to me. (mult. quotes are on purpose because that's how I feel about the term) I'm not sure how the term was coined; Did Bush say it? Did the media invent it. Is it in the dictionary. Perhaps I'll look stupid for saying this but I seriously had never really heard this term used until Gibson said it during the interview. In fact I would have had much the same reaction Palin had. And I'm a Political Science major! I know all about the Monroe Doctrine, but not this new-fangled media invented doctrine (I may be wrong here, please correct me if i am; I'd like to know the origins of the term). perhaps i'll visit the wikipedia article about it (since wikipedia is so reliable...) Palin has indeed been treated unfairly, however I'm still unsure about her as a vp candidate.

-Joe S.

9/17/2008 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed in your story and your coverage. If you remember corrected, when Barack Obama was running for the Democratic nomination, many stories were published about him. It is what happens with a new name and a new face.
That Sarah Palin should get any different coverage, would in fact be unfair.
There are too many inconsistencies in her stories, her history and I personally want someone who will be thoughtful and considerate about decisions, not just make them spur of the moment. That fact that she "didn't blink" tells me that she didn't weigh all of the factors and the impact on herself, her job and her family. All of those things should be considered, man or woman, when you are putting yourself up for the second highest job in the country.
I hope and pray that McCain and Palin are not our "go to" guys. Although I respect the service that John McCain has given to our country. I completely disrespect the way he is running this campaign.
Check out factcheck.org and politifact.org to see who is lying and who is not. Those are both independent organizations reviewing the advertisements and statements of the candidates.
Also, The Tax Policy Center will show you the impact of the two tax plans on your pocketbook. The most glaring difference is how much those in the upper tax brackets are rewarded:
Income 227-603K Mccain 7,871 Less Obama 12 more in taxes paid
Income 603k + McCain 45,361 less Obama 115,974 more in taxes paid

Obama is willing to pay more taxes himself, while McCain wants to pay less. There is something wrong where you already make 603 K and you get a tax break of considerable size while the middle class gets much less.

I truly believe that when one reviews all the facts about both candidates that our citizens will do what is right for this country and vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

9/17/2008 9:37 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 3:04 AM:

You have the word of a investigative reporter at the WSJ versus an official in the Obama campaign. While the Obama campaign official's statement is interesting, Fund has stuck by his story.

Sex education: Possibly you don't have a child in school. But to have your child excused from these sex education classes means that the student must leave the class and go to some other part of the school such as the library. There is a social stigma on students who have to leave the classroom and very few students do it, much fewer than I believe parents who object to what is being taught. In any case, Obama is claiming that he wasn't for having 6 year olds taught about sex, not that it was "voluntary." If you have some evidence that he was for this but that his defense is that it was "voluntary," you should provide it.

Lipstick -- I suggest that you listen to the speech again.

Dear Anonymous at 3:06AM:

If you are going to teach children about "sexually transmitted infections," you are going to have to define sex for them. Note the word "including" when referencing HIV. HIV was not the entire list. Are you really claiming that 6 year olds are taught about contaminated blood supplies and not sharing needles and that is what constitutes sex education? The fact that you are teacher and are "saddened" when students are not taught your view of the world is quite a concern to me.

Dear Anonymous 3:17:

You are a conservative and you voted for Clinton?

The media should vet Palin. That doesn't excuse the selective reporting of facts. Possibly I will do another piece on McCain, but Palin has been important in this campaign and I thought it was worthwhile to investigate how the media has examined her.

Dear Anonymous 5:44AM

Mercedes quote was not made by either Palin or McCain. You can rewrite it, fine. McCain has already said that it was a misstatement. She cut the earmarks by 64 percent in one year and promised further cuts in future years. That seems like a good start and shows a fair amount of determination. Do you not concede that?

Dear Anonymous 6:12AM:

Palin does not support abstinence education only. Your claim is simply wrong and disturbing.

Dear maina mwangi:

Here is a woman who gets 70+ percent of the vote from Wallisa. How hard did Slate have to work to find everyone they interviewed being critical.

Dear Joe S.:

I agree with you about changing schools. It seemed to me that she had a lot more experiences by doing this than most young people. For someone who grew up in Alaska, it was probably also a nice way to see other parts of the country.

Dear Anonymous 9:37AM:

Do you understand the difference between the amount of coverage and how biased that coverage is? Look at the work that I did on the first day coverage of Biden and Palin and you will see the difference there.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,414943,00.html

9/17/2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fourth anonymous here, John. In response to your reply, I would merely point out that the language cited does not require sex education at all in Kindergarten, since the operative word is "any." As the father of a 5 and 7 year-old, I understand the concerns around sex education occurring too early but do not share your concern that the language cited would lead to high school sex education classes occuring before five-year-olds. I also take issue with your argument that you cannot warn your children about sexual predators without giving them an early lesson on the birds and the bees. I have already warned my two children about molestation by using language like "inappropriate or uncomfortable touching" and "private parts" without revealing the gory details of human reproductive physiology. That you cannot envision such a successful separation of these two very different issues is surprising. If you'd take the partisanship out of the equation, I think you will find your conflation disappears as well.

9/17/2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fourth anonymous here again. Some STDs are transmitted in pools (e.g., chlamydia) while others can be passed via non-sexual contact as in wrestling (e.g., HSV). You can talk vaguely about inappropriate touching or exposure of "private parts" with very young children and not talk about sex. I have done this. My friends who are also young parents have done this. I do not understand the objection from the Right, nor your contention that I cannot warn my children against the dangers of communicable diseases without having a premature discussion about sex. Please explain how my personal experience and anecdotal knowledge of parenting is off-base...

9/17/2008 12:28 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

Nice thread, I have enjoyed.

Couple small points I would like to add.

1. On youtube this morning I watched where a reporter asked Johm McCain's 90 year old mother and his daughter if maybe Bristol had needed more sex education. I personally found that offensive. As a gentleman I believe that was an attack on John McCains fanily and on Sarah Palins family.

2. To the person who believes that sex education is for blood and other body fluid transfers on the playground. Go observe one of these classes to kindergarten. Oh yes, if you are allowed to, since most schools have policies against observation.

9/17/2008 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, fourth anonymous one last time. On the bridge to nowhere, I had read about what the AK Dems had said somewhere on the web. Don't remember if it was off a mainstream media site or a conservative blog, and I won't say that MSM coverage on this issue is complete. But I don't know how the comment of one or more AK Democrats contradicts the fact that Palin's "thanks but no thanks" comment about federal money is highly misleading, if not completely false. But for political pressure the bridge would have been funded on her watch, it seems fair to say. And, in any case, Palin kept the federal money and deployed it in other projects, many in her home town. Hardly "no thanks" to federal money...

9/17/2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous eh2zed said...

To all about the Bush Doctrine.

Charles Krauthammer waqs the first to use the reference to the Bush Doctrine pre 9/11 quote " I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine."

Full article here
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202457_pf.html

When Charlie Gibson doesn't know what he is refering to, how can you expect Sarah Palin to uinderstand the question?

9/17/2008 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ray, if you can't observe the kindergarten sex ed class, given the school rules you cite, then how do you know there is a problem with the school rather than a problem with right-wing radicals making up an issue that isn't there? How many schools are teaching the birds and the bees to 5-year-olds?

9/17/2008 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the lipstick on a pig speech: Is it possible you only got one Google hit on the crowd chanting “no more pit bull” because it only happened in Rush Limbaugh’s mind? I don’t hear it. Granted, I’m listening to a free clip of the speech at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdccOJVT1CA and not the Rush subscription version linked to in your article. Can you really hear the chant yourself?

9/17/2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really surprised that most of the readers that have responded negatively missed the point of the entire story....the media is obviously biased in favor of No Bama. In the end it is not going to matter....McCain is going to win in a landslide and the libs will be tormented for another 16 years (8 for McCain and 8 for Palin). Matt Damon...."how do you like them apples". Thanks John for a great read!!!

9/17/2008 3:58 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 3:13PM:

The question is: why should sexually transmitted diseases be taught to 5 and 6 year olds? How can you discuss this without getting into sex issues? Whether it is 5 or 6 year olds or those from 7, 8, or 9, why is this an appropriate topic? Sure, tell kids not to talk to strangers. Tell them not to let people touch certain parts of their bodies. Put the legislation that Obama pushed went well beyond that.

Dear Anonymous at 3:53PM:

"Is it possible you only got one Google hit on the crowd chanting “no more pit bull” because it only happened in Rush Limbaugh’s mind?"

If you look at the link, the hit that I got was for U.S News and World Report. I tried listening to all the youtube clips, and that took a long time, but they all cut off immediate after the dead fish comment. In any case, you have three other quotes from reporters saying that it was obvious to the crowd or about the staff's statements. Tapper went and interviewed people in the crowd and they said that was what they thought Obama was referring to.

9/17/2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, you appear not to be a parent of small kids. In California, the 4th graders know what oral sex is, and they did not learn about it in the classes that conservatives are objecting to. At what age, in your opinion should children be aware of the risks of STDs? I think the sooner, the better--especially if you do not need to explain sex to make them understand communication of disease by touching.

Also, what does "pushed" mean when you refer to Obama's support of this law? Did he author the passage in question? I thought he said that he was for knowledge to help prevent or alert authorities of molestation and to address STD transmission (something that requires child education) but that he was not in favor of sex education. I have stated that the two are separable and have given concrete examples. You have (repeatedly, redundantly) said that they are not separable (my counter-examples notwithstanding), perhaps merely because STD and sex education both have the s-word in them, but you have neither refuted my example nor offered a viable alternative other than doing nothing. With due respect, are you going to offer a rebuttal or just keep repeating yourself?

9/17/2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The youtube link that I provided runs for more than 10 seconds beyond the stinky fish comment.

Also, the US News & World Report story quotes NBC as saying the crowd chanted "No more pit bulls" at an Obama event; not necessarily during the Lipstick on a pig speech. I ask again, have you heard the chant yourself?

9/17/2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

I have five children. While the oldest is almost 21, the youngest is still in grade school. I may have talked to my children about sex when they were young, but it is hard for me to see the point of discussing how diseases are sexually transmitted to 5 and 6 year olds or even somewhat older children. What is the point? You mention oral sex, but I hope that I can convey to my children who are in single digits that they shouldn't have oral sex without going through and explaining how sexually related diseases are transmitted. Please explain why we should explain to children how diseases can be transmitted sexually.

9/17/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger Bob Macauley said...

Loved the article. Appreciate your truth and bias detection.

9/17/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could be a legitimate difference of parental experience, but I personally found that my son only stopped putting his fingers in his mouth when I explained to him that such behavior is putting "bugs" into his mouth that give him colds, flu, fever, runny nose, etc. And I remember the mass rush to the bathroom to protect toothbrushes after Reader's Digest ran the piece a while back that described in gory detail how human waste from the toilet rises in a cloud of invisible mist and lands on bathroom sinks and counters and contents as far as ten feet away.

Saying that you can keep your "privates" clean and healthy by keeping them private is hardly sexually explicit but can help to address the ignorance that propogates much unhealthy behavior. We are lucky to be living in one of only two centuries in all of human history that understand the germ theory of disease. Conservatives should not understand the importance of knowledge in combatting such rampant health problems as underage, unprotected sexual activity. If war offends the sensibilities of liberals, they are deemed wrongheaded because of the realities of national defense; so why are conservative policies that seek to slow the transmission of health-related knowledge not viewed in the same light? Especially, when you can address the health issue (thereby reinforcing the message) without offending any but the most prudish sentiments out there.

9/17/2008 4:58 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 4:37PM:

I listened to the youtube clip and it ends when he says that is the choice you have in this election. Sorry, but it is all part of his discussion about lipstick and death fish rotting. I will continue to look for a clip and please if you find one, let up all know about it. Thanks.

But what do you think of the audience applauding right after the first part of the pig joke? The tape is long enough to surely show that. Right? Why are people reacting when they are if it were not for them thinking about Palin? Why did the members of the crowd tell Tapper that they thought that Obama was referring to Palin?

All these points reach the same conclusion: the audience clearly thought that Obama was referring to Palin. Is there really any doubt at all in your mind that the audience thought that? Did Tapper, the AP, and the tape that you point of the crowd cheering when it did have any other interpretation?

9/17/2008 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's me again, "Anonymous at 3:06 AM." My name is Sandra, and if I could have put that without registering on your site, I would have. Maybe that's why so many of us are anonymous, not because we are unwilling to have our names used.

What is clear is that you do not wish to alter your opinion when presented with facts or the knowledge of people on the front line of an issue you do not understand. I have THREE kids in school, and I absolutely understand the benefits and down sides of any opt out program. I am a Christian, and I opted my kids out of a program that teaches creationism in public school, even as the founders claimed this meant we "didn't believe in God." Sometimes you have to teach your kids to do what you believe is right.

I would be happy to send you the kindergarten curriculum that we teach, though it appears that facts don' matter. Comprehensive sex education under third grade does not even mention anatomical terms. It does not explain to the degree you keep insisting on that sex has to be taught. If you actually LOOKED into this you would see, like the lipstick on a pig comment, it's not true.

We teach kids to keep their hands out of each other's mouths, to not suck on the water fountain, to not touch blood spilled on the playground, because it could make them sick. We also teach that they do not have to be afraid of classmates or other people with HIV/AIDS if they follow these rules. We do not call it a sexually transmitted disease, because it would not be "appropriate" and this disease can be contracted in many nonsexual ways. We teach kids not to let people touch them in places that make them feel uncomfortable, and how to say no to people who try. We teach them stranger avoidance and to report to their parents any behavior that makes them uncomfortable.

This is the same kind of curriculum Illinois was trying to adopt. Yet you keep insisting Obama wanted to teach seven year olds about sex. It's a LIE. Period. It's false, misleading garbage that distracts from the real issues.

If you're such a believe in McCain and Palin, can you not show some strong and detailed plans they have presented to get our economy going? Oh--that's right. There are none. So instead you are harping on a made up issue trying to paint Obama as a sexual predator.

This is what I mean by being disappointed by the educated youth of America turning into perpetuators of garbage and ignorance. It's not MY worldview I expect people to embrace--it's being able to tell the truth from fiction, and not soil the world by adding lies to the air.

SANDRA WELLINGTON

9/17/2008 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Sorry, but it is all part of his discussion about lipstick and death fish rotting.” Does that mean you actually heard the chant during THAT speech? If you did, it must have occurred long after the lipstick-on-a-pig line, and would hardly be an audience indicator of a piggy connection to Palin. Where in the speech did the chanting allegedly start anyway? You provide a link to Rush Limbaugh’s subscription website but not everyone is willing to pay for a peek.

I'm having trouble finding more on the Tapper quote you provided about audience members telling “reporters that they thought Obama had been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s” lipstick line. I tried several Google searches on the quote in whole and in part, and got nothing except your article. I’d like to know how many audience members told reporters they thought Obama was calling Palin a pig.

And yes, there is another interpretation. The audience may have been cheering about McCain’s rhetoric of change being merely the same-old same-old. After all, that’s what Obama had been talking about immediately prior to the joke.

9/17/2008 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now he's responsible because the audience laughed?

SO WHAT?

If Sarah Palin is going to be VP or Prez. she's gotta prove she's as tough as she says she is. I wonder, to be frank, how many folks like you would be loving her if she looked like Olympia Snow, a Republican with impeccable ethics and a vast knowledge of the world. It's not sexism that's at play here--it's the politics of pretty. And the racism that Obama has faced makes the pig comment vanish by comparison. For 19th months this guy has put himself out, telling us his plans, whether you like them or not. So many people claim to "not know enough about him yet." Sarah Palin appears like a Disney princess, with no national experience whatsoever, and she's a new saint. How vapid.

The real "ISM" on display here is SMARTISM. We have become a nation of dummies who want our president to be like us, rather than picking the SMARTEST person for the job. Compare Obama's schooling with Palin's need to hop to half a dozen colleges to get a BA in journalism. Compare the speeches he writes and delivers with the canned script she gave at the RNC convention [and then lied about the teleprompter.] Listen to her interview with Charles Gibson where she contradicts herself in the same answer, and doesn't know what she is talking about. But to point this out is SEXIST. No, it's SMARTIST.

I want a president who knows what the hell he or she is talking about. I picture Sarah doing her Hockey Mom speech at the G7 or the UN and I am feeling the same embarrassment I felt when Bush W was shooting off his mouth about "dead or alive" or "Bring it on" when we were in a serious war that he started with false intelligence. The insistence that Dems are picking on Sarah is another sign of trying to prevent an unprepared person who, while bright, is not smart, from once again running the world. You have a PhD. Do you really want to see this person in the White House? Because the stress of being prez is going to kill John McCain--cancer loves stress. So you better be ready to work with Sarah at the top.

9/17/2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

Nothing is new here. These are the points that I made in my piece. You continue to evade the points. Obama says that he is "amazed" that people could possibly think that he was referring to Palin, when his audience thought that was exactly who he was referring to. You don't try to explain the comments made by the audience to the reporters. You don't try to explain why they started laughing as soon as the term lipstick was used before he even got to the punch line. You have four pieces of information that all point to the fact that his audience and staff were thinking that he was referring to Palin. You need a better response than you are giving and you need to address these points squarely.

9/17/2008 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah. Maybe if Palin was a known entity, or maybe if she stopped consistently and repeatedly lying about her involvement with the bridge to nowhere and earmarks, she'd be alot less newsworthy.

McCain asked for publicity, and he got it. Well deserved.

9/17/2008 7:49 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 6:52 PM:

The Tapper quote is here:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/obama-says-mc-1.html

9/17/2008 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Dawn Hapeman said...

The myth perpetuated by the media is that Obama is qualified and ready to lead this country, while Palin is not, when in fact Palin has more experience serving in government positions than Obama. Palin has been serving since 1992as a councilwoman, then two terms as mayor , then nearly two years as governor for a total of sixteen years service. Obama does not that kind of time in, nor have near that day to day experience of leading, making daily decisions, caretaker and ceo of the "peoples" money as Palin. What are we to do as a people with the bias of the media? For one thing, I imagine, is to recognize that it exists, that at least leads to questioning what we read and hear. Even listening to my local radio news doing a 60 second broadcast requires good listening; the bias is so suttle, it can be a word, a phrase inserted here or there, or an inflection, but it is there, it is insidious. It is like being brainwashed if one is not always on guard for it. I think that it can and may be happening now in society causing people to become cynical. Maybe it is just me seeming cynical to me.

9/17/2008 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is inane. Thank goodness the rest of the country, seeing it for the distraction and crap that it is, has moved on.

So you, Mr. Lott, know not only what Obama was thinking when he listed all the policies John McCzin had in common with George Bush and then used a common political aphorism that McCain has used over and over, and one of his advisers named a book with--YOU KNOW he was referring to Sarah Palin. You KNOW what the audience was thinking when they laughed, so the statement itself, which is pretty funny, could not have been what made them laugh? And even if they did read Palin into it, SO WHAT? Even McCain says he doesn't believe it, but thank goodness we have you to keep babbling about it.

SO WHAT? Barack Obama has been called far worse than "Pig" by the McCain campaign.

Since you can't tell the difference, here is a quote, and you can attribute it directly to me. And it absolutely IS intended to insult Sarah Palin, because her snide comments belittling Obama in her convention speech deserve it, in my opinion. Let me show you how it's done, if Obama had really been trying.

"Sarah Palin says the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick. Hmmm. Well, she's saying a hockey mom is a female dog--what's the other word for that? Oh yes. I guess she's right after all."

THAT's a direct insult.

I cannot believe you are STILL wagging this bull. Thank goodness the bubble has broken, and Palin has lost 10 points of approval in three days. The lipstick is gone, and people are now able to see what's under the makeup.

Keep blogging about it, though. It's a good use of your PhD.

9/17/2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous 7:49PM:

I wrote that it is understandable that Palin would get a lot of coverage. The question is: why is the media coverage so incredibly overwhelmingly negative? Take the bridge to nowhere. Don't you think that some story someplace would quote the Alaska Democratic party crediting her with killing the bridge? Don't you think that some of the news stories could mention that she cut earmarks by 64 percent within one single year? She opposed earmarks and she cut them dramatically, but the media acts like she is a big earmarks supporter because she wasn't able to cut it by 100% in one year.

Palin has never lied about the bridge to nowhere. You have quotes from the Alaska Democratic party that I quoted in my piece. Sure they took down the web page as soon as she was nominated, but why did the Alaska Democrats credit her with killing it? I referenced other evidence. Do you deny these quotes from the Alaska Democrats?

9/17/2008 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing the Tapper link. It did indicate that some audience members made a lipstick connection, but they didn’t think Obama was calling Palin a pig.

I’m still curious about where the chanting comes into play because it doesn’t seem connected to the lipstick-on-pig remark.

9/17/2008 9:22 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous 9:22PM:

Boy, that is a stretch. First, Obama claimed that he was "amazed" that anyone would link his discussion of lipstick with Palin. If you actually read my piece, you will see that is what I was referring to -- Obama's claimed outrage that anyone could make the link to Palin's comment at the convention. Tapper's quote shows that Obama's audience in fact drew that exact link. Either you are dishonest or you didn't read what I wrote.

I have given you links on the chanting. You don't want to check fine, that is your choice. You have four different pieces of evidence all making the same point. Any of them should be enough to make it clear that Obama's amazement was completely misplaced.

9/17/2008 9:31 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Amazingly almost none of the commentators here even try to respond to the fact that the data shows how incredibly negatively the media treats the Republicans compared to the Democrats. I take that as evidence that no one can deny that the media is much more negative on the Republicans. The most that is responded is that Republicans apparently deserve this negative treatment, but my point is that the media discussions can't even ever mention some of the most basic facts that defend her. Why won't the media ever mention the Alaska Democratic party saying that Palin killed the bridge to nowhere? The media might disagree with the Democrats, but why not mention it? Why won't the media even mention that within one year that she cut earmarks by 64 percent? Yet, she is consistently attacked because she didn't cut it by 100 percent.

9/17/2008 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Amazingly almost none of the commentators here even try to respond to the fact that the data shows how incredibly negatively the media treats the Republicans compared to the Democrats."

La la la la hopey changey!

Seriously though, you have to understand that being a liberal means being morally superior. The side of the political spectrum that brought us "No justice, no peace!" and "By any means necessary!" is not concerned with appearances of objective impartiality. Nor are they concerned with accountability for biased reporting.

9/17/2008 10:03 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

How can you say the media has been more negative to Sarah Palin, and then assume her instant popularity came about by sheer fate? Are you watching the same media that I am? You are arguing your perceptions, not facts.

How do you define "killing the bridge to Nowhere" as:

1] the Alaska congressional delegation, under Sen. Stevens, head of the Appropriations committee, gets $232 million dollars set aside for the bridge

2] Palin, when asked whether she supports the bridge in the gubernatorial debate, says she will of course support the efforts the congressional delegation, "The window is now–-while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist"

3] When Congress revolts, even Johm McCain cites the bridge as an example of a wasteful piece of pork, Palin "kills" the bridge--but KEEPS the money!! The Congress did not approve those hundreds of millions of dollars to build OTHER bridges and roads in Alaska--BUT SHE KEPT THAT MONEY ANYWAY.

So how is this "killing" anything noble?

If you are my neighbor, and my husband negotiates a thousand dollars from you to build a mutual fence, and you decide not to build it but to use the money on landscaping, do you think you have done something noble, since both projects have 'upgraded" your yard?

MY MONEY and YOURS went into Alaska projects that DID NOT EVEN COME UP FOR REVIEW IN THE NATIONAL BUDGET. How is this ethical? Why do you expect the people of the US to cheer that the bridge was never built but the money was never returned?

EVERY presidential and vice presidential candidate is grilled by the media. The three men went through various stages of scrutiny in the campaigns. Palin seems to be getting a lot, but only because she came in from left field. If she had been berter vetted, maybe they would have had better talking points to support her in the GOP campaign. But to assume that the media ASKING the questions about her record is one-sided in ridiculous. She already got a bye from the candidates--Obama and Biden immediately declared her family off limits. Yet there she is, parading them around for political points, while anyone questioning them is out of bounds. Yes, it's one-sided--in her favor.

I saw the comment that Obama should be asked to explain his own conception, given his mother was 18 years old. He, of course, mentioned this when explaining why he considered Bristol Palin off limits. Talk about your crazy stuff--his mother married young and had him. Do you really think he has something to explain, while the governor, whose abstinence policies are under scrutiny, does not?

Yeah, the media is one-sided--but not in the way you claim.

I'm done. This is stupid. I'm going back to watching the financial mess unfold that is a direct result of John McCain's Commerce Committee;s deregulation stance, as well as the other IMPORTANT issues. See you at the debastes.

PS--By the way, a lot of conservatives voted for Bill Clinton's second run, including me. Back then conservative meant something very different than it does now. Now it's synonymous with HYPOCRITE.

9/18/2008 1:25 AM  
Blogger Tundrascout said...

Mr. Lott,

You missed one.

How about how many articles that cover the ethics complaint she filed against HERSELF vs the ethics complaint later filed by the AK Troopers Union?

It sure is a media witch hunt.

One more thing. Somehow it was determined that the bridge was going to cost around 400 million. It was at this point that she decided to kill it (ABC Interview)People were working on proposals, investigating and performing other work to carry out the pre-planning which required funds from the state. Those federal funds assisted in paying the state BACK for the feesibility studies to come up with that 400m figure, money well spent to prevent the pork barrel spending in my opinion.

9/18/2008 4:02 AM  
Anonymous Obama For President said...

When discussing the issues, Republicans will say yes, McCain is right on the issues. Democrats will say Obama is right on the issues. I feel getting into a debate on issues and arguing over who is more right than the other (especially in blogs) can at times be counterproductive. Certainly it has the potential to be productive, though in the end, generally speaking, opinions will always be divided.

So one way to get around debating on many of the issues is to limit myself to just one – the concept of term limits, for my argument on voting a party other than Republican in office. Simply due to Bush’s failure as president over the last eight years, another Republican in office – especially McCain – for the next four, won’t be any different whatsoever and will be disastrous to our economy and security.

If you’re an independent or an undecided Republican and if all of the arguments you’ve heard continue to fail in helping you make a decision, consider this: I believe it would be wise to make a switch and put a Democrat in office this time around. It’s been eight long years since the Bush administration first took the seat, and I believe it is healthy, just like term limits are healthy, to now rotate toward the other party. We need to show the world that Americans are not stubborn people and that we realize it’s up to us to do it differently this time, and not have a repeat of the last 8 years of the failed Bush administration. I am actually a registered Republican, but that is an easy fix.

Now if you insist on debating issues, I’m not going to talk about Palin’s far right ring fundamentalist religious fanaticisms, nor am I going to discuss her incompetency to be president if the need should ever arise. As far is McCain is concerned, I’m not even going to give a mere mention of his out of touch ways and his inability to offer us viable solutions to problems we are currently facing. If we must discuss the issues, let’s limit it to the one most important necessary for our prosperity and survival – the economy.

Money, being the fuel of economy, has to be spent by the people. The majority of the current workforce and those who have the potential to enter the workforce is the middle class and those who are not there yet (90-95% of all Americans). The Republicans tend to support the upper class. It only makes sense for the wealthier to pay more taxes to the government so that the government can have the capital it needs to introduce it to areas that need the support – the financial, energy (green), and homeland security. The budget has to be balanced again. Our infrastructure across the board needs to be upgraded and maintained. Arguably, our economy took the first hit during our market correction of the late 90s/early 00s and the second on 9/11. The Republicans’ priorities have been elsewhere since. With an improved economy, we will all be safer and our quality of life will be enhanced.

And finally to those Hillary Clinton supporters, for this election, it’s time to vote for the the antitheses of the Republican party, the one she is supporting. Vote Democrat. Vote Obama.

9/18/2008 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how do you explain all the well-respected, conservative Republican commentators like Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and David Brooks lining up to state that Sarah Palin is not qualified to be VP, let alone president? Are they part of the liberal bias too, or maybe are they just on to something?

9/18/2008 12:18 PM  
Anonymous JohnnyxL said...

As a VP candidate, if you hide from the media and not make yourself available, the media will rightfully slaughter you. Neither party can have it both ways. How much do we hear about Joe Biden? (I can hear an echo)
The fact is that the type of press she is getting, she deserves as an unknown, and that type of press is giving energy to the base of the GOP.

Also, your Google based analysis is COMPLETELY WRONG and cannot be used as empirical data. I can understand how you wanted some 'quick numbers,' but anyone with common knowledge of how Google works, would agree.

Remember Madonna? How could you forget? Well, according to her, all press is good press, and she is getting more of it then anyone. If she comes out her undisclosed location (aka Darth Cheney) maybe she will get even more.

9/18/2008 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much of the media's attention toward Gov. Palin is based on a fear that she could become president? In general, if the MSM is thinking one thing, the opposite is probably a good idea. I was never all that enthusiastic about John McCain before Gov. Palin joined the ticket. If the media hates her that much, I think I might write her in for president.

9/18/2008 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:04 AM from 9/16/08

Reporter - That’s fine. If we allow McCain to clarify his “the economy is fundamentally ok comment”, we should except Obamas.

Sex education: I don’t find anything related to voluntary but I didn’t find this on Factcheck, which shows that he clarified his position four years ago.

Obama is often quoted as saying that when it comes to sex education in public schools, “it’s the right thing to do ... to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools,” placing an emphasis on the word "appropriate." But Obama has also said he does not support, "explicit sex education to children in kindergarten."

And this: “In a debate with Republican Alan Keyes, against whom Obama was running for an open seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama made it clear that at least one reason he supported the bill was that it would help teach young kids to recognize inappropriate behavior and pedophiles:
Keyes, Oct. 21, 2004: Well, I had noticed that, in your voting, you had voted, at one point, that sex education should begin in kindergarten, and you justified it by saying that it would be "age-appropriate" sex education. [It] made me wonder just exactly what you think is "age-appropriate."

Obama: We have a existing law that mandates sex education in the schools. We want to make sure that it's medically accurate and age-appropriate. Now, I'll give you an example, because I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean. And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age. So, that's the kind of stuff that I was talking about in that piece of legislation.

I accept this clarification.

Lipstick – I didn’t look for a Youtube but found this.

"John McCain says he's about change too, and so I guess his whole angle is, 'Watch out George Bush -- except for economic policy, health care policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy and Karl Rove-style politics -- we're really going to shake things up in Washington,'" he said.
“That's not change. That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. You know you can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change, it's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough of the same old thing."

It looks like he was talking about John McCain to me but somehow JM + lipstick=Palin.

9/18/2008 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, by all means do that. That's JUST what we need, another know-nothing, tough-talking ignorant lightweight in the White House. Bush had twice as much "executive experience" as the one-term governor of Texas [five years to her 20 months] and look how well that turned out!

9/18/2008 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, my last comment never showed up.

You said, “I have given you links on the chanting. You don't want to check fine, that is your choice. You have four different pieces of evidence all making the same point.”

Some of the evidence is tainted. And it’s heavily biased against Obama.

You provided a link to a PAY Rush Limbaugh site. However, I found a free video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHahq_pRqHc that includes the UNEDITED report from the pig-joke rally. The NBC reporter explains the crowd chanted “no more pit bulls” IN ANOTHER STATE, EARLIER IN THE DAY, before Obama even told the joke.

Rush Limbaugh's clip cut out this info and he implied that the Virginia audience chanted immediately following the joke.

9/18/2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't I see any information in your blogs or on Fox News .com about Palin suddenly reversing her decision on the "Troopergate" investigation. I thought she was all for people examining her record as govenor. It sure looks like she has something to hide.

9/18/2008 8:00 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 12:18PM on 9/18:

Krauthhammer had both positive and negative things to say about Palin. On the negative side he said that her lack of experience made it more difficult to attack Obama's lack of experience, but here is what Krauthammer said about Obama: "Make this a referendum on Obama, surely the least experienced, least qualified, least prepared presidential nominee in living memory." So whatever concerns that he and Will had about Palin were actually much stronger against Obama.

I think that fact that she has more executive experience than anyone in the race is of importance.

Dear JohnnyxL:

If you look at the coverage on the first day that Palin's nomination was announced, her coverage was much more negative than it was for Biden.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,414943,00.html

Thus your claims that somehow she isn't talking to the media enough can't explain the negative coverage. Do you think a Democratic nominee would only have 13 percent of the news stories mention breaking the "glass ceiling"?

As you will see from this other Fox piece, I do these searches on both Google News and Nexis and get similar results. The problem with Google is that sometimes it won't find the articles, but with 7,000 or 8,000 hits in a week, that is obviously not the problem here.

Dear Anonymous 9/18/2008 5:54 PM:

I don't understand why you seem unable to find the youtube links because the link is in my article. You also don't respond to all the reporters who were at the scene and interviewed people in the audience who believed that Obama was talking about Palin. What about the statements from Obama's staff?

I provide the link to the sex eduction bill. Why don't you read the bill? I provide you the link. What Obama has said about the bill has changed over time, but either he can't read the bill or he is not being honest.

Dear Anonymous 9/18/2008 6:39 PM:

"another know-nothing, tough-talking ignorant lightweight" I agree that Obama being president would be a mistake.

Dear Anonymous 9/18/2008 7:55 PM:

Let me see if I understand, you are complaining that your comments never showed up, but here they are? I guess that I must be censoring you! This edited youtube doesn't prove much of anything. Who is this reporter?

Dear Anonymous 9/18/2008 8:00 PM:

Palin hasn't reversed herself on the trooper issue. Why don't you listen to former Alaska Democratic Senator Mike Gravel.

http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/2008/09/you-have-to-listen-to-this-interview.html

He thinks that these attacks on Palin are without a factual basis.

9/19/2008 1:15 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

I am very disappointed that the critics here have not dealt with the media bias numbers that I report. No concrete or alternative evidence of any type is presented on that issue.

No attempt is made to deal with the quotes from Jake Tapper or the AP reporter about the audience at Obama's talk. No attempt is made to deal with the time of the crowd's reaction to Obama's lipstick statement. No attempt to deal with the quote about Obama's staff's statements.

Again, the point of the piece was media bias. Even if you believe that your side is correct, why won't the media even mention the statement from the Alaska Democratic Party that said that Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere. Why won't the media even mention that Palin cut the earmarks by 64% in one year? Can anyone actually write about any of these points? I guess not.

9/19/2008 1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ask why we STILL don't see your charges of media bias against Sarah Palin as true:

The answer is that the media, and obviously most of the people who took the time to answer this question on your blog, don't see things from your slant.

When the AG in Alaska announces that the legislative subpoenas are going to be ignored by everyone, including Palin's husband, most people see that as a flip flop on "hold me accountable." [Not to mention illegal.] The "tainted" investigation is a dodge--the Alaska legislative committee voted unanimously that there was probable cause and authorized the investigation long before she was picked to run for VP, bipartisanly, 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats. She was under that ethics investigation when McCain chose her, with less of an interview than my daughter's dates have to go through, to be his running mate. So, YES SHE DID FLIP FLOP worse than John Kerry ever did.

Cutting earmarks one year when you have hired a lobbyist in the past as mayor [$27 million] and received the HIGHEST number of federal dollars per capita in the entore country as governor does not make everyone else see an earmark cutter.

Even John McCain has publicly stated that he did not believe Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. Many people don't care if he did. The lies about his "inexperience" are far worse. If you can look at the man who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard and compare his readiness to be president, someone who has lived abroad and received great response from our allies, including the Iraqi president, to that of the Hockey Mom with the BA in journalism from five different colleges who lied about being in Iraq and considers a refueling stop a visit to Ireland, well, most reasonable people make a different choice than you do. You are not going to change this by insisting you are right.

And I notice you, like Sarah Palin, have the tendency to revert to the same old tired talking points instead of answering the question. Many conservative columnists and legislators have questioned Sarah Palin's qualification to be VP--so the question about media bias is MOOT. It's not bias if both sides of the aisle agree with it. Ask Brooks, Will, Hagel, and all the others why THEY don't agree with you.

But all you want is to prove against all proof to the contrary that Obama called her a pig. Have you noticed anything else in the world recently, John, say, Galveston being wiped off the map and the suffering of people in Texas, or the stock market spinning wildly while government bailouts fly everywhere? Maybe you heard that another slew of troops died in Iraq the other day? Guess not--you're still busy trying to prove something that didn't happen of the least consequence possible--because you know it's mere distraction and means nothing. Fortunately, the rest of us are watching the issues that really DO matter to the country.

9/19/2008 2:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you follow at a site such as MSNBC and can't see the extreme and increasing bias in their reporting your just not being objective. I'm not referring to commentary or forums but rather what is reported as news. It's the equivalent of giving one candidate millions of dollars in campaign money. If Obama had received the same scrutiny that Palin has by many of these supposed news organizations we would be looking at Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. No doubt in my mind. I think anyone that isn't deeply disturbed by the press manipulating elections just isn't thinking clearly.

9/19/2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I have to smile to myself when I read all these comments about Palin and her "beliefs" and what she has or has not said in regards to the issues. These same people who are commenting and nit picking every single aspect of Palin's life, completely ignore all of the beliefs and issues of Obama. So, they either blindly support Obama and refuse to research him as thoroughly as they seem to have researched Palin OR they have resesarched Obama and have no problems at all with his track record, values, associates and his plans for America. Either way, this is a scary way to pick a candidate!

9/19/2008 12:35 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Hen, please tell me you are kidding me.

Barack Obama endured MONTHS of biased media CRAP about Jeremiah Wright, day after day of people blaming Wright's comments on him, the same people who claim he is a Muslim, even though Wright is a Baptist minister. Obama put up with much more scrutiny than Palin--nobody ruled anything out in his life, the way Obama said her family was off limits.

This is the last time I read this blog. I guess we'll just see what happens, because no opinions ever change here.

9/19/2008 6:22 PM  

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