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October 31, 2008

So Stupid It Hurts

Glenn Greenwald writes here about an appearance by Sarah Palin this morning on WMAL in Maryland. Apparently Palin believes the First Amendment protects her from ever being criticized. As Greenwald says, it's so stupid it hurts.

I've grabbed the actual audio, which you can listen to via the mp3 link:


HOST: Is the news media doing a good job—are you getting a fair shake, are the Republicans getting a fair shake this year?

PALIN: I don't think they're doing their job when they suggest that calling a candidate out on their record, their plans for this country, and their associations is mean-spirited or negative campaigning. If they convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.

The entire 12-minute segment is available here.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at October 31, 2008 04:17 PM

A poll to see what the rest of the world thinks. Do you prefer Obama or Mc Cain? After you have voted, you will see the world voting results.

Posted by: Voting for President at October 31, 2008 04:55 PM

i don't think sarah palin is doing her job when she suggests that calling a candidate out on their campaign tactics is mean-spirited reporting. if she convinces enough voters that that is mean-spirited reporting, for someone to call her out on her ad hominem attacks, then i don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of first amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of reprisal from tyrannical wackos.

Posted by: hapa at October 31, 2008 05:02 PM

Well, I don't know about a "fair shake", but it certainly seems that the Repos don't get the usual treatment (service?) from the media this year. Perhaps there is a significant segment of the power elite that isn't particularly eager to see them elected. And hence Mrs Palin is right: WTF? This is unheard of. Bloody hell, where's the world going?

Posted by: abb1 at October 31, 2008 05:58 PM

I am becoming convinced that she hasnt even read the Constitution, what an imbecile.

Posted by: Star at October 31, 2008 07:08 PM

After listening to the bite, I'm wondering if she's actually threatening to have the 1st amendment repealed.

Posted by: dexter at October 31, 2008 07:17 PM

After listening to the bite, I'm wondering if she's actually threatening to have the 1st amendment repealed.

Posted by: dexter at October 31, 2008 07:17 PM

It is extremely painful to hear and to read that Sarah Palin doesn't even know, understand or apparently has never read the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. If we aren't allowed to criticize our candidates for the highest offices in this land, then we live in a Hitler-Stalinist dictatorship. I wonder if Sarah Palin has ever read anything that happened in Germany or the USSR (when it existed) to people who criticized their governments. Does she even know anything about history? Apparently, the history of the abuses by dictators around the world was not part of her grade school, high school or college education. Has she read anything about the history of the world and the horrendous things that have happened in China as well as the countries mentioned above when people have had the "temerity" to criticize the statements made my government officials. I can only conclude that she wants to have the USA turn into the kind of country where we are totally afraid to speak out (write out, protest, etc.). Our constitutional freedoms have already been abridged by Bush and his gang. He regards our Constitution with distain and dismisses it as “just that piece of paper." Sarah Palin shows over and over again that having her as vice-president is an extremely dangerous thing to have happen to the USA.

Posted by: James W Hawkins at October 31, 2008 07:22 PM

@abb1 Have you you stopped to think that maybe the reason they (the McCain/Palin camp) are "not getting a fair shake" is because the entire campaign has attempted to ride on a boatload of hail mary passes? If any of these issues had any real merit to them, then it would be reported beyond the right-wing blogs and message boards. As it stands, they don't and as such, any reporter worth their salt will tear it to shreds because it is so terribly easy to do.

I would say that it's an improvement because it shows that the media IS actually willing to stand up to politicians spouting such nonsense and take them to task for it. They were not willing to do that in 2003 and look what it got us. A mess in Iraq.

Posted by: psycho617 at October 31, 2008 08:57 PM

Put simply: Palin represents a peculiarly American brand of fascism - fascism dressed up as democracy. You criticize someone's free speech? You're anti-American. You question the elected President? You're anti-American. You deign to talk to people that some might deign controversial? You're anti-American. You dare speak out against the consensus reality? You're anti-American.

McCarthy would be having a ball.

Posted by: gacetillero at October 31, 2008 09:32 PM

Beyond retarded. She's completely useless.

It's fascinating, though, to watch how conservatism, which used to stand for the principle of negative liberty as against entitlements or positive liberty, has now utterly coopted the "minoritarian" logic of the Civil Rights-era Left. It's a complete Bizarro-World - rich entitled White folk who've run the entire Nation for the last 8 years, talking about how they're persecuted and victimized. Definitely some of the sickest shit I've ever seen.

Posted by: Guest at October 31, 2008 10:36 PM

She never ceases to amaze me. The true Queen of Idiotdom!

Posted by: Mark Pakulak at October 31, 2008 10:49 PM

I am so sick of McCain/Palin being ripped apart at the seams by the media. Sure, both McCain and palin are not smooth talkers like Obama but, certainly, they are both stright talkers and I KNOW where they are coming from. I trust them. Every word they speek is picked apart by the media. I do hope that if Obama gets in you won't be sorry for not listening to the stright talkers. I am not happy with smooth-tongue speakers who are proficient at talking for a half hour without really saying anything.

Posted by: mphiliips at October 31, 2008 11:04 PM

Look kids. Have you ever wondered how other cultures from the past could have rallied behind a political leader that eventually took their once civil society so far down the path of ruin and moral corruption that once good people became so desensitized to debasing their fellow human brothers and sisters that the criminal became common and the morally objectionable became the norm. Praise Palin. She is providing us all with an amazing opportunity to experience first hand and in our own language what previously we could only imagine to and innocently claim ignorance to or attribute to, something foreign. The veil is lifted, our ignorance is gone, but what have we learned? Have we learned enough to be able to stop the next Holocaust?

Posted by: jacimino at October 31, 2008 11:14 PM

You know, it's time it was simply said that the woman is a stupid bitch.

Posted by: Daniel K at October 31, 2008 11:41 PM

mphillips: that kind of straight talk is just another kind of smooth. they're not any more trustworthy.

Posted by: hapa at October 31, 2008 11:52 PM

The vast majority of what Palin says should not even be taken into consideration by people with half a brain. Biden just needs to never open his mouth in public. Obama could bore someone to death. McCain lies more often than not. The supposedly unbiased media is probably further left than Obama and Hillary combined. Who on earth thought that it would be a good idea to let election season last nearly 20 months? I am so glad I'm ineligible to vote...

Posted by: john at October 31, 2008 11:53 PM

palin appeals to those who believe there were dinosaurs on the ark; I'm glad the rest of us will keep her out of public office. You are free to believe religulous stuff, but you should be not taken seriously when running for public office.

Posted by: jim franklin at November 1, 2008 12:05 AM

Shazam. It justs gets worse-some people say she could learn the VP job-I think not. First Palin trys eliminating books in Wasilla. Then she instructs her staff that no one is allowed to talk to the press. Now, hearing this, she doesn't get it, can't own it, learned nothing from the earlier train wrecks with Couric. No one can convince me now that she was jus' talkin' down to the children 'bout what the VP job is. Sheesh. Never thought I would say this, be afraid, be very afraid. She is both Bush and Cheney in a dress. Who among us wants to hear this kind of gooberin' for the next four years?

Posted by: Placement Exam at November 1, 2008 01:14 AM

The republicans have been running their disinformation campaigns so long and with such success that they began to believe their own bull shit. They were so confident that they could sway the election with massive lies and spin that they failed to notice that the American public were fed up with their misinformation and realized that the only people in the country to benefit from the neo cons policies were the wealthy neo cons themselves. Well they are in for a surprise now.

Posted by: derF at November 1, 2008 01:53 AM

It's perfect! I can see it now *Starring Paris Hilton as Sarah Palin* This is going to be the greatest opera ever.

I just wonder if Paris can act retarded enough.

Posted by: tim at November 1, 2008 02:02 AM

Palin's statement is just one more lie meant to incite ignorant voters who dont know the difference, to rally against Obama, strongly believing now that they are defending the first amendment.

Posted by: Sarah McDonald at November 1, 2008 03:43 AM

Doesn't the constitution also prohibit guilt by association? So, that thing where somebody takes on the questionable characteristics of anybody they're in a room with for any length of time (sometimes called "pallin' around") -- that's specifically not okay, right?

Palin is a political animal, pure and simple. She will say whatever she thinks she needs to say to get ahead. She doesn't need to be very smart -- just ruthless. She clearly doesn't give a rat's ass about the Constitution, but she knows a segment of her base does so she uses it as justification for lying from the podium when it suits her.

If either her or McCain had any real ideas about how to lead the country, they'd spend a lot less time talking smack about their opponent.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at November 1, 2008 04:37 AM

psycho617, no, that's not it, it doesn't matter how they run their campaign.

She is merely complaining that mud she is throwing at the opponent doesn't have enough play in the media, wouldn't stick, and sometimes is even questioned or refuted.

I heard McCain complaining about it on some show too. He was asked why he thinks that Rashid Khalidi is a terrorist. His response: PLO was a terrorist organization. - But was Rashid Khalidi ever a PLO member? McCain's response: well, that's the accusation, why don't the media do their work and tell us everything about it?

The media just don't play along as it used too, and that is certainly a good reason to be frustrated.

Posted by: abb1 at November 1, 2008 05:42 AM

Palin is stupid. Anyone who argues this point is also stupid. That's really the end of the debate, time to move along, folks.

Seriously. You disagree? You're a moron. Also stupid. Don't even try. She's on record for saying all sorts of retarded shit it makes my head spin. I don't mean conservative. I don't mean evangelical. I don't mean hockey-mom-ish. I mean fucking stupid, period, end, stop.

Posted by: ssskkk at November 1, 2008 08:20 AM

Sarah Palin? Brainless, a huge vacuum, an insult to intelligent women in the US and the world. Don't you find yourselves belittled by someone so low in knowledge that could represent YOU in her capacity of VP or God forbid as President. It really shows complete lack of consideration for the job and function.

Posted by: fedup at November 1, 2008 09:32 AM


Posted by: Betty Boop at November 1, 2008 11:27 AM

How does a person like that become a state governor?

Posted by: Eric at November 1, 2008 12:39 PM

A bigger question - how does a woman with a degree in journalism NOT understand the first ammendment???

Posted by: Lynn at November 1, 2008 02:16 PM

eric: it all starts with a relatively small vested population and a monocrop economy. when the chief public clerk's job is simple, anybody who can wrangle their way into the chair is good enough to sit in it.

Posted by: hapa at November 1, 2008 02:17 PM

This is awesome. Keep on speaking Palin. And to those who don't think Palin is doing an awesome job at totally destroying ANY chance (There wasn't much of one.) at the Presidency they then they aren't listening. The more she opens her mouth before the election the better off Obama is. Like totally!

Posted by: sleeping at November 1, 2008 03:15 PM

Governor and president are usually figureheads, not experts. She can be as good a figurehead as anyone else. Probably better than most, actually, she has swagger.

Posted by: abb1 at November 1, 2008 03:21 PM

Let's face it, McCain suffers from Geezeritis, and Sarah Palin is just plain dumb,stupid, uniformed. I plan to leave the United States if they're elected as the US would be involved in a Third World War within two years. McCain wants revenge for Vietnam so he'll attack anybody.

Posted by: carole owen at November 1, 2008 03:25 PM

Let's face it, McCain suffers from Geezeritis, and Sarah Palin is just plain dumb,stupid, uniformed. I plan to leave the United States if they're elected as the US would be involved in a Third World War within two years. McCain wants revenge for Vietnam so he'll attack anybody.

Posted by: carole owen at November 1, 2008 03:25 PM

Sarah Palin is a Democrat in disguise lol, she is single handedly destroying McCains campaign, I don't want some Barbie as vice president. Plus anybody who smiles and poses for pictures with dead animals must have some kind of brain defect

Posted by: carl at November 1, 2008 04:06 PM

Please everyone get a copy of Taylor Caldwell's "The Devil's Advocate". That will not be my country. And if it becomes that way it is over my dead body. Michael Shimansky veteran

Posted by: michael shimansky at November 1, 2008 04:27 PM

Please everyone get a copy of Taylor Caldwell's "The Devil's Advocate". That will not be my country. And if it becomes that way it is over my dead body. Michael Shimansky veteran

Posted by: michael shimansky at November 1, 2008 04:28 PM

Just look at her body language at speeches: the tiny hands knotted into tiny fists,the up and down movements of these fists, interrupted by two-handed pointing, the pointing, in this direction and that direction, those little dainty hands getting so dirty.....
No more Palin for me...yawn

Posted by: uli at November 1, 2008 05:16 PM

Palin of course neglects the fact that it's completely correct to call "questioning your opponent's character" negative campaigning. Positive campaigning is talking up YOUR OWN great policies. But if you haven't got it, you can't flaunt it.

And to the commenter who wrote that the media criticize McCain/Palin's idiocy because it's easy, that really only half the story. Not only is it easy in McCain and Palin's cases, it's actually RIGHT to expose the lies of public officials. It's one of the few things the media is good for.

Posted by: JP at November 1, 2008 06:21 PM

Michael Shimansky spare us the research, how does this country become in "The Devil's Advocate", which you so patriotically could not tolerate?
Jamie Norwood - draft dodger

Posted by: jamie norwood at November 1, 2008 07:06 PM

So... questioning past associations is fair game in Sarah Palin and John McCain's book:

Let's see what leaving out one little fact can do to a story:

McCain hung around with known Communists for years in Hanoi -

* After he delivered a US military jet to them,
* They picked up the tab for his hotel & expenses,
* He held long, intimate discussions with them,
* They made him a world TV Celebrity,
* Heck, at one point McCain even refused to leave Vietnam.
* The Commies also made McCain's future in politics POSSIBLE!
* Without them, he would now be a nobody.

Talk about "palling around" & "questionable associations". These are all FACTS!
(Idea by John Cleese.)

Posted by: mark at November 1, 2008 07:13 PM

I am becoming convinced that she hasnt even read the Constitution

If you mean all the way through, neither have I but I have skimmed it. What does it say about slavery? Is it pro or con? I always like to know that about works of literature from that era.

Posted by: cemmcs at November 1, 2008 10:29 PM

just goes to show, in a wierd and disturbing way, how some people really see the MSM as an extension of the government, rather than a watchdog set upon it. logic this convoluted is so upsetting

Posted by: jim at November 1, 2008 11:07 PM

Yes, her comments are painfully ignorant, she should know better.

But in her defense, about 99% of people believe the same thing about 1A judging from similar comments they make ... that the 1st Amendment means free speech gaurantees no consequences ... not just from the government, but from anyone and in any degree.

For one of many examples, we had to listen to this crap from Tim Robbins a few years back.

Unfortunately, it's an all too common ignorance of what the 1st Amendment says and means. I don't think the majoriy of supporters of either party/candidate understand 1A.

Posted by: Wren at November 2, 2008 12:31 AM

fun thing about 1st amendment: it protects bludgeoning your critics with the 1st amendment up to and including the cease-and-desist before your defamation trial.

Posted by: hapa at November 2, 2008 02:03 AM

mphiliips says that "[s]ure, both McCain and Palin are not smooth talkers like Obama but, certainly, they are both straight talkers and I KNOW where they are coming from." That's not the issue here. The issue is whether the next possible Vice President understands the constitution-specifically, the 1st Amendment. The clear and undeniable answer is she does not. This is not a smoothness question. It is a knowledge question. What you should have said was "sure Palin doesn't understand the Constitution, but she's a straight talker and I trust her". Then we'd at least clearly know that you're an American voter who thinks the future Vice President's understanding of the Constitution is not relevant and have a clearer picture of the fiddle she plays.

Posted by: Coop at November 2, 2008 08:12 AM

1Amendment protects POLITICAL SPEACH 1st and foremost. Protects the PRESS. Protects the right of a citizen to petition congress over ANY grievance. Protects the nation from state sponsored religion. Grants congress total control over DC and its citizens.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 2, 2008 09:08 AM

I'm sorry, but it's my First Amendment Right to say that Sarah Palin is truly a f*cking idiot.

Posted by: Mike at November 2, 2008 10:13 AM

Mike: Yes, its is YOUR right, and yes U may be right, BUT one cannot deny---She IS a woman.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 2, 2008 12:05 PM

These comments have vindicated my greatest hopes that the last 8 yrs has been another abomination of what America true values are.I work with a lot of these ideolouges and it is disheartening.

Posted by: hilton Holas at November 2, 2008 12:11 PM

Palin believes man walked with Dinosaurs! Why do you think she has EVER read the Constitution? She is perfect for the far right wing nut Republicans. If the Republicans want the White House back they will have to abandon rush/sean/billo and become inclusive, fair, and actually have a platform that denounces nuts like Palin. Of course that won't happen and they will wonder why Palin didn't win in 2012!

Posted by: Santa Fean at November 2, 2008 06:24 PM


Unfortunately, this website does not appear to recognise Canadians as non-Americans, and will not allow Canadians to vote in this poll.

This will probably have considerable impact on the outcome, since polls within Canada have shown that 90% of Canadians would vote for Obama if they could.

Posted by: Northern Lights at November 3, 2008 04:09 PM