RUSH: The McCain campaign is doing something very, very smart. They’re right to get on top of this crap, ’cause this can be like a lightning strike in a dry forest. CNN is reporting that ‘The McCain-Palin team is continuing its pushback campaign against stories about VP nominee Sarah Palin that have taken on a life of their own on the Internet,’ that are all lies. ‘On Monday, they sent reporters a memo in response to reports that the Wasilla, Alaska resident [Sarah Palin] had tried to ban a lengthy list of books when she was mayor of that town. ‘This is categorically false. The fact is that as Mayor, Palin never asked anyone to ban a book and not one book was ever banned, period,’ McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said, directing reporters to campaign research ‘debunking this smear.’ Watchdog Web site snopes.com has also debunked an e-mail that purports to include a list of books Palin tried to ban…’
I got that e-mail. It was signed somebody, a resident of Wasilla, Alaska, who claimed to know Sarah Palin, and this e-mail had a lot of praise for her. It was very well done. It had a lot of praise for her, but then it got into this book banning business. It turns out that the books on this list that have been ‘banned’ were published after she left Wasilla! She was no longer the mayor there when all this ‘happened.’ It didn’t happen. There are countless others. You know, I got e-mails from friends who also received this e-mail. ‘Oh, no, Rush! Tell me it isn’t true. Tell me it isn’t true! Oh, no. Tell me she’s not a book banner!’ They were worried. They were worried that Sarah Palin was a fraud, that she hadn’t been vetted and so forth. You know, even in my downtime, my friends, I am working diligently, researching this stuff and refuting these e-mails and it sorta got me mad. I said, ‘Why do you believe this? Do you not have enough experience on the Internet and the left to know how they use it? Why are you believing this tripe?’
Everybody wants to believe the worst — and, frankly, it’s starting to make me mad. Not just about politics, but about anything. I’m growing more and more impatient with fatalism, pessimism, and defeatism by the day. This is just tripe. I’ll tell you how bad it’s gotten, and I mentioned this early today. Kirsten Powers (a ‘Democrat strategist’ she’s called) on Fox News, does analysis on a bunch of different shows, has a piece today in the New York Post, ‘How Obama Blew It — Pays Price in Polls for Bungled Attacks on Sarah. No, Obama didn’t engage in the mass sneering at Palin — but he did fall into the trap of disrespecting her.
‘When McCain chose her, the Obama campaign’s first response was to ridicule the size of her town. Then the candidate himself began referring to her as a ‘former mayor’ when she is in fact a sitting governor. When she retaliated (justifiably) by mocking his stint as a organizer, the Obama camp was clearly rattled. Obama himself actually began arguing about the importance of community organizing. His supporters amplified this cry — claiming Palin’s attack was a racist slur and passing around e-mails titled ‘Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor.” Did you know they sent those e-mails around? Oh, yeah. The Obama campaign, they were doing that. ‘Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor.’
Absolutely. They are so rattled by all this. As Kirsten Powers writes, ‘Meanwhile, the rest of the country was probably wondering what being a community organizer has to do with being president. Lured by the McCain camp, Obama supporters engaged in an argument about who had more overall experience — the top of the Democratic ticket or the bottom of the GOP ticket. This diminished’ The Messiah. ‘Meanwhile, the media lit up in all their cultural-elite splendor. Alaska? they sneered. It has the population of Las Vegas! Funny how the coastal elite only sneers at red states with small populations. Howard Dean hailed from a blue state with almost the same population as Alaska and was a national phenomenon and front-runner for the presidency.’ That was Vermont.
‘Joe Biden’s Delaware has a similarly small population — but no mocking was forthcoming there. Evangelicals will never vote for a woman who works! they declared. This from people who’ve likely never met an evangelical in their lives. They could barely contain themselves when they found out Gov. Palin’s daughter was pregnant, so sure were they that evangelicals would hang her from the highest tree. When evangelical leaders expressed support, there was a palpable disappointment that Palin or her daughter wasn’t branded with a scarlet letter. They claimed that the Palin announcement was some desperate pick that came out of nowhere. Had they been doing their jobs, or even perusing The Weekly Standard or right-wing blogs, they’d have known that she [Sarah Palin] was on the list.
‘Since they didn’t know anything about her, they started making things up. Anything that fit the caricature of a right-wing hypocrite was thrown up with, seemingly, no fact-checking. They said she opposes contraception, when she said in a campaign debate that she is pro-contraception. They said she cut funding for pregnant teens, when she provided a massive funding hike’ for pregnant teens. ‘They accused her of cutting funding for mentally disabled children, when she raised it 175 percent over the former administration. She was said to have been a member of the wacky Alaska Independence Party; The New York Times had to run a retraction. Like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Palin has been deemed one of the GOP’s rising stars. Since it’s national reporters job to cover American politics, their ignorance of about her is distressing.
‘Most Americans think that the media are cheerleading for Obama, so they’ll punish him for the reporters’ and editors’ sins,’ and as to this book banning business — in fact, they’re throwing the kitchen sink of scandals at her. ‘Instead of picking one or two really good scandals, they are throwing scores of them out there willy nilly, without fact checking or even, in some cases, bothering to read them in their entirety. One example is the list of books Palin supposedly banned — the problem is that many of the books on the list were not even published yet when Palin supposedly banned them. Another accusation was that Palin cut funding for pregnant teens. Those circulating that one evidently were not so good at reading or at math. The document they presented as proof, actually showed an expansion of the program, but that did not keep the accusation from being reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times.
‘Yet another accusation was that Palin cut funding for special needs children. Not true, and easily debunked in a matter of minutes with a Google search, yet it also was widely reported as fact and was even cited by Soledad O’Brien on CNN. Some of the rumors mentioned above were repeated on television…’ and you could have found out yourself by Googling the subject. It was reported as fact. It was even cited by Soledad O’Brien. Some of these rumors have been all over television. They have been reported without any single fact-checking taking place. That’s what I said earlier. It’s highlighting the incompetence, the irresponsibility, and the hack nature of the Drive-By Media today, and it’s good the McCain camp’s firing back on this stuff lickety-split. But I just can’t tell you how distressing it was. I was happy to be there to help.
How distressing it was to get all these e-mails from people that received this e-mail about her banning books. ‘Oh, no, Rush, tell me it isn’t true! Tell me it isn’t true. Oh, it always happens to us this way. We get somebody we think is so wonderful, they turn out to be bad. Oh, please tell me it’s not true!’ Gee whiz. People in this day and age who understand what the left is all about, especially a blast e-mail from somebody you don’t know? Why would you believe it, particularly in politics? Newsweek magazine: ‘Sliming Palin.’ This is Brooks Jackson at FactCheck.org, but they put this on the Newsweek website. ‘We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading. Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all.
‘In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years. She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a ‘What if?’ question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term. She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party… Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan … Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools.’ A few of the claims were included in a chain ‘e-mail by a woman named Anne Kilkenny,’ and that’s the one that I got and all my friends got that panicked them. We’ll be looking into other charges in that e-mail ‘for a future story. For more information of the bullet points above, please read the analysis,’ and it goes on. It’s a long, long analysis. But Anne Kilkenny says she knows Sarah Palin, had plenty of praise for her. You know, I spotted this from the get-go. But banning books? Folks, the only censors in America today is the American left. They’re the ones that to want shut down talk radio. They’re the ones who want to silence anybody who doesn’t agree with what they think. They’re the ones who have sponsored political correctness, which is nothing more than an encroachment on free speech. If there’s anybody out there who wants to ban speech, beware of the people on the left.
RUSH: I mentioned to you Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco, the former speaker of the California assembly, had written an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle suggesting the Democrats are in trouble. He was on DNCTV today, and he said this explaining himself.
BROWN: I think you have to first capture the attention of the voters, and then you can educate the voters. She has managed to capture the attention through the entertainment process, not through the informational process. And if she can keep that going for the next 58 or 59 days, we really are going to be in trouble.
RUSH: You are in trouble now, and that’s what he knows.