ANCHORAGE — It sounds like Gov. Sarah Palin has had it with the news media.
Since leaving the campaign trail, she's remained besieged. There've been stories about the arrest of her daughter's boyfriend's mother for selling prescription drugs. There've been references to the academic record of the boyfriend, Levi Johnston, and daughter Bristol in the wake of the birth of the couple's first child that prompted Palin to phone and e-mail news outlets to object to descriptions of Levi as a high school dropout. Then there were stories about Levi's electrical apprenticeship, which Palin had cited in her denunciation of media coverage, which led to Levi's resignation because he didn't qualify for the position without a high school diploma.
Finally, on Monday, a video was posted on YouTube leading to an item in Politico saying Palin had accused the media of going easy on Caroline Kennedy.
On Thursday afternoon. her office issued the following press release:
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 09-04
Governor Palin Says to Media, "There You Go Again"
January 8, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today expressed dismay at continuing efforts in the media to take her comments out of context to create adversarial situations.
Ironically, the latest media eruption concerning the governor came out of an interview she gave to a filmmaker who is creating a documentary on distortions by the national press.
Gov. Palin gave the interview Monday as one of many voices contributing to the film "Media MalpracticeHow Obama Got Elected," concerning the performance of the media last fall. The filmmaker posted excerpts from the interview on YouTube.com, which then led to misleading reports in the press.
Particularly troubling was a post on Politico.com titled, "Palin: Media Goes Easy on Kennedy." The headline inflames the governor's quote in the transcript, in which she answered a question about media treatment of the prospect that Caroline Kennedy would be appointed to the U.S. Senate: “It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.”
"I was not commenting at all on Caroline Kennedy as a prospective U.S. senator, but rather on the seemingly arbitrary ways in which news organizations determine the level and kind of scrutiny given to those who aspire to public office," Gov. Palin said today. "In fact, I consider Ms. Kennedy qualified and experienced, and she could serve New York well."
The governor's interview came as news organizations pursued erroneous and often outrageous leads on a variety of non-issues.
Just this week, false stories in the media surfaced alleging improper influence by the Palin administration or the governor herself. In one case, a state union alleged that the administration delayed serving an arrest warrant on the mother of Levi Johnston, the father of the governor’s grandson. The union admitted within 48 hours that the allegation was not true.
In another case, an irresponsible talk show host in Anchorage alleged in a newspaper column that the governor must have intervened to get a job for her future son-in-law, circumventing eligibility rules for the position. Again, the allegation was immediately discredited by proof that the governor did not influence Levi's employment.
Meanwhile, bloggers, the Atlantic magazine and even the Anchorage Daily News continue to give credence to the sensational allegation that the governor's child, Trig, is not hers.
"As a public official, I expect criticism and I expect to be held accountable for how I govern," Gov. Palin said. "But the personal, salacious nature of recent reporting, and often the refusal of the media to correct obvious mistakes, unfortunately discredits too many in journalism today, making it difficult for many Americans to believe what they see in the media."