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The big political story of the day revolves around what turned out to be a non-story. Several media outlets (the vast majority conservative) were left with egg on their faces after they trumpeted up the tale of a McCain volunteer who claimed to have been assaulted by a large black man because of a McCain bumper sticker on her car. On her face was carved a backwards ‘B’ (meant to represent Obama’s name). The Drudge Report called it “mutilation.”

It was a hoax. And now, some in the fourth estate are left to explain why they pushed this apparent political ploy. Those in the business who showed some prudence are calling out their competitors for taking the bait.

On CNN today, anchor Rick Sanchez did just that, naming the outlets that not only reported but actively pushed the story of Ashley Todd. In addition to explaining why his station didn’t report the story, Sanchez dug the knife in a bit deeper when it came to Hugh Hewitt, the conservative radio talk show host who appeared on CNN Thursday and blamed “that side” (i.e. the Democrats) for engaging in “extraordinarily” disturbing acts.

“Part of the story is the fact that it was reported by the media,” said Sanchez. “We would not be telling the story now had it not been carried by so many outlets. As I mentioned before, it was mentioned on, as a matter of fact I have a list and not to mention names, but the initials of the news organizations are Fox News, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Newsday. And also radio talk show hosts went on their radio stations and talked ad infinitum about the story yesterday, one of them even seemingly being a braggadocio about it when he was on the air with our own Wolf Blitzer yesterday.”

Source: HP

FOX Spreads The ‘B’ Mutilation Hoax
JedReport

Sucking it up
Separately, the College Republicans — a group of which Todd is a member — sought to distance themselves from the whole affair, telling the Huffington Post: “When Ms. Todd initially contacted us claiming to have been attacked, our first reaction was obviously to be concerned for her safety … We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit. Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions.”

Keith Olbermann goes after Fox News ‘TALKING POINTS’ email – exposing the nasty measures that station is willing to use in this election.

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At the moment just expect everything Sarah Palin says to be either a bold face lie or a half truth. Including all things to do with her finances – actual accounts will be released on Oct 6 ’08.

This defines being out of touch. On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Sarah Palin calls herself “an everyday working class American” — but the truth is that her family income is $250K and she owns five properties, two watercraft, and an airplane.

Here she was on Hewitt’s show:

Todd and I, heck, we’re going through that right now even as we speak, which may put me again kind of on the outs of those Washington elite who don’t like the idea of just an everyday working class American running for such an office.

HP

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has introduced her family to the nation as small-town common folk since she burst onto the scene as the surprise pick for the Republican vice-presidential nominee last month. A check of financial records, though, shows the Palins live anything but a common life when compared with their fellow residents of their hometown of Wasilla.

Their combined income of nearly a quarter-million dollars last year was five times the median household income for Wasilla’s 7,000 residents. They own a single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake that is worth three times the average of other homes in town.

For the future, they also have a 401(k) retirement account compliments of Todd Palin’s years as an engineer with oil giant BP.

“Gov. Palin’s story is emblematic of the American dream,” McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said.

The Palins have been hugely successful by most standards in both their public and their private lives, according to the records.

“As a person, she’s consistent, honest and warm,” said Cheryl Metiva, executive director of the chamber of commerce in the Palins’ hometown of Wasilla. “As a politician, she’s focused, direct and clear. And she’s done a tremendous job of balancing her family life and with her public duties.

“You underestimate her at your peril,” she said.

The couple’s house was appraised this year at $552,100, which, according to Alaska magazine, was designed and built by Mr. Palin.

Mr. Palin, known in Alaska as the “First Dude,” is a longtime commercial fisherman who maintains a highly sought-after commercial-fishing permit that has been handed down in his family from generation to generation. A native of Dillingham, Alaska, his mother is one-quarter Yup’ik Eskimo and his maternal grandmother is a member of the Curyung tribe, which is the source of the permit.

“Hard work and principled convictions have allowed her to catapult to being the most popular governor in America,” Mr. Porritt said of the Republican candidate.

Source: Washington Times