September 18, 2008

Sarah Palin Was John Bircher?

Politico's Ben Smith takes up rumors that Sarah Palin was a member of the John Birch Society.

Where would he get such an idea? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Palin_john_birch.jpg

I just happened to have been forwarded an e-mail to the DU post earlier by a rabid Obama supporter trying to convince me that Sarah Palin is a right-wing lunatic. The original "gotcha" find was posted here and quickly went viral in lefty circles -- including several Kos diaries linking it and tying the accusation to false rumors circulating that Sarah Palin belonged to the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party.

The problem with that theory, of course, is that while the photo in question does show a John Birch publication it appears to have been a newsletter designed not to let the reader know that. It was called, "American Opinion" -- hardly a giveaway.

Further, the publication argues against a new "Constitutional Conventiona" ("Con-Con Call" = "Consitutional Convention Call"), a popular idea among Westerners back in the mid-1990s when one was supporter by the man pictured on the cover: Utah Governor Mike Leavitt who was then Chair of the National Governor's Association.

As the man who wrote the article notes:

"Any attempt to link her to the John Birch Society would be ridiculous," he said of speculation to that effect on a liberal blog that first noticed the magazine.

"We sent thousands of copies of that newsletter out to all kinds of people trying to forestall the constitutional convention," he recalled. "The plan at that time was for us to send copies of that newsletter to county commissioners, mayors, state legislators, local officials."

So, the John Birchers opposed the "radical" plan (as the DUers are calling it) to call a Constitutional Convention (found in Article VII of that "radical" document the Constitution of the United States) and sent thousands of newsletters to local politicians stating the case against it.

The question that I have here is not so much about the Left's desire to believe all sorts of conspiracy theories about Sarah Palin, but about a) how these theories are spread and b) how it is that media types are so plugged in to lefty accusations but so out-of-the loop on right-wing memes?

It's almost as if Politico's Ben Smith is a member of the Democratic Underground, a dKoser, or on a lefty mailing list -- you know, normal stuff for journalists.....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:35 PM | Comments |