Tuesday, October 7, 2008

wasilla rape kits story NOT debunked

From Media Matters:
...Sadly for Palin partisans, they got schooled on the Wasilla specifics by a 20-year-old blogger and junior at George Washington University who did what so many on the right can't quite pull off: fact-based reporting. He proved without a doubt that Palin, as mayor, signed off on the initiative that forced rape victims or their insurance companies to foot the bill for the post-assault exam kits.

It's important to highlight the deficiencies of the so-called debunking of the rape-kit story so that reporters don't continue to ignore the issue, which raises questions about Palin's leadership. So they don't take seriously the conservative claims that the story has been proven a "lie," a "smear," a "myth," and a "bunch of baloney."

The loud pronouncements by the right have become almost a cult-like mantra online, and they seem to be effectively scaring the press off the story.

For instance, The Washington Post has never written about the rape-kit story in its news pages, according to a search of Nexis, nor has The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, or Time.

Credit goes to USA Today for treating the issue seriously, while CNN.com posted a detailed investigation. And on the air, CNN seems to have reported more on the issue than its cable competitors, which isn't saying much, since its competitors have virtually ignored the story.

As for the news networks, there's been a blackout on the rape-kit story. Journalists ought to be reporting the story and asking Palin to give detailed, unambiguous answers, since the rape-kit issue could offer some insights into how she governs.

Instead, the press has treated the story as something of a taboo. And the loud, bogus claims about it being "debunked" likely add to its untouchable status.

Trust me, nothing has been debunked.

"No truth to the rape kit lie. Doesn't really matter. They just make the shit up," wrote conservative blogger Atlas Shrugs, blind to the irony of making shit up while accusing others of making shit up. The blogger was in search of a "retraction" from the media, which "deliberately obfuscates and lies by omission..."

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