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Saturday, November 1

Why Gov. Sarah Palin Should STFU, Already


Every time this woman opens her mouth she subtracts from the sum total of human intelligence.

Her latest crime against sentience?


ABC News' Steven Portnoy reports: In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

O . . . kay.

The First Amendment is quite clear (I'll embolden the relevant bit):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Now, the Supreme Court has carved out a few exceptions to this, notably their decision Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, which set up the so-called "Fighting words" exception, and of course no one has the freedom to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

But the press has the right to question, to criticize, even (gasp!) to editorialize. Just like the public at large. I'm sure that few modern journalists even recall, much less hold to, the famous dictum laid down by the great H.L. Mencken that "The only way a journalist should look at a politician is down," but even Softball Katie Couric actually did ask some fairly good questions.

Of course, Palin now says that Couric "annoyed" her by asking questions.

I thought that was the press' job, rather than the attitude Palin has that the press should instead just hang on her every word, never question her and dutifully parrot the right-wing talking points that have been spoon fed to her.

She can't stand criticism?

She'd better not come anywhere near me, then.

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