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July 27, 2009


Problem is, this is how Sarah Palin's speeches really come across to most people:


It's possible that Palin's idea of the troops being willing to die for the media came from some of the Iraq War reporting. I saw the point made several places -- perhaps by reporter Michael Yon -- that the troops in Iraq were willing to die to protect embedded war reporters, even though some of those reporters were covering them unfairly. Palin may have then been conflating the media's inaccurate war reporting with its inaccurate Palin reporting.

Evem if this was her train of thought, i agree with Brendan that it's incoherent. A listener would have no way to understand that this was what she meant.

Could similarly incoherent passages be found in speeches by most politicians? I think they could. Many political speeches include a train of points, each of which sounds reasonable, but which don't really add up to justify the supposed conclusion.

Not a fan of Palin's, but this doesn't seem incoherent to me at all. I think she's saying that members of the military die defending freedom of the press, so how about you guys who are supposed to uphold this important cornerstone of democracy that people die to protect quit making stuff up?

I have to admit I don't understand this argument. As I said above, the military is defending everything about America, not just freedom of the press. Why not freedom of religion? (i.e. "In honor of the American soldier, the Catholic church should do [x]"?) Or habeas corpus? (i.e. "In honor of the American soldier, we should give due process to accused terrorists.") It's entirely arbitrary to focus on the press.

On second thought, I don't buy Brendan's point. Palin says one reason a free press is important is that soldiers died to preserve that freedom. That's a valid argument (although I might not give it as much much weight as Palin does.) Brendan observes that someone could defend the importance of Freedom of Religion by pointing out that soldiers had died to preserve that freedom. That would be a valid argument, too.

In short, the fact that the death of soldiers could equally well support the importance of other freedoms doesn't invalidate using it as an argument for the importance of a free press.

BTW, Brendan has taken Palin to task for a paragraph that I believe he strongly agrees with. Palin said that a free press is very important and that some in the media aren't doing a good job. Brendan's posts on this blog make it clear that he holds the same position.

She made a somewhat similar comment on June 16 when she accepted the apology offered by David Letterman.

In that case she recognized he had a right to make tasteless jokes but expressed gratitude for being able to freely express her displeasure as well, and she commented -

"This is all thanks to our U.S. military men and women putting their lives on the line for us to secure American's right to free speech. In this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect."

I guess she has really been thinking deeply about freedom of speech and how our military has protected it for well over two hundred years...

Although our military does indirectly defend the first Amendment, it's actually the courts that do so directly, and to whom we owe the greatest debt of gratitude. Perhaps Palin should point that out in her next speech:

"This is all thanks to America's lawyers..."

I'd pay to see a Conservative make that speech. (grin)

It is such a waste of time to wonder why Sarah Palin says or does anything. She is obviously pandering - hence her tortured attempts to tie supporting the military with bashing the media. She will continue to bring up this issue of supporting the military, as if she is the only one who does that, in any context that exists.
Every time she opens her mouth, nonsense spews forth. Please stop acting like she is relevant.

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