This morning, on Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin announced that "we have the tape that proves" that journalists at CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA "conspired to make up stories about" Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.
Hours earlier, several websites operated by discredited blogger Andrew Breitbart had posted audio and transcripts that they claimed showed "the news director for ... KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussing creating, if not fabricating, two stories about ... Miller." Breitbart has a history of posting deceptively edited videos and making false allegations.
Unfortunately for Palin and Breitbart, their claims are entirely unsupported -- and media are starting to notice.
While Palin insists the story "proves" the journalists involved are "corrupt bastards," Politico's Ben Smith notes that the "transcript does not, in fact, make it terribly clear what they're talking about."
But it's not just the "lamestream media" that haven't signed on to Palin's allegations. Fox News' Brit Hume said tonight that while the tape "doesn't sound very good," it is "not utterly conclusive."
And Fox News correspondent Dan Springer reported today, "We actually had some of our staffers look at some of the more recent articles and stories that KTVA has done to see if there was any obvious bias or hit pieces again Joe Miller, and we couldn't find that. We could not see any obvious signs of bias or hit pieces done by KTVA against Joe Miller."
For its part, KTVA flatly rejected Palin and Breitbart's charges, saying, "The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do."