Tribune's Silva repeated Palin claim that "Obama-Biden" Dems have attacked her family -- but didn't note complete lack of evidence

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva repeated Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward ... my family," but gave no indication that he had challenged Republican aides to substantiate Palin's charge with examples of purported attacks. By contrast, while reporting the charge, NBC, ABC, and the AP all reported that when asked to provide examples of such attacks, Palin aides, the McCain campaign, and the RNC did not provide any.

In a September 4 post on Tribune Washington bureau blog The Swamp, Chicago Tribune White House correspondent Mark Silva repeated Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward ... my family." But, unlike ABC News senior national correspondent Jake Tapper, NBC News deputy political director Mark Murray, and Associated Press writer Sarah Kugler, Silva gave no indication that he had challenged Republican aides to substantiate Palin's charge with examples of purported attacks. Tapper, Murray, and Kugler all reported that when asked to provide examples of such attacks, Palin aides, the McCain campaign, and the Republican National Committee did not provide any.

From Silva's blog post:

Democrats have criticized Palin for her pointed remarks about Obama, deriding his experience as a community organizer for isntance [sic]. But in a fundraising letter issued today, Palin maintained that "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain. The misinformation and flat-out lies must be corrected."

She has "a big job cut out in front of me running for vice president,'' Palin said. "I intend to give this campaign all that I have to give, and I look forward to these 60-plus days on the trail. My family looks forward to this, we're up for it, we're excited about it."

By contrast, in a September 4 entry on his Political Punch blog, Tapper wrote, "I asked spokespeople of the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee just which 'Obama/Biden Democrats' they're referring to. The response I got was that Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski erroneously attacked Palin as a supporter of Pat Buchanan. That's it. That's the evidence. An attack on Palin herself. In other words, they can't name one person affiliated with the Obama-Biden campaign who attacked the Palin family."

Similarly, in a September 4 post on MSNBC.com's First Read blog, Murray wrote: "Unless we're mistaken, neither Obama nor Biden nor the campaign has attacked Palin's family. ... Reached for comment about the charge, RNC spokesman Danny Diaz cited a comment Obama's Florida spokesman made noting (incorrectly, it seems) that Palin supported Pat Buchanan, whom Jews -- at least according to this spokesman -- have called a 'Nazi sympathizer.' Diaz didn't cite a single Obama or Biden charge against Palin's family."

Additionally, in a September 4 AP article, Kugler wrote that "Palin on Thursday blamed supporters of the Democratic presidential ticket for spreading 'misinformation and flat-out lies' about her and her family. But her spokeswoman said Obama's campaign was not responsible." From the article:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Thursday blamed supporters of the Democratic presidential ticket for spreading "misinformation and flat-out lies" about her and her family.

But her spokeswoman said Obama's campaign was not responsible, even though a Palin fundraising letter named the Democratic ticket with the words: "the Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain.

The Obama campaign has raised questions about Palin's qualifications based on her six years as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and less than two years as governor, but Obama himself has said her family should be off-limits. He also said he would fire any staffer who talks about it.

Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said: "We appreciate the fact that he came out and condemned this kind of personal attack." Asked whether Palin thought Obama or his running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, were personally responsible for the attacks mentioned in the letter, Comella said, "No."

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Chicago Tribune, Tribune Co.
Person
Mark Silva, Sarah Palin
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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