The Times blames the Internet

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Try to follow this logic:

There's no question that Senator Obama did not refer to Gov. Sarah Palin as a pig during his talk last night in Virginia. Although the allusion to lipstick within a week of Ms. Palin's popular line at the Republican convention has prompted a great deal of chatter around the Internet.

So according to the Times, there's no way anyone could suggest that Obama was referring to Palin with his pig comment. No way. But what created the chatter on the Internet was Palin's previous reference at the convention.

Um, no.

First of all, the incessant chatter about the comment has been coming not from the Internet but from the mainstream press, and especially cable television, which won't stop talking about the non-story. (See below.)

And second, what actually prompted the story were erroneous suggestions by reporters at AP, WSJ, and ABC, among others, who claimed the candidate was referring to Palin; claims based solely on the ability of reporters to read the candidate's mind since he made no verbal references to Palin at the time. That in turn was pounced on by the McCain camp as proof of a personal attack.

This whole episode has been a journalism disgrace. The Times' attempt to blame this non-story on the Internet just adds to the misery.

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