Palin, Pappas, and different accounts — an update

**Posted by Phineas

This is a follow-on to this morning’s post about a misleading headline and Governor Palin’s phone call to a reporter in the mistaken belief that he was responsible. While really an addendum to that post, the passage of time and the number of posts since then make me think this should be its own entry.

Anyway, reporter Robert Stacy McCain (aka, “The Other McCain”) did some digging during the day and turned up some information contrary to the original report. Here are the key points:

  • Governor Palin did not personally dial up Pappas’s number. She asked around among her aides if anyone knew how to get in touch with Pappas. One member of her advance team, Jason Recher, had Pappas’s number, called him and then handed the phone to the governor.
  • Governor Palin did not summon a Politico reporter to listen in on the call. Palin was in the middle of a gigantic crowd of people at the Iowa State Fair, and her half of the conversation may have been overheard by others. There was no way, amid the press of the throng, that anyone outside that swarm could have been summoned at all, and the idea that Palin would be doing favors for a Politico reporter is ridiculous.
  • Governor Palin wasn’t screaming angrily at Pappas. Again, Palin was in the middle of a crowd, which was quite noisy, and if her voice was loud, it was because she was trying to make herself heard amid the hubub.

Stacey’s a good journalist, and I recommend reading the whole post and following his site. One interesting observation he makes, a bit of “political news” that he’s amazed no one else has picked up on, is the inference to be drawn from Palin herself making the call: that if she felt that strongly about the need to deny any hint that she was endorsing Mitt Romney, it’s a strong indication she really is planning to run.

As they say, “intriguing.”

(My guess is still that she’ll announce at Waukee on September 3rd.)

Finally, on a more personal note, I took a fair amount of heat in the comments (at ST’s blog and mine) and on Twitter for that post. Fair enough; if you’re willing to say what you think in public, you have to expect some folks won’t be happy. But I don’t believe I was out of line, hasty, unfair, or injudicious, having qualified it with enough cautions to choke a horse. Believe it or not, I am glad later information is coming out that apparently clears things up.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Comment from ST – 9:55 PM: I barely had time to breathe earlier today, let alone post my .02 but I shared Phineas’ initial view of this story – and I can assure you that neither one of us “rushed” to judgement. Both of us were talking yesterday via Twitter and then by email and while discussing the story made sure to insert “if this happened” as it was described, which was something Phineas made clear in his intial post earlier. He wrote his initial opinons on the matter and revised them a bit in this post once more information came out that conflicted some with the initial reporting.

A lot of us out there, myself and Phineas included, have been bitten by the “jump first, ask questions later” bug and later regretted it, so what a lot of us have learned via the trial and error process to do is to ask questions first before making a judgement call and forming a solid opinion — depending on the issue. Sometimes it’s pretty clear what’s been said/done and in certain instances, and in those cases there’s no need to wait for “more information.”

Finally, both Phineas and I have been staunch defenders of Sarah Palin from day one when she was nominated to be McCain’s running mate. We’ve got archives of posts at our respective blogs to back that up. At the same time, that doesn’t mean she is viewed by either of us as beyond reproach. Most of the criticism of Palin from the MSM is knee-jerk and ideologically biased, of course, but on the flip side, some of the reactions of some of her more loyal fans to constructive criticism of her by reliable conservatives like myself and Phineas is strangely met with negative, accusatory knee-jerk reactions – and I don’t understand that, when you consider how often I’ve defended her, and how often Phineas has. There seems to be a certain circle of people who take every criticism of her personally even though the criticisms written here, as it was with Phineas earlier today, are as constructive as they can be – and are updated if necessary, as has happened here.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in a public figure who so many admire, but please, folks, let’s not lose sight of the fact that ALL of these people are human and make errors in judgement sometimes – just like we bloggers sometimes do.

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