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The 4-Letter Word Sarah Palin Didn't Say

Tea Party Favorite Claims Advice to Christine O'Donnell Taken Out of Context


The 4-Letter Word Sarah Palin Didn't Say

Sarah Palin Addresses Real Estate Convention In Las Vegas

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Updated September 22, 2010

To say that former Alaska Gov. and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin doesn't get along with what she calls the "lamestream media" would be the understatement of the year.

Palin claims her advice to embattled Tea Party Republican U.S. Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, to combat her critics and "dismiss what some of her handlers want," was twisted beyond recognition after the September 2010 primary in Delaware.

The brouhaha boils down to a single four-letter word.

Palin's Advice to O'Donnell

Here's what Palin said about O'Donnell: "She's gonna have to dismiss that, go with her gut, get out there, speak to the American people, speak through Fox News, and let the independents who are tuning into you, let them know what it is that she stands for, the principles behind her positions."

Palin made the statement on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, specifically in response to Bill O'Reilly's question about why O'Donnell wasn't appearing on his show.

How the Press Reported Palin's Advice

Some media outlets did, in fact, take a hatchet to the remark.

"Sarah Palin's Advice To Christine O'Donnell: 'Speak Through Fox News,'" huffed The Huffington Post.

When O'Donnell canceled a planned appearance on CBS's Face the Nation, The Hill wondered "whether she was following Palin's advice - given during an appearance on 'The O'Reilly Factor' last week - to 'speak through Fox News' instead of other networks."

On PoliticalWire, a CQ Politics blog, the quote attributed to Palin was boiled down to just this: "Speak through Fox News."

The insinuation in each of these cases is that Palin encouraged O'Donnell to speak only through Fox News. (That the media expressed such shock, all of a sudden, over the well documented cozy relationship between conservatives and Fox News is another story entirely.)

Palin Pushes Back

On Twitter, Palin wrote to her followers: "CQ Politics - c'mon guys, get it right. No one told Christine to only speak to FOX news. C'mon now, print truth. Thanks very much."

She followed up later: "The Hill: get it right, please; I did NOT tell O'Donnell to only speak to Fox News. Where do u all get this stuff? Pls report truth. Thanks"

Palin is right. She didn't use that particular four-letter word.

If only.

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