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Palin Didn't Know Africa Was a Continent Source a Hoaxster

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Turns out the most ridiculous and generic "dumb polack joke"-style accusation about the dimness of Sarah Palin's bulb–that she thought Africa was a country, not a continent–was probably from an interesting and amusing hoax advisor to the McCain campaign–from the nonexistent "Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy"–going by the phony name (which is also the real name of another minor D.C. policy dude, unrelated to the hoax nope, there is a minor policy dude named "Michael Eisenstadt") of "Martin Eisenstadt."

The New York Times has the details, including some earlier lies he had told (and been caught up on).

The front "Harding Institute" site, with the brilliantly conceived line: "Welcome to the homepage of The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. A Washington-area think-tank in the truest sense of the words…."

"Eisenstadt" on YouTube.

UPDATE: As I said, "probably." The New York Times story certainly reads as if Eisenstadt both was the original source of the Africa story, and recently admitted publicly being so. This AP story states–without any details backing it up, though one presumes he got the Fox reporter to say, no, his source was someone other than "Eisenstadt," and the only hoax was Eisenstadt claiming credit for it. Without a named source, I'm inclined to wonder about that as well. But if so, the mere claiming credit for the leak, as opposed to being the leak, is a pretty weak and lame finale to an otherwise interesting fake career.

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  1. maybe I didn’t read it carefully enough but:

    was the leak about the africa story real, but the attribution was phony?

    or was the leak itself phony from the start?

  2. Hmmmm . . . I wasn’t aware you could pull a verbal rickroll. Important info to keep in mind.

  3. The “leak” itself was phony from the start. Palin may not be any kind of genius, but honestly, even many of the liberals I know who don’t like her didn’t believe that she was really that stupid.

  4. Ditto what anon said. It wasn’t clear to me whether the hoax was the leak itself, or the claimed credit for the leak.

  5. You are all fucked up.

    The story was leaked to Fox (Carl Cameron)–not a hoax, AFAWK.

    THEN, this bozo came to MSNBC and said he had leaked the story. THAT was the hoax.

  6. The funniest part is that many people couldn’t tell it was fake until the curtain was lifted.

    She’s that stupid.

    Not that I didn’t think it was fake. It was just too good to be true.

  7. So, we have yet another Palin ‘fact’, breathlessly reported by the mainstream media, which turns out to be complete bullshit. So far, a good 90% of the smears leveled against her have turned out to be wrong or gross exaggerations. Way to go, media.

    Next up, the whole “$150,000 wardrobe” fiasco. Palin gave her version of it yesterday – she had no say in the matter, it was all planned by the RNC with image consultants and stylists, who were already hired and ordering wardrobe for her before she even got to the convention. She asked for none of it, never felt it was her property in the first place, and doesn’t have any of it now.

    That’s her version, anyway. But I’m willing to bet that when the smoke clears on this one, she’ll once again be proved right.

  8. If you had followed the link from Drudge(!!) you’d have gotten it right.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081113/ap_en_tv/palin_hoax_1

    “The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin – not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.”

    So, Brian, lose your boner for Sarah–she IS an idiot. Or do you like dumb chicks?

  9. You guys are so hot for this moron that simple English seems beyond your grasp.

    She must be contagious.

  10. Stupid cunt thinks there are only 50 states too.

  11. henry,

    Edward? Is that you?

  12. No, motherfucker, it is me–the guy who can’t stand people falling over themselves, erroneously, to apologize for this mediocrity.

    Let’s see how long it take Brian to correct himself.

  13. You all misinterpreted the story. I am real (obviously), but the attribution of the Africa story to me was a hoax perpetrated by the FAKE Harding Institute pranksters. The real Harding Institute has no affiliation with them AT ALL, and we are weighing our legal options against them.

  14. Oh . . . so . . . your real name is Henry and you post as Edward?

  15. henry – kill yourself. Who’s the one who looks like a rude jackass and burning misanthrope from so small of an issue?

    You lost your dignity over nothing.

  16. Dude, I was here long before you–quit trying to change the subject, which is inability of a supposed editor of Reason to understand the story he is purporting to blog about (the same inability of some of the posters here is not as surprising).

  17. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

    So let me get this straight:

    Palin has denied the story (for that’s worth, which isn’t much).

    The source of the story is a known hoaxster.

    Exactly what basis do we have for believing the story is true, again? How on earth can you say with a straight face that a story that comes from somebody running a hoax website, that has no other apparent attribution whatsoever, is still legit?

    Hell, even MSNBC is admitting that it shouldn’t have gone with it.

    An MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, explained the network’s misstep by saying someone in the newsroom received the Palin item in an e-mail message from a colleague and assumed it had been checked out. “It had not been vetted,” he said. “It should not have made air.”

  18. “The funniest part is that many people couldn’t tell it was fake until the curtain was lifted.

    She’s that stupid.”

    No the funny part is that people like you are such ignorant, faux sophisticate provincial morons that you will believe anything about anyone you have decided is not university enough for you. Palin has been a wonderful litmus test to bring out the semi-literate wannabes and give them a reason to feel better about themselves. If it wasn’t for the myth of Palin, who would you, MO and BDB have to feel superior to?

  19. It is amazing to me that people still fall for the ‘all dems are smart and all repubs are dumb’ story. It is as real as the ‘all repubs are hawks and all dems are doves.’

    Look at Joe Biden, he is a counterexample to both.

  20. Hmmm…I understood what you morons didn’t. Yes, embarrassing, isn’t it?

  21. I figured it was probably fake before I knew anything about the source. Aside from the fact that it seemed too dumb even for Palin, I assumed that any nasty post-defeat revelations about Palin would have to be taken with a grain of salt: When a team loses, and the political attack dogs are out of work and looking for a culprit, why should we expect them to tell the truth about anything?

  22. My God, you people are illiterate.

  23. Oh, a half-assed update–let’s see how many here can make heads or tails of it.

  24. Oh, shit, henry’s back. The quality of trolling here has consistently declined these past few months. Can we please get some respectable trolls back? Joe needs to get back from his vacation soon, and TallDave needs to get off his ass. Hell, at this point, I would even let Dondero back in.

  25. If Carl Cameron (Fox) is not to be believed by you right-wing apologists for mediocrity, who is? Joseph Goebbels?

  26. No the funny part is that people like you are such ignorant, faux sophisticate provincial morons that you will believe anything about anyone you have decided is not university enough for you. Palin has been a wonderful litmus test to bring out the semi-literate wannabes and give them a reason to feel better about themselves. If it wasn’t for the myth of Palin, who would you, MO and BDB have to feel superior to?

    John is saucy today.

    He had Grape-Nuts on his Wheaties. Keeps him regular.

    Henry, it turns out, is also right on the merits, but such a complete douche that nobody, including me, actually cares.

  27. Yeah, I know–YOU guys were hoax by Brian, so I’M the bad guy. Whatever, fools.

  28. Is henry c.o.’s alter ego? I just ask because their posts tend to have the same style. They want to sound like pure venom, but it comes off with them sounding like morons.

  29. Seriously, henry, what happened to you to make you such a complete douche?

  30. economist,

    Maybe. They both have that cretinous jackanape vibe going on.

  31. Why won’t people agree with me?

  32. If it wasn’t for the myth of Palin, who would you, MO and BDB have to feel superior to?

    well, there is always you, John.

  33. cretinous jackanapes make me miss joe, so now I hate them twice as much.

  34. Cool, now I have people using my nym for fake posts (“Why won’t people agree with me?”)–the highest form of flattery, they say.

    Palin apologists, unite–you have nothing to lose but your intellects.

  35. …the dimness of Sarah Palin’s bulb…

    Who?

  36. I am continuously astonished that people can hate/love/care about politicians so much. Especially Palin. What the fuck is wrong with some of you?

  37. I guess other folks are slow as well:

    http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/11/palin_deserves_an_apology.html

    You’re all so EAGER to embrace this dimbulb–amazing.

  38. I actually know a girl who went to UPenn and is now a medical doctor who referred to Africa as a country to me before. I don’t see how it is that much more of a gaffe than 57 states. The whole Palin smear think has stunk of establishment bias from the start. I watched Palin’s Alaskan Governor debate when she got picked. There was nothing particularly impressive or embarrassing about her performance. Her IQ seemed on par with Obama, McCain, and Biden, none of whom would be classified by any objective observer as some kind of mental titan. Her problem was being a woman, not being from the Beltway, and talking with an accent.

  39. It’s kind of cute, sort of like having a rabid hamster. He wails and gnashes his teeth, but in the end he’s just a widdle hamster.

  40. I’m no Palin defender. You’re just a giant douche, henry. Sorry to be the one to tell you.

  41. Ditto economist. henry, look around whatever sad little hovel you occupy, get up from your no doubt ass-imprinted and dingy chair, find some rope and a chair and do the world a favor.

  42. joez Law at work…and it couldn’t have happened to a better person!

    Henry said:

    My God, you people are illiterate.

    Followed by:

    Yeah, I know–YOU guys were hoax by Brian, so I’M the bad guy. Whatever, fools.

    Proper use of verb tense tends to show the level of literacy of writer. 😉

  43. But, I can understand written English, which seems beyond a lot of you (at least on this subject), so I’ll take it.

    You know, if I hadn’t interjected here, it would have been interesting so see how long you clowns carried on completely clueless.

  44. I’m increasingly convinced that henry and co are one and the same.

  45. Ban the troll, please.

    I am coming to realization that caustic hijacking “pay-attention-to-me-isms!” really drag down the level of discourse.

  46. Epi,

    The venomous hatred of Palin is fairly plain to me. They are horrified that the GOP might actually have another folksy charmer like Reagan or W. They’ve seen folksy trump technocrat and career politician four times so far. And of course the anger that people actually like Palin where they couldn’t stand Hilary.

  47. “My mom says I’m the most handsome boy in school.”

  48. Yes, Yerbaff, but grade C typing skills (literally) are an answer to all the idiocy so willingly swallowed in this thread previously.

    I know you are all embarrassed by your gullibility, but repeated posts shooting the messenger only highlight it.

    Face it–you fucked up, guys. The early posts in this thread (I KNEW IT!) are a joke.

  49. But then there’s the Kouric interview. Plain’s pretty dumb.

  50. Yeah, ban the guy who actually bothered to read before posting–makes sense.

    So much for “Reason”.

  51. DRINK!

    I’d rather have the Anarchrist around here than you, henry. Hell, give me Dan T…give me Jersey McJones! At least he was entertaining.

  52. Just as soon as he boasts that he’s better read on libertarianism than anyone else here, I will totally have my troll bingo card finished.

  53. I still think we should ignore all trolls who don’t post in limerick form.
    But, hey. That’s just me.

  54. They are horrified that the GOP might actually have another folksy charmer like Reagan or W

    I guess, but (and I don’t want to go Feministing you here, but you can take it), I smell misogyny in the form of “dumb bimbo”.

    She can’t be that dumb and be where she is in life. Sorry.

  55. Just as soon as he boasts that he’s better read on libertarianism than anyone else here, I will totally have my troll bingo card finished.

    A-3

  56. She can’t be that dumb and be where she is in life.

    does that apply to Bush also?

  57. Honestly, he sounds like co on speed.

  58. The joke’s on Max Eisenstadt because Africa is not really a continent or a country, it’s a song by Toto.

  59. Episiarch–

    Have you ever been to Alaska?

  60. Episiarch–

    Have you ever been to Alaska?

    henry, have you ever been to a Turkish Prison?

  61. Fuck you TAO, you beat me, damn it.

  62. I have a better Palin game. Supply the caption to this photo which the NYT is currently running:

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/11/13/world/13palin-600a.jpg

  63. henry,
    The question everyone is dying for the answer to: Are you “teh concerned observer”?

  64. Damn you Edward! How many times do I have to say it? Take a Zanax and relax. Christ! You’re gonna have a coronary just from typing.

  65. Whew, otherwise they would have had to cancel her guest appearance on “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?”

  66. The fascinating thing is not whether she’s actually dumb or not* but rather the desperate need for leftists to prove she’s dumb in order to neutralize her. They wouldn’t spend this much energy on someone who wasn’t perceived as a threat.

    Which is stupider? Being Sarah Palin or being petrified of Sarah Palin?

    *I personally think she’s probably not all that bright, and she certainly doesn’t have the guile required for big time politics.

  67. Damn you Edward! How many times do I have to say it? Take a Zanax and relax

    Xanax, Naga. Xanax. It’s important to get your drugs right.

    And Valium is better.

  68. Without a named source, I’m inclined to wonder

    We’re not. More, please, and the stupider the better.
    24 is a lot of hours to fill. Please don’t make us focus on the new president.

  69. There once was henry the troll
    who made everybody lol
    and when we’re wailin
    on sarah palin
    he’s such a stupid ass hole

  70. I smell misogyny in the form of “dumb bimbo”.

    But can it compare to the horrific sexism of movie trailers?

  71. other than getting overly worked up, it’s hard to see henry’s sin that called for such a dogpile

  72. I also just learned how to pronounce “lol”.

  73. This AP story states–without any details backing it up, though one presumes he got the Fox reporter to say, no, his source was someone other than “Eisenstadt,” and the only hoax was Eisenstadt claiming credit for it.

    So, on the one hand, we have “Eisenstadt” apparently claiming to be the source, and on the other we have a Fox reporter covering his ass by saying somebody else was the source, but giving no indication as to who the real source was, and giving no corroboration for the story.

    Why would anybody believe the Fox reporter here?

    And why do I find it so funny that people who ordinarily dismiss Fox out of hand are now citing an (at best) anonymous, uncorroborated Fox report as gospel truth?

  74. And we’re safe ladies and gentlemen! henry won’t be bothering us anymore. I chased him off… with my nudity. Does that arouse anyone here?

  75. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/11/13/world/13palin-600a.jpg

    “…and then I realized that henry had stretched his anus out to this width. I sat back in amazement and terror as he inserted his entire head into his anus. I had no idea he was that flexible. Sure proved me wrong, dontchaknow.”

  76. nauseate, more like

  77. I’m so worried about my son. He won’t go to school, he just locks himself in his room screaming obscenities at his computer.

  78. I peed on their goddess–that has gotten people slaughtered for eons.

    Hey, for all I know the story WAS false–but people are LOOKING for reasons to label it false, which is pathetic for a site of this type.

    “Reason” indeed.

  79. Look, here’s what happened:

    1. Carl Cameron claims, based on unnamed sources, that Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent.
    2. “Martin Eisenstadt” claims that he is the source of the rumor, and that the story was a fabrication.
    3. Eisenstadt himself is revealed as a hoax.
    4. Cameron claims that Eisenstadt was not his source.

    There are at least two different ways you could interpret these events:

    A. Eisenstadt had nothing to do with the initial rumor.
    Cameron heard the story from some other, still unnamed, source and reported it. Eisenstadt opportunistically claimed credit for his own reasons (maybe to try to discredit Cameron, maybe just to sow confusion, who knows).

    B. Cameron is lying to cover up his being hoaxed.
    Cameron heard the story from Eisenstadt and then reported it. After Eisenstadt’s deception was revealed, Cameron lied that Eisenstadt wasn’t his source.

    Both stories seem plausible to me, but I don’t understand why anyone would put much weight on either of them. The only reason to put any credit in story B is the claim by “Eisenstadt,” an anonymous hoaxster who is a known and admitted liar.

    And even if story A is completely true, it doesn’t provide any good reason to believe the underlying rumor. An angry, bitter, unnamed source from inside the sharply divided McCain-Palin campaign related a fairly extreme story about Palin’s ignorance. Even if you believe Cameron accurately relayed his source’s story, what good reason is there to believe that this unnamed source is telling the truth?

  80. the innominate one,

    I think he just was the last in a critical mass of half-literate spew trolling that has been building up since the election. He stood up in front of the dart board; I don’t care how many he gets in the eye.

  81. “Sources?”
    We don’t have no sources.
    We don’t need no stinking sources!

  82. henry,
    You obviously don’t read here much. Sarah Palin isn’t a “goddess” to anyone here.

  83. “Even if you believe Cameron accurately relayed his source’s story, what good reason is there to believe that this unnamed source is telling the truth?”

    That is always an issue–you have to judge by the previous credibility and thoroughness of a reporter in vetting their sources.

    So what is new about this?

  84. except for John.

  85. Sorry Epi. As you know, prescription pills don’t seem to work on me that well. Not an excuse for my ignorance . . . just a good reason.

  86. Actually, if this story was shown to be false, that would be great, wouldn’t it? After all of Fox’s yammering about Rather, it would be highly enjoyable.

    I can’t lose here!

  87. By the way, people believe what they want to believe, but you all know that.
    That’s the secret to our success. Just ask Bill O’Reilly. Keith Olbermann. Chris Matthews…
    Truth? You’re being old-fashioned. Truth is for pussies.

  88. Will,

    Since we aren’t blathering about what kind of dog Obama’s going to get, we have to be a cabal of secret Republicans. Sorry, “Rethuglicans.”

    Anyway, I’m done providing him stroke material.

  89. SugarFree–

    When Drudge didn’t have it under a flashing light, you should have known–admit it.

    Let’s chip in and get Brian a flashing light of his own.

  90. Anyway, I’m done providing him stroke material.

    Hey, you haven’t shown any of us your ass yet. Take it off! Take it off!

  91. It would blind you with its German-Irish glory.

  92. “That is always an issue–you have to judge by the previous credibility and thoroughness of a reporter in vetting their sources.

    So what is new about this?”

    Nothing new about it at all. But the journalist’s credibility needs to be weighed against other relevant factors. More extreme claims and sources with known biases demand a greater degree of credibility from the journalist.

    In this case, the rumor claims a fairly extreme level of ignorance, and its anonymous source was allegedly a disgruntled member of the McCain campaign.

    Does Carl Cameron have an long and unblemished history of anonymously sourced stories that are later shown to be accurate? If so, then maybe the rumor deserves some weight. But I haven’t heard anyone suggesting such a thing.

  93. If it wasn’t for the myth of Palin, who would you, MO and BDB have to feel superior to?

    There’s always you. I didn’t need the Africa story for me to feel that Palin wasn’t ready for the VP slot. She’s a fine local politician, but there’s a huge difference between local issues and national issues. When you throw in the way she mismanaged Wasilla’s budget, the shady ethics and the fact that she worked in a state with a huge financial safety net, all signs point to not ready for prime time. Jindal was smart enough to see that, Palin wasn’t.

    Just because people disagree with you, John, doesn’t mean that I’m a troll. At least I provide links and sources for my statements, and not just ones that are ideologically amenable to me.

  94. R C Dean pretty much nailed it, above.

    Palin-haters are willing to accept a Fox news reporters unsourced claims as gospel truth.

    Palin-lovers are willing to accept the word of an anonymous hoaxster that he is the source.

    There’s no good reason to believe the original rumor spread by Cameron. But there’s no reason to believe “Eisenstadt” either.

  95. the innominate one,
    Great minds think alike.

  96. “It would blind you with its German-Irish glory.”

    SF, is your real name Lance Holdger, by any chance?

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29886

  97. Palin-haters are willing to accept a Fox news reporters unsourced claims as gospel truth.

    Palin-lovers are willing to accept the word of an anonymous hoaxster that he is the source.

    And so, Palin-haters like me who thought that the story was bullshit to begin with, source or otherwise…where do we sit?

  98. CN,

    No. My ass is better than that.

  99. Ele,

    Where do you sit? In the STFU corner with the rest of the wiseacres. And Palin-lovers who still believe the story have to spend the night in Stop-hitting-yourself-stop-hitting-yourself Alley.

  100. No. My ass is better than that.

    You’re still competing with me and still failing, I see. You should really try to control your obsession.

  101. Epi, I don’t have to compete with an emetophiliac. You’ve already lost.

  102. NutraSweet, how did you know?

  103. the henry says, “I can’t lose here!

    Really? The grand prize for “winning” this discussion is that Rathergate is somehow avenged? Oh, you can lose, henry. For instance, you could still be whining about some event that happened during the 2004 election. Everyone would look at you and say, “henry‘s a weirdo.” That would be losing.

  104. I know all. I even know about your dacryphilia.

    But at least you are better off than this guy:

    Under the terms of the order, Arobieke was banned from touching, feeling or measuring muscles, asking people to do squat exercises in public, entering the towns of St Helens, Warrington or Widnes without police permission and loitering near schools, gyms or sports clubs.

  105. She certainly doesn’t have enough guile for national office. When asked about the whole Bridge to Nowhere fiasco she had no slick answers for it. Of course, there was no taking of responsibility for it either. She’s more like your annoyingly earnest, do-nothing aunt than anything else.

  106. I rather think that Palin is neither stupid nor brilliant. I think she’s got more common sense than Biden, but that’s a low bar.

    On the flip side, I think something fundamentally screwed up has happened when people think politicians are geniuses. That’s so rare as to be presumptively false. Clinton, for instance, is bright, but he’s no genius. I think the same can be said of Obama, who I’d say is less intelligent than Clinton.

    The GOP has had its share of smart candidates and politicians, but Democrats almost universally insist that everyone the GOP runs is stupid. Don’t get that logic–why can’t they be, say, smart yet evil? Or why can’t the Democratic candidates be not-so-smart but good? Even Wile E. Coyote would appoint and rely on smart staffers, so intelligence is perhaps not so important as common sense and the ability to make good decisions.

  107. In the STFU corner with the rest of the wiseacres.

    Wiseacre…I learned a new word today. Etymologically, shares the same root with “wizard”. Interesting.

  108. “No. My ass is better than that.”

    “You’re still competing with me and still failing.”

    Just because your ass is bleeding doesn’t mean you’re the front dog.

  109. Jesus John, obsess over me much?

  110. This is quite impressive. Almost 100 comments inspired by the exchange with “henry”.

  111. Ele,

    Cool. I love passing words onto people. I was one of those weird kids who would look up a word in the dictionary and then spend ten minutes reading the next three pages and looking up words I didn’t know.

  112. I’m still trying to figure out how I got dragged into this. I don’t recall saying anything about the Africa story.

  113. I was one of those weird kids who would look up a word in the dictionary and then spend ten minutes reading the next three pages and looking up words I didn’t know.

    Total. Fucking. Nerd. What else, playing Star Frontiers with your imaginary friends?

  114. BDB,
    Don’t worry too much over it. Most of the annoyance was directed at henry.

  115. Economist–

    I think John wants to be a Jesse Jackson for rednecks.

  116. My take on Palin is that she is a fairly bright person but a person who is remarkably uncurious.

    A trait incidentally that I think she shares with W.

  117. Careful, Isaac. You’re violating right wing PC Code there.

  118. My take on Palin is that she is a fairly bright person but a person who is remarkably uncurious.

    A trait incidentally that I think she shares with W.

    I see no reason to agree or disagree. I’m just curious, myself, how you can tell that someone is “uncurious” or not.

    Is Obama or Biden curious or uncurious? How can you tell?

  119. R C Dean, can you defend Palin without shifting to “BUT BIDEN IS THE STUPID TOO!!”?

    Just wondering.

  120. Idiot’s Guide to Defending Sarah Palin:

    1) Call your opponent sexist

    2) Call your opponent an elitist

    3) Evade the relevant issue, and talk about Biden

  121. 4) Talk about the Evil MSM and their mind control rays

  122. R C Dean

    Both Obama or Biden display a wide ranging knowledge about the world. Essentially they know the things that well-informed people know. I think Hit and Run commenters fall into that category. Like what an “Achilles Heel” is.

    Palin’s version of smarts may have served her well in Alaska local and state politics but it’s not enough for the national game.

    Though I’m sure that the “Afica is a country” thing is totally a myth. After all, the preacher who gave her the blessing to protect her from witches told her he was from Kenya, a country in Africa. She has a good memory so she probably retained that one.

  123. “I rather think that Palin is neither stupid nor brilliant. I think she’s got more common sense than Biden, but that’s a low bar.”

    I think you are exactly right pro. She clearly has something going for her or she wouldn’t have managed to become governor. There are truly dumb people who reach important positions, but those people are almost always from rich or well known families and got where they are because of their connections and name. You can be a Kennedy and be stupid and get elected to an important position. You can’t be a nobody and get elected governor without having something going for you.

    But Palin is an easy target. She is a Republican. They are always stupid and racist as you point out. She is from some small town. All small town people are stupid, even the ones who fly planes, operate on people, fix cars or do any number of other things that the clowns who are convinced Palin is a moron couldn’t do if their lives depended on it. She speaks with a funny accent. She doesn’t read the right newspapers and magazines. I think you really have to go back to the Eisenhower 50s to find in the words of Camille Paglia the “lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice…” that we have seen with Palin. When someone who actually knows something or impresses me tells me Palin is stupid or if and when I ever meet the woman and she gives me reason to think she is stupid, I will change my mind. Until then I think Paglia, someone who while a bit batty really is smart and impressive, has it about right.

  124. Cool. I love passing words onto people. I was one of those weird kids who would look up a word in the dictionary and then spend ten minutes reading the next three pages and looking up words I didn’t know.

    Me too. I got to pass on ‘supererogatory’ a month or so ago. I love words, and am always glad to hear a new one.

  125. “Both Obama or Biden display a wide ranging knowledge about the world. Essentially they know the things that well-informed people know. I think Hit and Run commenters fall into that category. Like what an “Achilles Heel” is.

    You just hate people from small towns and women!

    Obama once said there were 57 states, what about that!?

  126. She doesn’t read the right newspapers and magazines.

    Impossible, she reads them all.

  127. “After all, the preacher who gave her the blessing to protect her from witches told her he was from Kenya, a country in Africa. She has a good memory so she probably retained that one.”

    Now someone is developing evidence. Of course maybe she thought Kenya was to Africa as say Alaska is to the US. Surely she doesn’t think Alaska a country (although her husband apparently feels it should be).

    What a mind to fathom, eh? Her 4 question news conference today (the first since hitting the national scene) was really impressive.

  128. I see no reason to agree or disagree. I’m just curious, myself, how you can tell that someone is “uncurious” or not.

    Their response to what newspapers or magazines do you read is, “All of them”. Then when pressed for specifics, getting defensive and saying, “Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, ‘Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?'”

    Sidenote to Governor Palin: you can subscribe to American newspapers and magazines in foreign countries too, not to mention reading them on the internet.

  129. LMNOP — Someone got to be governor of Alaska while being so stupid and ignorant that they didn’t know Africa is a continent. Riiiiiight.

    I’d say anyone who believed such an obvious hit piece is likely a wee bit ignorant, or at least painfully gullible about politics.

  130. John, if you wanted to prove your point, why waste your time using this Palin blivet?

    Here’s a much better starting place:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/elections/sfl-chi1113tolerance-test,0,6396541.story

    Teach,
    your children well….

  131. Ele,

    Oh, that is a nice one. And apt in our current paroxysm of welfare state flagellation.

    Look at me, talkin’ all fancy.

  132. “Both Obama or Biden display a wide ranging knowledge about the world. Essentially they know the things that well-informed people know.”

    Really? That is an interesting question. I would imagine that both Biden and Obama could tell you what an “Achilles’ heel” is. But I fail to see how that means they know anything. Neither one of them have ever shown any real knowledge of classical culture. Yeah, they could tell you what “Achilles heel means” but could they have an intelligent conversation about the Iliad and its meaning for modern politics?

    I doubt it. Further, what real experience has either one of them had? Could Obama or Joe Biden tell you anything about what it takes to run a business? What do they know about tax law or accounting practices? What do they know about managing people getting people to work together as a team. Yeah, they have both run campaigns and bloviated in the Senate but that they never been in charge of anything.

    Lastly, give me five really inciteful things each of them has said. Not rhetoric, not insulting the other side, but real meaningful things that made you go “wow I never thought of that”. I haven’t heard anything like that at all from either of them. Certainly not from Biden. Maybe there are some nuggets in Obama’s books but there certainly weren’t any in his campaign speeches. Further, since becoming President elect he hasn’t said one thing of note or wisdom that I have heard.

  133. She clearly has something going for her or she wouldn’t have managed to become governor.

    She was elected by a population, half of whom want to be represented in the senate by a convicted felon.

    What’s not a myth is that she, to this day, seems incapable of speaking intelligently about the issues that face the nation. Whether that’s a lack of intelligence or a lack of education is ultimately moot.

  134. “She clearly has something going for her or she wouldn’t have managed to become governor.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiro_Agnew

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Mandel

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Ryan

  135. One other thing Isaac Bartrum. I think you make an interesting point about “things informed people know”. We seem to have a low bar for education these days. Knowing what is expected of an informed person seems to entail knowing a few bits about a variety of subjects and being able to bullshit on them. I don’t find knowing what an “Achilles heel” is particularly impressive. But you are right about the need to know certain things that all informed people know. The problem is that most of those things are either insignificant trivia or outright bullshit. None of the “informed people” seem to know much about anything beyond looking smart and bullshiting about this or that subject. That fact has a lot to do with many of the troubles we face I think.

  136. I’d say anyone who believed such an obvious hit piece is likely a wee bit ignorant, or at least painfully gullible about politics.

    I agree.

    What does that say about FOX News?

    Look at me, talkin’ all fancy.

    Careful, or John might call you some terrible names. He fears the words, you see.

  137. The woman never even had a fucking passport until last year, when she was forced to get one to visit the ANG in Kuwait.

    I am not going to presume shit about her grasp of geography. She is demonstrably uncurious about such things.

  138. BDB,

    If it so easy to go from nowhere to governor, I expect you will be going right out and doing it in the next couple of years. Afterall, if idiot like Palin can do it and you can’t, what does that say about a real big city sophisticate like you?

  139. “The woman never even had a fucking passport until last year, when she was forced to get one to visit the ANG in Kuwait.”

    Now I’m in the weird position of defending Sarah Palin. World traveling is fucking expensive, and those of us who are not from wealthy backgrounds don’t do a lot of it.

  140. I don’t find knowing what an “Achilles heel” is particularly impressive.

    Me, either, but I do find not knowing it to be very telling.

  141. “Afterall, if idiot like Palin can do it and you can’t, what does that say about a real big city sophisticate like you?”

    It says you can b e a complete dumbass and be a great politician. Which is unsettling, but true. Look at 3/4 of the people in Congress for God’s sake.

  142. “Careful, or John might call you some terrible names. He fears the words, you see.”

    Yes I fear words. I never went to college or learned much and never read. Again, when someone who really is impressive and knows something and doesn’t have an axe to grind tells me how dumb Palin is, I might believe them. Up to now that hasn’t happened. Instead Palin hating is the great indoor outdoor sport of pseudo intellectual posers everywhere. No wonder the media is so good at it.

  143. I guess Biden isn’t a dumbass since he is Vice President Elect and you’re not then, John?

  144. I certainly don’t hate Palin. Though it seemed to me whenever she was speaking extemporaneously she really had trouble trying to voice a coherent thought in a straightforward manner.

  145. John | November 13, 2008, 3:01pm | #
    BDB,

    If it so easy to go from nowhere to governor, I expect you will be going right out and doing it in the next couple of years. Afterall, if idiot like Palin can do it and you can’t, what does that say about a real big city sophisticate like you?

    I think it says that he’s not inclined to spend his time doing lots of ass kissing. In the end, it’s (politics) just a big popularity contest and the best ass kisser wins.

    I’m not saying Palin is dumb, just positing that intelligence alone does not win or lose elections. So your “well she’s governor, how dumb can she be” theory doesn’t convince me.

  146. THE URKOBOLD WOULD ALLOW GOVERNOR PALIN TO PLEASURE HIM. AND PLEASURE HIM AGAIN.

  147. I wouldn’t say Biden is dumb. Just a fool and not very thoughtful woefully dishonest. That whole plagiarizing thing, which goes all the way back to law school for him.

  148. “I’m not saying Palin is dumb, just positing that intelligence alone does not win or lose elections. So your “well she’s governor, how dumb can she be” theory doesn’t convince me.”

    It is an especially odd argument coming from a guy who has spent a lot of time telling us what a dumbass the future Vice President is (I agree with this, BTW).

  149. I guess the bottom line is John a lot of horrible and stupid people get elected to public office. You can be a crooked bastard or a complete dumbass and get elected to statewide office. I gave you three examples of the former above.

  150. “I’m not saying Palin is dumb, just positing that intelligence alone does not win or lose elections. So your “well she’s governor, how dumb can she be” theory doesn’t convince me.”

    If only it were just a matter of ass kissing. It takes more than that, especially if you don’t come with family connections. You have to know how to talk to and connect with people. That is a real skill and not to be taken lightly.

  151. So, does Joe Biden, the guy you say is such a fool, “really connect with people” more than Palin John?

    He must, since he is at an even higher office, right?

  152. Both Obama or Biden display a wide ranging knowledge about the world.

    I haven’t noticed it, to tell you the truth. Most of what they say that registers on me is either blindingly wrong, or political blah-blah put in their mouths by their staff.

    Their public personas are either controlled (Obama) or notably unimpressive (Biden).

    Really, I think “uncurious” is just a way to say “stupid” without being rude, and I think it is an accusation generally levelled without any good basis.

    I think Obama, for example, is “book smart” because of his law school grades, but he has spent his adult life in a very narrow circle and really has very limited life experience as an adult. He may be curious as in “reads a lot of stuff” (I don’t know, and neither does anyone else here) but he sure doesn’t get out much.

  153. “I guess the bottom line is John a lot of horrible and stupid people get elected to public office. You can be a crooked bastard or a complete dumbass and get elected to statewide office. I gave you three examples of the former above.”

    All true. But Palin gets selected out for special treatment for gaffes that other politicians routinely commit when other politicians, Biden being the most obvious the most obvious example these days, are let off the hook. She is treated like no other politician. That is what infuriates me so much. Everything people say about Palin could be said about 90% of the politicians out there but isn’t. I have no special affinity for Palin beyond my loathing of the attitudes and prejudices that drive the criticism of her. If the people who make those criticisms actually meant them, they would make them about other politicians.

  154. The bottom line is in politics 98% of the time the politician is either smart but crooked as hell, or just dumb as a bag of hammers.

  155. You have to know how to talk to and connect with people.

    Yes, as I said, ass kissing.

    That is a real skill and not to be taken lightly.

    Yes, great ass kissing is quite the challenge.

  156. John–

    That is because her roll out by the McCain campaign was just downright horribly incompetent and the media loves a good train wreck.

  157. RC,

    I can’t think of one thing Obama has done as an adult that indicates he is intellectually curious. If he were intellectually curious, he would be reading economics books or military history or some other subject that he doesn’t know much about but would be of value in government. He has never done any of that. Everyone is so obsessed with what Palin reads and doesn’t read, I don’t recall anyone ever asking what Obama reads. He is supposed to be such a philosopher king; I would expect his reading list to be impressive. I doubt it is because he is really not a particularly curious person and not a very deep thinker.

  158. Also theres an unkown/known quantity thing. Biden got chased out of the 1988 Presidential race by the media when he was still relatively new. Re-hashing that wouldn’t get the media good ratings. Going after someone new, does.

  159. “John–

    That is because her roll out by the McCain campaign was just downright horribly incompetent and the media loves a good train wreck.”

    No it is because she connected with the Republican base and they knew they had to destroy her. They also are sexist and parochial as hell. Another thing that drives me nuts about the media’s treatment of her is that most journalists really are stupid and know just enough about what they cover to be dangerous. They honestly think spending a summer backpacking across Europe in college makes them knowledgeable about foreign affairs. Most journalists are everything they accuse Palin of being (parochial, intellectually uncurious and unserious, and functionally ignorant of most matters). There dislike of her was sheer projection.

  160. Now I’m in the weird position of defending Sarah Palin. World traveling is fucking expensive, and those of us who are not from wealthy backgrounds don’t do a lot of it.

    There’s a world of difference between a lot and none. My straight out of undergrad broke-ass managed to squeeze some international travel in.

    I doubt it. Further, what real experience has either one of them had? Could Obama or Joe Biden tell you anything about what it takes to run a business? What do they know about tax law or accounting practices? What do they know about managing people getting people to work together as a team. Yeah, they have both run campaigns and bloviated in the Senate but that they never been in charge of anything.

    The person you’re defending has spent her entire career in the two areas you’ve been deriding most. She was a sports journalist and then was a politician. Both Biden and Obama practiced law before they became politicians. The former actually had his own firm for a couple of years, so he probably knows a thing or two about running a business.

    He may be curious as in “reads a lot of stuff” (I don’t know, and neither does anyone else here) but he sure doesn’t get out much.

    Besides pulling it out of your ass, where did you find that?

  161. I agree criticizing her for not traveling abroad in college was dumb. I didn’t do it, not because I’m stupid but because I had to work in the summer to pay for college.

    I still say they went after her for ratings, not because of some deep prejudice.

  162. I don’t recall anyone ever asking what Obama reads

    And yet you say this:

    He has never done any of that.

    Are you stalking him, or just pulling all of this out of your ass?

  163. “There’s a world of difference between a lot and none. My straight out of undergrad broke-ass managed to squeeze some international travel in.”

    I didn’t feel like getting into debt even more, thanks.

    The fact that George W. Bush, who was from a rich family, didn’t do it is more revealing.

  164. “Also theres an unkown/known quantity thing. Biden got chased out of the 1988 Presidential race by the media when he was still relatively new. Re-hashing that wouldn’t get the media good ratings. Going after someone new, does.”

    yeah but Biden had about 30 new gaffes for them to talk about and they ignored it. What worries me now is that he is VP and when he says something stupid it can have consequences and hurt the country. What happens when he says something like “of course we wouldn’t go to war over the straights of Formosa that is all just a bluff”? Biden is a real lose cannon.

  165. I didn’t feel like getting into debt even more, thanks.

    I saved up for it with my first post-collegiate job. I figured, 4 years of Ramen wasn’t too bad, so why not cut back on my living expenses for a few months so I could treat myself.

    Granted, that was a personal priority of mine.

  166. “yeah but Biden had about 30 new gaffes for them to talk about and they ignored it.”

    From what I remember, everytime Biden made a gaffe they covered it, but like two days later Palin makes an even bigger gaffe and it sucked the oxygen out of the room. Like she was trying to one-up him or something.

  167. “Both Biden and Obama practiced law before they became politicians. The former actually had his own firm for a couple of years, so he probably knows a thing or two about running a business.”

    Obama never practiced law. He was an adjunct at U of C Law school and then worked in the public interest things like the Annenberg Challenge but he never worked for a law firm or had his own practice. He also never tried a case. I would feel better about him if he had been a PD or something. Had some experience in the real world beyond just politics. Also, Palin and her husband ran a commercial fishing business.

  168. BDB,

    Palin never had a gaffe as big as “spread the wealth around” or “clinging to their guns and religion”. If Palin had ever said anything that thoughtless she would have been ran out of public life.

  169. yeah but Biden had about 30 new gaffes for them to talk about and they ignored it. What worries me now is that he is VP and when he says something stupid it can have consequences and hurt the country. What happens when he says something like “of course we wouldn’t go to war over the straights of Formosa that is all just a bluff”? Biden is a real lose cannon.

    Name one. Seems to me that I heard about most of his gaffes from the media. Not to mention he was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for 4 years, which is a pretty important position and one where saying, “of course we wouldn’t go to war over the straights of Formosa that is all just a bluff” is a major league fuck-up.

  170. “Bitterage” was covered non-stop for two weeks.

    “Spread the wealth” was something that resonated mostly with partisan Republicans.

    The first one would have destroyed Dukakis, Gore, or Kerry, but Obama was a better politician.

  171. Obama never practiced law.

    He was an associate at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland for 3 years. People can have multiple jobs, you know.

  172. Silly rabbits.

  173. That is true, he did work at a small public interest firm. That being said, it is not like he ever accomplished anything. He was never involved in any significant cases I have heard of or achieved any significant successes. The Annenburg Challange was a disaster and a complete waste of money. Show me where Obama has done anything beyond go to school, work on failed social programs and get elected. In a lot of ways I don’t blame Jesse Jackson for hating him so much. Jackson for all of his faults really did accomplish things when he was young.

  174. “Show me where Obama has done anything beyond go to school, work on failed social programs and get elected. ”

    John, you were telling us all upthread what a big deal it was to get elected to office, and how Sarah Palin is smart and accomplished because she got elected Governor.

  175. John is grasping. For what? I don’t know.

  176. I am a man who will fight for your honor
    I’ll be the hero that you’re dreaming of
    Gonna live forever knowing together
    That we did it all for the glory of love

    You keep me standing tall
    You’ll help me through it all
    I’m always strong when you’re beside me
    I have always needed you
    I could never make it alone

  177. awesome:

    Lastly, give me five really inciteful [sic] things each of them has said.

    Biden is a real lose [sic] cannon.

    I’ve been trying not to be the spelling nazi, but in a thread about the intelligence of various politicians, I just couldn’t help myself.

  178. Hey, Chicago, stop trying to take all the credit! “Glory of Love” was my solo work, dammit!

  179. “I can’t think of one thing Obama has done as an adult that indicates he is intellectually curious. If he were intellectually curious, he would be reading economics books or military history or some other subject that he doesn’t know much about but would be of value in government. He has never done any of that. Everyone is so obsessed with what Palin reads and doesn’t read, I don’t recall anyone ever asking what Obama reads. He is supposed to be such a philosopher king; I would expect his reading list to be impressive. I doubt it is because he is really not a particularly curious person and not a very deep thinker.”

    You got the impression after reading the two books he wrote, right?

    (For the record, I’ve read neither, although the first is actually supposed to be pretty good for the genre; the second was a pre-campaign book).

  180. True enough. Sorry.

  181. John is grasping. For what? I don’t know.

    John is doing interpretive web art. The title of the piece is “Moving Goalposts”.

  182. John, you were telling us all upthread what a big deal it was to get elected to office, and how Sarah Palin is smart and accomplished because she got elected Governor.

    Not only that, but he’s a mixed race dude, with the middle name Hussein, a senator and raised from a no name family. I would say the difficulty rating of accomplishing that is an order of magnitude more than being the governor of a state of 600K.

  183. I confess I walked right into the “compared to Obama/Biden” thing. And I shouldn’t have. Because I don’t want either of them either.

    But everything I’ve seen indicates to me that both of them can answer just about any question about where and when just about any noteworthy historical event happened and can tell you where just about any country is located and something about its culture.

    Now as flawed as I find their politics these are the kinds of things I would expect someone who aspires to this kind of high office to know. And everything I’ve seen of Palin makes me fairly sure that she would not know many of these things. Not because she’s stupid but because it has never occured to her to wonder about any of them.

    See, it doesn’t so much matter how she stacks up against BO or JB, the fact is that she doesn’t even know things that any well informed American should know.

    You can draw whatever conclusions you want to about how well informed the average American is.

  184. I have to congratulate henry on proving me wrong on one very important and controversial point, in which I strongly persisted in my point of view until today: It is in fact physically possible for a human being to insert his head into his own rectum. On previous threads I had claimed that this was physically impossible for a human being. I posted links to websites where they tested the theory and said it couldn’t be done. I have been proven wrong today by henry, and I feel that it is only proper that I give credit where credit is due.

  185. That’s a brave admission, economist. We’ll all be here for you in the coming days and weeks.

  186. Yes BDB and up thread you were telling me how that doesn’t mean anything. I would say Obama and Palin have a lot in common in that they both came from nowhere and managed to get elected to high posts. But of course, the party line at Reason is that Obama is a genius and Palin is lucky to be able to feed herself.

    Since I am not a member of the Obama cult, I don’t find his accomplishments that overwelming. I don’t find Palin’s that overwelming either. I just don’t think the criticism of her is fair.

  187. “Yes BDB and up thread you were telling me how that doesn’t mean anything.”

    Yeah, and I stand by that. I’m not an O-bot.

  188. You got me Mo and BDB. i have to admit, Obama and Palin are about equally impressive. Fair enough.

  189. John, don’t go trollish on us. Name one person (besides Weigel and Chapman) who consider Obama a genius.

  190. Do you think Palin is more impressive than Bobby Jindal who is a Rhodes Scholar, John?

    Take off the partisan hat and compare Palin to her likely competition in 2012 (Crist, Jindal, Sanford, Flake, Huckabee).

    The last guy is a dumbass. Jindal is smart. The others, don’t know.

  191. Of course, Chapman considers Obama a specially enlightened being with the ability to crap ice cream and sneeze money.

    He also thinks Obama is a libertarian.

  192. BDB,
    I don’t think John was comparing Sarah Palin to any of those people, or saying there was anything particularly impressive about her.

  193. “economist | November 13, 2008, 4:41pm | #
    BDB,
    I don’t think John was comparing Sarah Palin to any of those people, or saying there was anything particularly impressive about her.”

    Yeah but I hear other Republicans screaming that she should be the 2012 nominee, because the media hates her. Or something. Despite the fact they have more impressive people.

  194. BDB,
    “Yeah but I hear other Republicans screaming that she should be the 2012 nominee, because the media hates her. Or something. Despite the fact they have more impressive people.”
    Yeah, but they’re not here. So don’t argue with them. Actually, I’m not going to argue about it either, anymore. It was utterly pointless before and utterly pointless it remains. And I’m still pissed off that I was wrong about it being possible for people to shove their heads up their asses.

  195. “Do you think Palin is more impressive than Bobby Jindal who is a Rhodes Scholar, John?”

    No. Jindal is a really smart guy. Rhoades scholarships are nothing to sneeze at. I frankly have no idea if he would be a good candidate or not. He is apparently a good governor of Lousiana. I can tell you from first hand experience that the State government in Louisiana was about 100 times better prepared for Gustav than they were for Katrina. How much of that is Jindal’s doing I don’t know. Also, it doesn’t take much beyond staying out of jail to be considered one of the “good governors” of Louisiana.

  196. Economist,

    True about Obama and being a genius. Weigel and Chapman are really the only ones who are a member of the cult.

  197. Crist is ok. However, beware the anti-Crist!

  198. I will take the opportunity to say this:
    OUST STEVE CHAPMAN ALREADY!
    Seriously. Chapman’s articles are always either A.statist apologetics B. Statements of his own delusions (see ‘A Liberal Like No Other’ for an example), or C. so general as to be irrelevant.

  199. the innominate one,
    I just have one question: How did Edward become so batshit insane? Seriously, did you guys actually do something to him, like shit in his birdbath, or has he just failed to take his meds for the last decade?

  200. R C Dean | November 13, 2008, 11:55am | #

    The source of the story is a known hoaxster.

    False. An unnamed source told Fox News about the Africa thing. Then the hoaxster told MSNBC that he was the source that talked to Fox, when he was not. The person who talked to Fox is a different person than the person who talked to MSNBC. The original leak was real.

  201. EDWARD THINKS HE IS THE URKOBOLD’S ILLEGITIMATE SON AND CAN’T HANDLE THE STARK TRUTHS PRESENTED BY DNA EVIDENCE.

  202. Geotpf,
    You really should have read the update. And the record should state that no one actually knows who the unnamed source is, which therefore makes it impossible to determine whether the original leak was real.

  203. Urkobold,
    No, really. I mean, things like the “When you fuck with bull, you get horns” comment. Was this all because he went to your blog and got pissed off at you? Because if that’s true then he’s an even bigger twat than I formerly considered him to be.

  204. Who’s edward?

  205. Is he related to henry?

  206. This happened to Drew Carey a few years back on Who’s Line Is It Anyway? Maybe that’s where the hoaxer got the inspiration.

    Video pops.

  207. Kus – probably. “Edweirdooo” could also be “Lefiti”. Maybe a regular who impersonates a troll to get a rise. Or it’s “Dan T” coming back to haunt us.

    Or he is a one time Croesus, Jean Bart, gay french reporter marine who’s married to a Jewish lady and living in NYC but then is from the south with Jason Bourne, the Frankish Kings, and now the purchaser of Alaska.

  208. Ha ha! Martin Eisenstadt pwned the news media! Everyone knows that the dinosaur news media will never change. They are just going to keep getting pwned by people like Martin until no one can trust their reporting anymore and they go extinct.

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