News e-zine Politico’s journalistic credibility was challenged yesterday when talk show host Laura Ingraham questioned journalist Mike Allen’s largely un-sourced piece claiming that the Republican establishment’s first order of business after the midterm election would be to stop Sarah Palin.
“If you’re going to have a piece about stopping Palin,” said Ingraham, “you better have a little more in terms of on-the-record commentary.”
In his article, Allen says, “Top Republicans in Washington and in the national GOP establishment say the 2010 campaign highlighted an urgent task that they will begin in earnest as soon as the elections are over: Stop Sarah Palin.” The article goes on to quote many anonymous sources within the GOP but names few, other than Karl Rove, who’s on-the-record comments seemed reserved and Michael Steele, who, when asked if Palin could win said, “Sure, why not?”
In another statement on CNN’s American Morning today Steele said, “These Republican leaders who don’t put their names in print but make comments in shadows need to shut up. We’re focused on winning elections tomorrow night,” Steele said. “Get out here, get out to this building at the RNC, help us make phone calls, help us dial into districts so we can turn out our vote. That’s what folks should be doing not focusing on Sarah Palin. She’s focused on winning elections and seats tomorrow night.”
Allen’s article went on to declare: “Interviews with advisers to the main 2012 presidential contenders and with other veteran Republican operatives make clear they see themselves on a common, if uncoordinated, mission of halting the momentum and credibility Palin gained with conservative activists by plunging so aggressively into this year’s midterm campaigns.” Again, few on the record quotes were cited. The piece cites unnamed advisors in the Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney camps.
“That’s a big statement—their trying to stop Sarah Palin and no one will be brave enough to have a quote attributed to them?” exclaimed Ingraham.
Ingraham also challenged the Politico writer when he said that Palin would run outside the mainstream without GOP establishment support. “So you think, if Sarah Palin were to run … she would want the Washington establishment,” said Allen.
“Do you think Sarah Palin can win if she doesn’t pull together the intellectual conservatives … foreign policy conservatives … Tea Party…?” asked Ingraham incredulously. “Whoever wins will have to appeal to all of those groups. …”
Palin slammed the e-zine for its “yellow journalism,” saying of Allen and his co-writer Jim Vandehei, “They’re jokes.” In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Palin, who was a journalism major in college, said, “I learned back in the day that who, what, when, where, why of journalism. You report that facts; you let other people decide what their opinion is going to be. So having unnamed sources in an article like this is very, very disappointing, you know. And it doesn’t do anybody any good. It doesn’t educate anybody. … I’m getting used to it though.”
Ingraham went on to say that the article sank beneath the standards she had come to expect form Politico.