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Washington Post is booed for giving Palin op-ed platform

Former Alaska Gov Sarah Palin on book tour in Fairfax Va. Dec. 5, 2009

As the Ticket noted earlier, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took to the opinion pages of the Washington Post to urge President Obama not to attend the U.N. Climate Change Conference in light of leaked e-mails suggesting that scientists were manipulating data to maximum public effect.

(See Al Gore's take on the e-mails in DCNow.)

Now the newspaper is taking heat for giving her a national platform -- for the second time in five months --  from which to opine.

"Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour," wrote the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, in a point-for-point rebuttal of the former Republican vice presidential candidate's arguments on global warming.

Even harsher was the ScienceBlogs.com's Tim Lambert, who headlined his piece on Palin's op-ed: "The Washington Post can't go out of business fast enough." Noting that the Post's own reporting rebuts Palin's arguments, Lambert added, "The Washington Post simply does not care about the accuracy of the columns it publishes," he concluded.

Some folks are even dissing Palin for giving the Post almost exactly what she wrote on her Facebook page.

Op ed pages are supposed to be  a forum for debating the issues of the day. So maybe the real grievance here is that critics don't think Palin should have a seat at the table.

What do you think?

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Reuters

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Comments () | Archives (131)

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The mindset of people on both extremes of the political spectrum, and the GW issue is politics not science, is that “if you don't agree with me you are evil”. Reasoned discourse has joined the dinosaurs and we shall suffer from the loss.

Why can't we just let this woman float into the oblivion she deserves to be in? If we would stop giving her coverage and paying attention to her and what she does, she would go back to being a plain old Wasilla housewife and mother which is all she is really qualified to do in the first place. Let's just get over her and ignore her. The press is keeping her in the spotlight and she doesn't belong there. Forget her!

In my view the newspaper business is going out of business because of their extremely liberal views. The Washington Post has figured out the combination for success - balance coverage and opinions

I guess they think it will sell papers and that's their only concern. It's irresponsible but not surprising.

Everyone ought to have a voice, including Palin.
Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

Everytime Sarah Palin open her mouth we the public has to suffer her stupidity,while she was on the campaign trail she showed that she is not as intelligent as our President,she needs to shut up.The media also needs to stop giving her a platform for her ignorance.We do not need a person like her in politics.

Boo'd by who? Publications and bloggers that are more liberal than WAPO, which is already pretty liberal? Ignore the leftist main stream media, they don't represent the US population.

No comments so far?
Exactly.

Fred Hiatt is really losing it, isn't he? Who at the Post thinks it's a good idea to let a guy who'd be laughed out of the Washington Times for inanity run the opinion pages (in print and online) of one of the country's most prestigious newspapers?

My horror at the thought of President Palin is second to no one's, but as a writer who has himself published op-ed pieces from time to time, I support her right to be published. Op-ed pages are for debate, not for factual reporting. The free press has a responsibility to examine all sides of an issue. Now that Palin has had her say, let the responses begin.

Silencing a critic is easier than deciphering the released code from ClimateGate, which interpolates random numbers against real data to generate Mann's hockey stick curve.

I'm glad to see the thought police are alive and well. I understand why people are scared of Palin, but by trying to silence her they're actually giving others reason to think that maybe she has something to say. If I didn't like Ms. Palin and was familiar with her record, I would most likely want her to talk non-stop all day. She'll take herself down. No need for intervention by political enemies.

People do have a right to their opinions-- and people most certainly MUST have the right to write and share their opinions with us, even if we don't like it... but the Wash Po should have known better than to give SARAH PALIN the space to air her opinions. I'll tell you why.

Newspapers and journalists have the responsibility to inform us about current events, news, and political commentaries. It is dangerous and irresponsible for the Wash-Po to let Palin write for the paper, so she can spread some of her rubbish and lies to brainwash and misinform the American people!

Fortunately, many Americans don't take her seriously -- most of us see her as a joke.

It is called the opinion page for a reason. Whether you like it or not, Palin does have national notoriety and she has the ear of a lot of people, she should be allowed an opinion forum. As far as I know, anyone can submit oped pieces. Granted it isn't good that she speaks contrary to mainstream science, but mainstream science would have greater credibility if it were less threatened by contrary opinions or for that matter, less threatened by leaked emails that covered information that should have been public anyway.

I can't see how Palin has any credibility on this issue. She was a journalism student, a small town mayor and then a governor for 2 years. She has no background in environmental and climate science. She has no legislative legacy in this area. She is entitled to share her opinions, but why on earth would the Washington Post give her a platform which by its nature recognizes her as having some expertise on the issue on which she writes. I can only imagine it is to attract Palin's new fanbase. because as an intellectual approach to climate science Palin has about as much credibility as me...absolutely zero.

Sarah Palin should not be provided any free space to express her viewpoints until she has actually been interviewed by objective reporters that are allowed to ask her "tough" questions.

I guess if she states over and over again that she has been unfairly picked on by the "main stream media" eventually it becomes true.

She is a light weight. Politics is tough and she should not be given any free passes.

Tim Lambert and Phil Jones (et al) are cut from the same tattered bolt of threadbare hairshirt.
Deny your debaters a seat at the table... Who's the denier now?

Oh Sarah Palin when will you learn that no intelligent person really cares what you have to say.

I think her 15 minutes up

How dare a left wing newspaper give any voice to someone with a diversity of opinion.

In the Lame Stream Media, it is tantamount to heresy to allow diversity of expression. Anything that does not conform to the left-wing ideology must be suppressed.

After all, this is how the White House's allies do it...you know, the ones that the Czars quote...like Chairman Mao, Hugo Chavez and Castro.

What else do you expect from the Post and Fox news? They are the same company! Ridiculous! I am just glad that this is their best ammo against the people who are trying to save us. If they had any real political power they might almost be dangerous!

I for one do not like Palin however, it is interesting how intolerant the left is. The left, seems to want to squash all they do not want to hear.

As I look out my window watching the blizzard conditions, I think of a few things.

Gore talking about how much hotter the world is getting every year. Basically, the earth was going to melt from heat in a million years if we didn't do sonething NOW.

As proof came out that we were actually either about average or a few degrees cooler than average, they changed it from hotter to hotter and colder. Global warming went to "Climate Change".

See, it has nothing to do with warming anymore so you can't use "but its so cold here" as an excuse... because it's climate CHANGE. It can get warmer OR colder! see see see? we still gotcha.

It's a JOKE. The most surprising is when there is evidence that Global warming may be a bigger joke than first expected... NO ONE covers it.

They cover the global climate change summit in Copenhagen... but they don't cover the fact that the amount of those arriving in private jets and using stretch limos left a bigger "carbon footprint" in one day, than some countries leave in a few years!

As for the Washinton Post... any liberal media (ahem) would jump at the change to give people like Gore an op-ed and would scream, shout and throw a tamper tantrum if the washington post cried foul over the op-ed... because, as we've learned with liberals over the years... what's good for the goose is NOT good for the gander.

I am not a fan of Palin, but, booing? Some people on a "science" blog? You give too much to a few people posting their opinions. There were people cheering on there too. And yes, it was a good part of her facebook post.

At least you got this part right:

"Op ed pages are supposed to be a forum for debating the issues of the day. So maybe the real grievance here is that critics don't think Palin should have a seat at the table."

Slow news day?

Progressive Dem's hate anyone and any news outlet that informs the public of information contary to their agenda. Sarah Palin is a thorn in their side because of her popularity among average Americans.
We like Sarah Palin because she is grounded, she understands the rigors of living in todays difficult economic times.
Progressive's can barely hide their contempt for middle class Americans. They consider us to be borderline stupid, in need of minute to minute direction to survive.
Dem's have only one view point, their own.

So a few UK scientists were not fully ethical - big deal? The weight and power of American science: NASA, the National Academy or Sciences, the vast majority of scientists in our top Universities, all agree that human activity is warming the planet. It is unpatriotic of Palin and her groupies to disrespect US science and its clear call. When a small set of experiments in medical research were shown to be wrong, do you return to your witch doctor? Palin should respect American science and scientists or move to where voodoo science is the norm.

The Paris Hilton of politics...

Why do you use terms like "suggesting" in "...Change Conference in light of leaked e-mails suggesting that scientists were manipulating data..." when the correct term is "proving"?

Of course Palin has the right to a seat at the table. Like it or not, she could be the next Republican nominee for President.

Personally, the more she writes and speaks, the more it becomes evident to me how unqualified she is for any elected office. Keep it comin'!

I think it is time that news media (newspapers, TV, Radio, Internet, whatever) stopped letting themselves be used to just spout false information without challenging it. We have freedom of speech. Let Palin say what she wants. But on the same page include a piece that rebuts her falsehoods. The e-mails that were hacked are so yesterday and do nothing to undermine established scientific fact - that someone else has pointed out even the WaPo has reported - that surely there is someone on the staff in a position to counter her editorial. We can't just continue to let people twist the truth and manufacture facts without responsibly rebutting them.

The same system of media that is willing to censure Sarah Palin gives Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a platform at least monthly. Whether or not you agree with Palin is one thing...nevertheless, she is a political figure with the right and responsibility to speak. But, alas, I forgot...one of the tennents of liberalism is to silence and squash dissent.

Pathetic comment.
If Wash Post publushes something that is adverse to communism or socialism,
I like it. I lived in a communist country for too long. Imay even start buying the Wash Post.

Don't FACTS matter any longer?
Anyone can make unsubstantiated claims and the Post (and other media) will just blindly print it?

When the "opposition" stoops to STEALING (Nixonian tactics) emails they must be desperate.
Let's see the deniers emails, ALL of them, released to the public for a truly balanced discussion.

I'm willing to bet there is just as much hyperbole and invective on the other side as well. Hypocrisy rules.

Sarah Palin has the following and the stature to opine in any venue she chooses. Her critics would just like to shut her up. They can't and she won't. Wapo will probably get a boost because of her appearance in its pages. Every venue with the smarts to exploit her celebrity has seen its stock rise.

Most Americans believe the LA Times is desperate. No matter how climate data has been falsified or manipulated for years to deceive the public the best the LA Times can do is attack a private citizen.

No, it's not about giving her "a seat at the table." Instead, it's the fact that she gets a major op-ed spot to publish obviously faulty claims--that global warming science (tens of thousands of scientists from hundreds of countries) is based on "fraudulent scientific practices;" that cap and trade is "cap-and-tax" when it all projections show that the price of inaction on the economy is exponentially greater; that "we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes" (obvious). These faulty claims come attached with absolutely no evidence to back them up. It's a shame that selling papers is more important to the Post than is objective journalism. Some issues are not "fair and balanced"--we don't put those opposed to gravity on TV to debate scientists, and we don't need Palin to do it, either.

I think our founding fathers felt that free discourse is important-- and so should we. I think Palin is a moron and I hope she gets the Republican ticket for 2012.

When I read articles like this I am forced to think that perhaps there is an element in the US that wants to silence voices of those who have differing opinions. Once we allow something of this nature to occur we are well on our way to enabling a Fascism in this country. To some degree it has already been seen on campuses across the US when students shout down or chase speakers from the podium.

The great journalists of our day are themselves harnessed to a professional dilemma. Each morning they sit at their PC and must decide whether to report on Sarah Palin or Tiger Woods. Oh, the pain!

so what's the difference between a bimbo talk and the change talk and the one who couldn't talk. We have become the people who are satisfied with junk food and junk thought.


Why do the liberals get so red faced over Sarah?? They claim she is of no consequence but they try everything they can to keep her from being heard. If a paper wants to let her talk why should she be muzzled.??

Could it be that the liberals??? ( how liberal are they) don't believe she is entitled to free speech..

If you want to know what the liberals fear, don't listen to what they say...watch what they rant most about. For someone who is dissed as a lightweight and a has-been, Sarah Palin sure gets their goat.. or donkey...

I think she' dumber than the average, and the averge person wouldn't be allowed such a forum. She's no scientist, no lawyer, no MBA, no nothin'. Can't handle the stress of the govenor's job, can't keep her own kids in line. what did she ver do except tank teh republican ticket?

We need to shut up crtitics of Global Warming! She is a threat to he cause...She exposes flaws that we can not cover up thus she should be personally discredited! The argument has been shifted to her and attacks on her qualifications and away from the truth that she exposed. Destroy her so the truth will not get out. We have to stop her so people will not believe her. Notice how well it can work. People see her as a house wife and Gore as brilliant. Good job press...help us define this issue and scare opponents away from discussing the truth that Global Warming is a made up issue...Remember the 70's scare Global Cooling? Now we must call it Climate Change....yup the climate changes day to day and weathermen cant keep up...lets predict the future to the exact change and TAX it...Great idea eh?

I think we should Sarah Palin as our representative to the conference AND that the Washington Post should go out of business. Try going to 'ICECAP' to get a balanced view on this "global warming" issue.

I saw in a cartoon recently that the best plan would be to harness her and her constituency's stupidity (including the greed of the Washington Post)and use its inexhaustible supply to get us off fossil fuels overnight.

Palin should be relegated to where she belongs -- the trash-heap of wannabees --

She is a megalomanical extremist demagogue without rational thought --

But what she is good at is scamming fools into believing she has something important or valuable to say and into buying her rambling nonsense in her book -- oh, well, there's a sucker born every minute --

All she wants is fame, fortune, and power for her own selfish purpose --

She is laughing all the way to the bank -- wink, wink -- you betcha --

Enough is enough -- the country would be well-served if the media would just stop publicizing her

Palin is only a very pale reflection of who she thinks she is....

The Post is a crummy paper. It's one moment in the sun happened when Nixon was subverting democracy and a couple of reporters got lucky. Other than that it has always been a provincial rag.

Yes, a picture when Palin and /or the circus come(s) to town, but an ope-ed piece? Can Glenn Beck be far behind?

I have come to consider myself a "recovering liberal" & many of these comments illustrate why my political views have shifted.
The American Left has shifted so far left that to refer to them as Liberal is disingenuous at best. The left now is on a tireless & Fascist like quest to silence all opposition.
Sarah Palin, like it or not, is a national voice. As she becomes better known her approval ratings continue to climb. As BHO becomes better known his ratings continue to fall.
Many of share Palin's skepticism regarding global warming or the more recently approved term climate change. While the left has declared the debate over people more open to reason see that it is not. This has become a favorite tool of the left, declaring that there opinion on a subject represents the absolute truth & that there can be no further discussion.
It surprises me that the Washington Post gave Palin a forum, not because they shouldn't have but rather because they generally carry water for the left.
I encourage all of you on the left to continue to underestimate Sarah Palin because those of us who are center-right are not.

I find it odd that people begrudge Palin a platform while the greedily gobble up the tid bits of Tiger's affairs...

Palin represents people that are disatisfied with the status quo. Maybe she isn't the perfect messenger, but she represents a large contingent of people, who have the right to be heard and respected. We are not Commie China yet!

It is so enjoyable to listen and watch you liberals in complete melt down mode. You have the house, the senate, and the White House - complete control of all levers of Government and you get all tied up over an American female named Sarah Palin. This is hilarious.

 
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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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