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You know how Sarah Palin said Paul Revere warned the British? Well, he did. Now, who looks stupid?

Sarah Palin

You may have heard recently something about that Sarah Palin telling a reporter that Paul Revere warned the British on his famous rousing revolutionary ride.

Now, that so many Americans have wallowed in their smug confirmation that Palin is an idiot unqualified for anything but Paul Revere thinks about something paulreverefactsdotcomrepeating sixth-grade history, how far, wide and fast do you think the contradictory news will spread that the former governor of Alaska was indeed correct?

That the Republican non-candidate, in fact, knew more about the actual facts of Revere's midnight ride than all those idiots unknowingly revealing their own ignorance by laughing at her faux faux pas? How secretly embarrassing this must be, to be forced to face that you're dumber than the reputed dummy.

As it happens, though, such phenomena are regular occurrences in American politics, reminding consumers of news to be wary when some fresh story seems to fit contemporary assumptions so absolutely perfectly.

The well-known fable is Revere's late-night ride to warn fellow revolutionaries that....

...the British were coming. Less known, obviously, is the rest of the evening's events in which Revere was captured by said redcoats and did indeed defiantly warn them of the awakened militia awaiting their arrival ahead and of the American Revolution's inevitable victory.

Palin knew this. The on-scene reporters did not and ran off like Revere to alert the world to Palin's latest mis-speak, which wasn't.

Like a number of famous faux gaffes in American politics, the facts of the situation no longer really matter.

The initial impression was eagerly grabbed by so many, starting with the reporter and millions of others gleefully sharing the story that reinforced their beliefs and/or desires.

This phenomenon is actually not a new one in American politics, although its immediate spread is obviously hastened by the Internet. Speaking of which, Al Gore did not invent it. Nor did he claim to, as often as you've heard otherwise.

In 1999, the hapless former journalist, who should have known to make a better word choice, told CNN that in Congress he "took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Democrat Gore never used the word "invented." That was part of another willful misinterpretation that fit expectations of Gore's boasts and was gleefully spread by opponents as further proof of his unseemly hubris. It lives on to this day.Sarah Palin boards her bus 6-1-11

Perhaps you remember how one day during a photo op President George H.W. Bush was overheard asking a store checkout clerk how this price scanner thing worked?

That quote was immediately transmitted as proof of how disconnected that Republican chief executive was, that he had no knowledge of something as ordinary as a checkout scanner.

The fact is, asking such inane and often obvious questions as "what are you doing here?" is a bipartisan ploy used by politicians to fill the awkward time void they are hanging around someone working while photographers snap their photos several hundred times.

President Obama likely said much the same thing last Friday in that Toledo Chrysler plant when for the benefit of nearby photographers he feigned interest watching assembly-line worker Anthony Davis install a dashboard instrument panel. (See photo below)

A classic example of this faux faux pas was in 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle agreed to participate in a New Jersey classroom spelling bee.

Working from a placard, Quayle corrected one sixth-grader by telling him to add an "e" to "potato." Journalists gleefully noted the spelling misteak. And Quayle's dunce hat was glued in place.

Trouble is, that mis-spelled placard was actually written out by the classroom teacher herself, either through her own ignorance or, a few suspect, some sly political set-up. Quayle knew he hadn't written it and thought the error was the point of the lesson.

And because the classroom spelling bit was a last-minute addition, aides who would have foreseen the everlasting damage of their boss inexplicably adding a mistake to a student's work did not know what the placard said. Quayle subsequently forbade them from explaining the error to the media, for fear of embarrassing the teacher.

One of the immutable laws of public communications in politics and other fields is, if you have to explain something, you lose. Seeking to explain you were for something before being against it simply digs a deeper Obama watches Chrysler employee anthony davis work on assembly line 6-3-11hole.

This time the mistake for Palin, who used to be accused of dodging reporters' questions, was bothering to answer such an amateur media gotcha question in a noisy, moving crowd. Better would have been a simple dismissive and cheery, "You're kidding, right?" Such are the ongoing lessons for primary candidates. Which she isn't now, of course.

Early in a previous race for the Republican presidential nomination almost 12 years ago, then Texas Gov. George W. Bush was in a jammed New Hampshire airport meeting room, answering questions from local media. Apropos of nothing, one reporter (perhaps prompted by an opponent's camp) asked Bush his pre-written gotcha: Name the new president of Pakistan.

Obviously, Pervez Musharraf had nothing to do with New Hampshire issues and is similar to some Democratic candidates flubbing the name of Russia's then prime minister during 2008 debates (Dmitry Medvedev).

Bush didn't know the Pakistani leader's name that day and looked clumsy attempting to answer. He could have brushed it away by instantly asking the reporter some arcane political who's-who, laughing off their mutual ignorance and quickly taking the next question. But he didn't and took media lumps for several days.

As everyone now knows, such a splashy gaffe can effectively doom any chance a candidate has of winning two terms in the White House.

Related:

Sarah Palin plays the media like a violin; They'll try to get even

Piper Palin shares her Mom's hot/cold attitude toward the media

Mitt Romney leads in Iowa poll, Sarah Palin comes in second, Ron Paul falls to 7th

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters; Gary Hershorn / Reuters; Jeff Kowalsky / EPA (Obama at Chrysler, June 3).

 
Comments () | Archives (805)

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Not a Palin fun, but my heart warms everytime she appears on the news and the Left gets crazy, intolerant, and hateful.

She's just a politician with a point of view. Yet some of you can't handle that. Your hatred makes you look insane.

We may be "dumber than the reputed dummy," but we were not once a candidate for vice president of the United States, a position that Sarah Palin was clearly mismatched for. If she had any sense, she would have declined the candidacy.

And, saying we are dumber than someone who is dumb (Sarah Palin) is hardly a compliment to this strange creature from Alaska. She does not belong in Washington except as a tourist.

It is not merely Sarah Palin's comments that drew ridicule, it was her delivery. It was funny, whimsical, Charlie in the Chocolate factory-esque. She is more colorful than many pols, blessed with the non-nuance of George W. Bush and the personality of Al Sharpton. Simply made for TV! She is also representative of a swath of Americana that speaks of being exceptional when it is, in fact, exceptionally unexceptional.

I am probably to the right of almost everyone in my political views and even I cannot in good faith support Sarah. She is a dunce and not qualified to be a Gov. much less Pres. Anyone trying to spin her latest gaffe has no credibility. We all know she was wrong. If this is what she truly thought it is beyond comprehension.

A WOMAN has run off the PROGRESSIVE plantation! She must be hunted down and bullwhipped for her obvious lack of mental acumen. How possibly could a FEMALE or anyone for that matter stand outside the gates of liberalism and be anything but a ninny? The PRESS needs to prove this postulate as good custodians of said plantation and therefore you read something as elementary as "SEE, TOLD YOU THIS WOMAN WAS DUMB!" The obtuse one is the one who fails to consider any point of view beyond their own platitudes as moronic.

It's amazing that the LA Times publishes this insane right wing twit's garbage. This column takes it to the next level with the Orwellian revisionism. Revere "defiantly warned"? What. A. Joke.

This is a bit of a stretch. Palin's quote implies that he meant to ride through the towns, ringing bells and warning the British. Did he warn the British once he got captured? Sure. Was his plan to get captured by the British so that he could warn them? Probably not. The opinion in this article is almost as accurate and reliable as Palin's (so not at all really).

Um we do loves the Republicans at the Ticket.

To all you lib idiots who are STILL quoting the reporters who MISQUOTED Palin to start with to prove that she said something she didn't

HELLO Are you really THAT pathetic?

Go try and explain away some of the stuff your lord-master obama screws up DAILY if you really want a challenge.

"Wow - I can't believe that Mr. Malcolm would actually try and defend what Ms. Palin said. It is obvious that she misspoke.

While after Revere was captured he did advise the British that the US forces were captured - I think Mr. Malcolm needs to go back and actually listen to what Palin said - and then tried to justify again this weekend on Fox News.

While she may not be a complete idiot - she certainly got this one wrong.

Posted by: Steve B | June 06, 2011 at 04:58 AM"

Gee, Steve B, I didn't know that "after Revere was captured he did advise the British that the US forces were captured." First, I didn't know that there were US forces at the time, since the colonies were still part of Great Britain until the next year, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Second, I didn't know that those forces had been captured. Good thing they got away in time to get to Lexington and Concord, isn't it?

I guess the left-wing media will now have to write an article about what an idiot you are.

The author is wrong, and Palin is also wrong, because obviously she was making reference to his famous ride which was not at all to warn the British. And I can speculate that she knew nothing of his capture later on...

And to Jim1904, I can guarantee Paul Revere did not consider himself British nor a "British colonist" but an American, after all they wanted independence, detachment from Britain...

The writer of this worthy news story is a true journalist. Los Angeles Times is fortunate to have Andrew Malcolm as its ace commentator. May his tribe increase.

LA Times, what's your source on this information? You just writing that Paul Revere warned the British doesn't mean he did. Also, it makes no sense... why would Paul Revere betray the minutemen of Lexington and Concord by giving away their position and making sure the British knew what they were up against? Please name the book where you got the information, as this doesn't make any sense to this historian.
The facts are these:

- Paul Revere wasn't the only rider that night. There were as many as 40 others who went out to warn the surrounding towns and to make sure the arms cache in Concord was hidden.
- Revere was riding to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British regulars were on their way to arrest them.
- Revere's mission was secret as the road to Lexington was crawling with British patrols... (so he wasn't ringing and bells or firing any shots as Palin said)
- Revere was arrested, but subsequently released when the battle of Lexington began and he was able to reach Adams and Hancock.

Again, LA Times, please name the source of this new historical fact, instead of just saying "Yeah, Palin was right. Moving on to the next thing...."

Why is everyone shocked with the LA Times ? It's been a right wing paper for some time now. This is NOT shocking at all. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!

Great article but somehow I am convinced that at this point Sarah Palin has the media's number and is probably the least intimidated politician, when it comes to the press, in our political history. And I love her for it.

Unless I missed it you forgot one important point. These gotcha questions are only for Republicans.

Sarah Palin has proved her smarts by virtually developing her own personal media outlet. She will be the first candidate that has absolutely no need or want of the press. I believe the 2008 presidential elections finally proved to most that our media is dead. Fortunately Sarah won't be sitting around in the green room trying to convince herself that this time Chritiane Amanpour is gong to be fair.

Sarah's got balls.

LA Times, what's your source on this information? You just writing that Paul Revere warned the British doesn't mean he did. Also, it makes no sense... why would Paul Revere betray the minutemen of Lexington and Concord by giving away their position and making sure the British knew what they were up against? Please name the book where you got the information, as this doesn't make any sense to this historian.
The facts are these:

- Paul Revere wasn't the only rider that night. There were as many as 40 others who went out to warn the surrounding towns and to make sure the arms cache in Concord was hidden.
- Revere was riding to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British regulars were on their way to arrest them.
- Revere's mission was secret as the road to Lexington was crawling with British patrols... (so he wasn't ringing and bells or firing any shots as Palin said)
- Revere was arrested, but subsequently released when the battle of Lexington began and he was able to reach Adams and Hancock.

Again, LA Times, please name the source of this new historical fact, instead of just saying "Yeah, Palin was right. Moving on to the next thing...."

He did warn the British, but after being captured and directly with his words; not by firing warning shots or ringing bells.

So do you think the author of this article is a plain supporter? What a silly article. The writer attempts to "embarrass" the public with this garbage. Plain is still a moron and an embarrassment to our country. Her idiocy has made her famous. America is the only country that would idolize such a person. I would go as far as to compare her success to that of the stars of "the jersey shore."

"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-palin-paul-revere-video-2011-6#ixzz1OVZPEXpf

Here is Palin's exact quote, whether or not you think she got the 'warning the British' part right; you can't possibly claim that she was right when she said he was 'ringing bell' and sending 'warning shots.' Revere was riding relatively quietly, to avoid capture.

Well Sarah tried to educate the ignorant libs on Paul Revere, but that are just too closed minded, hateful, and elitist to bother with the truth and facts. To a Democrat, the truth and facts are whatever they want them to be.

I may be pro-choice and pro gay marriage, but I love Sarah Palin. She shows you who Democrats really are. If you don't live in an ultra blue area you wouldn't know. Making them expose the type of people they really are is the very definition of a Patriot and may end up saving our Republic. Every decent American learns that they have a moral obligation to vote Republican when they read what Sarah makes the libs post and spew.

None of this matters one bit. Palin is not running for President, the thought of which scares the bejeezus out of the left for some reason, and regardless of what she says, doesn't say, where she goes, doesn't go, who she tells where she'll be or doesn't tell, the left will always hate her.
No conservative will ever convince a lefty that Palin is smart or worthy of any sort of praise or anything. She is the bane of their existence and will be a thorn in their side every time she opens her mouth.

We can argue semantics 'till the cows come home. The truth is Palin couldn't be bothered to organize her thoughts before she made the gaffe. It's not that she didn't KNOW, hell EVERYBODY knows that stupid story, it's that she has diarrhea of the mouth. That's OK, lots of politicians do, but we, the American Public, strictly reserve the right to make fun of them viciously when they have a Donkey Spell.

This article is a ridiculous defense. Even Sarah Palin admitted that she got it wrong on FOX News Sunday. Revere was captured, but he didn't ring bells and shoot off his gun in order to warn the British. Give it a rest.

Sadly, most of these comments continue to prove the LA Times readers stereotype.

The American gottcha press is a pitiful excuse for political coverage. It is mindless and sensational. In short, it is the coverage produced by stupid people who can not get their little intellect around the complex problems and issues facing the Nation and world through the political process.

They think they are very clever and influential for their ability to distort, lie and ruin important people who are actually dealing with complex issues. Our political press is to our government and society as the National Enquirer is to actors, directors and entertainment. No intellect, no talent and no integrity produces a once decent profession dominated by petty thugs.

It doesn't matter what Sarah say or does,...according to the media ...she is wrong. I happen to think she is smarter than the people that report on her.

God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please - you can never have both. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even with available data and documentation originating with Paul Revere himself, I am still greatly amused at the obvious Liberal hatred that is so overwhelming.

Even if you strive to split hairs and claim that warning someone not to mess with you because you are prepared to defend yourself is not really a warning, the plain and simple fact is, the Colonists were British Subjects!

History (inconvenient I know) reveals there was no United States at the time. Those being warned were rebellious British Subjects... but please keep spitting and snarling and gnashing your teeth over this woman you claim is nobody and no threat to unseat Obama

How the California people can afford to question the objectivity of the writer Andrew Malcolm makes me sad. Wake up, you people. Can you not read the signs of the times? You obdurate people should know that because of your wrong
values California has become the epicenter of recession and many other calamities. You are being punished because you want to circumvent truth to suit your whims and caprices. If America gets destroyed, you and your hippie non sequitors should get all the blames. Time is running short. Embrace truth.

She was talking about Paul Revere. Maybe all you know about is the purpose of the one famous trip (and did you know he did get stopped and warned them that night), but she was talking about him in general, not just the one trip, but the one of many messages he was to send.

How the California people can afford to question the objectivity of the writer Andrew Malcolm makes me sad. Wake up, you people. Can you not read the signs of the times? You obdurate people should know that because of your wrong
values California has become the epicenter of recession and many other calamities. You are being punished because you want to circumvent truth to suit your whims and caprices. If America gets destroyed, you and your hippie non sequitors should get all the blames. Time is running short. Embrace truth.

I heard Palin quoted as saying he was warning the colonists that the British wanted to take away their 2nd amendment rights. If this is true, let her try and defend that.

She looked and sounded either stoned or drunk when she tried to explain. I could never vote for her after seeing the vidio of this.

JOHN ADAMS... You're wrong... check out her speech.

When the media screws up, corrections are made in the same medium. Unless you are a conservative. Then your corrections are buried in a blog so the left can smugly still believe the mistake they want to believe.

One thing is for sure, liberals don't understand analogies, which Sarah uses a lot of.

Palin is clearly the dumbest politician since Dan Quayle. And she is quickly proving that she is dumber than he was!

She clearly had no idea what she was talking about - in fact from the video I'm starting to wonder if she has a mental disorder. She was blindsided by a seemingly innoccuous question about history that is taught in grade school - and even that question she got wrong.

She has no qualifications for any office other than perhaps City Council in a tiny hillbilly town in Alaska.

It just goes to show you that becoming a politician doesn't take any intelligence, experience or qualifications.

Don't you think that the media could do a little historical research into Senator and president Obama past and present instead of spending time and ink on this stupidity...? It's the ECONOMY STUPID!

That''s it? That's the best the liberal media can do? An entire article devoted to a slip of the tongue? Sorry LA Times - *you're* the one that looks stupid.

Not taking sides here due to the fact that I find the Dems to be totally reprehensible, and the Repubs to be better at lying and obfuscating, BUT, It seems that, according to written historical text:.......

Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were detained by a British Army patrol in Lincoln at a roadblock on the way to Concord.[12] Prescott jumped his horse over a wall and escaped into the woods; he eventually reached Concord. Dawes also escaped, though he fell off his horse not long after and did not complete the ride.[18][19]

Revere was questioned by the British officers and told them of the army's movement from Boston, and that British army troops might be in some danger if they approached Lexington, because of the large number of hostile militia gathered there.[20] He and other captives taken by the patrol were then escorted east toward Lexington, until the sound of musket fire from the town center alarmed the patrolmen. Revere explained to them that it was probably an arriving militia company that had fired a volley upon its arrival. The sound was followed not long after by the pealing of the town bell.[21] The British confiscated Revere's horse, and rode off to warn the approaching army column. Revere was horseless and walked through a cemetery and pastures until he came to Rev. Clarke's house where Hancock and Adams were staying. As the battle on Lexington Green continued, Revere helped John Hancock and his family escape from Lexington with their possessions, including a trunk of Hancock's papers.[19] (source: Wikipedia)

This information, which I as well as many others seem to be unaware of, IS NOT taught in "guvmint" schools and therefore assumptively DOES NOT EXIST! Sarah did not properly express herself to the pleasing of those that already disdain her, BUT, she did, in effect, speak the truth!

Blatant dishonest propaganda dressed up as 'myth debunking'. And by endorsing this deceitful garbage, The Times' credibility takes another hit in the name of relative equivalence.

He never "warned the British that they weren't going to take away our arms" ...when he was arrested he told the British that if they went to Lexington, they might meet some hostile rebels there and they were in danger of getting into a firefight. He told this to the British because wanted to buy time for Samuel Adams and John Hancock to get out of Lexington as the Brits were on their way to arrest two very important founding fathers. He wasn't threatening the British, and he wasn't telling them they couldn't "take away our arms." I think Sarah Palin is confusing Paul Revere with Yosemite Sam... Revere wasn't riding around, shooting his fun into the air and yelling and ringing a bell... his mission to warn Hancock and Adams was secret and incredibly important and he kept it quiet because the roads to Lexington were crawling with British patrols.
How much did Sarah Palin pay you, LA Times, to write this piece? What did she promise you?

Hilarious! I read comments arguing that Palin is making this about the British denying our Second Amendment rights as well...

TOO FUNNY! There was no Second Amendment because there was no United States at the time. And for those who choose to be so clueless as to argue that the British military weren't trying to take arms and ammunition from the Colonists, what on earth do you think they were trying to do?

A rebel with a handful of stones or a bag of switches is no big deal. It was the very fact that the rebels had weapons available that made their rebellion a threat.

When armies attack, believe it or not, they actually do everything they can to disarm those they seek to conquer and control. That is why we today have the Second Amendment once we became victorious through force of arms and became a separate nation.

Sarah Palin's interpretation and her defense are both based on false assumptions. Apparently, She still doesn't seem to understand the history of Paul Revere's ride.

here is exactly what Palin said, when asked about Revere:
"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free."
In other words, Paul Revere warned the British by ringing those bells, and rode his horse through town to send warning shots and bells.
The bells were part of an alarm system set up by the colonists, to assemble militia. This system was not an alarm system to warn the British.
Then she defended her interpretation on Fox News by saying" Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you're not going to succeed. You're not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have... He did warn the British."
Revere was beaten and threatened by the British after he was captured, and he
told the British that the colonists knew they were coming and they were armed and prepared. He shot his gun as a warning, and the town bells at Lexington's meeting house were rung to assemble the militia.

By all accounts Revere was avoiding capture by the British. His colleagues, Dawes and Prescott , eluded capture and escaped. Revere's purpose of the ride was to warn Hancock and Adams and the towns of Concord and Lexington. If the British were "warned" of the readiness of the Minutemen, it was only because they threatened and beat the information out of Revere.
The purpose of his ride was to secretly warn the colonists that the British were on the march, NOT to warn the British that the colonists were armed and prepared to fight.

The fact that she said " He who warned the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms" means she is saying Revere is BEST KNOWN as someone who warned the British , as opposed to best known as someone who is famous for warning the colonists of British advances. SHE IS WRONG.

Hey, let's make sure and get this "unrevised" history lesson out to ALL of obama's FIFTY-SEVEN states shall we? :) Go Sarah!

The problem is that these events ALONE did not get them the title of dunce, they simply reinforced the image due to a long history of mistakes.

Palin couldn't name even a newspaper she reads and couldn't quote any other Supreme Court decisions than Roe v Wade, Quayle had several misstatements, etc etc.

So while these examples might be poor examples of why people like Palin and Quayle get their titles, it was only after a long history of making mistakes like these.

A question: What did Paul Revere shout as he rode through the countryside? If you answered "The British are coming." you are wrong.
Everyone was still British then. Eyewitnesses say he hollered "The Regulars are coming."
I'm not sure whether or not I will vote for Ms Palin. I do wish everyone would stop sniping at her long enough for me to hear some of her ideas.

You go Girl!!!!

Hey all you leftist commies, since all of you are jumping down Palin for an obvious mess up on history. Why isn't kind of funny how you guys totally ignor when B.O said when he was campaining that he was glad to be in Oregon and that he had been to aleast 57 states. Ok its one thing to mess up on something that occured over 235 yrs ago to something that B.O messed up on, and that was just 2 yrs ago and he was looking at notes. LOL
Now who is the more of and idiot

Come on Malcolm, she conflated two entirely separate incidents and like her apologists in the conservative press, you've happily cleaned it all up for her so that it bears some semblance to history. According to Palin, the purpose of Revere's ride was to warn the British by "ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free."
She makes no mention of his arrest. For Palin, information is a puzzle in which she has most of the pieces but can't put it together. But no matter, she has people in the press like Malcolm who'll eagerly do it for her.

Finally this woman gets a fair shake!

I am so sick of watching the left attack women and minorities on the right for all the wrong reasons!!!!!

 
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About the Columnist
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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