By Kelly Boggs
ALEXANDRIA, La. --- I don't know which frustrates me more: hypocritical
politicians -- Democrats and Republicans - who are more concerned about their
own power than their constituents concerns, or liberal members of the media who
loathe conservatives. Today, given a recent news development, it is the
The Associated Press recently assigned eleven reporters to
scrutinize Sarah Palin's new book "Going Rogue." Given the ex-governor of Alaska
and former vice-presidential candidate's book is 432 pages long, that comes out
to 39 pages per reporter.
The eleven reporters pored over the 39 pages
they were assigned and together discovered 12 so-called misstatements of the
facts. For those of you keeping score that is 1.09 errors per
Three of the so-call factual errors cannot even be classified
The AP takes issue with Palin's travel expenses. In her book
Palin contends that she asked for "reasonably" priced rooms and "not often"
stayed in luxury accommodations. While the AP does admit that Palin's travel
record as governor supports her claim, the eleven reporters point out that she
once stayed in a fancy hotel in New York City that cost $707.29 per
Palin did not say she never stayed in ritzy hotels. Only that she
did not make it a habit. The fact that Palin's travel records indicate that her
luxury hotel stays were a rarity -- one time -- only serves to prove her
statement is true.
If you've priced New York City hotels lately you would
find the price for Palin's room is not that outrageous.
In actually, the
AP unwittingly supports Palin's statement on her travel habits. So, let's
subtract one of the so-called factual errors. Instead of 12 errors, there are
now only 11 out of 432 pages.
There is another error the AP highlights
that is worth scrutinizing. Throughout her book Palin contends that her reasons
for running for office were altruistic. The AP quotes Palin from "Going Rogue,"
"Was it ambition? I didn't think so. Ambition drives; purpose
The AP charges that Palin's stated motive for running for
public office is not factual. "Few politicians own up to wanting high office for
the power and prestige of it, and in this respect, Palin fits the conventional
mold," the AP wrote. "But 'Going Rogue' has all the characteristics of a
I did not know that reporters were endowed with
the ability to see inside a person's mind and discern true motives. With that
kind of power I wish they would concentrate on the politicians that are in
office rather than one that recently resigned.
The AP's swipe at Palin's
motivation for public service is nothing more than an opinion, a jaded one at
that. If the AP were scrutinizing Palin in an opinion piece or editorial they
would have license to speculate all they want. However, to do so via a supposed
straight news report is unconscionable.
Another so-called factual error
concerns an interview Palin did with Vogue magazine. In the AP's words "the
facts are somewhat in dispute." AP did nothing to clear up the matter, thus the
facts are still not clear. That said, this so-called error must also be
For the record, the AP spent a tremendous amount of money and
manpower to uncover nine errors in a 432 page book by a wildly popular former
politician. I hope they think it was worth it.
Of course, the AP will say
it is only doing its journalistic duty by scouring Palin's book with a
fine-tooth comb. Politicians, whether it be current or former, should be held
accountable. However, it is interesting to note that the AP has not so
scrutinized the words of other politicians of note. The AP routinely reviews
politico's books, but never with the same rigor as was done with Palin's
Books released by Barack Obama prior to his being elected president
were not fact checked by the AP. Neither was a volume produced by the late Sen.
Ted Kennedy. Autobiographies by Bill and Hillary Clinton also escaped the AP's
The attention the AP has given Palin's book begs the
question: "Why?" One person has dared answer that question. "They're obsessed
with trying to discredit her," said Adrienne Ross, the state organizer for the
New York State 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. "Because she's a conservative
I have to agree with Ross. Members of the media blinded by
liberalism tend to loathe conservatives in general. Add committed Christian into
the equation and the emotion seems to rise to disgust.
In the case of
Palin, she is not only conservative and Christian, she is also a woman and
popular. Not only do many in the media despise her, they want to destroy
The AP has every right to fact check any author's work because truth
does matter. However, if the AP is to have any credibility it must scrutinize
other books equally. By choosing to cherry pick a former, female conservative
politician, they reveal they are more political operatives than they are serious
Kelly Boggs is a weekly
columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message
(www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist
Convention. Coptyright, Baptist Press.