Maybe I should Just tell you to read National Review Online

But in case you don’t, here are some items you must read. First from Mark Steyn:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rogue’s Eleven 

If you wonder why American newspapering is dying, consider this sign-off:

AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report.

Wow. That’s ten "AP writers" plus Calvin Woodward, the AP writer whose twinkling pen honed the above contributions into the turgid sludge of the actual report. That’s 11 writers for a 695-word report. What on? Obamacare? The Iranian nuke program? The upcoming trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

No, the Associated Press assigned 11 writers to "fact-check" Sarah Palin’s new book, and in return the 11 fact-checkers triumphantly unearthed six errors. That’s 1.8333333 writers for each error. What earth-shattering misstatements did they uncover for this impressive investment? Stand well back:

PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers" hotels.

THE FACTS: Although she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard)…

That looks like AP paid 1.8333333 fact-checkers to agree with Mrs Palin: She says she didn’t "often" go for "high-end" hotels; they say she "usually opted for less-pricey hotels". That’s gonna make one must-see edition of "Point/Counterpoint".

Or is AP arguing "four nights" counts as "often"? Is that the point? AP assigned 11 reporters to demonstrate that four is a large number?

Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker and his vast team of researchers (17 Minneapolis-area Somali jihadists, 29 Acorn-accredited child-sex slaves, and 43 unemployed Columbia School of Journalism graduates) fact-check AP’s fact-checkers.

Coming next:

PALIN: How many AP fact-checkers does it take to change a lightbulb?

FACT: Palin has gone seriously "rogue" in her facts here. AP fact-checkers are prevented per union regulations from changing lightbulbs.

AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this joke. We’ll be here all week.


Mothers Of Five  by Robert Costa

In recent months, Sarah Palin hasn’t been the only conservative woman to get under the skin of the left. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) has also stirred some ire, thanks to her leadership at anti-Obamacare rallies and numerous appearances on cable television. Bachmann tells NRO that she has high hopes for Palin’s upcoming book, Going Rogue.

“Her heart is with the American people,” says Bachmann. “She’s wise to come out with her book now. It’s also important that she is getting out there and speaking for herself. So much of her comments during the presidential race were interpreted through the media. They were opposed to her first-person voice.”

“Sarah is writing this book and beginning her tour in a big way, with appearances on Oprah and Hannity,” says Bachmann. “Not only will she be able to get her message out, but in live interviews, I suspect she’ll impress people and answer many of the questions that people had last year. As a vice-presidential candidate, it was difficult for her to control her message. With Going Rogue, she’ll be able to take the reigns.”

By traveling to cities often ignored by major publishers for her book tour, Palin is “making a good move,” says Bachmann. “People in places like Minnesota, and elsewhere, in towns that may be off the beaten path, appreciate the kind of personal visits that she is making.”

Bachmann also says that she finds Palin to be “delightful,” and “very humble, very poised, and very knowledgeable.” They met a couple years ago when Bachmann traveled with a congressional delegation to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and had dinner at the governor’s mansion. Bachmann says that Palin’s mastery of energy issues is especially impressive.

“We’re both mothers of five,” says Bachmann. “I would like to be able to meet her again, talk with her, and compare notes. She done so much in living out her values and supporting her five children in a wonderful way.”

“Politically,” says Bachmann, “she has good instincts.” People, she adds, “are intrigued by her and rightly so. She’s a fascinating figure. This is a good time to let people learn more about her. People didn’t have a lot of background about her in 2008. They knew what the media said but they didn’t know a lot about her. Now people will be interested in learning more about Sarah Palin the person, perhaps even more than Sarah Palin the politician. She just has a compelling life story.”

Michele Bachman – remember that name, I think she will be extremely significant.

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