Sunday, November 02, 2008

Nailin' Palin

Oh, no! Not another Sarah Palin post! I'll try to be brief. Yesterday a Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee that she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Hilarity ensued (if video doesn't show, click here... or if you simply can't stand that shrill voice, read the transcript here):

I'm not going to criticize her for falling for a prank. Hell, I fell for at least one good one in my younger years (maybe that will be a blog post for another day). But what irks me about her conversation with the impostor Sarkozy is her girlish laughter. I imagine that I sounded that way when I was 14 and talking to a cute boy. I've since learned to control myself, and I would hope a VP candidate could also learn to behave a little more appropriately...

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm talking about a ditsy woman with superstitious beliefs and a gross and shamelessly erroneous interpretation of the First Amendment:
Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.
Glenn Greenwald comments on this profound ignorance:

The First Amendment is actually not that complicated. It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds. It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you're free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don't like what you've said.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

You can listen to Palin's comment here, but it's painful... and I'm not talking about the pitch this time.

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