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Monday, September 1, 2008
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Questionable Claims
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Warner Todd Huston has been very forcefully fighting back against claims that newly named Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin may have faked the pregnancy and that the child is actually her teenage daughter's.

An Aug. 30 post delcared the claim an "absurd calumny," "garbage,""lies," and a "nutcase theory." What evidence does Huston offer to counter the claim and support his attacks? Um ... none.

Huston upped his attacks in an Aug. 31 post, again calling it a "nothing but a lie" but also calling it a "scurrilous claim" and adding, "Next thing we know, the Kossacks and DUers are going to expect us to believe that Big Foot and some gray aliens were the attendants at the birth!" This time, Huston takes a stab at debunking it: "All the speculation on whether Governor Palin was pregnant is easily put to rest by the eyewitness account of Elizabeth Eubanks from April 29 of this year. Eubanks was in an airport in Fairbanks waiting for a flight when she unexpectedly saw Governor Palin in the airport also waiting for a flight."

Huston's specifying the April 29 date of Eubanks' post is meaningless since Palin (as far as we know) had the baby on April 18 (as fellow NewsBuster Tim Graham noted in a May 20 post) and Eubanks notes in her post that Palin "has since had her baby." Rather, Eubanks writes that she saw a pregnant Palin "in March." Indeed, as the Daily Kos post cited by Huston notes, Palin didn't announce her pregnancy until early March, when she "said she's already about seven months along." So Eubanks' account doesn't disprove the currently circulating accusations.

So, is the accusation true? We have no idea, but we do know that Huston bellowing that it isn't true doesn't make it so. Further, Huston's aggressive attempts to shout it down flies in the face of NewsBusters' treatment of dubious claims against Democrats.

As we've detailed, NewsBusters was quick to promote the National Enquirer's claim that John Edwards had an affair long before Edwards admitted to it, even though MRC officials had previously denounced rumors about unsavory behavior by Republicans as "it to print only for the likes of the National Enquirer." Further, an Aug. 22 post by P.J. Gladnick uncritically repeated the claim that the birth certificate Barack Obama released is fake. As we've noted, even Huston's fellow right-wingers at WorldNetDaily have debunked it, though you wouldn't know that by reading NewsBusters.

Huston might turn his attention away from Palin and toward telling the world the truth about Obama's birth certificate. Or is that a fake story he doesn't think is an "absurd calumny"?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT

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