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Thursday, September 18, 2008
MRC Still Hates That Anyone Dares Question Palin
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've noted, the Media Research Center is appalled that anyone would fact-check Sarah Palin and is, in turn, trying to discredit the fact-checkers.

A Sept. 18 MRC CyberAlert item by Brent Baker keeps it up, complaining that of five presumed misstatements by Palin" cited by NRC, "two were remarks made by Palin 'aides,' not Palin herself," and "one, the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' was already dissected eight days ago on the same newscast."

Of course, the "Bridge to Nowhere" claim needs to be continually debunked because Palin keeps saying it.

Baker also wrote:

Up first, how Palin asserted "my job has been to oversee nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas." [NBC's Savannah] Guthrie pounced: "She's wrong. Alaska accounts for only 3.5 percent of America's total energy production, 7.5 percent of oil and gas." Unmentioned by NBC: How the Alaska Resource Development Council's Web site has stated: "Alaska's oil and gas industry" accounts "for an average of 20 percent of the entire nation's domestic production."

Baker then goes into a long explanation of where Palin took her 20 percent number from, and how the Alaska Resource Development Council's website now states that Alaska's oil and gas industry accounted "for an average of 20 percent of the entire nation's domestic production (1980 - 2000). Currently, Alaska accounts for nearly 15% of U.S. production."

Baker downplayed the fact that Palin also said that Alaska "produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy," which Guthrie notes Palin has "refined a bit this week" to refer to "oil and gas." (It's in the transcript that Baker attached to the item, though.)

While Baker cited a article on the issue to support his claim, he failed to note that also stated: "Alaska's share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration."

So Baker cut Palin slack for citing numbers from a state website that even he admits "promotes development of Alaska's natural resources" -- and therefore, has an interest in promoting optimistic numbers -- and promotes a slightly more accurate number by that same group to make Palin look like less of an exaggerator. This is the MRC's idea of how a "fact-check" should be?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT

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