I Just Can’t Quit You, Sarah Palin

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This is, I kid you not, a screen shot from the front page of the Washington Post. In case you missed it, Sarah Palin made a mistake in a Twitter post Sunday night, using the word “refudiate” instead of “repudiate.”

I repeat: this is front page news. In the Washington Post. I’m reminded of Ari Melber’s piece last week about Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies” video, which, it turns out, only 2% of her Facebook fans watched. Where did the rest of its 368,000 views come from? Links from the traditional media, it turns out:

It’s quite a feat. Palin blasts the “lamestream” media while claiming to commune directly with her base, which draws extensive media coverage for an effort that actually reaches a tiny number of people. Without the media assist, though, Palin would just be sitting on a Facebook page with 2 percent participation and a YouTube video with niche numbers….Some reporters are catching on. “I hope we don’t hear from Sarah Palin about media bias anymore,” Chuck Todd recently said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “because it is amazing the ability this woman has to get media attention with as little as she does, whether it’s a Twitter or a Facebook update.”

In fairness to the Post, Palin’s miscue was a huge Twitter sensation among lefties last night. I swear, I think about 50% of the posts in my Twitter feed for a two or three hour period last night were lame jokes about “refudiate.” And in further fairness, as long as Palin seemingly has make-or-break endorsement power in Republican campaigns and remains a possible presidential candidate, they have to cover her. But isn’t it about time to limit that coverage to actual newsworthy events? If she gives a major speech on the future of national security in a multipolar world, fine. Cover away. But a mistake in a Twitter post? Maybe think twice about that.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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