Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In July 2010, when a tempest in a teapot resulted from Sarah Palin having accidentally coined the word "refudiate" (a fusion of the words "repudiate" and "refute"),  I noted here at REACTOR that the same leftist partisans promoting the "refudiate" kerfuffle as proof positive Palin was an idiot had previously been hoist with their own petard in January 2010, when they suggested that Palin had invented the word "mandation."  

To recap: The Professional Palinphobes, who grit their teeth with disgust while watching her every move in the hope of documenting and inflating her every infinitesimal error, watched Palin in her role as Fox News contributor sharing her thoughts on President Obama's first State of The Union address. In an interview conducted by Sean Hannity, she warned about the ill-effects of "mandation of health care," i.e., passing a law saying that purchasing health insurance was mandatory. The Sarah-haters, having never heard the word "mandation" before, leapt to the conclusion that since they first heard it from Palin, it couldn't possibly have been in the English language. 
Left-leaning quasi-journalists like bloggers Shannyn Moore of her blog Just a Girl From Homer, Media Matters contributor Oliver Willis, and Mediaite.com's Colby Hall sprung into action. A commenter on Moore's blog wrote: "'Mandation' is not found anywhere in the dictionary. I taught U.S. History and ... government [] for 33 years [and] I can say that if [Palin] had been a student in one of my government classes, she would have failed the course." Willis -- whose blog is falsely subtitled "Like Kryptonite to Stupid" -- wrote "America’s Idiot and Fox News front woman Sarah Palin has made up a new word." Of the word "mandation," Hall of Mediaite.com initially wrote, "No, that’s not a real word."

In fact, "mandation" IS a real word, though rarely used in common conversation, and is not in abridged dictionaries. When searched online, it shows up in the titles of several policy papers in which professors and professional researchers lay out the benefits and consequences of newly-proposed government regulations. So, to all those people who figured Palin's use of "mandation" confirmed their opinion she is somewhat illiterate, it proved exactly the opposite! It seems she was doing her homework, and (perhaps) found the fancy word in the process. Meanwhile, her sworn enemies were so ignorant, they thought if she said something THEY didn't understand, that SHE must have been wrong. Surprise!

Of course, the mainstream media (or, as Palin has re-dubbed them, the lamestream media) was not interested in highlighting how Palin had schooled her enemies on "mandation," but made space to incorporate "refudiate" into news reports about the Ground Zero Mosque controversy.  Rarely do nationally-televised or printed MSM journalists miss a chance to ridicule Palin for the most dubious of reasons, especially if she's making a pertinent point; it reinforces the narrative that it is dangerous to take her seriously.

It is that which I thought was afoot when I saw this tweet from NBC News' Luke Russert on Monday morning (October 25, 2010) regarding Palin's backing of Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller. Miller is facing an independent run by Lisa Murkowski, the GOP incumbent he defeated in the Republican primary. She also is the daughter of Frank Murkowski, the Alaska Governor that Palin defeated in a 2006 primary (click to enlarge):

Palin takes shot at Murkowski "family destiny": 
"Family destiny?" REALLY?

"Oh, brother," I thought -- could Sarah Palin possibly have confused the words "destiny" and "dynasty"?  That's an egregious grammatical error, much worse than merging the words "repudiate" and "refute," which, while not synonyms, are actions commonly performed consecutively; one can repudiate a false charge, and then refute it.  On the other hand, there's no way to mix up "destiny" and "dynasty" -- middle school-level vocabulary words -- unless...

  1. You have no idea what either word means, 
  2. You don't know how either is properly pronounced, 
  3. You don't know how to sound out words phonetically, and 
  4. You can't break words down syllable by syllable. 

It was difficult for me to believe, but I clicked on the link, assuming that Russert had caught Palin in the act, and that she was in for more guffaws from the genii that put Barack Obama into office (heh).  The link brought me to NBC News' First Read, which you can see below (click to enlarge):

I was waiting for the whammy showing that Palin had confused "destiny" and "dynasty."  I read, and kept reading.  And reading. Finally, Russert brought down the hammer (click to enlarge):

Palin then takes a swing at the Murkowski family, saying,
"Joe Miller will fight for the people of Alaska, and this great country. 
Public service should be an honor not a family dynasty." 

Wait a minute...it doesn't say "destiny," it says "dynasty"! What the French?

I went to the most trusted repository of Palin information on the Internet -- Conservatives4Palin.com -- to see what was really up.  Sure enough, one of the editors had already posted Sarah's appeal for Miller, and it was properly spelled (click to enlarge):

My first instinct after this was to accuse Luke Russert of deliberately making believe that Palin had gaffed. I tweeted this, cc'ing Newsbusters' and Palin's own Twitter accounts:

I wanted to get a screencap of the First Read page before it vanished, because sometimes that happens to inaccurate news reports.  I opened another browser, pasted the tinyurl link, and guess what? The headlines had changed! "Destiny" had become "dynasty" in the sixteen minutes in-between my accessing that story the first and second times. 

So, it seems that after Russert wrote this report, and it was uploaded to the NBC News site, it was finally reviewed and proofread. As Palin might say, that's backasswards! Even worse, it shows that neither Luke Russert nor his editors can be depended on to tell the difference between words as dissimilar as "destiny" and "dynasty" -- and, it appears, neither can his MSNBC colleague Norah O'Donnell, who retweeted it within minutes...

 ...that is, unless, she didn't bother to read the story either.

It wouldn't be surprising if that was the case with the lovely Norah.  She is chief among the MSMers who believe the worst about Palin first, and checks the facts later. Prime example: January 2009, when she said in a jovial three-way conversation with a Democrat strategist and fellow Sarah-sliming MSNBCer Lawrence  O'Donnell that Palin had called Barack Obama "a terrorist" during the 2008 campaign. Remember that?

Palin's point about the dangers of installing dynasties may have been made in an indirect fashion through young Luke's megagaffe. As we can see from his performance yesterday morning, he's been deemed ready for the big time by the asleep-at-the-switch suits at NBC News despite the fact he's still swimming in the shoes of his late, legendary father, Meet The Press host Tim Russert.  While he still has time to learn, let's be serious about the here and now: If he was Luke Smith, Luke Jones, or Luke Doe, he would never see the business end of an NBC News camera.

Harsh? Yes, uncomfortably so. True, nevertheless? You betcha.

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