Conserva-Reality II

Et tu, Ed Morrissey? The latest Paul Revere kerfuffle is proving to be a fascinating insight into how far the media right is prepared to distort reality to protect their icon. Here's Andrew Malcolm's spin:

The well-known fable is Revere's late-night ride to warn fellow revolutionaries that….

…the British were coming. Less known, obviously, is the rest of the evening's events in which Revere was captured by said redcoats and did indeed defiantly warn them of the awakened militia awaiting their arrival ahead and of the American Revolution's inevitable victory. Palin knew this. The on-scene reporters did not and ran off like Revere to alert the world to Palin's latest mis-speak, which wasn't.

Malcolm is actually proposing that Mrs Palin was presenting a highly sophisticated and more deeply learned account of the events that night than almost every other American. Here's the Palin quote we're discussing:

"[Revere] warned the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms. By ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free."

It's clear from this mangled, confused quote that Palin is conflating the ringing of bells and firing of shots with the notion that Revere was warning the British. She makes no mention of his being captured by the British – and that being the context of his warning them. Here's the Paul Revere House account of the night:

"On the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere was sent… to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them… On the way to Lexington, Revere "alarmed" the country-side, stopping at each house, and arrived in Lexington about midnight. As he approached the house where Adams and Hancock were staying, a sentry asked that he not make so much noise. "Noise!" cried Revere, "You'll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming out!" After delivering his message, Revere was joined by a second rider, William Dawes, who had been sent on the same errand by a different route. Deciding on their own to continue on to Concord, Massachusetts, where weapons and supplies were hidden, Revere and Dawes were joined by a third rider, Dr. Samuel Prescott. Soon after, all three were arrested by a British patrol."

So all this was about warning the British? I note this simply because it helps reveal the extent to which the Roger Ailes world – where propaganda always trumps reality – will protect Palin if she runs. There is no gaffe they won't defend, no odd lie they won't avoid, no serious question about her past and her multiple fantasies and delusions that they will take seriously.