The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXXIII: Saturday Night Live

On Oprah today, we are told that Palin says she desperately wanted to go on Saturday Night Live – "I thought it would be fun." She says that the campaign was terribly apprehensive about it and thought the appearance could be "atrocious." She also sticks by the transparently incredible story that she watched the priceless Tina Fey skits with the volume down.

Moreover, Palin insists that the campaign opposed the appearance but she wanted to do it because it would "neutralize some of the parody" she hadn't, by her own account, ever heard.

Well: what does objective reality tell us about this latest story of Palin's?

We actually have emails from Steve Schmidt and Palin that provide contemporaneous evidence to allow us to judge this self-serving tale:

In one email thread, dated October 14, 2008, Palin says she is "not thrilled" with the idea of going on Saturday Night Live as a way of marginalizing the show's unflattering impersonations of her.

"Not after seeing clips of what they've been playing re: my family," Palin writes to campaign manager Steve Schmidt, as well as top strategists Rick Davis; and Nicolle Wallace.

"I had no idea how gross 'celebrities' on that show and in other celebrity venues could get when it comes to family and other aspects of my life that have nothing to do with seeking the vp slot. These folks are whack – didn't know it was as bad as it is… what's the upside in giving them any celebrity venue a ratings boost? That's Todd's input also," she concludes, in reference to her husband.

So we find out first off that Palin was lying when she said she never watched the SNL skits with he volume up. This was obvious at the time, but it's good to have it proven in her own words. We also found out that she is lying to Oprah when she says she wanted to do SNL, while Schmidt (for whom one almost feels pity) was opposed.

Again: this is not an artful spin. It is a lie that can be revealed by reading her own fricking emails!

C'mon, Levi. Tell us what you got.

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin: A Summary Before The Next Round

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On the eve of Palin's latest version of reality, the Dish offers a recap of all the demonstrable lies she has told in the public record. We reprint the list as a public service and invite readers to run the new "book" through exactly the same empirical wringer, so we can compile an up-to-date and comprehensive list of the fantasies, delusions, lies and non-facts that Palin is so pathologically and unalterably attached to. Remember: we are not including contested stories that we cannot prove definitively one way or another or the usual spin that politicians use, or even hypocrisy or shading of facts. We are merely including things she has said or written that can be definitively proven as untrue, by incontestable evidence in the public record.

After you have read these, ask yourself: what wouldn't Sarah Palin lie about if she felt she had to?

Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.

Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla's police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.

Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.

Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline "began" under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.

Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.

Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country's domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.

Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.

Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)

Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.

Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten's divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.

Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.

Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.

Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her "misstatements," though she refused to retract or apologize.

Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report "showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part"; in fact, that report prominently stated, "Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."

Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.

Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.

Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to "correct the record"; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn't have been released two months earlier.

Palin lied when she said that "reported" allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 – two years into her first term – and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.

Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.

Palin lied when asked about Couric's question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric's words were not, "What do you read up there in Alaska?" or anything close to condescension.

Palin lied when she mischaracterized the "$1200 check" given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies – a tax widely criticized by Republicans.

Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.

Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.

Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting's.

Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.

Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney's "amicable" departure was for "personal" reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin's friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed "poor job performance" for his firing – without elaborating.

Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.

Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.

(Photo: Eric Engman/Getty).

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin, To Be Continued

I'm traveling in Texas and sunk into political philosophy for a couple of heavenly days, so this will have to wait till Monday. But the AP's first glance at the Palin "book" reveals that the pattern of Palin's surreal delusions – a pattern that became obvious over the period of the campaign – remains firmly intact.

The AP has discovered fourteen already proven lies that Palin continues to tell as if they were true. 

Of course, I expected this. WhorperCollins has no interest in actually editing the book for accuracy – or editing the book at all. And Palin has no grip on any form of reality but her own solipsistic fantasies. The Dish's comprehensive list of Palin's lies will soon be updated for the record. And we hope to compile it as a handy reference book before too long.

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXXII: Todd And The AIP

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You know I said a lot of tough things about Steve Schmidt in the rough and tumble of the campaign, but the more we find out about what actually went on, the more you realize he was actually one of the few sane people with real clout in the McCain implosion. And CBS News has some new evidence of a classic Palin lie – deployed against the McCain campaign. She tried to argue that it was false that her husband had been a member of the Alaska Independence Party and false that the Alaska Independence Party  actually supports secession. Here's the email she fired off to Schmidt when the press exposed her husband's extremist politics:

"That's not part of their platform and he was only a 'member' bc independent alaskans too often check that 'Alaska Independent' box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan. He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed."

This is a classic Palin lie – because it has a high school quality to it and is provably untrue in the public record. CBS points out:

The box that Alaskans have the option of checking when registering to vote states the full name of the party, "Alaskan Independence Party," not "Alaska Independent," which would make an error by uncommitted voters more plausible.

To his eternal credit, Schmidt fired back:

"Secession. It is their entire reason for existence. A cursory examination of the website shows that the party exists for the purpose of seceding from the union. That is the stated goal on the front page of the web site. Our records indicate that todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect then we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be innaccurate. The innaccuracy would bring greater media attention to this matter and be a distraction. According to your staff there have been no media inquiries into this and you received no questions about it during your interviews. If you are asked about it you should smile and say many alaskans who love their country join the party because it speeks to a tradition of political independence. Todd loves his country

We will not put out a statement and inflame this and create a situation where john has to adress this."

These are the words of a sane professional grappling with smeone who can only be called a pathological whack-job, unable to accept criticism and responding to it with pathetic untruths and diva-flame-outs and personal vendettas. This person could have been a heartbeat away from being president of the United States in a moment of economic crisis and national security peril. Her selection remains the most surreal moment in modern American political history. That she is a serious candidate to be the GOP nominee in 2012 is a sign of something very, very seriously wrong with the contemporary American right.

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXXI: The Cost Of Ethics Complaints

Mudflats has found another untruth from the office of the Alaskan governor:

“In the past two years, the state of Alaska has spent millions of dollars processing ethics complaints, public records requests, and related lawsuits.”

Actually:

The complete breakdown is not yet available, but we do know this about the three spendiest ones: $187,797 stemmed from the Troopergate investigation, a good chunk of which Palin initiated herself. We’ll get back to that. $43,028 stemmed from a complaint by Andree McLeod which resulted in a recommendation that a state employee undergo ethics training for a series of “troubling emails.” $29,962 most likely came from the “travel gate” investigation in which Palin reimbursed almost $10,000 for expenses billed to the state for her children’s travel expenses. That’s the top three, none of which sound particularly “frivolous.” So once we crunch the numbers, it’s highly likely that the most expensive investigation brought about by an individual, is Palin’s investigation of herself. And let’s just review that one more time.

It just keeps coming, doesn't it?

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXX: The Band-Aid

We've broken into the thirties. Again, I should reiterate that Palin's lies are not the usual political ones. They are stark assertions of fact that are demonstrably and provably untrue. Mudflats caught the latest in the Runners' World interview. Here's what she said about slipping on a run on McCain's ranch and cutting open her hand:

RW: I don’t remember news reports about it.

SP: Heck no! I made those guys swear to secrecy. And I probably should have gotten a couple stitches. But I was insisting with these guys, “Absolutely not, let’s just wash it out.” I appreciated how much care they took to help me out. So anyway, I have a little scar on my hand, and I’ve seen a couple of pictures from the debate or of me waving to someone on the campaign trail with that Band-Aid and I think, nobody else knows about it.

Really?

PALINBANDAIDRobynBeck:AFP:Getty 

Here's the caption:

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin waves with a bandaged hand as a result of falling while jogging, as she and her husband Todd Palin board her campaign plane at the Flagstaff, Arizona airport for the trip to St Louis, Missouri. Palin will face-off with her Democratic counterpart Joe Biden in the Vice-Presidential debate later on October 2, 2008. By Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty.

This blogger remembers it quite distinctly:

I keenly remember watching the news the day of the big VP debate.  I remembered as she came down the stairs off the plane in St. Louis that she had the bandage on the palm of her hand as she waved, and the newscaster told how she had injured her hand in a fall while running.

In fact, the story was everywhere – a humanizing touch. So why did she just make up some strange story about it? The point is not that this is a grave sin. It isn't. Most of her lies aren't (with a few exceptions). They are just a function of someone who makes stories up all the time, who says things that may momentarily impress but that are inconsistent with past statements and with, you know, reality. That's why I'm such a skeptic about everything she does. And why I've come to believe that you need documentation to verify every strange story she tells.

— AS (like you didn't know)

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXIX: Firing Bitney

Again from Purdum:

Only weeks after Palin praised John Bitney for doing so much to make her first legislative session a success, she summarily fired him—because, he says, he had had the bad luck to fall in love with the wife of one of the Palins’ best friends (a woman he has since married). At the time, Palin’s office cited what it called “personal” reasons for an “amicable” departure. But when The Wall Street Journal called Palin’s office during last fall’s presidential campaign to ask about the case, a spokeswoman for Palin said that Bitney had been “dismissed because of his poor job performance,” and refused to elaborate.

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin XXVIII: Closed Door Meetings

From Purdum:

After one meeting between the governor and legislators in 2007, Lyda Green, then the president of the state senate, returned to her office to catch up on some paperwork. She caught Palin on the news. “And she comes on TV and says, ‘I want to once again confirm that neither I nor my staff ever holds closed-door meetings.’ Well, we had just been in a closed-door meeting for an hour and a half!”

Note the pattern. Palin says something that is immediately disprovable. People who lie like this are not politicians. They're sociopaths.

The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin, XXVII: The Stimulus Money

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You may recall the Alaska governor's signature move last month. She declared that she would only take half the stimulus money:

Palin first told the news media that she's turning down nearly half the federal stimulus money — but later conceded that does not count the Medicaid money she is accepting. That brings down what she's refusing to 31 percent of what the state government could get…  Palin said she is accepting the federal stimulus money that would go for construction projects, but not funding directed at government operations. "We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government," Palin said. "In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government."

Now she's changed her mind:

She earlier called the stimulus package "an unsustainable, debt-ridden package of funds." Alaska's Legislature conducted more than 20 public hearings on the federal stimulus package, and legislative leaders said they couldn't find any of the strings attached to the funds that Palin had warned about. "The Legislature then had to come in and find out through a lot of research that simply wasn't true," Gara said of Palin's argument.

But of course, having lied about how much stimulus money she would take at the start, and lied about the strings attached to the money, she is now denying she has changed her mind on this at all:

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said the message earlier this year that Palin was going to reject stimulus funds was misconstrued. "She's never said she's rejecting anything. She's been consistent we need to hear from the public, thus the legislative hearings," Leighow said.

I almost miss her. Almost.

(Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty.)