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Rape Kits Story: Neither Debunked Nor Reported

The right-wing buzz appears to be that the Wasilla rape kit story has been debunked. That’s not true, of course. But the story also hasn’t been reported in the mainstream media. Eric Boehlert:

For instance, The Washington Post has never written about the rape-kit story in its news pages, according to a search of Nexis, nor has The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, or Time.

Credit goes to USA Today for treating the issue seriously, while CNN.com posted a detailed investigation. And on the air, CNN seems to have reported more on the issue than its cable competitors, which isn’t saying much, since its competitors have virtually ignored the story.

As for the news networks, there’s been a blackout on the rape-kit story.

Journalists ought to be reporting the story and asking Palin to give detailed, unambiguous answers, since the rape-kit issue could offer some insights into how she governs.Instead, the press has treated the story as something of a taboo. And the loud, bogus claims about it being "debunked" likely add to its untouchable status.

Trust me, nothing has been debunked.


Righty luminaries such as Atlas Juggs and NRO claim the story has been debunked by saying, simply, that’s it is not true and that it has been debunked.

Set aside the oddity of Palin’s press supporters pushing her candidacy by emphasizing that she apparently had no idea what the town of Wasilla was doing in her name, and focus on this: Unless Palin had no idea what was going on in her own city government and unless she signed budget documents without actually reading them, the claim is plainly false.

And that’s where conservatives got schooled by a GW junior named Jacob Alperin-Sheriff. Writing for The Huffington Post’s Off The Bus, and crossposting at Daily Kos, Alperin-Sheriff posted by far the most specific and factual analysis of the rape-kit story in terms of Palin’s role as mayor and the final say she had over the budget.

Combing through Wasilla’s budgetary documents, which are posted online, Alperin-Sheriff showed that Palin had clearly signed off on a fiscal-year budget that reduced by three-quarters the amount of money the town set aside annually for rape-kit costs and that the rape-kit reduction was spelled out before the fiscal-year 2000 budget was approved by Mayor Sarah Palin on April 26, 1999.

This week’s bottom line: No matter how many times partisans in the GOP press announce the Palin rape-kit story has been "debunked," the central, undisputed facts remain hidden in plain sight for all to see.

It’s time for the press to take a closer look.

As Atrios says about the rape kits, it’s "still a true story."

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge

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