MSNBC Taken in by hoaxer on 'Palin doesn't know Africa is a continent' lie

Oh, the gullibility of our media.

We here at AT refused to report the breathless headlines from a few days ago that Sarah Palin did not know Africa was a continent because it seemed not credible to us. I would guess a lot of the other drivel being published about her is similarly sourced.

And who was the source? A hoaxer who goes by the name of Martin Eisenstadt, supposedly employed by the "Warren G. Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy" who bragged on his website that he "leaked" the damaging info about Palin.

First from his site:

By now you’ve all heard the Fox News report last week that “unnamed” former McCain advisers leaked that Sarah Palin was confused about whether Africa was a continent, and which countries were in NAFTA. I was perfectly happy staying under the radar as an anonymous source for Fox NewsCarl Cameron, but now that Palin has accusedaccusers of being “unprofessional…jerks…cowards… taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news” and begun to cast doubt on the Fox News report, maybe she’s right to a certain extent. For those of us on the McCain campaign who thought that she acted like a rogue diva and lost John the election, maybe we DO have a responsibility to come out in public. But Sarah… careful what you ask for: some of us may have more to reveal. her

So yes, to be clear, last week I was the one who leaked those things to a producer at Fox News who works with Cameron. Carl and his producers are good guys, and I don’t want them to have to worry about protecting their sources (and going through the wringer ala Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) on something like this.

At this point, it is unclear whether he truly was a source for Cameron who broke the original story. But everything about him is a lie. He was never with the McCain campaign in any capacity - except perhaps as a very low level staffer. And, as Allah points out , that Harding Institute bit should have been a dead giveaway that the guy was not legitimate:

The “Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy”? Named after one of America’s worst presidents, whose term in office lasted two years with zero foreign policy accomplishments? Dude?

The kicker is that MSNBC did a "Breaking News" segment on Eisenstadt's "revelations" and treated it as the truth. And, of course, the Palin Africa smear was commented on by hundreds of liberal (and conservative) blogs as well as being picked up by the likes of Keith Olbermann and other "journalists."

MSNBC's David Shuster very quickly admitted that "there may be some indications" the story was made up. I guess when a house falls on you, David, there might be "some indications" that you will be crushed like a peanut.

Sarah Palin is not stupid despite every effort to portray her as such in the media. This is the same tactic used by the left for 60 years against Republicans and one would think they would tire of it.

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