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More HuffPo Horse Hockey

In which its diarist knows something that just isn't so.

It’s a Sarah Palin Twofer for Huffington Post today. We have already debunked a distortion made by one of that website’s diarists today.

Now another diarist, Shannyn Moore, who uses her personal blog and a two-hour weekly talk show on an Anchorage radio station mostly to kick Sarah Palin around, has shown that she never lets facts get in the way of a good Palin-bashing. Moore begins her HuffPo diary today with this:

“Writing is hard. I struggle…”

Then she goes on to show that she’s not up to the task. Speculating on Gov. Palin’s recent book deal, Moore cites Alaska law on outside employment, then adds:

“I’m not an attorney, but, after reading the details of the statutes, they seem specific and unambiguous; the governor can’t be paid for other employment.”

No, Moore is no attorney, but had she done some actual research, she would have learned that Alaska’s Department of Law has already looked into the matter and given its opinion, one which blows Moore’s “Law for Dummies” legal interpretation out of the water:

Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras has suggested the Alaska Department of Law produce a legal opinion specifically on whether Palin could leave the state for a book tour. The law department has looked into whether the governor having a book contract conflicts with the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Acts, including its prohibition on accepting outside “employment for compensation.”

The department concluded a book contract isn’t employment, because it’s not regular work for a salary or wage. State employees are allowed to provide services for their own financial benefit as long as it’s on their own time, does not conflict with their official duties and does not involve using state equipment or resources, said the legal opinion, signed by deputy attorney general Richard Svobodny.

“A book publication project is compatible with your position as governor so long as it does not interfere with your official duties,” Svobodny wrote to Palin.

Now when I say “research,” I’m not talking about long hours toiling at the library. All Moore had to do was read the Anchorage Daily News report on the book deal, and she would have known a fact which directly contradicts the wishful thinking she put her name to and had published on a nationally-read website.

Ms. Moore, writing isn’t all that hard if the writer does his or her homework, which you failed to do. And that is why you struggle. I worked over 20 years in broadcasting, and I’ve written everything from radio commercials to news copy. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that research – getting your facts straight – is half the battle.

This calls to mind one of my favorite Ronald Reagan quotes. It’s from “A Time for Choosing,” one of the greatest political speeches ever delivered, so great that it came to be known simply as “The Speech“:

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Diarist, correct thyself.

- JP

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