Easily, it seems. It really is remarkable to note how many of these stories were loudly trumpeted by prominent liberal blogs and magazines, as well as the MSM, in the days after Palin’s nomination, and it should be emphasized that corrections or retractions – when they are published at all – are usually not sufficient to patch things up: even leaving aside the number of people still getting to my own blog by searching for “palin pregnancy rumors” and other such things, it’s incredible to see the number of apparently sane and well-read discussants in comment threads continuing to complain about Palin’s history of book-banning and the like. There is a lot of damage that needs to be undone here, and it seems to me that a reasonable rule of thumb would be that every word spent propagating (or “raising questions about”) a rumor should be met by at least one working to correct it. That the McCain campaign has managed to persist in spreading its own brand of falsehoods about Governor Palin and her executive record is also outrageous, of course, though it would be interesting to see polling data that compared the number of people who think Palin opposed the “Bridge to Nowhere” with the number who think she’s a pregnancy-faking Buchananite secessionist (not that there’s anything wrong with those latter two!). It’s the craziest rumors that die the hardest deaths …
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