COMMENTARY | When the British newspaper The Guardian announced that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had snubbed Sarah Palin’s request for a private meeting, Palin haters on the left and right erupted in joy.
There was even a report that an unnamed Thatcher aide had attacked Palin for being “nuts.” This too caused celebrations across the Internet. Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was one of the few people to cast doubt on the story, for which he was taken to task by the Guardian.
However, it looks like the Guardian story was less than accurate. Niles Gardiner of The Telegraph actually bothered to check with Thatcher’s private office and discovered the truth:
“I have spoken to Lady Thatcher’s Private Office regarding the story, and they confirm that the attack on Sarah Palin definitely did not come from her office, and in no way reflects her views. As a former aide to Margaret Thatcher myself, I can attest that this kind of thinking is entirely alien to her, and that such remarks would never be made by her office. She has always warmly welcomed like-minded figures in the United States, and has in the past met with numerous US presidential candidates and political dignitaries when they have visited London. But at the age of 85 she is now able to receive very few visitors at all.
“There was never any snub of Sarah Palin by Lady Thatcher’s office. However, there has been a great deal of mischief-making and unpleasantness from sections of the liberal press in a vain and futile attempt to use Margaret Thatcher’s name to smear a major US politician.”
In other words, Limbaugh was right and the Guardian was — for want of a nicer word — lying.
As with the Paul Revere imbroglio, there seems to be a desire among a great many people to believe the worst about Palin and continue to believe it no matter what evidence arises to the contrary. Palin hating has descended from just another derangement syndrome that other conservative leaders, such as George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, had to deal with and into something like a cult.
Like the 9/11 truthers who believe that the Bush administration engineered the 9/11 attacks and the Obama birthers who believe the president is not a natural born American, the Palin haters ascribe to her all sort of characteristics that she demonstrably does not have. The Palin haters are just as cracked as the truthers and the birthers, but unlike them have not yet been called out for their insanity.
It is quite alright to disagree with Palin’s policy views or think she ought not be president. It is quite another thing to argue that she is brain dead or is the living Anti-Christ. The first is just an ordinary and defensible political position. The latter is insanity.
The Thatcher kerfuffle should teach people another thing. Especially when it comes to Palin, it is always best to view anything negative written about her with a grain of salt. Many media outlets do not employ anyone as quaint as fact checkers. And the will to believe the worse about Palin is especially virulent in mainstream media newsrooms.
Sources: Rush Limbaugh: wrong on Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin, Nicholas Watt, The Guardian, June 11, 2011
Margaret Thatcher did not ‘‹Å”snub’ Sarah Palin: The truth about the Iron Lady and the former Governor of Alaska, Nile Gardiner, The Telegraph, June 13, 2011