Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin have all called for a retraction from Politico over false claims in Jonathan Martin’s “Hurricane Sarah” article on Palin.
Martin’s Oct. 21 Politico article quoted “multiple Republican campaign sources” anonymously to claim that Palin backs out of events and is problematic for scheduling.”
“According to a source familiar with the situation, she backed out of planned interviews with conservative talk-show hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin the morning she was scheduled to talk to them. And her multiple schedule changes so annoyed Glenn Beck that he finally decided not to have her on his radio or TV show to promote the book.
‘These are people who support her,’ said a frustrated source who knew about Palin’s treatment of the conservative talkers. ‘Her whole world is chaos,'” Martin wrote.
Martin explained that “few GOP sources will talk openly” and on-the-record about interactions with Palin.
Beck announced that he “demanded a retraction and an apology” without avail Oct. 22 on his show.
“This is a flat out lie. Sarah Palin never backed out of any interview with me. Period. And John Martin, the reporter, never contacted me to ask me directly. I insist on a retraction. http://politi.co/ac12rC“
Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard reported in his article about Levin’s retraction demand that Sean Hannity’s radio producer e-mailed him to announce that “Hannity joins Levin!”
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Palin called it a “smear” on her Twitter account, and labeled Martin as “full of crap.”
Blogger Shane Vander Hart reported that “Eric Woolson, spokesperson for Senator Chuck Grassley’s campaign, for the record said, that the anonymous source “does not represent the Senator’s views.” So, evidently, Senator Grassley was not displeased with any interaction they had with the Palin camp.”
Palin’s reaction and Martin’s reliance on anonymous sources bears resemblance to what Michael Joseph Gross reported in his October Vanity Fair profile of Palin. Gross’s profile leaned heavily on anonymous sources, which he explained was necessary because Palin “and her staff made themselves virtually inaccessible to reporters.”
He added that it was difficult to find sources willing to go on the record because “to speak out against such a person in a small community is risky.”
He admitted one serious error in the profile, which has since been corrected: he spent nearly 500 words telling of Sarah Palin’s daughter Piper pushing Sarah Palin’s son Trig around before a speech in Missouri, however Trig was not at the speech.
Conservative activist Gina Loudon claimed that she told Gross at the speech that the child he saw was her son Samuel, but that he ignored her. However, Gross defended himself in an Vanity Fair blog post claiming that he never met, spoken with or heard of Loudon until her claims.
iMediaEthics has written to Martin and will update with any response.