Back on September 3, the Detroit Free Press ran a feature asking local voters how they felt about Governor Sarah Palin's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention. However, several of those identified as "independent" voters have turned out to be far from independent but are anti-war activists and members of the radical hate-group, Code Pink. Looks like the Detroit Free Press got snookered big time on this one.
The Free Press published the opinions of Ilene Beninson, 52, and Joellen Gilchrist, 64, as the opinion of "independents" and, naturally, they both hated Palin and her speech. But, as the days rolled onward, it has come to light that neither Beninson nor Gilchrist are as "independent" as they claimed. Even ABC's Jake Tapper got snared by the sham independents. Tapper later apologized for his error.
Please note that two of the "independents" the Free Press interviewed appear to be anti-war activists, thus not particularly predisposed to have an open mind about Gov. Palin. I had quoted one of them, but have removed her comments.
Besides ABC, several other Old Media outlets picked up on these bogus "independents" that the Free Press foisted on the reading public.
As it happens, Gilcrest appears as a contact on a Code Pink groups page and Ilene Beninson shows up as a supporter of Cindy Sheehan on an anti-war website called "Target of Opportunity." (Just for a reminder, the U.S. anti-war effort is directly tied to communist front groups as Byron York wrote in 2003.)
This would argue against either of them being an "independent" voter that might have the sort of undecided view of the candidates that might lend itself to an unbiased assessment of the race. The Detroit Free Press presented these women as if they were somehow "independent" and not partisan.
Yet, even as this news has come to light, Free Press assistant managing editor Randy Essex says that he doesn't care that he was fooled by these women's claims of independence. In an interview with FOXNews.com Essex is somewhat apologetic, yet shrugs off any criticism.
“I wish that it weren’t the case that there were two people from an activist group and we didn’t know about it,” assistant managing editor Randy Essex said of the CodePink members.
“If there is a radical leftist or two in the group, I don’t care,” Essex told FOXNews.com. “I want a robust conversation, a complete range of political viewpoints.”
So, while Essex claims he will "refine the voter panel," he maintains that the original panel was completely on the up and up.
I guess that the definition of "independent" is in the eye of the beholder as far as the Detroit Free Press is concerned, eh?
(Photo credit: moonbattery.com)