CBS News Exec Kaplan Advances Palin Distortion

May 22nd, 2009 2:09 AM

Weeks ago, Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the "CBS Evening News," claimed that "Everybody, including Republicans, would have to say that (Obama's) first 100 days have been great."  This week, Kaplan perpetuated a myth concerning Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The event was a Katie Couric Roast & Toast held Wednesday evening as part of the American News Women's Club 15th gala.  MediaBistro's blog FishbowlDC provides the pertinent details in "Ratings, Palin and Colonoscopies: Couric Roasted :"

Kaplan, Couric's executive producer at Evening News ("Beauty and the Beast," chided Donaldson) was first up. "Roasting your anchor... can be really dangerous," he opened. "We did have to edit out a couple of comments that Katie made during the interview, for instance, when Governor Palin said I can see Russia from my house, Katie actually said, well I can see Jersey from mine but that doesn't mean I know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried."

The contention that "Governor Palin said I can see Russia from my house" is incorrect.  Even Time Magazine corrected the error last October in "Palin vs. "Palin": When SNL Parody Becomes Campaign Reality."  Reporting that Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live provided "a seamless blending of reality and parody," the article went on to note:

A Google search, for instance, turns up plenty of blog references to Palin's claim that she could see Russia "from [her] house" as her way of saying that being governor of Alaska is a foreign policy credential. The only problem: Real Sarah Palin never said it. Fey did, spoofing Palin's argument that one can see Russia from Alaskan territory. But who can remember those details? If Real You gets in an argument with Public You, Public You wins every time.

A post-election Zogby poll of Obama voters disclosed that 86.9 percent of respondents believed GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was the correct answer to the question: Which candidate said they could see Russia from their house?

One would think that the executive producer of the "CBS Evening News" would know better.  Then again, with the detachment from reality demonstrated by his assertion that everyone would have to say Obama's first 100 days were great, perhaps he genuinely doesn't know any better.  And it's not likely his mainstream media comrades would point out the error.