It's pretty obvious that the piece was set up with the idea of making Palin's supporters look clueless. O'Donnell had two supporters set aside, and had notes written down with which to confront the unsuspecting lass wearing the anti-Bailout shirt.
Both of the Palin supporters acquitted themselves pretty well, though for some (including the party who posted the YouTube video) the resistance to the "fact" that Palin supported the bailout would indicate something akin to blind faith.
But was it?
During the campaign, John McCain brought everyone to Washington, praised the bailout, and Sarah Palin, during the debate, the vice-presidential debate, praised John McCain for bringing folks together to pass the bill and said "It is a time of crisis in government. That's the time to step in."It sounded like something McCain might have said, so it seemed reasonable on its face that Palin would say something similar as McCain's running mate. Just one problem. When I looked up either phrase with "Palin" on Google, I came up empty.
I checked the transcript of the vice-presidential debate. Palin has one line about McCain pushing to make the bailout bill "even better," but I found nothing resembling the statements O'Donnell cited.
It's bad enough setting up Jackie Seal with a surprise question geared toward a predetermined narrative. But it's ten times worse to use a bogus and/or improperly sourced quotation to spring the trap. Not to mention the palpable condescension.
This gets the tag "journalists reporting badly."
Dave Weigel, writing for The Washington Independent, offers the following from the vice-presidential debate as evidence that Palin supported the "bailout" plan:
I don't see anything about the bill, per se. But the part about bringing people together is there, at least. The latter part of the O'Donnell quotation/paraphrase remains a mystery.
John McCain thankfully has been one representing reform. Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.
People in the Senate with him, his colleagues, didn’t want to listen to him and wouldn’t go towards that reform that was needed then. I think that the alarm has been heard, though, and there will be that greater oversight, again thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together over this past week, even suspending his own campaign to make sure he was putting excessive politics aside and putting the country first.
It it also worth noting that TARP went through a considerable series of changes subsequent to the VP debate.