The title of today’s NY Times article on Sarah Palin could have been titled “Palin Missed Briefing, Caused Swine Flu.” But it wasn’t. Instead The Times titled the article Palin’s Long March to a Short-Notice Resignation.

Not much new in the article, except this:

In mid-spring, as the country grew alarmed over the swine flu, Ms. Palin skipped a briefing for administration officials on the outbreak by her chief medical officer, Dr. Jay C. Butler. A spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, noted that the teleconference took place about a month before the first case of the flu was reported in Alaska and that at the time the governor was meeting with top staff on the issue of federal stimulus funds. Since then, the state has had 122 confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu.

Notice how seamlessly The Times moves from Palin missing a briefing on swine flu, to Alaska now having 122 confirmed cases. No direct accusation of anything, just subtle innuendo that somehow Palin’s missing the briefing had some relationship to the outbreak in Alaska.

Making such an accusation would be laughable, but innuendo, well that’s what passes for hard news and investigative journalism.

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