Yesterday, Sean Sullivan at Chris Cillizza’s The Fix column at The Washington Post ran the following paragraph in a story titled 5 moments that show why Margaret Thatcher mattered in American politics:

5) Spurning Sarah Palin: In 2011, the Guardian newspaper reported that Thatcher would not be meeting with Sarah Palin during Palin’s trip to London. “Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts,” the paper quoted one Thatcher ally as saying. The rejection sparked an outcry among conservatives in the United States, lending a great deal of attention to the non-meeting.

Cillizza tweeted that the column was a “smart piece.” Rather, it was just a cheap shot at Palin. (Ann Coulter took a similar swipe at Palin but did not recite the specific language quoted in The Guardian.)

More important, that claim by the Guardian has been shown at best to be dubious and more likely to be false.  Others who have made the claim have retracted it.  The Independent in Britain noted at the time that Mrs.Thatcher was not receiving guests because of ill health and did not even attend a ceremony in her honor.  Even Politico, when running that claim yesterday, noted that it was disputed, yet they ran it without noting the dispute.  A simple Google search would have alerted them that the story was in doubt.

I tweeted both Cillizza and Sullivan, asking for a retraction or at least to note the claim was in dispute.  I could not find their email addresses, but since they are both active on Twitter and since the story also was picked up at Twitchy and widely tweeted, I assume they are aware.

As of this writing, they have not made the correction.

It’s not about Sarah Palin. It’s about how the mainstream media — unfortunately sometimes assisted by our own “side” — creates and perpetuates false narratives.

And they wonder why trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low.

Update: Dubious Thatcher-Palin story fixed by @TheFix

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