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Fox News cuts down Palin’s claim about ‘corrupt bastards’ at CBS

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
Sunday, October 31, 2010 14:26 EDT
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Sarah Palin went to war against an Alaska affiliate of CBS on Sunday, but she got little back-up in her struggle from her employer, Fox News.

Fox reporter Dan Springer says he could find no evidence of bias against Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller by CBS affiliate KTVA.

Palin surprised Fox’s Chris Wallace Sunday with the claim that reporters from the CBS news affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska, had conspired to create negative news stories about Miller.

“It was revealed at the rally that I had for Joe Miller on Thursday — it was revealed and we have the tape that proves it — that the CBS reporters, the affiliate in Alaska, conspired to make up stories about Joe Miller. We have the tape, Chris. And I can’t wait until it busts out all over the nation to show what it is that we — kind of what I put up with for two years now with the media — but what Joe Miller is faced with in dealing with somebody who feels — Lisa Murkowski — so entitled to that seat she and her people, including some complicit in the media, will do anything. They will stop at nothing,” she explained.

Palin was referring to a message that was accidentally left on the voice mail of Joe Miller’s spokesperson. The Miller camp claims that two CBS reporters were caught plotting to find and interview a child molester at one of Miller’s rallies.

The Miller campaign and Andrew Breitbart posted the audio Saturday.

“That’s sick. Those are corrupt bastards,” Palin said.

On Fox`s America Live later Sunday, Dan Springer reported he could find no evidence to back up Palin’s concern that KTVA is running a smear job against Miller.

“We actually had some of our staffers look at some of the more recent articles and stories that KTVA has done to see if there was any obvious bias or hit pieces against Joe Miller and we couldn’t find that. We could not see any obvious signs of bias or hit pieces don by KTVA against Joe Miller,” Springer said.

KTVA general manager Jerry Bever told Politico’s Ben Smith Sunday that “while the recording is real, the allegations are untrue.”

“The Miller campaign’s analysis of the recording is incorrect in many material ways ranging from personnel involved in the conversation, the interpretation of conversation snippets and the reported transcript of the perceived garbled conversation,” Bever said.

That prompted Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent to wonder if Palin had fallen for yet another Andrew Breitbart-led instance of misleading journalism.

“Is another Andrew Breitbart Web site production about to be unmasked as bogus?” he asked.

ABC News reports that Republican party leaders have all but given up on Miller and are hoping a Murkowski win will keep the seat in Republican hands.

Republican Senate Committee Chairman John Cornyn denied the claim, but admitted the party is “concerned” about Miller’s chances.

This video is from Fox News’ America Live, broadcast Oct. 31, 2010.


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