AP Article Detailing a Number of Criticisms of the Republican Veep Nominee Was 'Top Story' at FNC Website, Only to be Suddenly Disappeared
Copy of the Story, as Killed by the 'Fair and Balanced' Propagandists, Reposted as BRAD BLOG Courtesy, in Full, Below...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2008, 1:46pm PT  

We were surprised as anyone to see this listed today at Google News...

We were somewhat less surprised when we clicked on it to find the page it linked to was now an error page at the Fox "News" website, reading...

You've requested an America's Election HQ page that cannot be found. The page you are looking for may have moved or it may no longer be available. We apologize for the inconvenience.

To confirm the page actually existed at one time, we also searched over at Yahoo News and found the similar...

That link also led to an error page at Fox "News", even though, according to the URL (http://elections.foxnews.com/category/top-story/), the article, for a moment at least, had been one of their top stories. As it was an AP story, perhaps it was part of an automatic feed that made it's way onto FNC's site, until the "fair and balanced" network website editors noted it, and decided it needed to be scrubbed immediately.

After searching and searching at their website for the original article, perhaps under a changed headline, we came up with little, other than a story headlined: "Analysis: Pressure Builds on Palin Ahead of VP Debate" found not in a search, but in a sidebar list of "Most Read" articles over there.

While that article had a reference to the crushing call for Palin to drop out of the race, as seen in a National Review column by conservaitve Kathleen Parker, which The BRAD BLOG noted on Friday, it began with a few shots at Democratic Veep nominee Joe Biden who, Fox says, "spent the past week tripping up his own campaign --- bungling facts on the Great Depression and even criticizing a Barack Obama ad" before going on to detail "Biden's gaffe-prone ways."

It was only, in the comments section for that "Analysis" piece, that we were able to find references to the spiked article, and finally, a commenter who posted a link to a copy of the original article --- which featured a number of devasting criticisms of Palin, from a number of conservatives --- as reposted elsewhere...

The same commenter, "ntak6090", then posted yet another link to the article as re-posted elswhere, at a site which re-posts a feed of all FNC articles. The comment included the chiding "Too late FOX... once you put something on the Internet, it stays on the Internet"...

In addition to the comments from Parker, calling on Palin to leave the ticket, The BRAD BLOG also recently noted comments about Palin from Laura Bush, who, in a rather stunning, yet under-reported admission, agreed that she lacks foreign policy experience. We also ran clips from Palin's disastrous CBS interviews, which were somewhat lost in the flurry of news concerning the Wall Steet bailout, but which seem to have been a tipping point for a number of previously-supportiver conservatives.

As a courtesy to Fox "News" --- who must have removed the article sharing some of those concerns because they are running short on Internet ink today --- and for their faithful readers and viewers, we'll go ahead and run their original complete story, as spiked from their website, in full below...

Conservatives Begin Questioning Palin’s Heft
by Associated Press
Sunday, September 28, 2008

A growing number of Republicans are expressing concern about Sarah Palin’s uneven - and sometimes downright awkward - performances in her limited media appearances.

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, a former Palin supporter, says the vice presidential nominee should step aside. Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing for the conservative National Review, says “that’s not a crazy suggestion” and that “something’s gotta change.”

Tony Fabrizio, a GOP strategist, says Palin’s recent CBS appearance isn’t disqualifying but is certainly alarming. “You can’t continue to have interviews like that and not take on water.”

“I have not been blown away by the interviews from her, but at the same time, I haven’t come away from them thinking she doesn’t know s-t,” said Chris Lacivita, a GOP strategist. “But she ain’t *** Cheney, nor Joe Biden and definitely not Hillary Clinton.”

There is no doubt that Palin retains a tremendous amount of support among rank-and-file Republicans. She draws huge crowds, continues to raise a lot of money for the McCain campaign, and state parties report she has sparked an uptick in the number of volunteers.

Asked about Palin’s performance in the CBS interview, a McCain official briefing reporters on condition of anonymity said: “She did fine. She’s a tremendous asset and a fantastic candidate.”

But there is also no doubt many Republican insiders are worried she could blow next week’s debate, based on her unexpectedly weak and unsteady media appearances, and hurt the Republican ticket if she does.

What follows is a viewer’s guide to some of Palin’s toughest moments on camera so far.

Speaking this week with CBS’s Katie Couric, Palin seemed caught off-guard by a very predictable question about the status of McCain adviser Rick Davis’ relationship with mortgage lender Freddie Mac. Davis was accused by several news outlets of retaining ties - and profiting from - the companies despite his denials.

Where a more experienced politician might have been able to brush off Couric’s follow-up question, Palin seemed genuinely stumped, repeating the same answer twice and resorting to boilerplate language about the “undue influence of lobbyists.”

These missteps could be attributed to inadequate preparation and don’t necessarily reflect more deeply on Palin’s ability to perform as vice president. But when reporters have tried to probe Palin’s thinking on subjects such as foreign policy, she’s been similarly opaque.

In an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Palin gave a muddled answer to a question about her opinion of the Bush Doctrine.

And given the chance to describe her foreign policy credentials more fully, Palin recited familiar talking points, telling Gibson that her experience with energy policy was sufficient preparation for dealing with national security issues.

In the same interview, Palin let Gibson lead her into saying it might be necessary to wage war on Russia - a suggestion that most candidates would have avoided making explicitly and that signaled her discomfort in discussing global affairs.

Then, asked this week by Couric to discuss her knowledge of foreign relations - in particular, her assertion that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gave her international experience - Palin tripped herself up explaining her interactions with Alaska’s neighbor to the west. Watch CBS Videos Online

On the economy, too, Palin has avoided taking clear stances. In a largely friendly interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Palin spoke in tangled generalities in response to a question about a possible Wall Street bailout - and even preempted her campaign by coming out against it.

On Thursday, Palin finally took questions from her traveling press - but shut things down quickly after Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel asked her whether she would support Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who has been indicted for corruption, and Rep. Don Young, who is under federal investigation, for reelection.

Unlike her other interviews, at least this time Palin had the option to walk away.

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