Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yale's Biggest Blunder

Okay, maybe this isn't Yale's biggest blunder as Yale's been around a long time. Neither am I a journalist nor reporter, just a guy with a laptop and a delusion. However, I try to check my facts before I publish, though sometimes I let stuff pass because the fiction is more fun. Like, Obama didn't really use the teleprompter in the 6th grade class, rather later at the presser in another room. Obama as inept clown is more fun that Obama as "Dave".

I read this story from this mornings Memorandum about the Yale Daily News skewering Sarah Palin for wearing a bracelet the writer Eric Robinson, veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and a first-year international relations grad student, took as being a black memorial bracelet as a remembrance of a friend, associate, or family member who was killed in action. Mrs. Palin's bracelet is engraved with the name of her son, Track, who is very much alive, hence, according to Mr. Robinson, Palin was being disrespectful of the valiant dead. William A. Jacobson has more on the Left's misplaced indignation.

Had Yale and Robinson held truth higher than rabid attack and done a few minutes of fact checking, as I did, the story would never have been written and published. But, like I said, sometimes it's just more fun to run with fiction.

Robinson wrote in the Yale Daily News,

... Sarah Palin glanced at some notes written on her hand during her speech and the subsequent question and answer section. The media and left-leaning critics have mocked her ceaselessly. Regardless, she got her message across: Anyone interested in politics across the country now knows her “three principles,” even if they didn’t pay attention to the speech. Well done.

The name on her black memorial bracelet — one, like the gold star, a demonstration of a friend or associate who was killed in action — is that of her oldest son, Track. Track served honorably in Iraq, and both he and his parents should be thanked for his selfless service to his country. He is also alive.

Commemorating Track’s service by wearing a a black memorial bracelet which is reserved for those dead or even a red bracelet for those missing in action, demonstrates a horrifying contempt for those who gave their last full measure of devotion or an almost unbelievable ignorance of the importance of symbols in American history.

Unfortunately, given Palin’s reputation and frequent public statements, I assume it is the latter.

Sarah Palin, please take off the bracelet. Be thankful you have no reason to wear it.
The story's publication was followed quickly by commenters setting Robinson right, like this one,
#5 By chris greta 9:52a.m. on February 10, 2010
About Ms. Palin's HeroBracelet.

We sent her those bracelets during the last election. When we learned that her son, Track and Senator Biden's son were both being deployed overseas, we sent them both Deployed HeroBracelets with their son's names.

We've been providing Deployed HeroBracelets since 2004 for families to wear while their loved ones were serving. They can be made from sterling, copper, leather or bronze colored anodized aluminum (black is reserved for KIA).

About half the bracelet we make are Deployed. Typically they will have the soldier or Marines rank, name, country of deployment and timeframe of deployment (2004/2005).

So she isn't out of line for wearing the Deployed HeroBracelet. There are ten's of thousands of families around the country wearing them right now. On the HeroBracelets web site, we've got hundreds of letters from families, many vowing to not take the bracelet off till their loved one comes home.

Chris Greta
And, of course, this one,

#45 By Indigo Red 7:09p.m. on February 10, 2010

Please read comment #5. Mrs. Palin IS NOT wearing a black Memorial Bracelet, it is a bronzed aluminum Deployment Bracelet with her son's name engraved on it. Vice Pres Biden also wears a Deployment Bracelet with his son's name engraved. HeroBracelets made the items for Plain and Biden and now half of sales are for deployment bracelets.

Eleven hours after being informed of the error, neither Yale Daily nor Eric Robinson had rectified what had by then become a liberal lie spread across the universe... well, at least the blogosphere. However, sometime between 10:00PM and 10:15PM (Yale) tonight Robinson and Yale published this -

Author's Note: In my column in the News Wednesday, I criticized former Alaska governor Sarah Palin for wearing a black memorial bracelet with her son’s name on it, as Track returned unharmed from Iraq last fall. However, Sarah Palin's bracelet was not black; instead, it was a dark brown "DeployedHero" bracelet worn by those who have loved ones currently serving in the military. The bracelet is different from the black one associated with men and women who are killed in action overseas. Recognizing this, I apologize to the governor and to any reader who might have been misled by my piece. I hope that this serves as an important lesson for anyone interested in the importance of these symbols.
The problem with retractions, author's notes, and apologies is that few people read them after reading the main body of the erroneous story. Even after the note was added, readers are still commenting and arguing whether the bracelet was black or some other color never having read the author's note, comment #5, #45, or dozens of others refuting the liberal 'facts'.

Damn the facts. Damn fact checking. A liberal hit piece is what was wanted and a liberal hit piece Yale Daily got. Like the editor said in the film, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence", "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend." In this case, print the lie.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

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