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ABC Touts Anti-Palin "Independents" Who Are Actually Anti-war Activists

12:15 AM, Sep 5, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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On Thursday, ABC's Jake Tapper reported: "The Detroit Free Press invited a panel of Michigan voters to weigh-in on Gov. Sarah Palin's speech last night. Their reactions run the gamut, but the independents didn't seem to care for her very much."

The blog Riehl World View pointed out that two of the "independents" who gave negative reviews of Palin are actually members of the radical antiwar group Code Pink. A little searching on the Internet reveals that George Lentz, another "independent" on this voter panel, is a professor who is a member of a Social Justice group that, "Took public stand against war in Iraq" and "Conducted petition drive to help defeat Michigan anti-gay marriage legislation." Lentz told the paper that Palin is a "Republican novelty act with a sophomoric script. It was not even a speech I would expect for a someone running for the local PTA, much less for vice president."

I called up the Free Press to ask how these left-wing activists were labeled independents. Assistant managing editor Randy Essex told me that in addition to selecting some panelists from a poll, "some people here in the newsroom gave an administrative person some names to put this together."

When asked if the Code Pink activists got on the panel upon the suggestion of people in the newsroom, Essex replied: "I don't know where those particular people came from." He told me a reader alerted him earlier today about the Code Pink members on the panel.

But Essex, who said he was busy working on deadline, did not answer questions about how the Free Press would rectify the situation. "We're working on it," he said, and then hung up.

ABC's Tapper has not yet reported on the left-wing politics of these "independents".

Update: At 12:46 A.M. Tapper wrote a new blog post, in which he acknowledged that two of the "independents" were Code Pink members. He has apparently deleted this new post and simply updated his http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/michigan-indepe.html target=_blank>original post--but he still quotes "independent" George Lentz without noting that Lentz is a liberal activist professor.