Sarah Palin is out for blood (again) this time against an Alaska CBS affiliate. She’s accusing the station’s reporters of conspiring against Joe Miller, calling them “bastards” and suggesting that the initials CBS stand for “Corrupt Bastards Club.” The station is strongly defending itself, though, calling her claims entirely unfounded.
Palin, Miller, and their supporters are basing their accusations on a snippet of audio they leaked to Andrew Breitbart’s website Big Government. The audio is weak, and it’s hard to suss out the context, but what you can hear sounds like KTVA reporters facetiously explaining how to turn a story into a sensation: specifically, jesting about finding a child molester who’s voting Republican and tarring Miller by association. The conversation took place after one of the reporters left a message for a Miller spokesperson, but accidentally failed to hang up.
Palin took to Twitter and Fox News Sunday to gin up outrage.
“Corrupt bastards. CBS/media plot against Joe Miller before our Anchorage rally Thurs Kinda’what I’ve put up w for 2 yrs http://bit.ly/cmbzMr,” she exclaimed on Twitter. Corrupt Bastards Club. RT “@BigJournalism: CBS Affiliate KTVA Reporters Taped Conspiring Against Joe Miller Campaign http://bit.ly/ac6Mxz”
Palin may have been looking for the word “Society” or “Squad”, either of which would’ve successfully created the acronym CBS. Or perhaps she was recalling Alaska’s recent political scandal, in which state officials took to referring to themselves as the Corrupt Bastards Club, or the Corrupt Bastards Caucus. The words Corrupt Bastards Club would be abbreviated CBC, which is the official shorthand of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“While the recording is real, the allegations are untrue,” said KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever. “The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”
The liberal watchdog group Media Matters is demanding that Palin release the complete audio of the conversation. You can see her appearance on Fox News below, including yet another invocation of the word “bastard.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.