Palin’s Latest Error

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Geoffrey Dunn dug up an amusing error in Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.* The epigraph for Chapter Three, “Drill, Baby, Drill,” is a quote that Palin attributes to legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden:

Our land is everything to us… I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it—with their lives.

Dunn explains what the problem is:

[T]he quote wasn’t by John Wooden. It was written by a Native American activist named John Wooden Legs in an essay entitled “Back on the War Ponies,” which appeared in a left-wing anthology, We Are the People: Voices from the Other Side of American History, edited by Nathaniel May, Clint Willis, and James W. Loewen.

That’s a pretty big mistake. Here’s the full quote:

Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it—with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn.

As Dunn notes, that’s not quite the message Palin was trying to convey.

*Update, 12/1/09: According to commenters, Lawyers, Guns, and Money had this on Nov. 20. Dunn didn’t give anyone credit, so I didn’t know. Sorry!

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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