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CNN apologizes to Politico but not to the Palins for Costello’s repugnant on air behavior

Posted by Dr. Fay on October 23, 2014

Posted on Governor Palin’s Facebook page this evening:

Sarah Palin

Please take a look at Bristol’s recent blog posts for her story, not the media’s story of what really happened last month:

I understand that the CNN host who laughed at my daughter describing her assault has issued an apology to Politico. (Why Politico needs an apology is anyone’s guess. No one at CNN contacted my family regarding an apology, in case you were wondering. CNN contacts us directly on a regular basis with inquiries and requests for comment, so it’s not for lack of contact information that they didn’t reach out. But perhaps Carol Costello should phone Martin Bashir. He knows how to reach us.)

What happened on the night in question wasn’t funny. It was humiliating and frightening. The broken ribs, black eyes, and messed up elbows and knees suffered by people in our party that night were no laughing matter. Neither were Bristol’s bruises on her arms and leg from being dragged by a man. My kids aren’t proud of what happened, nor are they seeking sympathy by playing the victim card – that’s why they haven’t commented on this for all these weeks. Instead, they had to have faith that the truth would come out, despite those who did the cold-cocking actually using social media to brag, “’bout to get famous!” Screen shots of tweets captured their bold intentions, and they’ve certainly enjoyed the publicity.

Looking at the reports, it strikes me as bitterly ironic that the same people who tell us there is a “war on women” have no problem laughing at the recording of my daughter crying as she tells police about being assaulted by a man. I’d like to say shame on the media and those on the left laughing at her or at any young woman in a similar situation, but I no longer think they have any shame.

Now Todd and I are headed to an exciting middle school girl’s basketball game along with dozens of other families proud to cheer on their daughters.

– Sarah Palin

Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

Matt Lewis shames the press for laughing at Bristol Palin’s physical assault

posted at 8:01 am on October 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Apparently, the usual sober and fraught political commentary that often accompanies episodes of physical violence directed toward women disappears when the subject of that violence is a Palin.

The political press had a hearty chuckle at the expense of the Palins when it first broke that the former first family of Alaska was involved in an alcohol-fueled brawl. The “thrilla in Wasilla,” some called it. One might, however, have expected the laughter to die down after local police released audio of Bristol Palin who described through hysterical tears how she had been assaulted, dragged through the grass, and robbed. It did not.

“[E]very time you see John McCain on television, remember that this is what he intended to bring within a heart beat of the presidency,” wrote a pathologically obsessed Andrew Sullivan in reaction to the audio which purports to reveal a physical assault. “This is the man’s judgment. As he lectures us about the need for more wars, and the Beltway media kowtows to his authority, remember that.”

National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke noted that Sullivan has heaped far less scorn on the sitting vice president whose son was recently revealed to have engaged in illegal activities which resulted in his discharge from the Navy – activities for which “he is unlikely to face so much as an interview with the police.” How’s that for inequality?

But Cooke focuses primarily on an even stronger point, one which was first observed by The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis: Where are the feminists rending garments over the callous way in which a physical assault on a woman by a man is being portrayed in the press?

“Anyone who is concerned about a ‘war on women’ — but not disturbed by this report — is clearly biased,” Lewis wrote.

Enter CNN anchor Carol Costello.


“Sit back and enjoy!” Costello exclaimed as she introduced her audience recently to the audio in which Bristol Palin recounts how she was attacked. “You’ll want to hear what she told cops about how it all started.”

Costello also confided in her audience that she had a “favorite part” of the audio which could later become courtroom evidence. Ghoulish.

The overwhelming sense of superiority some in the press feel toward the Palins simply clouds their better judgment. Costello would surely see the error of her ways if she were to read her disparate reactions to these two strikingly similar events, but, in the heat of the moment, she did not see Sarah Palin’s daughter as a women who had endured a physical assault; she saw her as a caricature worthy of mockery.

In an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday morning, Lewis joined a group of contrite Morning Joe hosts who conceded that they, too, initially covered the Palin “brawl” as a joke. “It did definitely have a humorous tone to it,” Brzezinski conceded. Lewis had shamed them into penitence.

“What happened to her is horrific, and I don’t think we should be joking about it,” Lewis said to the somber nods of his interlocutors.

Read more.

Paul Bond at the Hollywood Reporter writes:

CNN Anchor Apologizes for Report About Palin Family Brawl

2:10 PM PST 10/23/2014 by Paul Bond

Carol Costello

After rather gleefully reporting that a man pushed Bristol Palin to the ground and dragged her across a lawn, CNN anchor Carol Costello has issued an apology.

“Over the past few days I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family. In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize,” Costello said in an email CNN sent to The Hollywood Reporter.

Insiders, though, say the anchor has not reached out directly to the Palin family.

The criticism was over Costello’s introduction and follow-up comments to audio of Bristol Palin describing a brawl that broke out while her family attended a birthday party a month ago. Costello’s report Wednesday was made timely by the recent release of the audio from Bristol Palin’s police interview the night of the fight.

“Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say it. This is quite possibly the best minute-and-a-half of audio we’ve ever come across,” Costello says while introducing the segment. She also said, “Sit back and enjoy,” and after the clip, said: “You can thank me later.” See the video below.

“Some guy gets in my face, pushes me down on the grass, drags me across the grass,” an obviously distraught Bristol Palin tells a cop in the audio clip. “I get back up and he pushes me down on the grass again and pulls me by the [expletive] feet.”

The political right’s reaction to the way Costello framed her report was harsh and swift.

“I suspect if these were Barack Obama’s girls in the same situation, Costello would be defending them instead of laughing at them,” says T. Becket Adams at

Bristol Palin also weighed in, writing: “Here’s the thing. Violence against women is never okay… Even if that violence occurs against conservative women. Imagine for a second the outrage that would happen if Chelsea Clinton had gotten pushed by some guy. Had she tried to defend herself, the liberal media would’ve held her up as some feminist hero.”

Bristol Palin, in fact, gives her version of the entire brawl, which she says began when one of the guests at the party tweeted, “about to get famous,” then slugged a family friend of the Palins at the party.

Costello’s report, though, is just the latest in a long line of complaints from conservatives about how the fight has been portrayed in the media, beginning with a blogger who acknowledged that her details were “sketchy” before belittling the Palins.


The discrepancy has been widely noted in conservative media. “Why would we expect the media to wait for facts before the frenzy?” asked John Nolte at in an article linking to early reports about the fight from CNN, ABC News, Good Morning America. Entertainment Tonight and The Washington Post. “I guess you could argue that the media frenzy would be legitimate if the story had been confirmed. But all this emanated from an anti-Palin gossip blogger who admitted she didn’t care about the truth and had no desire to discover the truth.”


Also see:

3 Responses to “CNN apologizes to Politico but not to the Palins for Costello’s repugnant on air behavior”

  1. […] CNN apologizes to Politico but not to the Palins for Costello’s repugnant on air behavior October 24, 2014 […]

  2. Dear Gov. Palin, what a terrible episode in your family’s life. As a veteran of 35 years in newspapers, radio and TV,. it makes even me feel the need to apologize, despite being retired and no longer a part of that world. Even when I was working, however, I never knew anyone who would stoop to this ugly level of ignorance. But if I were asked from whom I might expect this sort of filth, I’d have to single out TV personalities, most of whom, as I know from personal experience, are really theatrical performers and not journalists. Of course, by now, you should be aware of this, given your history of ridicule at the hands of Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live. And I believe that if you continue your public life, you’ll see more of this, finding that not everyone has the disposition of a Hannity, whose politics puts him on your side. Of course, as I’ve told you before, I believe you should be running for the U.S. Senate. Your election to that exclusive club would go a long way toward lifting you out of the muck and mire of SNL, establishing you as something more than a person used by Sen. John McCain to fill the need for a boost, something different during his run for the presidency. Of course, you’ve decided not to run this time around and are busy collecting IOUs for whatever it is you have in mind for 2016. So I wish you best of luck, mainly because I know this nation needs your conservative voice at the federal level of government. Best always, John R.

  3. I recognized the fight as no laughing matter when it was revealed that multiple assailants attacked Track Palin and that he sufferred four broken ribs. FBI murder statistics reveal that homicides of adult males by multiple assailants armed only with personal weapons are quite common, occurring more frequently than murders with so called “assault rifles.” My own brother was murdered 25 years ago by a robber who intentionally ran him down with a Dodge van. My brother died from what is referred to as a “flail chest injury” that is a fancy name for having most of his ribs shattered which resulted in lacerations of his chest wall and internal injuries. The Palins are invited to have their attorney contact me to get a copy of the autopsy if it would be helpful to them.

    Listening to the tape of Bristol also reveals that she was quite lucid rather than extremely intoxicated as the police reports suggest.

    The fact that one of the people who assaulted the Palins tweeted that he was about to become famous confirms that the assault against the Palins was premeditated. I believe that the Palins should investigate the possibility that the assault was instigated for political purposes to discredit the Palins and keep them preoccupied during the final weeks of the election.

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