Old media pushes false 'rape kit' charge against Gov. Palin
By Warner Todd Huston
At least since September 8 the extreme left has been pushing a lie that Governor, then Mayor, Sarah Palin "charged rape victims for rape kits" performed upon them in the Alaskan town of Wasilla. The charge stems from a May 22, 2000 article in the local Wasilla paper The Frontiersman and has been spun from a comment made by the Wasilla Police Chief. This comment was somehow made into a Sarah Palin policy. Evidence of the incident, though, shows no involvement by Palin at all. Still, many Old Media outlets continue to keep illegitimately linking this rape kit billing claim to Sarah Palin, even though the truth is easily discovered.
As mentioned first up was The Frontiersman story from 2000. In that story Police Chief Fannon was quoted as standing against legislation that would force local municipalities to pick up the costs of rape kits being performed. In the interview Fannon said that, upon conviction, he favored the criminals being charged for the costs.The story mentions that Fannon claimed that at the time Wasilla did have a policy that rape victims' insurance would be charged for the kits being performed but there was no mention that victims themselves were charged and no claim that any ever were. It should be pointed out that The Frontiersman is the local Wasilla paper, so, consequently, the story did not mention what the policy was in any other Alaskan city outside the area the paper covers other than to say that "most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams." This last phrase has been focused on by Palin's detractors and spun from "some municipalities" into "all" (except Wasilla) and presented as some sort of proof that she hates rape victims.
After Palin was picked to be VP, on September 8, a blog called Americablog found the old story and brought it up as evidence of "a rather nasty window into Sarah Palin." Americablog is run by a man named John Aravosis, a Democratic strategist, sometimes gay activist, and Washington D.C. lawyer who once worked for Alaska Senator Ted Steven before he, Aravosis, formally switching to the Democratic Party.Later that day The Daily Kos also picked it up and from here it began to morph even further adding false claims to the story. In one of those additions to the story, Kos blogger Steven R claimed that Palin hired Police Chief Fannon because he was in favor of charging rape victims for rape kits. Steven R said he was "Pro-Charging Rape Victims for their OWN TESTS!!!" (bold in original). I cannot find this claim anywhere prior to the meme being picked up by the Old Media echoing this Kos diarist.
According to the Uniform Crime Reports for Wasilla, up until 2000 only one rape had been reported to police in Wasilla. The Kos diarist tried to claim that one rape reported equalled one rape conviction alleging that all the "other" rapes were not convicted. But the report clearly says that it was one rape reported not one rape convicted. The Daily Kos Diarist was trying to make it seem as if there were all sorts of rapes going on that weren't being reported and, presumably, all sorts of victims being charged for rape kits.In any case, from here the Old Media began to pick up the charge that Palin had put in place or at least agreed with this charging of victims policy. On September 12, for instance, The L.A. Times repeated the charge.
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