OPINION: Since Palin Is So PC Now, What About Her Obama Sambo Comments?

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Sarah Palin has been criticizing Rahm Emanuel and Family Guy for making fun of mentally challenged people and using the term “retard.” But what about Palin’s own un-PC comments? There was a report in the LA Progressive that Palin said “So Sambo beat the Bitch” after Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries. After the incident, I interviewed the writer . Charley James who broke the story. It seems like Palin is using her mentally disabled child as media opportunity to criticize democrats who use “retard,” while praising Rush Limbaugh for using it in “satire.” Seeing as how Palin already has the mentally challenged demographic supporting her, maybe we should look into Palin’s own politically incorrect comments.

CG: Mr. James, let’s start with your background as a journalist. Where have you worked, what have you done?

CJ: I’ve been a journalist pretty much full-time most of my professional life. The first political campaign I covered was the Nixon-Humphrey race in 1968. So what is that? 44 years ago?



CG: Review for us how you came about going to Alaska, meeting waitress Lucille…

CJ: Well, first off I didn’t go to Alaska. This was all done by phone.

CG: All done by phone?

CJ: When I was 10 years old, I played playground baseball with a guy that became a lifelong friend. We went to different high schools , but then went to university together. I went off into journalism. He went off to years and years of graduate school. He’s always been a wilderness kind of guy that likes the outdoors. So when he finished graduate school, he moved to Alaska to teach. We’ve always kept in touch so when rumors of Palin’s appointment began circulating around the 20th of August, the Friday morning before the convention, I shot off an e-mail to him asking ‘Who is this woman?’ Nobody had ever heard of her before. But she’s about to become Vice President, or nominated for Vice President. So he wrote back a really long nasty e-mail about her, along with a link to a 63-page dossier on Palin. He said that the Democratic Party of Alaska put it together. I referenced that in my follow-up piece.

CG: I read that. Yes.

CJ: So I wrote back to him asking ‘Do you know anybody who I could talk to because I think there’s a story here…’? He sent four maybe five names, including the infamous Lucille. And he knows her because she’s cleaned his family’s home every other week for a long time.

CG: Right

CJ: Her full-time job is as a waitress. So I called Lucille, who was very nervous about talking to a reporter, saying ‘Look I know you may be leery about talking to a reporter. You don’t know me. I call out of the blue. You can call my friend to verify me, our mutual friend and, I’ll call you back in fifteen minutes.’ After thinking about it, she said, ‘No I’ll talk to you.’ And because she’s obviously not sophisticated in the ways of the news media, and I didn’t want to trap her, I asked her if I could use her name. She said ‘just my first name.’ And I said that’s all right. I don’t want you to get into any trouble because you’re talking to me…

Shortly after Obama locked up the nomination, but the Democratic Party primaries still had to be completed, she was sitting at a restaurant table Palin was sitting at for lunch one day. That’s when she heard Palin make the remark, and it stuck with her because it just didn’t seem like something a governor of a state ought to be saying. It sounded odd. As I talked with others through the course of my reporting, a number of people said they also heard Palin make what could be construed as racist or sexist or bigoted comments, including the term “mukluk” and “arctic Arabs.” I asked one of them, ‘Isn’t her husband part-Eskimo?’


CG: I don’t know if Todd Palin”looks” Eskimo at all. I’m not sure what percentage he is.

CJ: I think he’s one tenth.

CG: Are you concerned that people will now find and/or try to intimidate the waitress, Lucille?
CJ: I don’t know. I’ve received a number of inquiries from media outlets ranging from NBC News to the National Enquirer about her. I’ve given every one of them the same answer. If you want, I will pass your name and phone number on to her. Whether or not she calls you is her decision. I’m not her agent. I’m not her handler. I just happened to stumble into her.

CG: Why do you think this story has been discredited so much by the mainstream media?

CJ: Take a guess…It is a typical Republican — I won’t even say Republican. It’s a typical right-wing maneuver to try to discredit the messenger rather than dealing with the reality of the message.

CG: So you’re standing by your story 100%? You’re standing by your source 100%?

CJ: Yes. As I said in my follow-up, do I wish more people would’ve spoken on the record? Absolutely. Do I regret writing the story? Absolutely not. I mean Woodward and Bernstein would not tell either their editor or their publisher at the Washington Post about Mark Furlin.  Anonymous sources are a necessary evil in journalism. I stand by my story and my source 100%.

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