One if By Land, Two if By Extremely Misleading Headline

The only redeeming part of the whole Palin nontroversy — “Reveregate,” or whatever we are calling it these days — is that at least people are learning a bit of interesting history about Paul Revere beyond the the traditional American mythology. Palin did not give an entirely coherent recount of the tale, but big whoop — I thought we were beyond stopping the presses every time Palin was less that perfectly clear about something.

For instance, in one article, a historian is quoted giving the following evaluation of the accuracy of Palin’s re-telling of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere:But the nonsensical “defenses” of Palin’s version of history are written in such bad faith that they are far more troubling than any irrelevant misstatement Palin may have initially made. All too often, The Word of Palin is treated something like the Bible or other mystical text; her proclamations are often vague enough or contain enough non sequiturs that defenders are able to read great mystical truths into her rambling sound bites. Palin only sounds vague and confused, they claims, but in reality she is a deep and worldly historical scholar!

Boston University history professor Brendan McConville said, “Basically when Paul Revere was stopped by the British, he did say to them, ‘Look, there is a mobilization going on that you’ll be confronting,’ and the British are aware as they’re marching down the countryside, they hear church bells ringing — she was right about that — and warning shots being fired. That’s accurate.”

Patrick Leehey of the Paul Revere House said Revere was probably bluffing his British captors, but reluctantly conceded that it could be construed as Revere warning the British.

“I suppose you could say that,” Leehey said. “But I don’t know if that’s really what Mrs. Palin was referring to.”

McConville said he also is not convinced that Palin’s remarks reflect scholarship.

“I would call her lucky in her comments,” McConville said.

And, yet, what was the headline for the article containing this quote?

Experts back Sarah Palin’s historical account

You betcha she was right!

-Susan

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