The Boston Globe editors opine about Sarah Palin and the rape kit allegations. The only problem is they ignore any facts that are inconvenient to their stated position, which is, apparently, that Palin is akin to the Anti-Christ, but more evil.
It begins with the headline, “Wasilla Made Rape Victims Pay.” Except that there’s no evidence that any rape victim was ever charged by the town. In fact, the town has financial records indicating they did pay for rape kits during Palin’s time as mayor.
The Globe writes, “The policy so outraged the Alaska Legislature that in 2000 it passed unanimously a bill forbidding such fees.” As discussed earlier, in six separate hearings on the legislation, Wasilla was never mentioned. Other, much larger jurisdictions like Juneau were mentioned as places where victims were being charged. During those hearings, the deputy commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Public Safety testified that he had never found a police agency that had billed a victim.
Three times, witnesses told the committees that hospitals were responsible for passing the bill on to victims, not police agencies. If the bill went straight from the hospital to the victim, without ever being sent to the police department, this would explain why no confirming paperwork could be found in the Wasilla Finance Department. This information also fortifies Palin’s claim that she was never aware of the policy, as it is more plausible that a mayor would not be aware of a private hospitals’ billing policy than of the police department’s billing policy. (As mayor, Palin did not have policy authority over any of the private hospitals that served Wasilla.)
The editors of the Globe write:
After the Alaska Legislature banned the fees, Palin’s handpicked police chief, Charlie Fannon, complained that the state’s action would force the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer,” Fannon said.
They do not mention that Fannon said he did not want to charge the victim, and wanted to charge the perpetrator the costs of the tests. (This may be a flawed position for several reasons, among them who pays if the perpetrator is never caught, and whether the question of who will pay prevents the rape kit testing from being done in the first place. But it is generated from the entirely reasonable position of wanting the guilty to cover the costs of bringing them to justice.) It would be interesting if the Globe’s omission in describing Fannon’s position, and the insinuation that he wished to charge victims, rises to the level of libel.
Finally, the Globe asserts that this comes down to Palin being a pro-lifer: “But the policy on rape kits may have had less to do with easing the burden on taxpayers and more to do with Palin’s position on abortion. She has said she opposes it even in cases of rape or incest.” As there is not yet any evidence generated that Palin was aware of this policy, this speculation about motive is ridiculous and insulting.
I rarely do this, but the editors of the Globe must print a retraction.
The Globe’s phone is 617-929-2000; firstname.lastname@example.org . Corrections are urged to be sent to email@example.com and the listed phone number is 617-929-8230.