All that has been illustrated is that Sarah Palin, as a person, might be an idiot - but that the policy choices she represents are not analyzed at all. End of life discussions are allowed to be called "Death Panels" and Obama being born in "Keyna" is an "allegation".
Nowhere is this more true than in criminal cases. A person walks up and shoots a number of people in broad daylight. There is no question he is the one, as the TeeVee cameras were there and filmed him shooting people, and then the police tackling him. But the same TeeVee station calls him the "alleged gunman" or "alleged shooter".
What's up with that? In our country, we are so paranoid about being "fair" that we equivocate when we should not. There is very little chance the murderer will sue you for not saying "alleged" - when he has been caught on tape doing the crime. What is the harm in saying he did it?
Language is important, and increasingly, our language says less and less, in terms of communication. We equivocate, we ameliorate, we hem and haw, and we cover our bets. We never come right out and say one thing or another. Are Payday loans a ripoff? "Well, that depends," we reply, lest we piss-off the Payday loan lobby. And when we don't come right out and say that 300% interest is a scandal, well, then they win.
Fox News has been getting good ratings because they say outrageous things - many of which are not true. But in response, the other networks have tried to "play it safe" and are reluctant to challenge craziness on its face.
The Obama "Birther Controversy" (there was never any controversy, words matter) was allowed to fester by the media, as no media outlet was willing to call it for what it was - a paranoid conspiracy theory. Instead, at best, they would merely say that "experts agree that...." and "let the viewer decide!" in cheery tones.
It was only recently that CNN took an aggressive stance on this and said, in no uncertain terms, that the Birther nonsense was just that - nonsense - without inviting a "counterpoint" opinion to "balance it out."
We have an obligation to the truth, which can be absolute at times, and not tinged with shades of grey. If we assume that everything is up for discussion, regardless of how absurd the opinion, then nothing is ever fixed, and truth dies a little bit - or a lot.
Truth is Beauty, Beauty Truth, and all ye need know.