Reason Magazine, Sarah Palin, and the Huffington Post
In a webbed "candidate profile" of Sarah Palin, Reason.com writes:
Regarding the invasions of Iraq and Aghanistan, she said, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God."
The actual quote is available in a variety of places. The following is from the Huffington Post; the accompanying video of the speech is no longer up:
"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."
What she is saying is not that the war is a task that is from God but that her listeners should pray that it is. She even says it twice over. Asking people to pray that something is true implies, not that you know it is true, but that you are afraid it might not be.
Reason converted "Pray that X is true" into "X is true." That is either incompetent journalism or a deliberate lie.
During the 2010 elections, I found I had a new hobby—defending Tea Party candidates from claims that they were nuttier than they actually were. One pleasant surprise was the discovery that the Huffington Post, at least in the cases I looked at (example), was a reliable source of information, even when reporting on people whose views they obviously disagreed with.
One unpleasant surprise was discovering, on Reason.com, words attributed to a candidate, given in quotation marks, which the candidate had not said. The author of the piece had altered both words and meaning. When I pointed that out to him by email he defended what he had written. The misquote was only corrected after I pointed it out to someone else at Reason.
I find it unfortunate that the leading libertarian magazine is a less reliable source of information than a leading publication on the other side.