Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Getting the Facts Straight on Quin Hillyer’s and Politico’s Stories

Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator wrote a piece yesterday that’s getting a lot of attention regarding a phone conversation between Governor Palin and Daily Caller writer Alex Pappas which took place on Friday when Governor Palin was at the Iowa State Fair. Hillyer states as a matter of fact that Governor Palin purposely called over a Politico writer to take notes while she "berated" Pappas for writing a misleading article about comments she made concerning Mitt Romney. There’s only one problem with that: Governor Palin never called any reporter to listen to her conversation.

Today, Robert Stacy McCain spoke with Iowa O4P coordinator Michelle McCormick, who was with Governor Palin at the time at her side. McCormick provides a much different version of these events than those that are being repeated all over the internet by bloggers and columnists. RS McCain writes:

…I have spoken to people familiar with the situation who are aghast at how the Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas, Politico and the Spectator‘s Quin Hillyer have misinterpreted the incident. One of the people to whom I spoke was Michelle McCormick of Iowa for Palin, who was with the governor at the time she called Pappas to dispute a headline (which, it turns out, was from Fox Nation, not from the Daily Caller) suggesting that Palin had endorsed Mitt Romney…

What is false about the developing media version of the Palin-Pappas narrative, according to McCormick and others, is three things:

1. Governor Palin did not personally dial up Pappas’s number. She asked around among her aides if anyone knew how to get in touch with Pappas. One member of her advance team, Jason Recher, had Pappas’s number, called him and then handed the phone to the governor.

2. Governor Palin did not summon a Politico reporter to listen in on the call. Palin was in the middle of a gigantic crowd of people at the Iowa State Fair, and her half of the conservation may have been overheard by others. There was no way, amid the press of the throng, that anyone outside that swarm could have been summoned at all, and the idea that Palin would be doing favors for a Politico reporter is ridiculous.

3. Governor Palin wasn’t screaming angrily at Pappas. Again, Palin was in the middle of a crowd, which was quite noisy, and if her voice was loud, it was because she was trying to make herself heard amid the hubub.

I reached out to Michelle McCormick myself to confirm Robert Stacy McCain’s report. She sent me the following:

I was with Gov. Palin in the afternoon while she walked around the fair grounds at the Iowa State Fair. I was also near her when she spoke with Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller. Politico wrote:

while at the State Fair, according to POLITICO’s Kasie Hunt – [Palin] audibly called up a Daily Caller reporter to complain about a headline she felt suggested she was open to supporting Mitt Romney

That is not true. Gov. Palin did not "call up" the DC reporter. A phone was handed to her by an aid, and she took it from him to speak with Pappas. Additionally, this statement by Quin Hillyer is false:

What was even more absurd is that she and her team deliberately played it up by inviting one reporter over just to hear her berate another reporter.

Gov. Palin did not "invite" any reporter over to listen in on her conversation. The phone was handed to her by an aid and she proceeded to speak with Pappas. Frankly, it was impossible for a reporter to be invited anywhere near Gov Palin because the crowd cluster around her was so thick. Unless the Politico reporter was already next to Gov Palin, there is no way she could have made her way through the crowd to Gov. Palin’s side.
Gov. Palin also did not "berate" the other reporter as Hillyer would have you believe. Here is what she said as transcribed by Politico:

So you’re saying that I said that I support Mitt Romney?" she said to the reporter. "And what’s your headline? You need to be clear, otherwise people really lose faith in the state of journalists today and that is, I said ‘ABO’—anybody but Obama. And I would support the candidate who surfaces to take on Barack Obama. But no, your headline leads readers to believe that I’m supporting Mitt Romney at this time in this process, and no that’s not accurate.

Gov. Palin’s tone was not nasty and she was not yelling into the phone. She spoke at a volume that one would speak at if she were outside with a large and noisy crowd nearby. Like at a state fair. 

Gov. Palin was incredibly gracious to the massive crowd that came out to see her. She never broke a sweat, never got flustered and never complained. She genuinely enjoyed meeting all those folks, and after all that she conducted a live interview with Sean Hannity in front an even larger crowd. 

Any person who had doubts about her ability to campaign hard and extensively in Iowa or anywhere would have been disabused of them after Friday.

Robert Stacy McCain also notes:

After the conversation was over, and Palin realized that the misleading headline wasn’t Pappas’s fault, she asked one of her aides to contact Pappas and apologize for the mistake.

As I wrote above, this story from Hillyer is being repeated all over the internet, but Mr. Hillyer’s version of events is inaccurate. I hope all of the people who people who rushed to report this now update and/or correct their stories. It’s bad enough that the leftist media consistently make things up about Governor Palin, they don’t need any help from conservatives.

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  • JD777

    Pollutico causing trouble for Governor Palin, for the nth time.

    • exodus2011

      yup, the Punks at Pollutico will keep tryin to be relevant ….

      I never give them clicks

      • dave7777

        Where is your signature face*_____*?

        • exodus2011


          I think there is a certain emotion attached to my *__* signature, which was absent when I commented about the Punks at Pollutico ….

          Your Q got me to analyse how and when it pops out (so-to-speak, *__*) like right then …. LOL

          If I write something a bit snarky, or sarcastic, or am employing some ridicule, or even gentle raillery, or I am enthused or excited or amused … I reckon that’s when the ‘brightened eyes and widened smile appear’

          btw – I notice you revealed a particularly widened smile yourself, during your Q David *__*

          however, when commenting about the Pollutico Punks, there was no smile …. I reckon my expression was more grim ….. and my hands taking the shape of a strangling gesture ….. figuratively speaking of course *__*

          LOL – this has turned into rather an involved reply …


          • JohnBarry2012

            LOL *__*  LOL.  The snarky, humorous, indigenious, authentically exodus2011 – The Original, you can’t miss it.   

            Remind me of bg ++ ==

            • exodus2011

              you got me with your cryptic "bg ++ ==" though JB

              is that your personal sig. now?


    • ripcurl2121

      you mean TRYING to cause trouble. epic failures

      who the f*ck is quinn hillyer and why should i care? oh yeah, he’s nobody and i dont

      • exodus2011

        LOL rip

        the most no-nonsense commenter at C4P

        a few blunt words, and the message is conveyed

        I like


      • socon

        Quin’s a legend in his own mind.


    Thanks for the clarification, Stacy

    Hillyer has been a Palin detractor for a while.

    They know the world rockin’ day is near and it’s all hands on deck to dump on Palin.

    Hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work now.

  • LS

    Not surprising that it was taken out of context and misrepresented.  Good to clear it up.

    Also, it wasn’t just the headline of the original or the Fox Nation posting of the story that was misleading.  The article itself warped the situation.Still, that she had the aide find and dial the number and then hand the phone to her is not, however, a point worthy of debate.

    • Joe

      The folks at the Milfistan Daily Caller were also in full battle mode.  Early this morning, none other than Jim Treacher was absolutely rabid with non-stop posts, sucking up all of the hot air over at HotAir.  I swear he had more than 100 posts, antagonizing ANYONE willing to give her the benefit of doubt.

      He seemed desparate to somehow prove that he was right and Sarah was wrong… it was nauseating.

      • socon

        Maybe Treacher smacked his head when he got hit by that car a few months ago.

        • Joe

          You are being too kind… there was no rational excuse for his behavior other than PDS.

          • socon

            What happened?  I used to like him.

            • Joe

              I don’t know?  And I do not understand it.

              Sarah makes many in the "establishment" nervous.  The idea of a "true" reformer makes anyone within a tongues reach of the teat of the elite ruling class, obliquely defensive.  I think the "pre-revolutionary" mindset of the electorate as described by Pat Caddell is for real.

              • socon

                Tucker Carlson runs the Daily Caller and Treacher works there, right?  Not too long ago Carlson had to apologize for a MILF remark he made about Sarah.   Carlson’s a pig and I’ve detested him ever since.

                • Joe

                  Exactly!  (Thus the snark on my original post ; – )

                  I had always liked TC, and was glad when he came over to Fox, but I guess all that time over at MSNBC took its toll.  I had higher hopes for the DC when it launched, but no more.

                  • socon

                    I’ve always known that Carlson was a weenie, but Treacher’s "weeniness" is an unwelcome surprise.

  • f4planecapt

    Yep, this is typical trype from these idiot reporters and good luck on getting any of the lying bas*ards
    to correct their stories. Ive been around some of these people at political events and they are so smugg little do they realize they are just a punk.
    Go Sarah 2012

  • Dan C

    I wonder if Quinn will issue a front page retraction and apology for his CHEAP SHOT?

    Hmmmmmm. Naw, he will just lie some more in his next hit piece, I mean article.

  • Betsey_Ross

    Well, I thought I smelled a rat over this.  I went to AS to see what the problem was.  The more I read the more unbelievable the story he wrote became.  Go there and leave him a "love" note.  He needs one.

    • socon

      I called Quin a little weasel.  It was appropriate.

  • exodus2011

    Thanks for the usual top-notch reporting Stacy

    C4P yet again, has Gov Palin’s back and does the investiagting required to make the circumstances and what actually took place clear …

  • Quiet_Righty

    I’m glad I never bothered to read Hillyer’s article. 

    Does American Spectator have anyone else who speaks more favorably of Sarah Palin?

    • unseen1

      McCain  and Loryd

      • exodus2011

        yup, Jeffrey Lord is worth reading there, and usually RS MCCain, although he has been a bit off since he burst out with his "scoop" about Gov Palin jumping in the race "next week", quoting an unnamed source, and was called out for getting it wrong (and maybe  falling for a Todd Palin trap employed to test the trustworthiness of an AK Vendor?)

        • socon

          Jeffrey Lord is my favorite.  He worked in Ronald Reagan’s administration.  McCain’s a little odd.

  • ReneePA

    Pathetic really.  What do you expect from these hacks?

  • c4pfan

    Thanks for clarifying.  Plus, I could have sworn it was Todd who saw the headline and let Sarah know.

  • unseen1

    Quin is the male  version of Kathleen Parker.   He  has  nothing  but  hitpieces towrds  Gov Palin.   Screw him.  

  • wodiej

    In hindsight, a call like this should have been made in private.  Hillyer is still wrong for being dishonest.

  • unseen1

    When Gov Palinis  mistake free the  media  will make  crap up.  and/or blow stuff out of all proportion.   This will backfire on them.

  • blerch

    Out of all this hoopla, the main story of Palin’s attendance at the Iowa State Fair has been buried.  Palin met with Iowa O4P coordinators Peter Singleton and Michelle McCormick in the VIP tent for lunch and they then spent the rest of the day around her at the fair.  Then, on Sunday, as reported by Scott Conroy, they were both in attendance for speeches given by Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum in Waterloo, working the room, reaching out to people and getting a feel for what is going on in the other camps.  If Palin had discouraged them on Friday or sent signals that she may very well sit out, they would not have been there. In fact, they probably already would have gone back to their respective home states of California and Texas.  Yet, two days after meeting with Palin at the Iowa State Fair, they are at a candidate event, doing their thing.  To me, that is the most telling sign that she is in.

    Also, it is interesting that Conroy reported that Peter and Michelle were there on Sunday, as it seems that no other reporter digs deep enough to report on something like this.  He is becoming one of the best political reporters in the business because he actually talks to people who are not insiders.


      thanks so much for this info…………   you just gave me some hope …………..

  • cudaforever

    Just went over to American Spectator and they are featuring this Hilyer garbage. He wrote it to get hits and he should be ashamed. I’ll never go near that so-called "conservative" magazine. SARAH 2012 !!

    • Quiet_Righty

      I’ll stick to American Thinker, Human Events (and NRO once in a while).

  • patnatasha

    this is what is wrong with our side we beat up conservatives but won’t touch the democrats.

    • c4pfan

      Don’t know and don’t care.  Just know that anyone stupid enough to lie or say something like that about Sarah is on my list of those I won’t be reading or following. 

    • socon

      They don’t call the GOP the stupid party for nothin’.

  • angeleno

    If this is what reporters do these days then we are really in trouble as a nation. Why are we even calling them reporters? Gossipmongers is the truth. Or BS artists. Who cares if she corrected a
    BS artist in a loud voice, soft or medium?  Especially over the telephone at the state fair, not in person? To be understood in the midst of thousands you might have to scream. BO is openly nasty every day but no one says a thing.
    The fact we’re even discussing this proves what a bunch of nitwits we have calling themselves journalists these days. And why so many lazy citizens don’t have a clue about the issues when they go to a polling place.

  • Quang Do

    This is not the 1st time the LSM (lame stream media) lied and it
    won’t be the last.

    • ZH100


  • c4pfan

    I wanted to also add that I think the state of so-called Conservative journalism stinks!  It’s like a fraternity with these people.  That goes double for Fox News!

  • independents4palin

    We should expect this. There are going to be hit pieces going forward and especially when she announces and in the race. Good for C4P to find the truth again, like always !!

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