As I have documented, that false connection started with bloggers at DailyKos and Think Progress using Twitter to push the issue into the mainstream media within hours of the shooting with the help of their followers.
The ruthless efficiency with which the left-wing blogosphere tied Palin to the shooting, and the success of their efforts in equating Palin with mass murder, is a lesson we should not forget.
The Democrats and their mainstream media supporters were put back on their heels in 2010, and are regrouping. And if regrouping requires falsely accusing a major Republican figure of complicity in mass murder, and then amplifying that false accusation for several days in the face of contrary evidence until a substantial portion of the population believes it, they will do it.
But it did not stop with the accusation. When Palin tried to defend herself she was savaged again in the mainstream media.
It wasn't the first time this has happened; and it certainly won't be the last.
The Left Fears Sarah Palin Like No Other GOP Candidate
If Palin were, as some on the right tell us, a "joke" of a candidate, it hardly explains the desperation with which the professional propagandists -- ranging from John Podesta's Center for American Progress to Markos Moulitsas -- attack her.
On 2 September 2008, I reported on an information warfare operation launched against the McCain-Palin campaign. Just hours after John McCain had selected Sarah Palin as his VP candidate, proxies for candidate Obama launched a massive astroturfing operation.
The same lengthy message -- reportedly authored by a feminist in Alaska -- was posted in hundreds of discussion boards across the Internet in a matter of hours. This type of operation, of course, would have required a significant amount of work -- prepping messages and creating pre-positioned sock-puppet accounts.
Later that same month, The Jawa Report noted that several federal election laws appeared to have been broken in a series of similar incidents and implicated David Axelrod (who else?) in the morass. Dan Riehl offered a powerful executive summary of the research.
Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.
Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.
It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign...
Riehl described a set of too-good-to-be-true coincidences that tied Obama adviser David Axelrod to the anti-Palin smears. How very odd and uncharacteristic for a man of Axelrod's high ethical standards!
Republicans Must Be Ready for the Next Attack
Republicans must effectively prepare for the next rounds of these Hugo Chavez-style propaganda campaigns.
• Pre-position responses to the inevitable series of lies ("They're at it again") with plenty of attribution to their 'Greatest Hits'...
• Target the instigators -- the Soros-run Media Matters, John Podesta's rank Think Progress operation and the Daily Komm -- and expose the evidence that links the agitprop directly to legacy media...
• Work with the center-right blogosphere to expose the truth behind their Alinsky-ite tactics: notify folks like Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, and the like to promote truth, justice and The American Way...
The good news is that each time their lies are exposed, legacy media weakens itself further. At some point in the not-too-distant future, their credibility will be precisely that of Media Matters, which is to say: zero.