Newsweek has become the latest mainstream media source to repeat the inaccurate story that Sarah Palin cut funds for teen moms.
In a story suggesting her policies have not been family friendly, Katie Paul writes:
Meanwhile, both this year and last year, she has used her line-item veto to slash state funds for programs providing precisely the kinds of resources Feminists for Life supports for at-risk mothers on the fence about abortion. She cut by 20 percent the funding for Covenant House Alaska, a state-supported program that includes a transitional home where new teenage mothers can spend up to 18 months learning money management and parenting skills. Critics have jumped all over that decision, arguing that the decision looks especially bad in light of the news that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter has since become pregnant.
I addressed the facts on this matter via a blog post, a statement from Covenant House Director, Deirdre Cronin, and an op-ed published on Townhall.com. Today, the Juneau Empire addressed the matter in a news analysis.
In a story that’s getting repeated frequently nationally, the Washington Post reported that Palin “slashed funding for teen moms” in the 2008 budget.
The story has a delicious irony, with Palin herself to soon become the mother of a teen mom.
What actually happened was that Palin cut $1.1 million from $5 million to help Anchorage’s Covenant House expand. The transitional home for teen mothers actually received an increase of $3.9 million.
The money was in the state’s 2008 capital budget, where the state provides extra money to go with the state’s operating budget, which funds ongoing programs.
The Juneau analysis also addresses other spin and is worth the read.
Yesterday, I posted a statement sent to me by Deirdre Cronin, Executive Director of the Covenant House Alaska. Cronin’s release took issue with a Washington Post report claiming Alaska Governor Sarah Palin slashed funds for teen moms in the 2008 budget.
Executive Director Cronin issued the statement in response to questions regarding the erroneous report. This kind of incomplete reporting helps no one and fuels Republican charges that the mainstream media has taken sides in the election. While I am generally cautious with such claims, the incomplete reporting with the misleading headline does seem to cross over from reporting news to spin.
Michelle Malkin is calling for readers to contact the Omsbudman at the Washington Post to request a retraction and fuller reporting of the facts surrounding the Covenant House. It would be responsible to post the Cronin statement since Ms. Cronin considers a raise to be a raise and not a cut.
Send links and respectful comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just received this from Deirdre Cronin, Executive Director of Covenant House Alaska. This debunks the Washington Post’s story I addressed yesterday. I had asked her for a statement regarding the Post story and she provided this information.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2008
Contact: Deirdre A. Cronin
“Covenant House Alaska is a multi-service agency serving homeless and runaway youth, including teen mothers. The majority of the agency’s annual operating budget is privately raised, with no more than 10 to 15 percent of funds coming from state grants in any given year. We are grateful for the support we have received from Governor Sarah Palin, the Alaska legislature and our Congressional delegation over the years.
Despite some press reports to the contrary, our operating budget was not reduced. Our $3.9 million appropriation is directed toward a multi-year capital project and it is our understanding that the state simply opted to phase in its support for this project over several years, rather than all at once in the current budget year.”
Covenant House Alaska is Alaska’s largest private non-profit adolescent care agency serving homeless, runaway and at–risk youth between the ages of 13 and 21. With particular expertise in helping some of the most hopeless teens grow into independent, successful and productive adults.
More on this story here…