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Sarah Palin Takes Aim at the Wall Street Journal

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin AP

In a statement posted on her Facebook wall on Monday, Sarah Palin took aim at a new enemy - the Wall Street Journal - after the newspaper disputed factual evidence behind statements she made about the Federal Reserve during remarks earlier in the day.

"Do Wall Street Journal Reporters Read the Wall Street Journal?" Palin wondered, in the headline of her Facebook post.

"Ever since 2008, people seem inordinately interested in my reading habits. Among various newspapers, magazines, and local Alaskan papers, I read the Wall Street Journal," Palin writes. "So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today's Wall Street Journal criticizing the fact that I mentioned inflation in my comments about QE2 in a speech this morning before a trade-association."

The article questions the veracity of Palin's remarks that "everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so," and argues that, while recent moves by the Fed have drawn a fair amount of political criticism, the former Alaska governor "tries to draw the concerns about quantitative easing to inflation today and falls short."

Reddy writes:

Grocery prices haven't risen all that significantly, in fact. The consumer price index's measure of food and beverages for the first nine months of this year showed average annual inflation of less than 0.6%, the slowest pace on record (since the Labor Department started keeping this measure in 1968). Even if you pick a single snapshot -- say, September's year-over-year increase in prices -- that was just 1.4%, far better than the 6% annual increase for food prices recorded in September 2008.

Reddy continues that in September 2010, the overall consumer price faced "the slowest annual inflation rate for September since the early 1960s," other than in September 2009, when prices were actually down. "That's not strong evidence to argue about rising prices today," he writes.

In her response to Reddy's piece, Palin cited another story from the Journal as evidence that inflation had indeed caused rising prices at the supermarket. "The article noted that 'an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America's supermarkets and restaurants...Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months,'" Palin argues in her post.

CBS News political analyst John Dickerson points out, however, that Palin and the authors of article she cites as proof of her point are referring to different time periods: Palin's remarks argue that "everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so." But the article states that the "inflationary tide is beginning."

Dickerson also notes that Palin uses the word "significantly" when referring to price hikes over the course of the past year -- but points out that during the first nine months of the year, grocery prices actually increased at a record slow pace.

"Even if it's just the last couple of months she's talking about, a term like 'moderate' might have been more precise," says Dickerson. "Recent price increases have not been like the six percent increase of 2008."


Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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