Sarah Palin: I was right about Paul Revere

Sarah Palin is never going to admit that she screws up about anything.  Remember her gaffe about Paul Revere last week, when she said Revere was riding to warn the British, firing shots and “ringing those bells” to let those dastardly British know they couldn’t take our arms?  The thing is, Revere wasn’t warning the British, he was riding, in secrecy, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that their arrest by the British was imminent. And of course he neither fired shots nor rang bells.

But in an interview with Chris Wallace for Fox News, Palin held her ground:

“You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?” “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace asked the potential 2012 presidential candidate.

“I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere,” replied Palin, a paid contributor to the network.

“Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have,” she added. “He did warn the British.”

Oy vey!  But the funniest part is this: some of Palin’s minions went over to Wikipedia and tried to edit the “Paul Revere” entry to make her original gaffe look less embarrassing.  Here’s one change reported by PuffHo:

According to the revision history on the Wikipedia page, Palin supports [sic] attempted to add the line in italics below:

“Revere did not shout the phrase later attributed to him (“The British are coming!”), largely because the mission depended on secrecy and the countryside was filled with British army patrols; also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects.”That revision was deleted with the explanation “content not backed by a reliable sources [sic] (it was sarah palin interview videos).”

Go here to see the entire hilarious discussion between the Wikipedia editors and Palin’s fans.


  1. Sajanas
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Its sad, she probably wouldn’t even know where the term Ministry of Truth comes from, even though she desperately needs to have one to help her out.

    • Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      she is not a person of substance.

  2. Sven DiMilo
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Paul Revere was riding to warn Dumbledore that Voldemort was coming. Palin said so this morning so it must be true


    • ambulocetacean
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Er… surely Revere was riding to warn Voldemort that he wouldn’t get away with it. Else, why all the bells and the warning shots?

      • PhiloKGB
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Well, someone had to tell those Death Eaters that they weren’t going to take away our wands.

  3. Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I love the moment of confusion when Palinbot refers to Palin as a “respected political figure” and you can just see the confusion on the wiki editor’s face. “Who is this person talking about? Benjamin Disraeli? Teddy Roosevelt? Hilary Clinton? I just have no idea!”

  4. launcher
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This is a prime example of how easily people can be manipulated to believe that a completely fabricated story is true. If Sarah Palin can convince her supporters that Paul Revere was trying to rile the British, then a hundred determined disciples would have no trouble convincing their neighbors that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.

    • Achrachno
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point.

      Stories are easily twisted or invented, yet they’ll still be believed by those determined to do so. Even when we have the original event recorded!

      It’s discouraging. I need some pie.

  5. daveau
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    WGN news must do some of their research on Wikipedia, or else just rely on wire services, because they picked up the story that Palin was right after all. So did the Today show. Retraction, anyone?

  6. Stan
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Paul Revere gets all the glory primarily because of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. But a guy named Israel Bissell did the real work of getting out the word. Unfortunately for Bissell it’s hard to make a decent rhyme out of a guy’s name that sounds like a Jewish vaccuum cleaner salesman, as quipped by a comedian whose name I cannot recall right now. Revere rode about 19 miles. Bissell rode 345 miles (ouch, that makes for a sore butt!). One poor horse even dropped dead under him before he was finished. Here’s a couple of links to check this out:

    • daveau
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Robert Wuhl. I believe his history lessons are on YouTube under “Assume the Permission”. Good stuff.

      • daveau
        Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Assume the Position. Total brain fade.

  7. Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Warn the department of philosophy at Oxford and the British Neuroscience Association! Palin is coming…

  8. Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I know nobody expects this, but I actually heartily endorse Palin for president.



    • Hempenstein
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Nor did they expect the Spanish Inquisition.

    • daveau
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      What’s sad is that he would probably be given less of a hard time about his birth certificate than Obama was. Too bad he’s a foreigner.

    • Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      We are all known by the company we keep…

    • Ophelia Benson
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I got a book signed by Michael Palin once.

  9. Gayle Stone
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The old Confucian addage, ‘One should not talk until the brain is in gear” cannot help Palin. Her brain is addled with her own poor idea of history and that’s what comes out, She even hesitates to try to recall but the faults that are there still come out. She should watch Obama talk with brain in gear and learn,but first she has to go back to kindergarten and start from scratch to be able to do that. I don’t think it will help because while learning her brain is out on cloud nine doing something else.

  10. Ichthyic
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    It’s never been Palin that has disheartened me.

    It’s always been that there are apparently significant numbers of Americans who accept her as an authority, and appear more than willing to act to “defend her honor” regardless of right or wrong.

    I’ve heard the mantra: “my country, right or wrong” just too often to not be saddened by people lining up behind such idiocy.

    willful ignorance is willful.

    It doesn’t matter that the vast majority don’t take her seriously, it only takes one nutter to cause significant damage, and it’s obvious she has millions of supporters.

    • YourName's notBruce?
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is what scares me too. I don’t want her name on any ballot anywhere for anything.

  11. Hempenstein
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday the exec editor of the Pgh Post-Gazette summarized the R candidates concluding re. Palin: Just last week you were on a political tour with no evident theme or purpose, except to project yourself onto the national scene. But a question lingers: Why did you resign a position of political leadership with barely any notice and no apparent reason, and if it was to influence the national debate, how have you done so?

    • Ophelia Benson
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      and if it was to influence the national debate, how have you done so?

      By making it even stupider!

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        I’m afraid that’s not possible. See Trump, Weiner…

    • Tezcatlipoca
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it was very sporting of the msm to ask Palin a question she is incapable of comprehending.

  12. Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink


    Obviously she was well schooled by a Biblical apologist.

  13. Sili
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    also, most colonial residents at the time considered themselves British as they were all legally British subjects.

    Hmmm. Whatever they considered themselves, it is true that Adams and Hancock must have been British subjects at the time. So this Revere fella did warn some British.

  14. Derek
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    “It was a gotcha question.” As in “gotcha any brains?”.

  15. WingedBeast
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I hear more about something Palin has said, I think on the phrase “doesn’t care about the truth to tell a lie.”

    When she speaks, neither she nor her fans care about accuracy. All they care about is that it includes lots of conservative dogma. Reality is of no concern when its defined by whatever suits you in the moment to believe.

    Remember, this is the woman who said “thanks but no thanks” to the money for the bridge to nowhere… long after she had already supported and defended it.

    In school, did you ever have to deliver an oral book report that you didn’t prepare for on a book you never read? The strategy you took then was to keep talking, pretend you know, and fill in any and all gaps in your knowledgew with things that seem like they should be true. In that moment, what you fear most is that the teacher has read the book.

    Now, take that kid, put him before an audience that would never read the book and want desperately to have their refusal to read the book justified. There you have Palin and before her Tea Party Faithful.

  16. Paul
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so the first time you posted about this, I replied with a George Orwell quote from “1984”. “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

    I didn’t think Palin’s minion would attempt to actually rewrite history to fit Big Sister Sarah Palin’s remarks. This just gets more Orwellian at every turn.

    • Posted June 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      For more connections to 1984, see Orwellophile Andrew Sullivan’s take here and here. Moneyquote:

      “She had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her.”

      • Paul
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Permalink

        Yes. That fits too! Thanks!

  17. 386sx
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Maybe she was speaking in a broader context through the hindsight of history. Palin was looking at the big picture. Revere was a bit player in the morality play called the Revolutionary War.

    • Paul
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink


  18. PeteJohn
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear… See here’s the thing… It’s true that the colonists thought of themselves as British, and it’s true (at least according to David Hackett Fisher’s book on the subject) that Revere was detained by some British soldiers and that he spoke defiantly to them during the course of his ride. So if all Palin had said was something to the effect of “during his ride he talked tough to some British, which is cool,” then she’d have been fine.

    That is not what she said. She made it clear she thought Paul Revere was specifically out TO talk tough to the British. False. I also loved the lawyer who swooped in using a careful parsing of a primary source I highly doubt Palin had read to defend her. Hell, if Palin had just said “That’s what I meant to say, but stumbled over the words,” that would at least be mildly understandable. Again, she did not say that. She’s so clueless she can’t even steal the words used to defend her by her lackeys.

  19. Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Sarah Palin is incapable of forming a complete sentence. Listen to her speak (as painful as that is) and listen to the words she uses. She throws together a bunch of buzz-words which boils down to “USA! USA!” chanting and just as mindless.

    Read this direct quote: “You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have,”

    If this is how she articulates her thoughts can you even imagine what those raw thoughts of hers that are in that head of hers, that strong, mamma grizzly, Putin-slapping, up there on her strong American as apple pie shoulders …

    Srsly, I can’t keep this up!

  20. Marta
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    And in other sad news, (OT, apologies) you all will no doubt have seen Anthony Weiner’s tearful mea culpa where he admits sexting (big whoop)and that the infamous picture is his.

    Don’t care about any of this, except to the extent that it ruins Weiner’s career. He was one of the good guys.

    • S A GOULD
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      No his career is not ruined! Just grant him Honorary Republican Status, and we all can forgive him and move on with our lives.

      Yes, he acted like a nitwit.

      But… so what? Unless there’s something more to this.

      Although, truly, I do not understand the male ego.

    • Ilya
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I don’t care much about private lives of politicians as long as they’re not hypocrites, preaching family values while cheating on their wives. But I find hard to defend Weiner not because of what he did in his private life, but because he lied and tried to cover it up. Now nobody’s going to trust him ever again because if a politician covers up something like sexting (big deal), then next time he may cover up something altogether more nefarious.

      • Marta
        Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        It’s worse, actually.

        Now, not only has Weiner lost his credibility, but Breitbart has regained his own after the Sherrod affair.

        What a lousy day.

        • Ilya
          Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          Well, Breitbart didn’t have much credibility to begin with – it’s well known that his job is to find any dirt on Democrats and promulgate it.

          But it’s true that in the world of politics if you want to take on the vested interests, you’d better be squeaky clean because they’re going to come after you. So don’t make their job easier and do a weiner.

    • Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      “He was one of the good guys.”

      And now he’s “just a guy.”

      In the grand scheme of things he’s still good. I sensed he was doomed when he didn’t just deny, deny, deny at the outset and said that he “couldn’t be sure” the picture either wasn’t of him or a picture he had on his computer.

      WTF kind of statement was that???

      I’m not a psycho nor do I play one on TV, but Weiner seems to have personal esteem issues. Why else would he tweet pics of his scrawny pecs? I have a magnificently hairy back but you don’t see me hanging around the primate enclosure at the zoo. At least not during the day.

      Perhaps those of you out there who actually study human behavior can address the self-destructive things we do and why.

      (p.s. My apology in advance to anyone who has nightmares regarding my back comment. Srsly.)

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      He was one of the good guys.

      Sounds like an idiot and an asshole to me. (JAC–please delete if that’s too strong.)

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Marta, sorry if I sounded too scathing. It’s just that he first came to my attention during his ridiculous denials. Here’s a recent analysis on Bloomberg:

      With this observation:

      Still, New York politics has long been the land of second chances.

  21. Doug
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    As much as it pains me to do this…you might want to listen to this:

    Please shoot holes in this story…PLEASE…

    • Don
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Right, the prof here seems, if with grudging politeness, to support the thrust of Palin’s assertions–that bells were rung and that, indeed, Revere intended to warn the British regulars and the less-happily-British colonists that the soldiers were indeed slyly intending to move by night, thereby to deprive the colonists of their arms.

      • Posted June 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Do you seriously think that know-nothing, dimwit, numbskull Palin was espousing on little-known historical details of Revere’s ride? Did you listen to her talk about shots and bells and Putin rearing his head? Her “sentence” didn’t even make sense.

        No, she was wrong, garbled and clueless and there is no possible way anybody could give her credit for being right, even accidentally.

        • Don
          Posted June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Listen to the NPR piece, Doc. The bells fit, the shots not so much, but by and large, in all her twangy idiocy, she is evidently not so very far off the mark. (Putin’s pate never intrudes.)

      • truthspeaker
        Posted June 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        “that bells were rung and that, indeed, Revere intended to warn the British regulars and the less-happily-British colonists that the soldiers were indeed slyly intending to move by night, thereby to deprive the colonists of their arms.”

        That’s not what Palin said.

      • Tezcatlipoca
        Posted June 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Retrofitting for hits like with psychics. (Ignore the misses, nothing to see there…)

        • Jeff D
          Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

          I heard the NPR report. The history professor was straining a bit to show the parts of Palin’s garbled answer that originally had some basis in fact. What we don’t know is what she heard (or thought she heard) from the separate docents and tour guides during her visits to Revere’s house and the Old North Church.

          It’s precisely because Palin’s brain is never fully “in gear” that she takes what she hears, mixes it thoroughly with preconceived political notions, and then spits out the confused melange. Some isolated ideas had a factual basis (General Gage was sending British regular troops to seize an arms cache and to arrest J. Hancock and S. Adams; townspeople did ring bells after hearing the word from Revere and Bissell), but by the time Palin’s brain and mouth get done with them, it’s a confused, embarrassing mess. The post hoc exegesis and dissembling convince no one (except Palin’s core fan-base) that she was “accurate” all along.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t trust anything I heard on NPR, and I don’t know why anyone else would either.

  22. Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    The “election” is next year. Will it be Palin or Trump?

    • MadScientist
      Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Depending on who’s going for prez and who’s going for vice, it might be a choice between Trailin’ or Palump. Looking at the GOP lineup, I’m wondering if they’ve only put out a decoy list to trick the Donkeys into thinking only the stupidest and most unpopular elephants are going for the job.

  23. Sigmund
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Paul Revere lived in Boston.
    Everyone knows that those east coast types are baby-killing, godless, liberal America-hating commies.
    It follows that any involvement that one of them had in the American revolution can’t have been to support the USA (USA! USA!) so he must have been warning the British!

  24. Sam Iam
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Check out Conservapedia’s entry for Paul Revere. It contains almost nothing but Sarah Palin’s version of the story. The fact that Revere was warning the colonists is only mentioned as an after-fact. There is at least one place out there where the reality is not allowed to exercise its well-known liberal bias.

  25. tiredofitall
    Posted June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I heard she thinks there are 57 States!

  26. TnkAgn
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Even the cynicism of H. L. Mencken could not properly capture the demoralizing rube-ness of true Palinistas.

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