Sarah Palin's Most Controversial Tweets

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Sarah Palin loves social media, and they love her back. Her Twitter and Facebook posts energize her followers and get frequent mainstream-media pickup. A Palin tweet in mid-August especially had the blogosphere buzzing. In reference to radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger's offensive remarks to a black caller, she tweeted, "Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence'isn't American,not fair')." Here are a few other memorable tweets by the former VP candidate.

On March 23, 2010, Palin referred to the passage of health-care reform via Twitter: "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!'" Some critics said she was inciting violence, especially since the tweet followed Palin's "target list" of Democrats she hoped would be defeated in the November elections. The liberal uproar became so intense that her former running mate, Sen. John McCain, came to her defense.

"Environmentalist" is a dirty word in Palin's world. On June 1, 2010, the former Alaska governor implicitly blamed "extreme greenies" for the BP oil spill. If only they had followed her anthem "drill, baby, drill" in landlocked places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refugee, she said, 60,000 barrels of oil a day would not be gushing out into the Gulf of Mexico. She tweeted: "Extreme Greenies:see now why we push'drill,baby,drill'of known reserves&promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR? Now do you get it?"

In December 2009, Palin tweeted, "Copenhgen=arrogance of man2think we can change nature's ways.MUST b good stewards of God's earth,but arrogant&naive2say man overpwers nature." In a Washington Post op-ed, Palin argued that President Obama should boycott the global climate-change conference. She wrote that though climate change exists, "any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs. And those costs are real."

Palin accused Rahm Emanuel of being an irresponsible liar in a June 2010 tweet. In making the case for Democrats in the 2010 midterms, Obama's chief of staff pointed to Rep. Joe Barton's apology to BP. "In case you forgot what Republican governance is like, Joe Barton reminded you," Emanuel said. In response, Palin tweeted, "RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton's BP comment is 'GOP philosophy'Rahm,u lie." After considerable criticism, Barton retracted his apology to BP.

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One day after an Israeli raid on a Gaza aid flotilla turned violent and sparked international protest, Palin tweeted that the mainstream media weren't providing a balanced report of the incident. "Assume u WON'T get straight scoop on Israeli flotilla incident via mainstream media;PLEASE read Krauthammer,Horowitz,et al 2learn other side." (Charles Krauthammer is a Fox News contributor; David Horowitz is a conservative writer and policy advocate.) In an accompanying Facebook post, she explained that she believed the operation was carried out to provoke Israel and that the media "insults our intelligence with their outright characterization of who these enemies are."

In a May 2010 tweet she swiftly deleted (though it's still available via Twitterspace), Palin wrote, "Gov.Jindal:to avoid ravished coast, build the berms.Ask forgiveness later;Feds are slow to act,local leadership&action can do more for coast." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "ravished" is an adjective that can refer to having been raped or violated, or to being affected by something that is extremely attractive or "transported in spirit or with some strong emotion."

Before her Twitter incarnation as SarahPalinUSA, the former Alaska governor owned the handle AKGovSarahPalin. Shortly after her sudden July 2009 resignation, Palin faced questions about her decision. In response she tweeted, "See letter from my attorney on baseless allegations of past 24 hours." The tweet was followed by a link to a page detailing the potential legal action that would be taken against major media outlets and bloggers for defamation. No lawsuits emerged, but the media (and celebrities) continued to have fun with Palin's tweets.

In a series of tweets, Palin appealed to "peace-seeking Muslims" to reject plans for a mosque and community center to be built two blocks from Ground Zero, which an advisory board approved in late May. In her first tweet, she wrote "Pls refudiate" and then deleted the tweet. Seemingly recognizing that "refudiate" is not a word, she tweeted, " 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!" Despite protests over the mosque, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed support for the project. It is still awaiting approval by New York City's landmarks commission.

Enmeshed in controversy over her Aug. 10 radio show, Dr. Laura Schlessinger gained a new member on her defense team this week in Sarah Palin. Palin made news when she came out in support of Dr. Laura's use of the N word when a black caller asked the talk-show host for advice on how to deal with racist remarks. Schlessinger quickly became confrontational and suggested that the caller not marry outside her race if she was so "hypersensitive." Schlessinger announced that she would she would end her radio show so she could get “my First Amendment rights back.” In a tweet, Palin advised Schlessinger not to retreat but to "reload" and blamed activists for trying to silence the radio jockey. In her second tweet, which followed shortly thereafter, Palin wrote, "Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice, America!"

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