Mrs. Palin’s uncanny ability to generate news from non-events, in this case a literal one, was again demonstrated this weekend.
She was scheduled to speak at a charity gala for the Sharon K. Pacheco Foundation (to raise funds for military families and at-risk youth), but the event was canceled on Saturday due to “an onslaught of negative feedback” the organization received once announcing the Mama Grizzly would be involved.
(More at NewsFeed: Photos From Sarah Palin’s Reality TV Show)
The Foundation won’t speak about (or give evidence of) specifics, but they released another statement on their website that does something to describe what the “negative feedback” consisted of: They were not prepared, they said, for “the intense and overwhelming personal attacks against our organization or individuals who have given tremendous personal time and made great sacrifices to help support our mission. Some have even gone so far as to attempt to berate our namesake, volunteers, and others in a very brutal and personal way, which has raised personal safety concerns for these individuals and their families.”
Once Monday rolled around, cable news once again broke out the Palin B-roll, and the bickering talking points: Those on the right again accused the Foundation of caving to left-wing nuts (as evidenced on the organization’s Facebook page). Then those on the left retorted that, nut jobs notwithstanding, Palin is an inevitably divisive creature, bound to tear America apart rather than bring it together (see comments here).
(Palin Photos: Sarah and the Tea Party)
Meanwhile, the truly paranoid can weave conspiracy theories about how the cancellation must be connected to the 2012 Republican primary debate scheduled for the same day in May.
See below for the full statement about the cancellation from SKP:
Statement Regarding Cancelation of Gala
It is with great sadness and disappointment that we had to cancel the Patriots & Warriors Gala due to safety concerns resulting from very personal attacks against Sarah Palin, our organization, and seemingly anyone affiliated with this event, simply because she was kind enough to be our keynote speaker.
While we certainly knew her appearance would spark incredible interest, both in support of and against, we were not prepared for the intense and overwhelming personal attacks against our organization or individuals who have given tremendous personal time and made great sacrifices to help support our mission. Some have even gone so far as to attempt to berate our namesake, volunteers, and others in a very brutal and personal way, which has raised personal safety concerns for these individuals and their families.
Additionally, some in the media have attempted to further the negative rhetoric by printing stories that appear to be “digging for dirt,” and are purely biased reports attempting to damage our organization and/or individuals, such as Sarah Palin, without true understanding or knowledge – simply false assumption.
The purpose of this event was two-fold: 1) to honor those who have given great sacrifice to our country, and 2) raise much needed funds to provide for those whom we serve.
Some have questioned how we were going to pay for the event, and the answer is simple: ticket sales, and sponsorships – very much the same as most non-profits. Due to the economic hardships over the past couple of years, we have had to create new ways for our organization to raise funds, and combining that purpose with honoring those whom we commit to serve, was simply one way to raise the funds needed.
Many have called us “cowards” (among many other and more distasteful names) for canceling the event, and have accused us of “caving to left-wing nuts.” And while we respect the varying opinions, this event was never intended to have any political bias or promotion whatsoever. The addition of Sarah Palin to our gala was simply due to the fact she is a highly sought-after speaker who would be helpful in our intention of raising funds to help military families.
Regretfully, the intention of the event and our mission has been degregated to the point that the ones who truly suffer are our military families. Our plan to honor those who serve will continue, and our mission to support them any way we can will not stop. However, part of that mission is to protect those who have given great sacrifice and service, not only to our country, but those who serve and sacrifice as volunteers, guests, vendors, sponsors, etc.
What some may deem as cowardice or question our intent for this event, our only hope is that you will continue to pray for the condition of the country and continue to support the men and women who give so much to preserve the very freedom (including speech) so many have taken for granted…