Maybe she was improvising, taking liberties with the historical record, fashioning herself an artist like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who massaged historical fact for rhetorical effect when he composed “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
But somehow I don’t think so.
Sarah Palin visited the Old North Church, where Paul Revere had ordered that two signal lanterns be hung to warn the colonists that the British would be coming by sea. Afterwards she was asked, “What have you seen so far today, and what are you going to take away from your visit?” To answer, the candidate(?) went into her full Katie Couric mode:
When gently confronted on Fox by Chris Wallace (“You realize that you messed up on Paul Revere, don’tcha?”) Palin refused to back down, insisting that Revere did warn the British.
And of course, Palin insisted she was the victim of the media who unfairly attacked her once again by asking her “a shout-out, gotcha-type of question” (for which, see above). Watch:
And — surprise! — the “lamestream” media is having a field day. I’ve gathered a few of the more amusing responses.
In Chris Menning’s representation on Buzzfeed, Revere is ringing his bell to warn the Redcoat to keep his hands off his anachronistic automatic weapon.
Of the many parodies of Longfellow, here are two of my favorites. First, Jeffrey Goldberg says
I just dug this up in The Atlantic archives. Apparently, this was Longfellow’s first draft of the immortal “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the early evening ride of Paul Revere,
On the twentieth, or twenty-first, of May, or possibly June, in Seventy-six, or maybe Seventy-seven;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who refudiates that famous day and year.
Over at The New Yorker, Ben Greenman recites
“Paul Revere’s Ride,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Sarah Palin:
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
He who warned and, uh, the arms,
And bells were rung out as alarms
To tell the British we were there,
And had our guns, and to beware.