I know I’ve seen this script before. Didn’t CNN boot Susan Roegen for doing essentially the same thing when she “reported” on a Chicago Tea Party by arguing with the attendees? What’s the difference? Other than Norah O’Donnell picking on teenagers rather than adults for her impromptu debate, not much at all:

Here’s the response from 17-year-old Jackie Seal, who found herself in the role of Joe the Plumber simply for standing in line to get her book signed (via Chris at HAP, who also clipped the video):

She asked the man beside me (who by the way is NOT my dad) the same question she had before we went on air. Myself on the other hand, not the same story. She had me read my shirt and then proceeded to ask me “Did you know Sarah Palin supported the bailout” to be 100% honest I was like, are you kidding me? She is trying to use my shirt against me. I was so shocked by the craftiness she had that I was truly stumped. I asked her where she got her fact and she read her little note. Then she asked me what I liked about Sarah, and I talked about the Constitution…

Immediately after the interview I said to my dad “Oh man, I have so many great responses now about my shirt” I could have said, well my shirt doesn’t say anything about Sarah Palin supporting the bailout or “Hey Norah, have you read the book? She talks about how during her debate prep she was handed a list of note cards that had questions and ‘non-answers’” Of course they told Sarah Palin to support everything McCain did. Call me crazy but it would have looked pretty bad had Sarah Palin been against something John McCain was against while they were running together.

Norah also claims I told her I voted (on her twitter). That is not true. She never asked my age or if I voted. I’m 17 I couldn’t have voted…and I don’t live in an ACORN district so I didn’t have a chance to even register illegally. Making that statement by Norah completely false.

It wasn’t the only false statement. Jackie forced O’Donnell to explain her statement that Palin backed the bailouts rather than take O’Donnell’s word for it.  The only thing O’Donnell could offer was a wan statement of generic support for John McCain from Palin, not an explicit “hey, let’s give away a trillion dollars to Wall Street” policy statement.   O’Donnell not only looked for someone she could bully, but then did so dishonestly, rather than report objectively or even argue honestly.

Of course, this is MS-NBC, which means O’Donnell will get back pats for bullying Palin fans.  As my friend John Ziegler can attest, it’s not as though MS-NBC encourages honest debate or objective reporting.  She crossed swords with John a few times over Media Malpractice, but John wasn’t an unprepared 17-year-old waiting for a book signing.  Find out how Norah O’Donnell fared when she tried boxing in her own weight classification by following the links, especially when she ducked him the last time.