But the fact remains that this is a nasty and untrue rumor about Sarah Palin that's been circulating for weeks. If you're an Obama supporter who gets frustrated that people still believe he's Muslim or won't put his hand on his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, you should understand the frustration that Palin supporters feel when this slime is taken at face value.
Actually, there's at least one big difference. A recent New York Times opinion piece spreading the rape kit myth was the New York Times's most emailed article on Friday, and as of this writing, is still number 10. I'm pretty confident that the Times hasn't been spreading the "Obama is a Muslim" rumor. Here's a suggested motto for the Times: "The WorldNet Daily of the Left." Doesn't quite have the same ring as "All the News Fit to Print," but increasingly, it's becoming more accurate.
Hat Tip: Instapundit.
UPDATE: By the way, the Slate piece doesn't take the rumor apart quite as well as other pieces I've seen, in particular this piece at Newsbusters, which concludes:
In the end, it seems that this story is a wild exaggeration about Palin's role in this policy. There is no proof that she ever knew about the policy until long after the situation hit the news, it is untrue that her town was "unique" in blocking the measure, no evidence that she, herself, was notorious for the policy, and no proof that any victims were ever charged for rape kits. In fact, according to the Uniform Crime Report there were only 5 rapes reported in the 6 years she was mayor of Wasilla and four of those happened after the state law in question was passed.
By contrast, consider the Times piece in question: "When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the small town began billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams." [False on two counts; no one was billed, and to the extent there was an official policy to the contrary, it wasn't started under Palin's watch]
"That's also why, when news of Wasilla’s practice of billing rape victims got around, Alaska's State Legislature approved a bill in 2000 to stop it." [False, Wasilla wasn't mentioned at any of the hearings on the bill; other towns were.]
"In the absence of answers, speculation is bubbling in the blogosphere that Wasilla's policy of billing rape victims may have something to do with Ms. Palin's extreme opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape." [Completely made up. The author seems to think, apparently incorrectly, that rape kits contain a morning-after pill.]