Author Topic: Sarah Palin: The gift that keeps on giving  (Read 1020 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Billy T

  • N00b
  • Subscriber
  • Expat VSOP
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 16
  • -Receive: 72
  • Posts: 461
  • Gender: Male
    • Whirling Dervish
Sarah Palin: The gift that keeps on giving
« on: 10:23 14-Jan-2009 »

At some point this nit wit has to go away, right? Here she is getting an intellectual beatdown from the editor of the Alaska Daily News....And we were supposed to believe this woman had the smarts for international affairs.....It's like a perpetual motin machine of stupidity....And hell I didn't even bother piling on or commenting on when her daughters future mother in law got busted for dealing drugs....Sound small town values-indeed!

Full text of the Palin-ADN email exchange
Posted by editorsblog

Posted: January 12, 2009 - 12:50 pm

Comments (117) |  Recommend (84)

Gov. Palin’s press office claims that she has pointed out errors in Daily News coverage that we have refused to correct. The only such complaints of which I’m aware are below, in an email from Gov. Palin to the publisher and me.

I posted a portion of these two emails last week in a naïve effort to explain that the newspaper never took seriously the conspiracy theory that the governor did not give birth to her son Trig, but that recently we had made an effort to document his birth in pursuit of a story about why the Trig rumors, while baseless, are apparently so widespread and persistent.

The earlier post sent a number of readers off the deep end, including some websites and bloggers who denounced the paper for our “anti-Palin story.” I had to chalk that up to a reading comprehension problem, since no story was ever published.

Some readers seemed wildly offended that we would dare to ask questions about Trig’s birth, even if our assumption was that the answers might finally put the conspiracy theory to rest.

No matter. I am now persuaded that the Trig conspiracy theory, just like the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory, will go on as long as the obsessive-compulsives of the left and right are able to type.

At any rate, here is the full exchange between the governor and the Daily News:

Subject: More "mistakes"?

Hello Mr. Doyle and Mr. Dougherty!

Please, say it aint so: did you really allow a story to run in your paper today claiming Levi Johnston is a high school drop out? Did I read that right?

And did you really print a story last week suggesting I had any connection with Sherry Johnston's activities in the past six months or so and you won't correct the story? Did I read that right?

And is your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who's already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

And, oh, I could go on...

Come on Mr. Doyle and Mr. Dougherty, I so desperately want to have even a tiny bit of faith in the ADN. You're stripping me of even a shred of faith in your reporting if any of the recent aforementioned strange and untrue reports were taken seriously by the ADN. Would you shed some light on what you're thinking regarding these false reports you've pursued and/or printed?

This was my complete response:

Gov. Palin:

Since you raise a number of different questions and issues, let me address them one by one.

Did you really allow a story to run in your paper today claiming Levi Johnston is a high school drop out?

We did publish a story this morning by Associated Press reporter Rachel D'Oro that said, "The father is Levi Johnston, a high school dropout who is now an apprentice electrician." As you know, the AP operates completely separately from our newspaper, so I have no special knowledge about the reporting behind Rachel's story. But based on our archives, it appears that Rachel's description of Levi follows from earlier stories by the AP. The first of those, also by Rachel, we published on Sept. 3, 2008. The relevant passage is:

"Levi Johnston, a high school hockey player for Wasilla High School, is not listed on the team roster for 2008-2009, and his mother wouldn't say if he graduated. She said simply he's no longer a student and any further information would have to come from him."

Five weeks later, a different AP reporter did talk to Levi and the story based on that interview briefly addressed the question of his schooling. That story was written by Adam Goldman and distributed on Oct. 13. We published it the next day. That story contained this paragraph:

"Not surprisingly, Johnston was a little shocked when he learned about Bristol's pregnancy, but he says he quickly embraced the prospects of fatherhood. The baby is due Dec. 18. Johnston has dropped out of high school to take a job on the North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician."

The Daily News has not independently pursued the question of Levi's educational status; we have relied on the AP to describe it accurately. I can tell you that no question has been raised with the Daily News about the initial story, in September, or the second story, in October, nor has the AP issued a correction. Your question today is the first suggestion I've heard that this fact might be in error.

Should I infer from your question that Levi did not drop out of school and will graduate with his class? If so, we will be happy to publish our own correction of the AP story. I think you would also want to contact the AP and ask them to issue a correction as well. Their story was distributed nationally and internationally.

(Paragraph written after this message was otherwise finished.) Literally just this minute I see an AP story, quoting you, saying that Levi has enrolled in correspondence classes. There's not much detail in the story about what he's doing and when he started his correspondence work. Does that mean today's story should have said something like: Johnston dropped out of school last fall but has since started taking correspondence classes?

Did you really print a story last week suggesting I had any connection with Sherry Johnston's activities in the past six months or so and you won't correct the story?

On Dec. 25, we published a story about the arrest of Sherry Johnston. It was written by Megan Holland, one of our staff writers. The only section of the story that appears relevant to your question is the following:

"The (trooper) affidavit refers to Johnston being under Secret Service protection while dealing drugs, but that appears to be incorrect.

"Special Agent Darrin Blackford, spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, D.C., said that only the governor and her immediate family were protected. Johnston was not under the agency's protection or surveillance, he said.

"Troopers later agreed that part of the affidavit was wrong.

" 'Whenever she was in contact with Palin, that was probably the only time it came into play,' said trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen."

I do not see in this passage a suggestion that you were connected to Sherry Johnston's activities. It does say that the only time Sherry Johnston would have been under Secret Service protection was "whenever she was in contact with Palin." I don't think that suggests that you were involved in her activities, although I suppose it's possible that someone might misread "it" in that sentence as referring to drug dealing even though it obviously refers to Secret Service protection.

Because we checked the trooper's statement in the affidavit with the Secret Service, we didn't make the mistake of treating it as fact. I don't see that anything we reported was incorrect.

Do you read this differently, or am I missing something?

I would also remind you that we called the governor's office for comment about the Johnston arrest. Your spokesman declined to make any comment on the matter. He could have clarified your relationship and/or interactions with Ms. Johnston, but elected not to. (Curiously, he asserted that it was not a state matter, although the troopers are a clearly state agency, under the direction of the governor's office, dealing with a quasi-member of the governor's extended family.)

And is your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who's already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

Yes, it's true.

You may have been too busy with the campaign to notice, but the Daily News has, from the beginning, dismissed the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth as nonsense. I don't believe we have ever published in the newspaper a story, a letter, a column or anything alleging a coverup about your maternity. In fact, my integrity and the integrity of the newspaper have been repeatedly attacked in national forums for our complicity in the "coverup." I have personally received more than a 100 emails accusing me and the paper of conspiring to hide the truth.

(I should note, however, that many people who commented on have alleged a coverup. Many of those were deleted as soon as we saw them, but many were not.)

I want to be very clear on this: I have from the beginning and do now consider the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth to be nutty nonsense.

If that's true, then why has Lisa Demer been asking questions about Trig's birth?

Because we have been amazed by the widespread and enduring quality of these rumors. I finally decided, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the "conspiracy theory that would not die" and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all.

Lisa Demer started reporting. I don't believe she received any cooperation in her efforts from the parties who, in my judgment, stood to benefit most from the story, namely you and your family. Even so, we reported the matter as thoroughly as we could. Several weeks ago, when we considered the information Lisa had gathered, we decided we didn't have enough of a story to accomplish what we had hoped. Lisa moved on to other topics and we haven't decided whether the idea is worth any further effort.

Even the birth of your grandson may not dissuade the Trig conspiracy theorists from their beliefs. It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig's birth that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies. Time will tell.

And, oh, I could go on . . .

Governor, I would encourage you to go on. I cannot address your concerns if I do not hear them. Perhaps after reading this you will conclude that the facts are not exactly as you thought, or that there was more to these issues than you knew. I hope you see that we have tried hard to practice sound journalism. We may have trusted the accuracy of the AP too much, but I won't know that for sure until you confirm that Levi will graduate from high school.

When we heard that you were upset about Lisa's inquiries, we immediately extended an invitation to your office for you to meet with me and other editors so we could explain our interest in the Trig matter, and answer any other questions you might have. As far as I know, that invitation was never acknowledged.

We remain willing and available to meet with you to discuss these or any other issues. I would be happy to meet with you one on one, as would Pat Doyle, or as part of any group of editors and publisher you would like. Based on our experience, I do not think it would be constructive to include Bill McAllister, but that's up to you.

If I have not addressed your concerns fully enough, please let me know.


Pat Dougherty

To date, there has been no response from the governor, or acknowledgement of any kind. I did receive a "return receipt" indicating that the email had been opened.

"The story of the gay sheep showed what can result when science meets global news"--The International Herald Tribune, January 26th, 2007.