Monday, July 6, 2009

Palin's Lawyer Threatens to Sue Blogger and the Myth of Palin's Destruction by the Media

A couple of additional notes on the resignation of Sarah Palin from her tenure as Governor of Alaska. Palin continues to level charges against the so-called "mainstream media" and bloggers who she thinks have given her unfair treatment and who have reported rumors as fact. Most notably, Palin's attorney Thomas Van Flein issued a statement which threatened legal action against Shannyn Moore, a blogger for the Huffington Post who has written about possible ethics questions surrounding the construction of the Palin house:

Van Flein wrote in his Saturday letter that the Palin family built the Lake Lucille house using Palin's husband, Todd, as general contractor. It said Todd "is no stranger to construction."

"The Palins used a combination of personal savings, equity from the sale of their private home, and conventional bank financing to build the house, like millions of American families" Van Flein wrote.

Van Flein's letter threatening legal action specifically pointed the finger at Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore as "most notably" claiming as "fact" that Palin resigned under federal investigation.

Van Flein, asked why he singled out Moore, said it's because she went on national television and talked about it. Moore was on with MSNBC's David Shuster on Friday, the day Palin said she will resign.

How did Moore respond? By holding a press conference and saying the following:

On the Fourth of July, when Americans everywhere were celebrating our most sacred national holiday with parades and barbeques, Governor Sarah Palin was busy having me, Shannyn Moore, declared an Enemy of the State.

In a rambling quasi-legal letter, the most powerful person in this state accused me of defaming her for pointing out the fact that there have been rumors, -rumors- of corruption, rumors that have been around for years.

When Sarah Palin gave her three-weeks notice to the people of Alaska, aborting her term as Governor, a lot of people wondered why she quit. Mid-level managers turn-in their notice, not elected public officials. It didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t. People have been trying to guess why she really quit, and everyone in Alaska has been playing the guessing game. They’re rumors. There are a lot of rumors. And with all the corruption we’ve had here in Alaska, of course we wonder what’s really behind her resignation.

Governors don’t just quit. But Governor Palin did.

The governor’s massive overreaction -on the Fourth of July no less- should make any reasonable person wonder what’s wrong with her. The Lady protests way too much. Eventually we’ll all find out why she really walked off the job.

Sarah Palin is a coward and a bully. What kind of politician attacks an ordinary American on the Fourth of July for speaking her mind? What’s wrong with her? The First Amendment was designed to protect people like me from the likes of people like her. Our American Revolution got rid of kings. And queens, too. Am I jacked-up? You betcha.

Sarah Palin, if you have a problem with me, then sue me. Shannyn Moore will not be muzzled!

Palin began claiming that the so-called "liberal media" was out to destroy her after she was announced as John McCain's running mate last August and continues to point to Tina Fey and Katie Couric for helping to take her down. Let me just say that there have been some mean-spirited and untrue things that have been written about Palin since she was first announced as McCain's running mate, but for her to assert that Couric's interview was "gotcha" journalism or that Fey's impersonation (which borrowed heavily from Palin's actual transcripts) were unfair or a plot to take her down, is ridiculous. Even during her rambling and confusing resignation announcement she made reference to the media:

Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year – the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate – I say others changed.

Let me speak to that for a minute.

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap - the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more “politics as usual,” but THIS isn’t what anyone had in mind for ALASKA.


In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life - my children (where the count was unanimous… well, in response to asking: “Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children’s future from OUTSIDE the Governor’s office?” It was four “yes’s” and one “hell yeah!” The “hell yeah” sealed it - and someday I’ll talk about the details of that… I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig - I know he needs me, but I need him even more… what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT – that time is precious… the world needs more “Trigs”, not fewer.

and over the weekend Palin has tweeted things like:

Critics are spinning, so hang in there as they feed false info on the right decision made as I enter last yr in office to not run again....


Trying to keep up w/getting truth to u, like proof there's no "FBI scandal", here's link Thanks, AK!

I wonder what Fox News contributor Liz Trotta has to say about Palin's complaints about the media coverage (this may surprise you!):

Forget Liz Trotta, I wonder what Sarah Palin herself had to say in August, 2008 about Hillary Clinton complaining about media coverage:

I really hope that Palin will not use her resignation to claim that the media helped to force her out or to establish herself as a kind of political martyr. I can't imagine that angle would get much mileage except for with the right-wing base of the Republican Party that already believes that this is the case. Greg Mitchell, author of "Why Obama Won" wrote a piece titled "The Myth of How the Media Destroyed Palin". A clip:

It's been amusing to observe, in the past few days, Sarah Palin hit the media (from blogs to the New York Times) for causing all of her troubles, even threatening to sue some of them for "defaming" her. She's even tweeted the charges, repeatedly. It's been equally fun to read some of those who backed her and John McCain last fall now admitting, after her resignation speech, that she is a true lightweight. This was apparent to most Americans within days of her emergence on the national ticket late last summer.


In fact, in the months after the November election, we heard from pundits and disgruntled GOPers that the media helped elect Obama by attacking, or mocking, Sarah Palin. These critics still allege that she gave John McCain a big boost in the polls when first named and that she would have help drive him to victory -- if not for the allegedly unfair treatment by Katie and Tina Fey and those mean bloggers and all the rest.

But this is not true. The myth should be put to bed once and for all, as Sarah finally crosses that bridge to nowhere.

In fact, Palin never really helped him except with the GOP "base," which he would have won over anyway. She never had broad-based appeal and, as I have written here previously (and in my book, Why Obama Won), McCain had been fooled by false media coverage of the purported huge number of Hillary Clinton fans -- women and the working class -- who were eager to bolt Obama for the GOP. This never came to pass.

In reality, the undermining of Palin happened well before the networks and SNL got to her. The polls proved it. Her home state paper, the Anchorage Daily News was quick to expose elements of her past that raised questions and just days after she was named, the Fairbanks, Alaska daily called her choice by McCain a silly one. And the evidence mounted from there, within days.

More than anything, McCain was hurt by shattering his strongest calling card -- "experience" -- by picking a neophyte to serve one heartbeat away. Now, some conservative pundits who long backed her now may be reaching the same conclusion as evidence has mounted.

Reality is elusive to someone like Palin and to borrow from Stephen Colbert, in Palin's eyes, the truth often has a liberal bias.

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