If you file a complaint against a legislator and then blab to the media about it, your complaint is automatically dismissed. That protection doesn't apply to ethics complaints involving the executive branch. It should.
First of all, the entire editorial was one of the most unprofessional ever penned by the ADN editorial staff. Its research was incredibly faulty. It endorsed a position of less strenuous ethics laws in a state that is in the midst of sending ethically challenged politicians to prison at a rate of about 2.7 per year, in spite of state laws that are so weak the Feds have to step in to bust our political crooks.
Secondly, it seemed to indicate that the writer (anonymous, at that) knew something about what is going on here that the complainants didn't. But its lofty tone disallowed the readers from being in on the "goodies."
Is the ADN stretching the story out to build readership in the narrative of the editorial? Or, more likely, are they having to creatively deal with their latest harangues from state employee Bill McAllister and Palin employee Meghan Stapletongue?
The McCain-Palin 2008 campaign forever changed Alaska politics. Until September 2008, we were mostly an under-informed state. Politicians took advantage of that. Since then, as the nation looked at our ways in a manner that was glaring, some took their responsibility more seriously than others.
As the crowds outside of Palin appearances were documented by Alaska bloggers and Outside bloggers for their racist, millennialist and anti-science makeup, we challenged local media to cover that. They didn't.
As Palin became the biggest American political joke of the 21st century, Alaska bloggers challenged local media to cover that. They didn't.
When, after the McCain-Palin ticket's historic loss, Alaska media failed to gauge it for what it meant in terms of Palin's role, and Alaska bloggers challenged our media to assess that, they started to turn on us.
When the major failures of Palin during the 2009 legislative session became clear, Alaska progressive bloggers told a far more accurate and comprehensive story of that, and of the emerging rural Alaska food and fuel crisis, than did Alaska's established media. During that time, the resentment of some organs of Alaska's traditional media toward emerging media has grown, though it is sometimes subtle.
Alaska's progressive bloggers' role in covering most of the ethics complaints against Gov. Palin is common knowledge among people who closely follow Alaska politics. But, just like the Anchorage Daily News, for instance, has never given a fair assessment of Ray Metcalfe, they aren't even close to considering giving us one. Nobody is holding their breath waiting for a fair evaluation, though.
Instead, they couch their resentment against our increasing role in Alaska media with veiled stuff hidden in exceedingly poorly written editorials, like their paean to Wayne Anthony Ross' Attorney General confirmation, their endorsement of Anchorage Mayor-elect Dan Sullivan, and their uninformed bullshit about ethics law.
While the ADN calls for more protections for our governor, Alaska's bloggers are helping to create the ADN's and other media outlets' successor formats. Monday, Alaska progressive icon Jeremey Lansman put Camille Conte back on the air. Briefly. But more may come from this.
Lansman's operations need a better signal on the FM airwaves. This potentially new paradigm needs a comprehensively thought out, monetized and publicized format.
I'd like to see the IBEW have the courage to audit where their money went between Aaron Selbig's termination and last week.
Selbig had a few months that came close to breaking even, one month that may have even done that. From what I hear, that wasn't the case in their KUDO financing since the April, 2008 changes. Why?
I'd like to see something like Lansman's duct-tape, solder, perspiration and quirky genius machinery go up against Alaska's ossifying media empires, head-to-head, face-to-face, hour-to-hour, with good, honest publicists promoting the packages.
Two Updates from the Comments - Wednesday, 3:40 p.m:
Jeremy Lansman wrote:
FYI - I am working on rebuilding the 92.5 KWMD translator. It is broadcasting silence now, but when we get audio back into it it, I hope before Friday, should extend a good signal to Eagle River and much of Mat-Su. As KWMD (FM) is solid in central Kenai, and much of South Anchorage its coverage should be roughly comparable to KUDO (AM). The important question is where is the funding for local hosted programs of a different political outlook than those on KENI, KBYR and KFQD? It would be nice to think that some more progressive business people would support alternatives to the right wing media blasters, but I won't hold my breath.
And commenter Roger linked to an excellent article written yesterday by my firedoglake friend bmaz. It is about other aspects of new media vs. old, particularly, the case of the Boston Globe.
image - Camille Conte & Jeremy Lansman broadcasting on Monday - by Steve Aufrecht