Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 3 - Chapter 13 -- The Courage of Shannyn Moore, Part III

The liberal web site and news aggregator, BuzzFlash, has named Shannyn Moore this week's "Wings of Justice" award-winner. She is the 190th person and the first Alaskan, to be so honored.

Here's a list of all previous recipients.

Recent award winners have included fired Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin, JFK speechwriter and biographer Ted Sorenson, Virginia Senator James Webb, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

Here is BuzzFlash's essay on Moore:

Long before the world tied together hockey moms, pit bulls, and lipstick, Shannyn Moore was on the radio and blogging in Alaska doing what the blogosphere should be proud of doing, holding the feet of politicians to the fire. Clearly, Moore has been a nasty thorn in the side of soon-to-be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, calling attention to numerous allegations of misconduct.

As she noted on "Countdown" on July 6, when she has agreed with Gov. Palin, she has said so. But when she hasn't, and that has been most of the time, Moore also stepped it up.

Moore gained national attention when Sarah Palin was selected to be John McCain's running mate. She appeared on The Huffington Post and was featured mostly prominently on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC. But even with nationwide attention, her focus always stayed on the minutia of Alaskan politics.

While other media figures focused on offbeat and incomplete answers to Katie Couric questions or Tina Fey parodies, Moore was locked in on Palin, the Alaska governor, not the vice-presidential nominee.

Even though Palin's reign as Alaska governor is coming to an end, her lawyer Thomas Van Flein had a different agenda: threatening to sue Moore.

"To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as "fact" that Governor Palin resigned because she is "under federal investigation" for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation."

And don't think Moore is the only one in danger. Van Flein's intention for his client was made clear in his letter:

"This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law."

There's the minor technicality that Moore never reported the rumors as "fact." But the potential lawsuit isn't designed to fight that battle: it's to intimidate the media (even BuzzFlash) to back off on Palin.

But the threat of a lawsuit was designed specifically to intimidate Moore, even though the rumors in question are several months old, and multiple sources are reporting on the rumors. And while those large media figures could financially survive a libel lawsuit, could Moore withstand the financial costs?

So will Moore back down? Her answer to Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" on July 6:

"I'm just another Alaska girl, and I wasn't going to apologize. I reported that rumors existed, and people were trying to make sense of her word salad out there, resigning."

In her press conference, she challenged Palin to sue her, and then noted that "Shannyn Moore will not be muzzled!"

Moore was singled out, in part, because she has been so tenacious about Gov. Palin's activities in Alaska. And we have seen that Palin has little respect for the media, which amusingly years ago, used to be her calling when she was a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage and a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

Palin has had trouble on numerous occasions with confusion over the Constitution, so it's logical that her lawyer may not realize the full details of the First Amendment. As Moore put it so well at a news conference to defend the potential lawsuit:

"The First Amendment was designed to protect people like me from people like her."

And our Wings of Justice award is geared to reward those people such as Shannyn Moore. She has been in the lion's den for a long time dealing with one of politics' most proficient liars. Bravery and courage are two traits you need to go repeatedly into that lion's den. And Shannyn Moore clearly has those, and we gladly give her the Wings of Justice award.


basheert said...

Hi Phil: Great story and congrats to Shannyn for her tenacious and ongoing attempt to make sense of the Governor of Alaska and her ramblings and incoherent word salad.

Please do not forget SLAPP. I believe Alaska State Law includes this law which specifically is designed to prevent the suppression of free political speech by intimidation. Although the First Amendment is very important, SLAPP is designed to specifically deal with out-of-control politicians who attempt to file frivolous lawsuits in order to intimidate and suppress debate.

You guys are awesome!

sauerkraut said...

A well-deserved award, imho.

Anonymous said...

And if there is not a HUGE rush to cancel ADN subscriptions & advertising on the part of Moore supporters, progressive Alaskans, etc., after today's disgusting compass piece it is all about not walking the talk.

I have been glad to see that none of the bloggers have bothered to discuss it, and hope that none of them lower themselves to do so, but I think a strong message sent to ADN that impacts their bottom line would be a nice show of solidarity.

I canceled my subscription after their fantasy reporting of the fall rallies. That was some shoddy journalism, the first time that I felt their support of Palin's fascist governing was blatant.

Come on Alaskans!

womanwithsardinecan said...

If I weren't so broke I would buy a subscription just so I could cancel it. That Grimes woman needs her face rubbed in some mud. What a know-nothing potty mouthed twit.

Philip Munger said...

The grimes op-ed is freedom of speech at work. Her piece sucks, but reading through the comments, one certainly can see there's a lot of articulate support for Shannyn that more than makes up for the ignorant, somewhat or even fully hateful stuff in her article and in some of the comments.

Anonymous said...

While I agree the Grimes piece is freedom of speech at work, I also wonder what ADN was thinking publishing that piece? Hoping for a reaction from Shannyn? I hope that she will rise above that fray. It is almost as though they are reinforcing Shannyn's position by running it, which I seriously doubt was their intent... ADN is off the rails.

Anonymous said...

Last night,I decided to see if I can find out more about Joan Grimes for the heck of it.

She has contributed a sizable amount of money to the Republican Party.

It seems that she, also, uses the surname "Pantages".

And, no surprise, appears to have been an alternate delegate at the National Republican Convention last year.

Everything I mentioned above was found by just searching her name on the internet.

So, she has her own agenda.

the problem child said...

The award is great news. And Shannyn is in august company.

basheert said...

ARe there people who actually still READ the ADN?
I don't even read it online. It certainly doesn't present anything except St. Sarah and all the crime in Alaska...

Bones AK said...

The Award is well deserved. She is, indeed in august company.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Good lord, now they're handing out awards for that kind of behavior ?

You really do have no shame, don't you ?

Anonymous said...

Kudos, Shannyn...well done!

Blue_in_AK said...

Pantages? He wrote an equally obnoxious piece a while back.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Well done, Shannyn. What cool company you find yourself in.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Grimes peice IS what Shannyn was accused of; defamation of character. In order to prove D of C, you must demonstrate that the person knew what they were reporting was FALSE and it was done with MALICIOUS INTENT. The Grimes peice OBVIOUSLY QUALIFIES as Defamation of Character. Shannyn ought to sue the Anchorage Daily News. This IS NOT FREE SPEECH. Grimes clearly and unambiguously wrote a hit peice with made up ugly untrue rumours that she knew were false. Shannyn did no such thing...