Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saradise Lost - Chapter Forty-Five - The Responsibilities of Alaska Bloggers in This Firestorm of Attention

From the beginning of the mistaken elevation of Sarah Palin to the GOP nomination for Vice President of the United States, Alaska's bloggers have tried to help get an accurate picture out to the world of the candidate, and of the environment from which this remarkable woman has emerged.

We don't have an association of Alaska bloggers, or of progressive Alaska bloggers, but a lot of us do stay in touch - in person, on the phone, by texting, by e-mail and by commenting on each others' work. And we're supporting each other and creating a few collaborative teams, as we attempt to deal with complicated subjects.

And, like the regular news people, we're getting a lot of questions from national media figures who have either shown up here, or are producing articles, segments, shows and even books about this candidate, this campaign or the 2008 election. I'm having to remember a lot of things about Sarah Palin and Mat-Su Valley politics, and Alaska politics I'd almost just as soon forget, but the remembering process is helping my perspective on why we are where we are in 2008.

So many reporters want to know about the Palin family. It is inevitable, as Sarah Palin herself has made that family a centerpiece of the McCain campaign. Cynically so. Still, our kids and the Palin kids grew up with many of the same friends, even though there was very little direct contact. And my kids want to be kept out of this, and won't let me use their friends as resources.

Which is just as well, because even though I regard the Palins as rather poor parenting examples, the many failures of Palin as administrator, and her millenialist religious superstitions are far more important issues. So I've tried to keep writing here about the family issues limited to commenting about how other writers, TV/radio media and bloggers are handling the family thing.

This past week, the Alaska blogger who has managed to get the voice out on Palin's shortcomings best has been Shannyn Moore. She has been on a large number of national radio programs. Sunday afternoon, Geraldo Rivera interviewed her for FOX news. Shannyn stood her ground when Geraldo tried to intimidate her about Shannyn's views on Palin. And this evening, MSNBC commentator and host, Kieth Olberman, will be interviewing Shannyn.

Dennis Zaki, whose pictures and videos of Alaska politicians are among the very best - especially since the Corrupt Bastard Club trials began - is getting his images out to a very wide audience. Even before this happened, when Ted Stevens was indicted, Zaki managed to get his images on CNN, Talking Points Memo, firedoglake and other places in less than 24 hours, something unprecendented in Alaska independent electronic journalism.

Linda Kellen, under her nom de blog, Celtic Diva, has become a firedoglake contributor, so far just on Palin. She and Andy Halcro were the most effective Alaska voices in getting the truth out on the demotion firing of Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner.

This weekend, one of my favorite progressive political writers, Eric Boehlert, questioned me for a long time, as he gathers materials for a book he's writing on blogging and the 2008 election. And although I've now spoken to about 20 writers from outside of Alaska on Palin, that number is probably lower than some here are experiencing.

Today, Time Magazine ran a web feature, called Alaska's Bloggers on Sarah Palin. The progressive bloggers mentioned are Andrew Halcro, AK Muckraker at Mudflats, Shannyn Moore and me.

The spotlight is on Alaska because of Sarah Palin. Far more interest is being devoted to Alaska's crooked political environment by Palin's recruitment, than by any of the Corrupt Bastards trials, or by the cumulative effect so many arrests, prosecutions and convictions have had.

Early, on August 31, I wrote about the responsibility Alaska media has in this. All of us - mainstream and alternative. At first, I thought more people would wise up to Palin's unsuitability fairly quickly. I don't think that any more. And that makes this effort on the part of Alaska bloggers more difficult. We've got day jobs. Every time we get into another facet of hidden history of Palin's abuse of power, it eats away at time we were devoting to other important political issues, and into family or creative time.

We have an important job to do, and we're learning more and more how to team up, or pass information amongst ourselves toward the person who has the best handle on an issue. We're enjoying working together, too, which helps a lot.

Alaska's progressive blogging community was small but healthy before this started. New blogs are starting up. More on that soon. But we'll all come out of this better writers, better fact vetters, and more unified than we had been.

image - Shannyn Moore, Dennis Zaki, me


cbl said...


Shannon is on Keith on my teevee - go Alaskans go !!!


Kevin Hayden said...

Good tone, voice and reason.... hey, does Ms. Palin also issue permits to hunt liberals from airplanes?

I am curious though: have there been any true reformers up there? The media down here neglects to remind viewers that anything resembling reform from Palin is merely an assault on her own party. And making her VP opens up Alaska, allowing electeds to return their former ways.

I'm glad to find ya. Keep up the good works.

Anonymous said...

When Sarah Palin was nominated, the first place I turned to was Google and "Alaska Blogs" because I believed I would get better information than the usual dribble coming from the campaigns or even the MSM. Yes, it is hard. We appreciate you for it. And thank goodness there are many of you - maybe you can take turns taking days off?

Linda-Sama said...

writing about this blog today over at http://agelesshippiechick.blogspot.com

keep up the great work about exposing Palin for what she is!