Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Ineptness of the Alaska and National Press in Dealing With Palin's False "Anonymous Blogger" Meme - Part One

I've ben talking to some of Alaska's anonymous, pseudonymous and non-anonymous bloggers over the weekend about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's charmless offensive against an opponent that pretty much is either a figment of her imagination, or well, or, she has just plain intentionally "made up." - the "anonymous bloggers."

Palin has occasionally described them as pajama-clad basement denizens, who feed information to the media, who then treat phony information in such a way that it is raised somehow to the level of authenticity, and then becomes something treated as a fully vetted story. I only know of one main national figure who built a career out of doing just what Palin describes - Matt Drudge, of the Drudge Report.

Pain's accusations have caused me to take a few hours and go back through my articles about her, looking for any evidence in my writing or in my references to other bloggers' or reporters' material that would lend credence to her accusations.

One interesting thing I realized, comparing how I wrote some of my articles to email communications with other writers at the times the essays were being created, is how careful several Alaska and out-of-state bloggers were from the very beginning, in how they handled this new world of intense scrutiny and attention. Maybe some were basking in attention, but it seems, reading back through emails especially, that mostly, Alaska bloggers wanted to get the story straight.

To me, from the beginning of her "elevation," the story has always been that Sarah Palin is one of the most unqualified people in recent U.S. history to be a vice president or president. One didn't have to delve into family gossip and so on to help prove the case. It was all out there in her record as politician, administrator and "community organizer." From the beginning, most of us in our small online community realized that Alaska bloggers could help clarify Sarah Palin to the large bloc of uncommitted voters best, by assisting the large number of Outside reporters who would descend on our state.

On August 31st, I wrote about "The Challenge to Our Alaska Media." In the essay, commenting about how Outside reporters were struggling as they tried to understand Palin, and grasp both the subtleties and enormity of Alaska. They were trying to get it right in most cases, from the very beginning:

I could go on and on with examples like this. The important point on the above instances is that these reporters and writers are doing a good job, by and large. I've had to answer many questions about Alaska and Palin based on misunderstanding, ignorance or prejudice toward the governor or the state, but the best of these people try to get it, and want to understand us.

Alaska progressive bloggers, especially in dealing with comments to our national-level essays, or in observing the media and blogs throw out one inaccuracy after another about our state, and about Sarah Palin or the Palin family, have to stand up against false information and false impressions.

Alaska blogger Robert Dillon was one of the first Alaskans to screw up a story. He falsely attributed a diary at DailyKos to the blog's founder, Markos Moulitsas. Ironic that the first blogger from Alaska to falsely slime another blogger is now working for an Alaska GOP politician.

The weird correspondence between the Anchorage Daily News and Gov. Palin is a case of how long one weird story kept people transfixed. I've been reluctant to write what I know about how this story began last winter, and still am. But Dillon slimed Moulitsas as he tried to deal with it, and Palin falsely accused the ADN editors and reporter Lisa Demer in their dealings with it.

So, Palin has managed to control the narrative, steering it away from digging into the substantive stories that many Alaska bloggers and Outside reporters were able to highlight. Instead, the ADN, the new Alaska Standard, the tabloids and others continue to concentrate on three memes - Trig, Levi's and Bristol's relationship and struggle, and anonymous bloggers. Palin, as she continues to cynically use her family and play victim, feels very comfortable keeping the narrative right where she's got you people stuck.

image - DZ


GinaM said...

Your last four sentences says it all. She wants to keep the focus on her personal life to keep the press ie ADN and the "anonymous bloggers" from focusing on what she is/about to do Alaska. What should be talked about is Andrew Halcro's piece that he did on her called "A day in the life". He has put out there what is really going on with her. Is Karl Rove living up there in Wasilla because these tactics are right up there in his playbook.

Philip Munger said...

GinaM -

Andy's piece was one of the best examples of his unique take on Palin Halcro has yet penned. AKMuckraker's similar followup is also hilarious. also.

Shannyn Moore's essay "Sarah Palin - The Gift That Keeps on Taking" was probably the inspiration for Andy's gem. also...

GinaM said...


Thanks, I've been to both of those blogs. AKM's and Andrew's I visit daily...several times a day. I just added yours to my list. Keep up the good work.

Annette said...

Phil I would have to add, that not only was she not qualified to be vice president or president, it is questionable if she is qualifed to be governor, even if she did manage to get herself elected.

That I think is becoming painfully obvious as time is going on.

Well written and well done article as always. I am going to mention it an refer to it...if you don't mind. It is something I have been telling people we need to watch out for because I really think she is starting her run for 2012.

Philip Munger said...

Annette - part of Part Two. also...

Annette said...

Oh yes...lol

Anonymous said...

Hello - I check in with your blog usually at least once a day. Thanks for all the timely reporting. I think this is the first time I've commented.

I have a question - what was the diary on the DailyKos that Dillon erroneously attributed to Markos Moulitsas? I'm curious. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You are doing battle with a narcissist. An exorcism would be easier, and more appropriate.

It will get uglier before this evil is defeated.

I am Taoist, but I think we need to call a Priest !

Harbormaster said...

Palin and the ADN seem to disagree on a few things...http://bit.ly/6d6N

Philip Munger said...

Anon @ #7 - The post I referred to cannot be found because Daily Kos removed it after several of us complained. It was by a diarist named ArcXIX.

Click on "The Challenge to Our Alaska Media" in this article.

Then, click on "pointed out the growing insidiousness" to get to Dillon's post where he falsely accuses Moultsas of having written ArcXIX's diary.