Palin And The Press

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I know. I know. I'm trying to move on. But if you are in any way still interested in the weird lies of Sarah Palin, and haven't yet figured out what the hell happened last year, this email exchange published yesterday between Pat Dougherty, editor of the great Anchorage Daily News, and governor Palin, is fascinating. For some reason, governor Palin fired off an email to the editor furious that the ADN had run an AP story that stated that her kinda-son-in-law was a high school drop-out. It's classic Palin: she insists that Levi Johnston is not a high school drop-out, even though, in the actual world the rest of us live in, he is. Dougherty handles that issue with hilarious dead-pan.

But the fascinating part of the email exchange - and one that will no doubt interest Dish readers - is the following. (The emails are divided up into sections, but the whole thing can be read here.)

PALIN: [I]s your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who's already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

DOUGHERTY: Yes, it's true.

You may have been too busy with the campaign to notice, but the Daily News has, from the beginning, dismissed the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth as nonsense. I don't believe we have ever published in the newspaper a story, a letter, a column or anything alleging a coverup about your maternity. In fact, my integrity and the integrity of the newspaper have been repeatedly attacked in national forums for our complicity in the "coverup." I have personally received more than a 100 emails accusing me and the paper of conspiring to hide the truth. (I should note, however, that many people who commented on adn.com have alleged a coverup. Many of those were deleted as soon as we saw them, but many were not.)

I want to be very clear on this: I have from the beginning and do now consider the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth to be nutty nonsense.

If that's true, then why has Lisa Demer been asking questions about Trig's birth? Because we have been amazed by the widespread and enduring quality of these rumors. I finally decided, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the "conspiracy theory that would not die" and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all. Lisa Demer started reporting. I don't believe she received any cooperation in her efforts from the parties who, in my judgment, stood to benefit most from the story, namely you and your family. Even so, we reported the matter as thoroughly as we could.

Several weeks ago, when we considered the information Lisa had gathered, we decided we didn't have enough of a story to accomplish what we had hoped. Lisa moved on to other topics and we haven't decided whether the idea is worth any further effort. Even the birth of your grandson may not dissuade the Trig conspiracy theorists from their beliefs. It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig's birth that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies. Time will tell.

PALIN: And, oh, I could go on . . .

DOUGHERTY: Governor, I would encourage you to go on. I cannot address your concerns if I do not hear them. Perhaps after reading this you will conclude that the facts are not exactly as you thought, or that there was more to these issues than you knew. I hope you see that we have tried hard to practice sound journalism. We may have trusted the accuracy of the AP too much, but I won't know that for sure until you confirm that Levi will graduate from high school. When we heard that you were upset about Lisa's inquiries, we immediately extended an invitation to your office for you to meet with me and other editors so we could explain our interest in the Trig matter, and answer any other questions you might have. As far as I know, that invitation was never acknowledged.

We remain willing and available to meet with you to discuss these or any other issues. I would be happy to meet with you one on one, as would Pat Doyle, or as part of any group of editors and publisher you would like. Based on our experience, I do not think it would be constructive to include Bill McAllister, but that's up to you. If I have not addressed your concerns fully enough, please let me know.

Sincerely, Pat Dougherty

My italics. No word back from Palin yet. But I'll keep you posted.

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