"Going Rogue," Page 35: "Together Al and Lena (Todd Palin's grandparents) helped start the Bristol Bay fishery in the 1930s, drifting for salmon from sailboats..."
FLAT-OUT WRONG. According to a history compiled by a Bristol Bay author for the conservation group Trout Unlimited, "The fishery began in 1884 when San Francisco businessman Carl Rohlffs organized the Arctic Packing Company and built the first cannery on the Bay at the Native village of Kanulik across the Nushagak River from present day Dillingham. The first commercial pack of canned salmon was only about 400 cases or 6,000 fish." According to a history of the fishery done by Ray Hillborn of the University of Washington, "by 1912, 19 canneries and 1,083 sail-powered gillnet boats harvested and canned over 20 million salmon annually." That's about two decades before Palin claims Todd's grandparents pioneered the fishery.
My email to Adam Bellow about whether "Going Rogue" was fact-checked remains unanswered. (What's he gonna say?) But what's fascinating about Medred's Alaskan fact-checking is the broader picture it paints: of a woman always prepared to make stuff up on the spot and even in print on matters that can easily be independently checked. This is the strange pattern I noticed very early on and catalogued in the "Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin" series. Medred concludes:
It is tempting to go on picking apart the other 270-or-so pages of "Going Rogue" in this manner, but I couldn't do it. It felt like piling on. It was clear by this point the reporting in the book was, at best, horribly sloppy, or, at worst, that Palin needs to heed her own demand: "Stop making things up."
The most incredible stories are those about her own family. Her completely ludicrous stories of her fifth pregnancy and labor are not alone in being beyond anything but religious belief. Medred notes this doozy: