Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Vanity Fair unveils the truth about Sarah Palin: American journalism redeems itself and reports the real inconvenient facts

Cover Vanity Fair September 2010
Vanity Fair, October 2010 issue

At Palingates and elsewhere, there has been no shortage of criticism of the America media for their unwillingness to report the truth about Sarah Palin. Since the election, the reporting in the American mainstream about Palin mainly consisted of forgettable fluff pieces which rarely touched the real, inconvenient facts about Sarah Palin, and "Politico" was honest enough in February 2010 to talk about the reason for this phenomenon:

"For the media, Palin is great at the box office. Among modern American political figures, she is second only to Barack Obama in generating clicks (for websites such as this one) and ratings (for the cable news networks hungering around the clock for fresh material).

For Palin, the benefit is the exposure she needs to maintain her public profile and stir up chatter about a potential presidential candidacy — both of which help her continue to rake in millions of dollars in speaking fees. She also gets a villain with which to further energize her supporters: The more she convinces them “the MSM” hates her, the more they love her.

The problem is that this relationship — what in Hollywood they call being “frenemies” — treats Palin as though she were the central figure in the politics of 2012. No realistic appraisal of Palin’s current strengths and weaknesses or of the history of Republican politics suggests that this is necessarily true."

However, the tables are turning. American journalism seems to have woken up, as some people have obviously realized that big parts of the real picture have been missing in the mainstream so far.

This fearless article in Vanity Fair, written by Michael Joseph Gross, is a milestone in discovering the "real" Sarah Palin, and it also mentions several facts that citizen journalists at Palingates and elsewhere have reported over time in the tireless efforts to expose Sarah Palin.

The author spent several months in Alaska to undertake research in order to get the real picture, and apart from that, he also had the courage to look closely at other inconvenient facts which have been overlooked so far and report them mercilessly.

No other journalist in the mainstream has done a similar thing before as far as Sarah Palin is concerned. Of course we expect a lot from the books which are about to be published in 6-12 months, especially those written by Geoffrey Dunn and Joe McGinniss, but as far as a major mainstream publications are concerned, this is a real novelty and a huge effort - old-school, hard-hitting, fact-based American journalism at its best.

It should not be forgotten, however, that Vanity Fair's editor Todd S. Purdum had published a major, hard-hitting article about Sarah Palin titled "It Came from Wasilla" already in August 2009. But the new piece by Michael J. Gross takes things to a completely different level.

Despite the many facts which are mentioned in the article in Vanity Fair by Michael J. Gross, it's still just a relatively small part of the truth about Sarah Palin and about her scandals, as every reader of Palingates will know. The list of skeletons in Sarah Palin's closet is basically endless. A tragic historic figure like Joe McCarthy really seems like "small fish" in comparison when you take a closer look at Sarah Palin and her scandals and her lies.

We knew that this piece was coming out and kept it secret like everyone else, and we had a long conversation with the author. We are glad that the fact-based, investigative blogging by Palingates has found recognition. Despite the endless smears by the Palinbots, they still haven't "refudiated" a single fact which Palingates has reported.

C4P publishes regular "smear posts" about Palingates, and there is no shortage of demeaning remarks and slurs. However, C4P has never actually disproven anything that Palingates has published. That's no coincidence, because what we publish is carefully fact-checked, see for example Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy. Therefore, it will be impossible for C4P to publish a factual rebuttal to anything what we write, because we report the truth. Smears are all the Palinbots have - and in the long run, that won't be enough.

Palinbots, please prove us wrong. Where has our reporting been factually incorrect? Please don't hold back. ;-)

Let's have a closer look at the Michal J. Gross's article in Vanity Fair. This is one of the opening key paragraphs in my opinion:

"Sarah Palin’s connection with her audience is complete. People who admire her believe she is just like them, and this conviction seems to satisfy their curiosity about the objective facts of her life. Those whose curiosity has not been satisfied have their work cut out for them. Palin has been a national figure for barely two years—John McCain selected her as his running mate in August 2008. Her on-the-record statements about herself amount to a litany of untruths and half-truths. With few exceptions—mostly Palin antagonists in journalism and politics whose beefs with her have long been out in the open—virtually no one who knows Palin well is willing to talk about her on the record, whether because they are loyal and want to protect her (a small and shrinking number), or because they expect her prominence to grow and intend to keep their options open, or because they fear she will exact revenge, as she has been known to do. It is an astonishing phenomenon. Colleagues and acquaintances by the hundreds went on the record to reveal what they knew, for good or ill, about prospective national candidates as diverse as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Al Gore, and Barack Obama. When it comes to Palin, people button their lips and slink away."

So Gross precisely explains why it's incredibly difficult to investigate the dealings of Sarah Palin. Fortunately, that has not stopped him.

Another key paragraph:

"This spring and summer I traveled to Alaska and followed Palin’s road show through four midwestern states, speaking with whomever I could induce to talk under whatever conditions of anonymity they imposed—political strategists, longtime Palin friends and political associates, hotel staff, shopkeepers and hairstylists, and high-school friends of the Palin children. There’s a long and detailed version of what they had to say, but there’s also a short and simple one: anywhere you peel back the skin of Sarah Palin’s life, a sad and moldering strangeness lies beneath."

We at Palingates were happy to see that several of our investigative pieces found their way into the article. For example, our reporting about Rebecca Mansour and and Joseph Russo has been mentioned in great detail by Michael Joseph Gross in Vanity Fair.

As you will all remember, it was Palingates in February 2010 who revealed the fact that Rebecca Mansour and Joseph Russo are employed by Palin - a fact which was kept carefully hidden for months. Rebecca Mansour and Joseph Russo hid behind anonymous consultancy firms - not good enough, though. The community at Palingates showed its real strength back then, as our readers discovered some decisive facts and played a vital role in this revelation.

Facts which were only available at Palingates, for example the horrible smears directed against Andree McLeod at a blog called "Fist of the North Star", which was run by Joseph Russo and the well-known rabid Palinbot "Toki De La Vega", have been referenced in the Vanity Fair piece (see screenshots here, here and here).

Gross reports:

"As a side project to Conservatives4Palin, Joseph Russo in 2009 contributed to a separate pro-Palin blog called Fist of the North Star. The blog shares its name with a Japanese manga series set in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by nuclear war, in which a faithful remnant work to save their Heavenly Empress, who has been imprisoned by the corrupt Imperial Army. The Fist of the North Star blog once featured a staggeringly obscene mock news item about one of Palin’s Alaska nemeses, the activist Andree McLeod, who had filed a series of ethics complaints against the then governor: 'On Friday, an international team of doctors successfully removed the world’s largest parasite from her desperately overstretched colon. One must wonder what kind of freaky shit this ghetto bitch was ingesting… You never know what else that Harpies Twat is carrying!'"

Another aspect that the article focuses on is Sarah Palin's "unholy" connections to extreme fundamentalists Christians, and I especially liked this paragraph:

"Whenever I heard Palin speak on the road, her remarks were scored with code phrases expressing solidarity with fundamentalist Christians. Her talk of leading with “a servant’s heart” is a dog whistle for the born-again. Her dig at health-care reform as an expression of Democratic ambitions to “build a Utopia” in the United States is practically a trumpet call (because the Kingdom of God is not of this earth, and perfection can be achieved only in the life to come). But it is Palin’s persistent encouragement of the prayer warriors that most clearly reveals her worldview: she is good, her opponents are evil, and the war is on."

One of the most important pieces of information which was originally published at Palingates by our brilliant guest poster micmac and which has found the way into the Vanity Fair article were the revelations about Timothy Crawford, the treasurer of SarahPAC. I never understood why these facts about Timothy Crawford has so far not been given greater attention in the media, as they are damning and completely based on sources which are all available online - press articles and databases. However, nobody else apart from Palingates had compiled them before and put them in context.

"Timothy Crawford, the treasurer of Sarah-PAC, presumably has some responsibility for the byzantine structures undergirding Palin’s travels. Before joining Palin, Crawford was the interim finance director of the Republican National Committee. He is currently being investigated by the Ohio secretary of state for his role in Let Ohio Vote, a state-referendum campaign bankrolled in its entirety by New Models, a Virginia organization Crawford owns, which calls itself a nonprofit. Earlier this year, he refused to respond to a subpoena—issued under state laws that prohibit concealment of campaign money—that sought to discover where New Models had gotten the $1.6 million to fund Let Ohio Vote. Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner has called New Models “a ‘straw-person’ out of state corporation.” Also, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, New Models “was behind controversial automated calls to Pennsylvania voters made during the 2008 presidential election. The calls told voters that Barack Obama’s aunt was living in America illegally and that he accepted campaign contributions from his ‘illegal alien aunt.’ ”"

It is great to see that a mainstream publication gives kudos to citizen bloggers:

"The Anchorage Daily News no longer has a beat reporter assigned to Palin. Owing to newsroom cuts, the paper has no staff to spare, and editors reportedly see Palin as “a nonentity” in Alaska now—a phenomenon primarily of concern to the rest of the country (collectively referred to as “outside”). The blogs that keep closest tabs on Palin include Palingates, Mudflats, the Immoral Minority, and Shannyn Moore: Just a Girl from Homer. Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish and Arianna Huffington’s Huffington Post serve as the main conduits of information from the blogs to the mainstream media. Palingates is run by a German attorney who will identify himself only as “Patrick.” Jeanne Devon, who owns an Anchorage retail store, runs Mudflats. Jesse Griffin, a part-time assistant teacher in Anchorage, is the Immoral Minority."

For us at Palingates it is also important to set an example in investigative blogging, apart from exposing Sarah Palin. Therefore, it's very encouraging to see that our efforts and recognized and appreciated.

It's chilling to read about Michael J. Gross's experiences of trying to gather information in Alaska. Wasilla truly is the "City of Fear":

"When I ask about Palin, though, a palpable unease creeps in. Some people clam up. Others whisper invitations to call later—but on this number, not that one, and not before this hour or after that one. So many people answer “Off the record?” to my initial questions that it almost seems the whole town has had media training. They certainly have issues with the press. Some tell of reporters who seduced them with promises—Don’t worry, I’ll make you look good—and then published stories that made them out to be hicks, stupid, less-than. “These were people we let into our house,” one Wasilla resident says. “We served them food.” But the real concern is with Palin herself—they don’t want her to find out they have talked with a reporter, because of a suspicion that bad things will happen to them if she does. The salty, seen-it-all bartender at one of the town’s best restaurants says, “I wish you luck—but I like my job.” Has Palin actually had people fired for talking about her?, I always ask, and the answer always comes, Remember that trooper? The reference is to Mike Wooten, a state policeman who fell out with the family after divorcing one of Sarah Palin’s sisters and ended up at the center of the scandal known as Troopergate. The Alaska Legislative Council found in 2008 that Palin “abused her power” as governor in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired."

There would be much more to say to the article in Vanity Fair, but I will leave it at this point. By pure coincidence, the publication of this article falls at the same time with our "monthly message", that is our request for donations. Please continue to support us in our ongoing mission to expose Sarah Palin.

We have a voice, we are being heard, but we really need your donations to keep the blog and our investigations going. It's a long, tough and seemingly endless struggle and in the end, victory will be ours and yours.



Michael Joseph Gross on Hardball with Chris Matthews:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Michael J. Gross and Gabriel Sherman on Morning Joe:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy






I would like to mention again that nobody else than McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt confirmed long ago that Sarah Palin basically lies about everything.

"It was quite a scene down at the Cut steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where I had dinner with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd stopped by, and Dolly Parton stopped by. But it was John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt who stole the show with his tales of Sarah Palin.

He was still royally ripped with Palin for her comments about him in her book.

I joked that I'd read the book and figured it was about 70 percent fiction.

He said, "No, it's 100 percent fiction."

He also said that if Palin's real spending on clothes had been accurately reported during the campaign, the country would have been in an uproar.

According to Schmidt, she would go into a store, buy everything in sight, and have the bill sent to the Republican National Committee.

Schmidt said he stopped counting after the tab hit $250,000."

See the posts on Palingates HERE and HERE.



Sarah Palin on Hannity - the interesting part starts at about 4:05 (before that, there are just the usual attacks by "Governor Palin" against "Obama" etc).

She says, amongst other things:

"I hear there’s some pretty ugly stuff right now coming out and what we predict, we always see a pattern. We’ve got some victories under the belt. Things are, things are going well, and then, then there is that public slam of us. So, we always expect what’s coming. I don’t read some of it because I know that those that are impotent and limp and gutless, and then they go on, they’re anonymous, they’re sources that are anonymous, and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references. You know, it just slays me because it’s so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that they would take these anonymous sources as fact. So, when a story especially is filled with those and we know it’s bogus and we’re not going to read it."

Smear the messenger! This has been Palin's strategy from day one, and this strategy will never change.

Sarah Palin's use of the word "impotent" in order to describe a "political enemy" is unfortunate, as for example Joseph Goebbels also liked to call Nazi-Germany's arch-enemy Winston Churchill "impotent":

"He spits out insults against the German people in his impotent rage."

Joseph Goebbels used this term not only to describe Winston Churchill himself, but also his supposed "allies", and wrote in 1941:

"He has always been the incarnation of hatred and destruction toward our nation. We know exactly what he would do to us, to our families and our children if we ever fell into his hands. His Jews have revealed that often enough when they raged impotently against us."

Somebody should tell Sarah. But will it matter?

No comments: