On this occasion last August both AKM (now known by her real name, Jeanne Devon) and popular blogger, current radio host, HuffPo contributor, and occasional guest on Countdown, Shannyn Moore were in attendance. They had just both attended the Netroots Nation convention where Shannyn was surprised and honored to win the Gilliard Grant of Merit, an award named after Steve Gilliard who wrote, "I'm a Fighting Liberal."
|Shannyn Moore and AKM, fall 2009, right after their Countdown and Rachel Maddow appearances|
I've also admired Shannyn and read her blog, listened to her broadcasts on KUDO Alaska, watched episodes of "Moore up North," and have even phoned in a couple of times to comment and ask questions during her radio show. During the Pittsburgh Mudstock I shared a brief chat at an outdoor patio table with Shannyn while having a quick cigarette away from the rest of the attendees.
AKM and Shannyn, as far as I saw, are both warm, incredible, lovely, funny, delightful people and nothing I write in this post should be construed to negate that. The fact remains that they both were building, and now have, reputations as trustworthy voices from the far North, the Alaskan front.
Early on at The Mudflats, AKM determined that discussions about "babygate" would not be allowed. I imagine this was a rather wise decision at the time, since the rumors that bubbled up were quickly labeled as conspiracy theories. Those who create and propagate labels have an unfair advantage over those who seek the truth in any issue. Shannyn did speak of and even allowed discussion about Sarah Palin's "wild ride" from time to time, but she resisted going beyond questioning the plausibility of the official scenario.
I don't know AKM's personal feelings on the "babygate" matter. Shannyn's take is evident in a broadcast you can listen to in audio files included in this post at Phil Munger's Progressive Alaska blog. Shannyn says the reason Sarah Palin doesn't clear up the questions by once and for all producing a birth certificate for Tri-G or authorizing the release of her own medical records is because holding back "is working for [Sarah]," even though Shannyn is not sure why. Shannyn tries to make the point that as long as Palin conceals the real truth, she gets to play victim while claiming those evil democrats are out to get her.
|Frame from the April 7-8, 2008 video taken by Elan Frank|
Please take note of the fact that she and her bevy of lawyers have never threatened any of us who have stated publicly that we believe her story is a complete fabrication. Why is that, when she was so very quick to jump about other things—like Shannyn's reporting about the federal investigation "iceberg" rumors, or Gryphen's Immoral Minority blog reporting about the divorce rumors?
She hasn't even mounted a personal campaign à la the David Letterman joke or the Family Guy criticism. She simply lets her minions try to marginalize and disparage those who continue to work on the babygate story. Where are her Facebook entries decrying the efforts made by Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish or RPK of Palingates or several others? Where is the cease and desist order from Thomas Van Flein?
I suppose if you are trying to build your career as a trusted voice in radio, television or the 'net, you might decide it's best to turn a blind eye to certain topics. As a result, though, Sarah's dark cloud continues to swirl and spread and even if she never gets elected to another political office, the damage she has done over the past many months and the damage she continues to do will take a long time to repair.
|Sarah Palin, 11 days before Tri-G's "birth"|
We need to reach critical mass. That's the point where enough voices with enough substance and respect finally weigh in with their doubts and questions. That's the point where it is no longer unseemly to ask the vital questions of someone who has most assuredly been running for high political office since July, 2009 when she quit as governor of Alaska. We could surely benefit from the now respectable voices of The Mudflats and Shannyn Moore. But thanks to the tireless dedication and documented research of Palingates and others, more and more people are encouraged to speak out. Visit the Buckeye Surgeon blog for example.
It's time for others to stop being selfish.
UPDATE: Replaced photo of Shannyn and AKM with one that is much better. Also, just in case I did not make it clear -- I respect the AK bloggers who have decided not to focus on babygate. At the same time, I wish they would sanction a broader discussion on this topic. The reason? Her abysmal ethics and perpetual idiocy can be and are, regularly, excused by most Palin supporters ("so, she misspoke, so what?"). Sarah's courageous and sanctimonious "walking the walk" is her trademark, though. It is the central supporting column of her political essence. Once it becomes common knowledge that she made it up, we'll stop seeing every Facebook entry and Twitter from this twit reaching headline status, and nobody will suggest that she has any credibility at all as a future political candidate.