Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Shannyn Moore takes home Wings of Justice for standing up to threats from Sarah Palin’s attorney

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Originally published on on July 8, 2009

Shannyn Moore


Long before the world tied together hockey moms, pit bulls, and lipstick, Shannyn Moore was on the radio and blogging in Alaska doing what the blogosphere should be proud of doing, holding the feet of politicians to the fire. Clearly, Moore has been a nasty thorn in the side of soon-to-be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, calling attention to numerous allegations of misconduct.

As she noted on “Countdown” on July 6, when she has agreed with Gov. Palin, she has said so. But when she hasn’t, and that has been most of the time, Moore also stepped it up.

Moore gained national attention when Sarah Palin was selected to be John McCain’s running mate. She appeared on The Huffington Post and was featured mostly prominently on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC. But even with nationwide attention, her focus always stayed on the minutia of Alaskan politics.

While other media figures focused on offbeat and incomplete answers to Katie Couric questions or Tina Fey parodies, Moore was locked in on Palin, the Alaska governor, not the vice-presidential nominee.

Even though Palin’s reign as Alaska governor is coming to an end, her lawyer Thomas Van Flein had a different agenda: threatening to sue Moore.

“To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as “fact” that Governor Palin resigned because she is “under federal investigation” for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation.”

And don’t think Moore is the only one in danger. Van Flein’s intention for his client was made clear in his letter:

“This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.”

There’s the minor technicality that Moore never reported the rumors as “fact.” But the potential lawsuit isn’t designed to fight that battle: it’s to intimidate the media (even BuzzFlash) to back off on Palin.

But the threat of a lawsuit was designed specifically to intimidate Moore, even though the rumors in question are several months old, and multiple sources are reporting on the rumors. And while those large media figures could financially survive a libel lawsuit, could Moore withstand the financial costs?

So will Moore back down? Her answer to Keith Olbermann on “Countdown” on July 6:

“I’m just another Alaska girl, and I wasn’t going to apologize. I reported that rumors existed, and people were trying to make sense of her word salad out there, resigning.”

In her press conference, she challenged Palin to sue her, and then noted that “Shannyn Moore will not be muzzled!

Moore was singled out, in part, because she has been so tenacious about Gov. Palin’s activities in Alaska. And we have seen that Palin has little respect for the media, which amusingly years ago, used to be her calling when she was a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage and a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

Palin has had trouble on numerous occasions with confusion over the Constitution, so it’s logical that her lawyer may not realize the full details of the First Amendment. As Moore put it so well at a news conference to defend the potential lawsuit:

“The First Amendment was designed to protect people like me from people like her.”

And our Wings of Justice award is geared to reward those people such as Shannyn Moore. She has been in the lion’s den for a long time dealing with one of politics’ most proficient liars. Bravery and courage are two traits you need to go repeatedly into that lion’s den. And Shannyn Moore clearly has those, and we gladly give her the Wings of Justice award.


Written by democracysoup

July 8, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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