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AKMuckraker

AKMuckraker

Posted: August 4, 2009 01:50 AM

Leave the Kids Alone! Except the Kindergarteners


"Leave his kids alone!"

Thus spake the ex-almost-one-term governor of Alaska. She was talking about newly installed Acting Governor Sean Parnell and his "nice family." And the media, obediently heeding her hand-wringing plea, has not invaded Alaska to seek out the innocent children of Governor Parnell, even though he and his wife mention them all the time, and dangle them in front of cameras, and talk about their unplanned pregnancies and lemonade stands, and military service and basketball prowess to the national media, using them as examples of the kind of people the Parnells are. Oh, that's right. They don't.

Anyway ... the "leaving kids alone" philosophy shouldn't be applied too broadly, according to the Palins. The latest dastardly deed from Palin lawyer and Snidely Whiplash Wannabee, Thomas Van Flein, involves bringing down the iron-fisted, pointy-knuckled wrath of Sarah Palin in front of...(wait for it)... a classroom full of five-year-olds.

The Palin legal team thinks it's a great plan to keep threatening to sue people, like local Alaska bloggers and media outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times because they won't "quit makin' things up." The last Alaska blogger to be threatened by Van Flein, Huffington Post contributor Shannyn Moore, knuckled under to intimidation by standing before a group of TV cameras and journalists in front of Palin's office and saying, "Sue me!" All eyes turned to the Palin camp. (crickets)

Never ones to learn a lesson from epic failure, they're at it again. The best way to deal with a strategy that didn't work last time? Try it again. This time, it's the newly outed blogger of The Immoral Minority blog who goes by the pseudonym Gryphen, and Dennis Zaki of The Alaska Report. Zaki and Gryphen each received an ominous letter from Van Flein this weekend. They each, citing separate sources, claim among other things that the Palin's are in "splitsville." This was met with an almost immediate Facebook response from Palin mouthpiece Meg Stapleton. Soon afterward, Van Flein had fired off an email to Gryphen.

This one had something new -- a time limit! That added a nice dash of drama...like one of those movies where you see the glowing red numbers on the explosive device ticking down... :05, :04, :03, :02, :01... and then exactly at 3:00pm... (crickets) Yup, the announced deadline, sent via email, came and went.

In addition, the letter included a thinly veiled threat to pull a "gotcha," by serving a complaint and summons in a kindergarten, where Gryphen works as an assistant. Way to keep kids out of it.

Apparently, it's only the kids of governors the Palins are concerned about. Regular Alaskan kindergarteners can just suck it up and watch Mr. Gryphen get served with legal papers by Snidely Whiplash during "circle time." Nice.

Non-government Mommies and Daddies can just deal with the emotional cleanup later. Maybe it's a good "teachable moment" about bullies.

This dubious legal strategy appears to do one thing, and one thing only successfully - make Alaska bloggers relevant to the conversation. If you give someone power, they have it. So, unless Palin's strategy is to shine the national media spotlight on everything the Alaska bloggers have been reporting about her transgressions and her track record in Alaska, and the big fat mess she's left the state to clean up, it might be a good idea to have Van Flein and crew take out one of those little roll-up rugs, and lie down in the corner with a book for some quiet time.

[Cross-posted at The Mudflats]

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