Anti-Palin bloggers: Fox News threatening to 'ambush' us
Alaskan blogger Linda Kellen Biegel, who blogs as Celtic Diva, charged on Friday that "Faux News is in Alaska and stalking complaint-filers!"
Biegel is one of a number of progressive bloggers who have recently filed a series of ethics complaints against Governor Sarah Palin. She says that she has been receiving "vitriolic" emails from Palin supporters ever since.
When a Fox News crew showed up in Alaska to do a story on the complaints, Biegel and several of the other bloggers were suspicious of their intentions and declined to be interviewed.
The result, says Biegel, was that "the news crew decided that since several of us refused to be on camera, they were going to 'ambush' us." She adds, "Good luck finding me after my recent move!!!!!"
Biegel's ethics complaint -- the eleventh to be filed against Palin since last year's "Troopergate" scandal -- alleges that Palin was guilty of a conflict of interest when she publicly wore clothing promoting a snowmobile manufacturer, Arctic Cat, that sponsors her husband, Todd Palin.
As another Alaska blog, the Mudflats, explains, "It all began when Governor Sarah Palin lowered the start flag at this yearís Iron Dog Snowmachine race ... Last yearís champions? None other than Alaskaís 'first dude' Todd Palin and his teammate Scott Davis as the famous Team #22. ... Palinís sponsor? Arctic Cat."
"If the governorís family benefits directly from a private sponsor," the Mudflats continues, "(like getting a $5000 check from them) and the governor shows up to take an official role at an official event, representing all Alaskans, itís a big fat no-no to show up plastered like a billboard with the official 'gear' and giant flaming logo of the company thatís been paying you money."
Fox News ran a reasonably balanced story on Wednesday describing Biegel's complaint and Palin's response. Palin, who has already run up more than a half million dollars in legal bills, has slammed the complaint as "asinine political grandstanding" and insists that "I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at an outdoor event, because it was cold outside."
However, Biegel's suspicions of Fox News appear to be based primarily on Fox TV host Greta Van Susteren's well-known sympathy for Palin. In fact, one of the earlier ethics complaints alleged that Palin's use of her governor's office for an interview with Van Susteren last November amounted to using state resources to aid her political career. Van Susteren has been extremely solicitous of Palin's reputation, and in January, she blasted CNN for including Palin on a list of scandal-plagued politicians.
According to blogger Andrew Halcro, "Van Susteren landed Palin's first interview after she returned home from her Vice Presidential run in November and this past week Van Susteren landed the first public media appearance by the governor's daughter and grandson. From snowmobiling and cooking moose hot dogs in Wasilla, to greeting racers at the end of the Iron Dog in Fairbanks, Van Susteren has had more one on one face time with Palin than most State commissioners."
In addition, Van Susteren's husband, John Coale -- who was previously a Clinton supporter -- has served as an unpaid adviser to Palin. According to the Washington Post, "Others familiar with Palin's political team insist that Coale has far more power than he is letting on -- essentially helping to run Sarah PAC. Coale demurred on that front, noting only that he talks to Palin regularly."
"Is it just a coincidence that one of Palin's close advisors is Sarah (or Todd?) fan, Greta Van Sustern's hubby?" Biegel asks. "Did a cry go out from the wilderness for aid and comfort?"
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