Her messages show that Palin sought to influence media coverage, counter negative stories, and — on at least one occasion — investigate a blogger who criticized her.

Palin emails reveal interactions with Anchorage Daily News over stories, user comments

 by Adam Hochberg

When Sarah Palin was asked in a 2008 CBS interview what newspapers she regularly read, the Vice Presidential candidate famously was unable to name any.

But last week’s release of Palin’s emails from her partial term as Alaska’s governor suggests she was highly aware of what was being written about her — at least in her own state’s newspapers and in local blogs.

Her messages show that Palin sought to influence media coverage, counter negative stories, and — on at least one occasion — investigate a blogger who criticized her.

“She was pretty well tuned in to what was in the paper or on the website that related to her interest,” Anchorage Daily News Executive Editor Patrick Dougherty said in a phone interview this week. “I don’t know if that was because people were calling her attention to things or she was finding them on her own.”

Dougherty recalled that Palin came into office in 2006 with a “great attitude” and made a strong impression in her first meeting with the Daily News editorial board. But by the end of her two and a half years in office, Dougherty said Palin changed significantly, as she became nationally prominent and faced increased scrutiny over her record.

“Whatever impulse she had toward being open and honest was overtaken by her desire to avoid or deflect or rebut criticism,” Dougherty said.

The newly-revealed messages show that the Daily News – Alaska’s largest newspaper — was a particular irritant to Palin and her staff.

For instance, in April 2008, the paper reported that Palin’s office harvested email addresses from a state database to contact more than 22,000 business owners and urge them to support part of Palin’s legislative agenda. A story by Daily News writer Wesley Loy quoted several legislators criticizing Palin’s “political” use of the database.

That prompted a strong response from Palin’s press secretary, Rosanne Hughes. In an email to Palin, Hughes called Loy “an unprofessional, ignorant reporter,” and she recommended that the Governor stop granting him interviews.

“I’m used to working with mean, nasty, ugly, unpleasant journalists before on Capitol Hill (esp. the New York Times) but at least I could respect them professionally,” wrote Hughes, who had previously worked for Republican members of Congress. “At least they were good journalists. This guy, sorry, I can’t say that about him.”

Palin answered with just two words: “Amen sista!

Loy – now a freelance journalist and blogger — said this week he remembered a disagreement with Hughes about the 2008 story. But he didn’t know the article caused such a stir among the governor’s staff until an acquaintance told him about Hughes’ email a few days ago.

“I laughed out loud when I saw it,” Loy told me.  “That’s part of the job.”

Concerns about bloggers and reader comments

Of course, it’s not unusual for politicians to tussle with journalists who cover them. The candid correspondence of many officeholders is likely filled with similar invective toward the press.

But Palin’s emails show that she also was conscious of what was being written about her in new media platforms such as blogs.

In a January 2008 exchange with some of her aides, she fretted about an anonymous blogger who seemed to have access to her administration’s press releases and was using them to criticize her policies.

“Makes me sick to my stomach,” Palin wrote. “How would this blogger have received the emailed presser unless he’s a valid media person (and why would a legit media person bother to be a regular blogger?), or one of our folks sent it to him?”

Palin aide Frank Bailey informed her that it would be easy for a “mole” to get on her press release distribution list. “They probably just emailed and asked to get on it,” Bailey wrote. (It’s not clear from the emails if the Administration ever learned the blogger’s identity.)

Later in 2008 – less than two months before she was named John McCain’s running mate — Palin expressed outrage about a reader who frequently posted in the “comments” section of the Anchorage Daily News website. Among the posts that the Governor called “hateful and hurtful” was one that alleged she had an affair with her husband’s best friend.

“Ok dokay (sic) – enough is enough,” Palin wrote to Hughes and other aides. “It’s flippin unbelievable that the ADN allows lies like this to be posted. I’m calling.”

“Governor, do you know how loved you are?” Hughes responded. “It hurts my heart to hear these horrible people are bringing you down. We forgive them, Lord. Help these people come to know You.”

Dougherty – the Daily News executive editor – confirmed that Palin called him about the questionable posts and he immediately deleted them.

Palin later asked her staff to have her “security guys check into” the person who posted the comments — Sherry Whitstine of Wasilla. (Whitstine told the New York Times in 2008 that one of Palin’s aides called her and demanded she “stop blogging right now.”)

While Palin and her staff may have been repulsed by some of the coverage and comments they received from the Daily News, they also worked to make sure their own point of view was expressed in the paper and on its website.

During a controversial special legislative session in April 2008, Hughes noted that Palin was “getting pounded” on the blogs, and she urged her fellow staff members to mobilize the Governor’s grassroots supporters.

“We need to get them out there FLOODING that Anchorage Daily News Alaska politics blog. I mean FLOODING,” Hughes wrote.

On a somewhat less weighty issue, Palin took matters into her own hands, writing her own rebuttal to a July 2008 Daily News letter-to-the-editor that criticized her for skipping that year’s Miss Alaska pageant.

But she asked her staff to find somebody else to sign her response.
“I’m looking for someone to correct the letter writer’s goofy comments, but don’t want the letter to ADN in response to come from me,” Palin wrote. (The newspaper published the response with Hughes’ signature.)



37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Syrin
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 18:16:50

    Don’t blame the messenger because the message is unpleasant.

    One more example that this might be blowing up in her face… They were so upset for saying hurtful and hateful things. But they can’t produce those comments. ADN deleted them! Anytime you critize someone it’s hurtful . Hateful? Hater= Critic ..she said so… It has been shown through most of these books out aswell as watching Palin in action these past 3 years that Sarah Palin is far more HATEFUL and HURTFUL than I could ever be.

    If things were not true why should they matter? Pshhh I’m just a blogger/ commenter. Had no idea that my comments had so much power. I guess that is why you should always TELL the TRUTH


    • WakeUpAmerica
      Jun 14, 2011 @ 20:36:32

      The Tundra Turd is consummed with hatred and a desire for vengeance. I think Frank Bailey said it well when he described her as wanting two eyes for an eye from her perceived enemies. From her the list of her enemies that I have seen, you’re in good company. I think it is hilarious that one of her monkeys called you and humiliated herself by telling you to “…stop blogging. Stop blogging now!!!” Who would do that?


    • Mallard
      Jun 14, 2011 @ 22:44:42

      C.H. Sherry: Just admit it: there is nothing there. The big media guns (NYT, WAPO, LATIMES) and poor old MSNBC decided to open Al Capone’s vault and found Palin’s emails. IOW, there is nothing there. No gotchas, no scandals, nothing. If there was anything of consequence, it would be all over the news by now.

      Now maybe in your little self-absorbed world you think some of these items are a big deal. Get some perspective and realize the country doesn’t care about Palin’s emails.

      Now if you want to start some more rumors about the Palin family, maybe you can get some attention from the media…


      • WakeUpAmerica
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 01:10:12

        You really haven’t been paying attention, have you? Do you know how to Google?

      • shughes2853
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 03:15:19

        wakeupamerica – you should follow what your name is and wake the hell up. Why don’t you go troll another blog. The only thing you’ll find here is fact checked truth about your quitter queen. No matter how much info is uncovered and how many times the quitter queen is exposed for being a liar and unfit for office, her flying monkeys will NEVER see the light. So, we’re not interested in trying to educate you because it’s futile. While we’re researching and following the trails of evidence, people like you continue to insult and attempt to rewrite history – just as she did when she flubbed the paul revere story. Your defense of her is very telling as far as your level of intelligence and understanding. It’s obvious you’re easily duped and you cannot support your argument for her because the facts reveal her to be a grifter and a racist – she has shown an amazing ability to lie consistently and without shame. You just blindly follow the realtiy tv image of an attractive woman and that’s pathetic. Just let the adults handle this and go find another blog to annoy. Have a nice day.

      • shughes2853
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 03:18:00

        WAKEUPAMERICA – OMG! i’m SO sorry – this should’ve been directed to MALLARD – don’t I feel stupid! My apologies!!!

      • Mallard
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 06:11:57

        Shoes: I am insulted. I will thank you to never mistake me for Wake Up America or any of the other crazy haters on this site.

      • Lidia17
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 16:27:18

        Isn’t “Mallard” that rank and sour un-funny comic that everyone tries to get eliminated from their daily paper, but its presence is always defended as providing “balance”?

        O.J. knifed his wife to death
        No, he was framed!


      • alasscan
        Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:46:31

        All of you call it the lame stream media until YOU want to use it for a basis of a point you want to make.

        Hypocritical muc?

      • alasscan
        Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:53:25

        My first reply went askew….

        How hypocritical!

        All of you demean, ridicule and disparage the main stream media until you want to USE it. Then, you
        quote it to make your points.

        Smoking gun? Gotcha? Well, here is a clue, I didn’t expect to find one in the emails after it was obvious why they were taking so long.I did read in the emails palin and staff were really all about secrecy and privacy by using (all of them) private email accounts but wanting the state to pay for their mobile devices.

        The only thing I needed to know about why I would never vote for her for any office came from her.

        She quit. When the going got tough, she got going as in qutting.


  2. daisydem
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 18:44:58

    Syrin, go for it. Be careful and be safe, but you know things that others do not, and still others do and can, if only they will in accord with their consciences, validate you and what you know.


  3. nswfm
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 19:22:02

    AND Editor=whipped


  4. nswfm
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 19:24:51

    Phone corrected ADN.


    • Syrin
      Jun 14, 2011 @ 19:43:59

      I need to get rid of my preemptive text feature on my iPhone. Geez. I hate when that happens.. It changes words that I want to use all the time.


      • WakeUpAmerica
        Jun 14, 2011 @ 20:38:26

        I KNOW!! I hate that too. I forget how I did it, otherwise I would tell you.

      • moles
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 22:04:06

        Go to General tab in the iphone settings main page and scroll down to the bottom / till you get Keyboard tab on the screen.
        Once inside the general settings tab, scroll down, to see the keyboard tab, select this to go to the keyboard related options page.
        When you are in the keyboard settings page, just switch the auto-correction from ON to OFF and it will remove that feature from the keyboard using applications, which bug you with the autocorrect predictive dictionary. This worked for me.

      • Syrin
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 22:25:32

        Moles… Thank you for your direction on getting rid of that darn autocorrect feature…

  5. JLaughlin
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 20:26:52

    Can you imagine President Bush or President Obama getting all whipped up over a “blogger” ??!!??? I didn’t think so…


    • Syrin
      Jun 14, 2011 @ 20:39:08

      Take it back to when these individuals were not even a President. Bush 2 term governor.. Obama as a state senator and when he was running for president. Even Hillary for goodness sakes. Things have been said by reporters, writers, bloggers and comics. could you imagine if they had verbally attacked each time an unpleasent comment was said or written about them?

      This is the behavior of possible bipolar disorder or other mental narcissistic disorders..like Psychopathy

      Psychopathy is among the most difficult disorders to spot. The psychopath can appear normal, even charming. Underneath, they lack conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal. They are an object of popular fascination and clinical anguish: psychopathy is impervious to treatment.

      Psychopaths lack a conscience, as opposed to sociopaths, who generally have an impaired but operative conscience. It is important to note that the vast majority of people with antisocial tendencies are not psychopaths.


    • Kate
      Jun 15, 2011 @ 04:53:35

      Neither President Bush or President Obama would consider wasting valuable time going after anyone and everyone who dares to disagree with them. Of course, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to get through all the comments made about both of them.

      I don’t ever remember hearing about anyone in politics who was as notoriously thin-skinned as Palin is or who was determined to attack the media, building them up to be some type of legendary “bad guys” who she could then take down by ignoring them, criticizing them, etc.

      Grow up, Sarah, or stay at home in your overpriced adobe in AZ. I know they don’t want you back in AK.


      • Lidia17
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 16:32:27

        Well, Bush did do that thing of rousting people with anti-Bush T-shirts.

        I think he was on the sociopathic spectrum. When you consider his blowing up frogs with fireworks. He was never normal: check out the “The Bush Dyslexicon” by Mark Crispin Miller.

        Bush had some of the same revealing verbal incapacities as Sarah, for example, “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your families”, reveals not only that a.) he doesn’t know, but that b.) he doesn’t really care. That’s how I read it, anyway.

  6. Sarah HalfTime
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 22:15:11

    He he he…
    So yeah, we know Sowah reads the blogs and shoot she read the ADN politics blog.
    I totally wrote counter arguments over there.

    And I think Sowah still reads the blogs and ADN.
    So I’ve no problem sayin: Hey Sowah your new native name, since you quit, is SARAH HALFTIME. And good luck with your next job.


  7. WakeUpAmerica
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 01:12:59

    “…Get some perspective and realize the country doesn’t care about Palin’s emails.”

    If no one cares, why do you hang out here? Sounds like you need to get a life. You still quack me up.


    • It's Alive
      Jun 15, 2011 @ 06:01:46

      I suspect that The Google causes Mallard to experience Cognitive dissonance. It could be Willer, Brisket, or Pipe… or maybe even Toad. It sounds like one of her top level policy advisers.


      • WakeUpAmerica
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 17:58:21

        Are you insinuating that the Tundra Turd, she of the low IQ, actually has policy advisors? LOL

  8. WakeUpAmerica
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 07:05:54

    Mallard, who are you calling “crazy hater?” You are uber quackers. You’ve been eating too much pond scum and hanging with the bottom-feeders. Poor little f***ed duck.


  9. Diane
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 07:33:54

    I would like to know when palin “governed” How much of her time was spent on polishing her image instead of governing?

    People wear wearing ‘where’s sarah’ buttons while the legislature was in session. What was she doing?
    Was she really as popular as we were told? Frank Bailey makes it very clear that they rigged all the polls about her and her policies, so what is the truth?


  10. Martha
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 10:54:21

    Palin is like a new born Hamster, her skin is so thin!

    She even resorts to juvenile name calling with her children…Piper diaper… remember that?

    That is her worst downfall.

    It wouldn’t matter what profession she was in, no “adult” can function and be that obsessed with what folks say about them.

    On top of that she always has to retaliate, it is pitiful….really.

    It would simply be sad if it wasn’t so dangerous, remember Kim C. had her car window SHOT out while her children were in it?!


    • WakeUpAmerica
      Jun 15, 2011 @ 11:12:43

      Everybody has pet names for their children. However, for her to refer to her daughter as Piper Diaper in public is rather cruel. That isn’t her worst downfall, though. Using her children as props and shields for her political gain is the absolute worst to me.


      • Martha
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 13:12:03

        When she called her Piper Diaper, she was saying it to be demeaning, because of something that Piper was reluctant to do concerning her fake Alaska reality show.

        It was meant to hurt and goad the child, she said it to her “on camera”.

        It only showcased that Piper is more mature than her mother, because she didn’t speak back to her about it.

        That is something a 7 year old would say to another 7 year old, but even a 7 year old probably stop at humiliating another in front of millions of people.

        Then there was this sad, pathetic performance when she went on Oprah, to flog her first book;

        For a blink and you’ll miss it moment, it seemed like Sarah Palin was going to refrain from comment when Oprah Winfrey brought up the subject of Levi Johnston during her interview that aired on Monday’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

        In response to Winfrey’s question “How do you feel about him today?”

        Palin said, “Because so much of the discussion with Levi has to do with his most beautiful baby boy Tripp, my grandson, and Tripp’s future, that I don’t think a national television show is the place to discuss some of the things that he’s doing and saying.

        (But she does anyway, speaking about the father of her grandson in the following manner AND accusing him of doing “porn”)

        And by the way, I don’t know if we call him Levi,” Palin said.

        “I hear he goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now. So if that’s the case, we don’t want to mess up his gig he’s got going.”

        And the gig of which she speaks?

        “Kind of this aspiring — aspiring porn, some of the things that he’s doing. It’s kind of heartbreaking. … I call it porn.

        Yes. So, a bit heartbreaking to see the road that he is on right now.”

        What WILL be “heartbreaking”, is when Tripp grows up and sees/hears this and hates his grandmother for it, it will be heartbreaking for Tripp…..because it is obvious that Sarah Palin could care less.

        That is why I think it is her worst downfall personally and professionally.

  11. Martha
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 11:06:41

    O/T but good, factual, I like facts;

    Conservative Journalist Takes Every Single Republican To Task

    Will the GOP listen to one of their own? Liberals have been saying this for 10+ years now, but had obviously been cast aside by the GOP and conservatives as not important, divisive, and just plain old class warfare.

    The subject is simply wages, American workers’ share of total national income and the decline of the American workers’ former exceptional standard of living.

    The gentleman in question is an author of the many conservative books, including In January 2003, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, an End to Evil was co-written with Richard Perle. It defended the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria, and finally in 2008 he published Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, a work which garnered “lavish praise from his friends.”

    Former Congressman David M. McIntosh called “required reading for all GOP candidates.”

    The author is by no means liberal.

    His name is David Frum and he simply asks TWO questions to the Republicans Presidential candidates.

    Is this a problem?

    If yes, what can be done about it?

    The two questions were regarding new statistics from the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau Of Labor and Statistics.

    What the new statistics indicate is that over the last TEN YEARS, specifically right after the 2001 recession, non-farm wages have been on a steep decline.

    The wages of working class Americans continued to decline even from 2003-2007, which was during economic growth and plummeted again with the current enduring Republican recession.

    The American workers’ share of overall national income has crashed since 2001.

    That means as the economy grew and the Bush tax cuts were implemented, prosperity DID NOT trickle down.

    All the growth in the economy was sucked up by the top percentage of income earners.

    Now, let that sink in.

    Trillions of dollars were added to the economy, yet American workers saw a DECLINE in share of prosperity.

    The current Republican candidates offer absolutely NOTHING to rectify this situation.

    They will do NOTHING to increase American worker’s standard of living.

    Their only answer is tax cuts.

    As we have seen the Bush tax cuts didn’t help the American worker and they won’t help again.

    The GOP economic solutions have FAILED the middle class and American exceptionalism, but it was successful in bolstering the wealthiest Americans.



    • WakeUpAmerica
      Jun 15, 2011 @ 13:35:41

      I’m glad you put this out here. I personally have been waiting for my “trickle-down” for a long time. I can’t figure out why middle-class Republicans don’t get. Don’t they notice the reduction in their buying power year after year? Meanwhile, the only trickle down I get is right before I have to change my granddaughter’s underwear.


      • Martha
        Jun 15, 2011 @ 15:22:07

        LOL……I know what you mean! The older you get the more you get the “trickle down” too…lol

        Personally I would have thought that some of the smart conservatives would have started a new conservative party, or taken over the republican party…..instead it’s the mouth breathing baggers…what a shame.

        You can probably tell I lean left, (I love facts best of all) but it seems that the left has turned centre right and the right has gone off a cliff!.

        Reagan wouldn’t cut it, in what is today’s republican party, none of the previous republican POTUS’s (B.B. before Bush) would. Reagan’s real record and policies would be rejected today.

        The old guard thought that Bush demeaned the party, but these baggers…really?

        When you can check facts so easily these days, against what either side is peddling, there is no excuse not to be well informed.

        You would think that the ready information would have taken most of the BS out of politics, but then it wouldn’t be politics I guess.

  12. climber357
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 11:46:20

    While still governor, sarah spent half her office time on these here blogs. Now that she is unemployed, she probably spends all of her time here, there, and on that one over there. I have no doubts she comments. Frequently.

    She is a troll´s dream come true.


  13. Dis Gusted
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 15:30:23

    “IOW, there is nothing there.”

    you just keep thinking that….ROFL


  14. shughes2853
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 04:38:56

    sarah palin cheated on her husband with Brad Hanson, Track is believed to be the son of Curtis Menard, she faked a pregancy, used her kids as props including Trig, supported the AIP then denied it, left the town of Wasilla in millions of debt, abused her power as governor and then lied about it, fired Walt Monegan and then lied about it, lied about Wooten, lied about being cleared of ethics violations, lied about the bridge to nowhere, lied about travel expenses for her kids and husband while gov, charged Alaska per diem for working from her own home, lied about how she sold the murkowski jet on e-bay, lied about being a hockey mom, lied about every single person and association she threw under the bus, lied about death panels, lied about the wild ride, lied about the president and first lady, lied about letters to the editor, lied about earmarks and the lobbyist she hired, lied about her record, lied about the real reason Track enlisted, lied about levi, lied in her books, lied about everyone connected to the McCain campaign,lied about the 50,000 charged to her from McCain campaign and what it was for – claiming they charged her for the vetting when it was actually for her legal help regarding the wooten situation, lied about returning over 150,000 in clothing the campaign paid for her and her family, lied about the reason she did the interview with katie couric, lied about the reason she quit as governor, lied about her emails, lied about bloggers, lied about her intention to ban books, lied about the doctor she used to perpetuate the trig hoax, lied about producing Trig’s birth certificate, lied about all the gifts she recieved while governor and didn’t disclose them, lied about joe Mcginnis when he moved in next door, lied about having a basic understanding of history, Iraq and Africa, lied about the Gabby Giffords shooting, lied about MSM, lied about “gotcha questions”, ……(sigh)….what’s not to like?


    • Bigtoe
      Jun 17, 2011 @ 09:26:14

      Lol. Well don’t sugar coat it shughes. Tell us how you really feel.

      You’re right, though. I can’t remember anything she has said in a couple of years that was truthful. You can always tell when she’s lying—her lips are moving.


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