Just asking questions. OK, I've tried to explain before, but since people keep asking, I'll try again.
On the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 1, I was minding my own business, working on a paid feature story that had nothing to do with Sarah Palin. At about the 500-word mark, I decided to take a break and, as is my habit, check Memeorandum:
Todd and Sarah Palin to divorceHoly mother of crap! How had I missed this story? Why hadn't anybody called me? You've got no idea what a furious mood I was in when I picked up my cell phone, hit a speed-dial number, and left an angry voice-mail demanding to know why I hadn't gotten a tip about this.
Because it wasn't true.
OK, fine. Demolish the Bozo who ruined my Saturday and get back to work. And sources say Sarah Palin thought this line was ROTFLMAO funny:
I sent an e-mail containing the admonishment that now, no matter what happens, the Palins can never get divorced, as this would undermine my credibility.LOL, but serious as a heart attack: I don't care if Todd Palin hikes the Appalachian Trail to Argentina or Sarah Palin flies to Vegas and spends Labor Day weekend with the Chippendales dancers. As long as the Palins don't get a divorce, the continuation of their marriage proves that Jesse Griffin is a liar, Dennis Zaki is a floppy-shoed clown, and I'm solid gold, baby. (Please, Todd and Sarah, work it out for the sake of the kids. And me.)
On the other hand, as my "smelly Libertarian" friend Tom Knapp points out, the threat of a libel suit against Griffin is probably just a threat because "discovery is a bitch."
Griffin and His Precioussss
Right. And the same is true of Jesse Griffin's threats toward Dan Riehl. If only Griffin had grabbed a nice hot cup of STFU and contented himself with this Mutually Assured Destruction stalemate in the libel-law Cold War, maybe I could have spent the past 10 days chasing leads on IG-Gate. But noooooooo . . .
Jesse Griffin kept pushing and pushing and pushing. That's the most important fact of this whole story: From the very beginning, Jesse Griffin could have put down his precioussss and walked away, and there would have been no purpose in mining all those public records.
Griffin has proven himself a habitual liar, and an unusually stupid liar, at that. He's like a cartographically-impaired soldier who, having accidentally called in fire on his own position, crawls out of the smoldering crater, picks up the radio and tells the artillery commander: "You've got the range! Now hit 'em with all you've got!"
Griffin relentlessly pursued this self-destructive course of action despite repeated clues that Dan Riehl had a huge supply of ammunition and was prepared to fire it with brutal accuracy.
Just how clueless is Griffin? As recently as Monday, he claimed that a celebrity interview with Levi Johnston -- a/k/a "Ricky Hollywood" -- was the overdue vindication of his bogus Aug. 1 rumor.
Levi Johnston vs. Dan Riehl. As the man says, "Heh."
Speaking of "Heh," let me add here that I've noticed Professor Glenn Reynolds doesn't like this story. Griffin is just a clueless PDS-afflicted liar, but the author of An Army of Davids can't be happy to see even a fraudulently dangerous blogger being destroyed in this fashion. Honestly, I don't like it either, but what can I do?
Two Kinds of Crazy
We're talking about Dan Riehl. He's from New Jersey. When Dan digs in, he really digs in:
That fits with what a college girlfriend once said of me - I'm a bulldog and never let go of something until done once I latch on.Dan doesn't really need my help, but when he calls me -- "Hey, Stace. What is this, Tuesday already? Been up since Sunday, man. I must've smoked a carton of Marlboros in the past 24 hours . . ." -- and starts telling me what he's dug up, the ghosts of certain departed Old School editors tell me to get on the assignment. If somebody asked me to start up a news operation tomorrow and told me the operation was budgeted for exactly one research staffer, Dan would get that job.
Woodward and Bernstein? Nah. Working with Dan is more like Lethal Weapon. I like hanging out with crazy people, because I get so tired of always being the token crazy guy in the room. Invite another crazy guy to the party, and I can relax and watch.
Fortunately, Dan is the opposite kind of crazy from me. If I'm ADD -- skittish, imaginative, all over the place -- Dan's OCD: Laser-focused, toiling endlessly to nail down whatever he's working on. He gets mad at my tendency to be distracted, I get annoyed by his stubborn refusal to admit that sometimes my crazy gut-hunches are pure genius. Dan has gut hunches of his own, but he's all about facts, and he sure as heck isn't going to trust somebody else's gut hunches.
Which is to say that, on a story like this "Gryphen" thing, Dan had me at "hello." Whoever the anonymous Internet dude was who CC'd Dan on that "Gryphen"/Griffin ID, they got my attention. And the minute Dan called and started telling me what the public records showed on Griffin, my gut hunch said it was going to be a big story.
The world of blogs and journalism is big enough for me to take the risk that Byron York might beat me on the next IG-Gate scoop. I got the last break on the ITC IG investigation, Congress is on recess and . . .
Hey, wait a minute. "Waste, fraud and abuse"? Clinica Sierra Vista gets $4.3 million in stimulus cash? Wonder what might happen if our buddy SIGTARP decides to poke around that one? Just asking questions . . .
Anyway, I figure Team Obama's going to throw Griffin under the bus, and if SIGTARP investigators start asking questions, he'll have the right to remain silent. (A nice hot cup of STFU, long overdue.)
So even if everybody in the blogosphere thinks Dan and I are crazy for chasing this story, my gut hunch tells me it's a long way from over. Watching Dan go after Griffin is like a Nintendo Wii game, Rambo vs. Elmer Fudd: Open Season On Moonbats.
So pop some popcorn. Conservatives4Palin just posted the Breitbart TV interview with Dan. Heckuva show.
Don't forget to hit the tip jar, folks. The geniuses at VRWC-HQ apparently can't afford my cell-phone bill or car payment, but if enough blog readers hit my tip jar, maybe I can buy a ticket to Anchorage and apply some shoe leather to this story. Crazier things have happened.
Watch for updates at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.
UPDATE: EXCLUSIVE! ALL RUMORS ARE TRUE, IF YOUR STANDARDS ARE LOW ENOUGH!