Thursday, August 6, 2009

Of Moonbats and 'Minions'

"Yes I stand by every single word of it. Believe me if it had been wholly inaccurate you would NEVER have witnessed such a response by the Palin team and their minions."
-- "Gryphen," a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 5, 2009

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."
-- Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)

One of the basic problems of liberalism is that it requires a false optimism about human nature. If you believe all human problems can be solved by goodwill (and, of course, a few billion dollars of taxpayer money) you are self-evidently a fool, and I'm too old to waste time arguing with fools.

The Vision of the Anointed, as Thomas Sowell has famously called the fundamental delusion of liberalism, necessarily leads to other errors, until eventually the True Believer finds himself imprisoned by a set of false assumptions which he cannot question, lest his entire worldview fall apart. Once a reasonably intelligent person begins in earnest to critically examine the truth-claims of liberalism, he will eventually become an ex-liberal.

Habits of thought, however, can be as difficult to break as a heroin addiction, and someone who gets into the habit of thinking that every Democrat is a saint and every Republican is evil will have a hard time reconciling these beliefs with the facts.

As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that Jesse Griffin's victimhood schtick looks like the predictable reaction of a narcissistic phony caught in a lie. Griffin is counting on his fellow liberals to subscribe to a syllogism:

  • All liberals are good people;
  • Griffin is a liberal; ergo
  • Griffin is a good person.

If you think like that, you're a chump. And if you think that everyone with a nice smile is a good person, you are also a chump. Ted Bundy had a nice smile. (As does Sarah Palin, for that matter.)

Griffin wants to make this all about Palin, and invite his fellow Palin-haters to believe that Palin is the ultimate source of Griffin's woes.

Very convenient for Griffin, you see, as it seems that every dingbat in Anchorage with access to the Internet is spending all their time spreading malicious nonsense about Sarah Palin. So, by playing this Victim-of-Palin card, Griffin invites the swarm of blogospheric myrmidons to testify what a swell guy he is.

Whatever. I've spent five days working with Dan Riehl on this story, and it's time for me to move on. By the time any members of the Anchorage PDS Moonbat Brigade read this, I'll be on a train to D.C. to get back to the stories I was working on when Griffin ruined my weekend by claiming to know -- for a fact -- that Todd and Sarah Palin were getting divorced. As I wrote in my article earlier this morning:

Griffin's story was immediately promoted by Dennis Zaki's "Alaska Report" site, which claimed that "multiple sources" had confirmed the report. Jeanne Devon, an Anchorage Democratic activist who had previously blogged anonymously, also promoted Griffin's "exclusive" at the Huffington Post.
As a result of this promotion, by Saturday afternoon Zaki's headline, "Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce," was the lead item at the popular Memeorandum political news site, even though it had already been officially denied by Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.
That's where the story stood a little after 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday when, taking a break from an article I was writing for the American Spectator, I decided to check Memeorandum and came to the erroneous conclusion that I'd been scooped by some nobody blogger in Anchorage.

This resulted in a phone call, and by 5:08 p.m., I had an authorized "completely false." By 5:38 p.m., I had a direct quote from Sarah Palin. And I then spent a little time conclusively demonstrating that Dennis Zaki is a clueless Bozo who wouldn't last a week covering the Floyd County Commission for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune. (The city editor is Mike Colombo; Bozos need not apply.)

This is what happens when stupid amateurs play "investigative reporter," you see? And then Sunday afternoon, some anonymous Internet dude sent me an e-mail with the identity of "Gryphen." I called Dan Riehl, who was CC'd on the e-mail, asked him what he thought, poked around a bit on the Google, and decided I'd better post it before Dan did, if I wanted the scoop.

Then I spent perhaps the sweatiest four hours of my professional career waiting for Dan to nail down the ID. If Griffin thinks he's suffered hell this week, imagine if my anonymous e-mailer had ID'd the wrong "Gryphen." Some poor schmuck who doesn't even have a blog finds a lynch mob in his front yard -- no, that would not do. Thank God, Dan nailed it.

Everything that I've done since then has been motivated by two factors:

  1. My love of a being in on a big story; and
  2. My personal opinion, as a father of six children, that I would be extremely angry if I found out somebody like Jesse Griffin was a teaching assistant in my kid's kindergarten class.

One of my sources, somebody who was never quoted or even mentioned in our reporting, is a Ph.D. expert in such matters.

"How in the blazes did they hire this guy?" said my source, after being filled in (names excluded) on the background, including the quotes from "Gryphen" when he was still anonymous.

Maybe it's all perfectly innocent. Maybe Griffin's the sweetest guy in the world. But as my source put it, any school principal who hires a middle-aged divorced man as "an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children" needs to have their head examined.

Simply as a statistical proposition, it's a nightmare of unnecessary risk. My own daughter is majoring in early elementary education, and it's not like there is any shortage of potential kindergarten teachers.

Well, I'll let Dan Riehl fight it out from here. But I still have questions because -- thanks to Dan's ace research skills -- I know what the Anchorage school district was paying Griffin, and it sure isn't enough to make the payments on a $330,000 house.

Griffin keeps talking about having some other job that's his main source of income, but if he's actually being paid -- by the National Enquirer, maybe? -- to do journalism, he needs to be fired from that, too.

Maybe he's not a pervert, but he sure as hell is not a reporter. Now you'll excuse me, I've got a train to catch. And don't forget to hit the tip jar -- good minions don't come cheap.



  1. It strikes me that part of what keeps PDS alive is that these nobody Alaska bloggers like Griffin and Linda Kellen Biegel suddenly became the toast of the left wing during the 2008 smear campaign, and they don't want their 15 minutes of "fame" to end. If PDS ends, these people go back to being nobodies. So, they'll latch onto any half-baked, unsubstantiated rumor to keep that from happening.

  2. "Maybe he's not a pervert..."
    If he isn't, then he certainly tried hard to convince people that he is.

    Great job!


  3. Excellent work! Just think, in just 5 days you and Dan exposed more about Griffin and the AK bloggers than the entire swarm of MSM that descended on AK last year. Quite telling.

  4. That quote above is rather interesting. The Slanderer indicates that denial constitutes proof of the slander.

    Now I suppose that were we (hypothetically) to post on blogs around the country that Jesse Griffin had been molesting students in his kindergarten classes, Griffin and his minions and supporters would deny the accusation and react with outrage. Would Griffin be willing to apply the standard you quote above -- that a vociferous response was proof that Griffin was, in fact, guilty of sex crimes against minors? Of course he would not -- and no person with an ounce of decency would be attempt to apply such a standard.

    Of course, such an accusation won't happen, because we have the decency not to make up such libelous accusations against political opponents. Nor do we, like Griffin, hear voices in our heads and label them as "sources" to back the publication of what we know to be false.

  5. I hit the tip jar and encourage others to do the same. Great work.

    I was shocked.....for about two seconds....that he has a $330,000 an assistant kindergarten teacher.

    Red Diva put together the numbers on how much money the DNC has sent to Alaska. I think I'll go look at that again.

    Also very interesting is the larger picture regarding the difference between professionalism and garbage online.

  6. You and Dan Riehl did a very professional job, ending with a good result: the public humiliation of an egregious liar and his removal from a job involving children.

    More important, you fired a shot across the bow of the gaggle of Alaskan smear artists who have plagued Sarah Palin, letting them know that they will be held responsible for their libelous mendacity.

    By the way, thanks for that word, myrmidons. I'll remember that one for future use.

    Good work.

  7. The junior high nastys still are under the impression that they can raise enough chaos to get the MSM north to Alaska to interview them. It appears their next effort is the "two babies".....Trig and Tripp. They have a misguided conception of believing Trig is not the son of Sarah and Todd.

    Supposedly one book has already been written on this subject, "fiction only, they claim" and another in the works. Dreams of granduer swirlling in the brain cells of the notority which can be achieved, again, when the MSM from the lower 48 appears.

    The hatred and ignorance is beyond believable.


    THOUSANDS of sources say R. S McCain believes former Governor Sarah Barracuda Palin to be a serial killer. Sources also believe her to be the genetic child of Ted Bundy spawned in some underground laboratory by a then 14 year old Karl Rove and 100 year old Dick Cheney.

    By the way you're right on about reasonable people who begin to question what they believe to be true. It is hard because at first you start to make excuses for things that are obviously contradictory. But slowly, the fog lifts and you've found (to quote Harry Stein) that you've joind the vast right wing conspiracy. And that you have no more friends, or you can barely stand to be around them anymore.

  9. One of the basic problems of liberalism is that it requires a false optimism about human nature.

    Great work this week, TOM. But I think I slightly disagree about this one thing. I think liberals typically have false beliefs about human nature, but I don't think the beliefs are optimistic. It seems to me that most liberals believe that human nature is essentially bad, but it can be rendered tolerable through careful application of liberal political principles to micromanage most human interaction. It's almost like they believe in Original Sin and Redemption, but without the embarrassing trappings of religion (since the Redeemer is not a divinity but a political ideology). Most libertarians appear to believe that human nature, while perhaps not perfect, is not so bad as to make all that micromanagement necessary or worthwhile. And in any case, it's a fool's errand to try to improve human nature through politics. I find the latter vision a lot more optimistic on the subject of human nature than the former.

  10. anon 11:40 I saw that innuenndo about Trig - that he is Bristol's also and somehow he has been hidden while she was pregnant with his brother Tripp. Do these people honestly read what they write? And are they really that stupid?

  11. I hope the incipient Trig Troofers are prepared for the legal cornholing they'll doubtless receive from the Fount of All Trig Trooferism, Dr. "Excitable Andi" Sullivan, Long Distance OB/GYN To The Stars. They can't expect to steal his trademark deranged hobby-horse for a for-profit venture and get away with it!

  12. The real story of Sarah and Todd after the Fairbanks picnic.

    "When Chip Sloan stepped out of a tour bus last week in the middle of Alaska, he was happy to take a photo of the “Welcome to Wasilla” sign entering Sarah Palin's hometown.

    To his surprise, he found Palin as well.

    As Sloan was pointing his camera at the large welcome sign amid a light late-afternoon rain, a black Volkswagen pulled to the side of the road just a few yards behind him. A ponytailed Palin, wearing a jogging outfit and a headband, stepped out of the car.

    “I thought, ‘That looks like Sarah Palin, but it can't be,'” Sloan said. “Then, when someone approached her, I heard her say, ‘I'm Sarah.'”

    “I was blown away,” Sloan said.

    His wife, Margaret Sloan, “was really impressed that she went out of her way to stop and talk. It was exciting. She's a real person. She's genuine.”

    The two retired educators (Chip is a former Greer Middle School principal and Margaret is a former principal at Blue Ridge Middle), joined two other Greenville County couples — Jerry and Peggy Frazier and Bud and Sharon Turner — on a 12-day tour of Alaska's interior that took them from Fairbanks to Denali National Park, through Wasilla and eventually to Anchorage.

    They were riding from Denali to Anchorage July 27 when the bus stopped at the entrance of the hometown of Palin, who rose to national prominence when 2008 presidential candidate John McCain chose her as his running mate.

    Driven by husband Todd, Palin was planning to jog a few miles shortly after the couple had completed a bumpy, 315-mile ride from Fairbanks. Palin had stepped down as governor a day earlier during a press conference in Fairbanks.

    “She said Todd was taking her to jog, but she wanted to stop and say hi,” said Peggy Frazier. “When she got on the bus, someone asked her to pose for some pictures, and she said she didn't have any makeup on — but she did it anyway. She was very gracious. Everybody on the bus was flabbergasted.

    “She was so down-to-earth,” Jerry Frazier said. “There didn't seem to be anything pretentious. For her to stop, in a light rain, just to meet some people on a bus, told me that she loves meeting people.”

    After chatting outside the bus with the photo-takers, Palin entered the bus to greet each rider individually. She shook hands, exchanged hugs, posed for photos and signed autographs.

    As Todd Palin waited patiently in the car, Chip Sloan wandered in that direction for a chat.

    “It was like we had known each other a long time. He was as nice as anyone could be,” Sloan said.

    Bud Turner said Palin “seemed glad to meet a bunch of new folks. She asked everybody where they were from, and thanked us for visiting. She hugged all the women. My wife even got a picture of me with my arm around another woman (Palin).”

  13. The smoking gun of Griffin's jaw-dropping stupidity is that after receiving a private communication from Palin's attorney threatening
    service, he elected to have the letter published, ostensibly to fire up his readers with evidence of paranoia and deceptiveness.

    Had Palin really wanted to crush Griffin she needed only to call a press conference to be presented by her spokesperson and have it publicly stated that the source of the divorce rumor was a man named Griffin.

    She could have said she is less concerned about yet another false rumor, but that there is unimpeachable evidence that he is blogger, the contents of his blog have often been obscenity laced and sexually explicit, which can cause problems for the Anchorage School District, if parents discover the guy's involvement as a purveyor of such incendiary content.

    Palin did not do that. The letter was sent to him privately and he chose, incomprehensibly, to try to use it to his advantage.

    He seemingly has learned nothing from this and quite likely will be brought down by a matter that could have been at least somewhat amicably resolved by a retraction and apology.