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Sarah Palin emails: Flippin' out over a critical newspaper column

June 11, 2011|By Robin Abcarian
  • Sarah Palin delivers an address as John McCain's vice presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in 2008.
Sarah Palin delivers an address as John McCain's vice presidential… (Genaro Molina / For The Times )

Like any elected official, Sarah Palin paid close attention to her detractors, particularly those with large audiences. Radio personality and newspaper columnist Dan Fagan, a former supporter-turned-consistent Palin critic, was especially annoying.

In July 2008, Fagan claimed in the Anchorage Daily News that Palin and her staff had erased the contributions of Sen. Ted Stevens in a book created by the Alaska Statehood Celebration Commission commemorating Alaska’s first 50 years.

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“What is surprising is Palin would attempt to erase the legacy of the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate,” wrote Fagan. “You would think it would be beneath even her. You would think.”

Palin hit the roof.

Who was Fagan’s editor, she asked her staff. “I need to call whomever it is bc ADN’s credibility plummets in my mind with this morning’s garbage. I’d like to tell the editors that.”

Someone, she said, needs “to write something for public consumption that calls him on his lies. Whoever wrote the flippin book could add to the explanation too.”

What ensued was a public battle, fought on the pages of Alaska’s largest daily newspaper.

First, Palin’s assistant, Kris Perry, wrote an indignant response.

“To accuse the governor and the administration of intentionally manipulating the book’s contents to slight Sen. Stevens ignores the inconvenient truth that its production, and editorial control of its content, was contracted out,” wrote Perry. She said the work was done by the Florida firm Faircount Media Group.

Nine days later, in his regular newspaper column, Fagan called Perry’s explanation “the mother of all Palinista deceptions.”

He added: “A  commission headed by the governor’s best friend came up with the topics. I talked to the Florida publishing company and they said they worked directly with the governor’s office on the book and that the governor’s office approved every word.”

Palin was furious: “Where’s Faircounrs [sic] explanation via letter to the editor so we can shut up Fagan finally?”

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