Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sarah Palin And Me

Anonymous sources are the bane of a reporter’s existence, and have been at least since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used them extensively to unmask Watergate and topple Richard Nixon.

Frankly, writing as someone who has been covering news since the late 1960s for everything from local newspapers to major market TV and radio stations, to a major business newsweekly, journalists don’t like citing anonymous sources any more than much of the public likes reading pieces that quote people without attribution. Alas, more often than not, the reality is that in a highly-explosive story such as my piece about Sarah Palin I posted, granting anonymity may be the only way to get a source to agree to be interviewed.

So I am not surprised that a number of readers who wrote comments about the article raised questions about my sources. It has happened before, especially when I tackled a subject that raises a lot of dust, and it will happen again. Although I won’t reveal any sources – I honor promises of anonymity – let me explain how the story unfolded and sources came to my attention as I did the reporting.

Desperately Seeking Lucille

When Palin’s name began leaking out the morning of Aug. 30, I sent an e-mail to an old friend from childhood who has been teaching in Alaska since he finished far too much graduate school, basically asking, “Who is Sarah Palin when it’s not raining and what was she before?”

He wrote back with not just a lengthy, invective-filled diatribe against her and the horse she rode in on but also a link to a 63-page vetting report (http://mudflats.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/palin-2006-vetting.pdf) on Palin he said was done up some time ago by Alaska Democrats. After reading it – information in the dossier goes all the way back to 2002 – I wrote again asking if he knew people I could contact for a possible article. A short list of names was provided, including Lucille the Waitress, the much-discussed and oft-doubted woman who seems to have drawn the largest number of questions from commentators on the article.

And how does he know her? Well, like many people living on minimum wage and tips, Lucille holds a second job which, in this case, includes cleaning my friend’s family home every other week.

Lucille was the first person I interviewed. In her late 50s or early 60s, she was nervous even though I provided her with my friend’s name and suggested she call him first to verify who I am. She decided to proceed with the interview, which lasted about 10 minutes. Assuming she knew nothing about having to put an interview “off the record” or on a “not for attribution” basis before the interview starts. I asked Lucille if I could use her name in my article. She let me use her first name but not her last because she said she was afraid she might be fired.

I called my friend after the interview and, relating what’d said, asked if she was trustworthy. I was assured that, “It’d be easier for Lucille to hunt bears bare handed than to tell a lie.”

My old pal’s role in the article ends at this point.

Doing Legwork - Well, Dialling

Starting with the small handful of other possible sources provided to me, I began dialling. Some people would talk, others wouldn’t; some would refer me on to other possible interview subjects, others told me to go forth, be fruitful and multiply, in much coarser language before slamming the phone in my ear.

In other words, I relied on what reporters have always relied upon to unearth a story: Legwork, or what it was called about a hundred lifetimes ago when I was first starting out. More accurately, I used my phone. To answer one person who penned a comment to the original piece, this is how someone who grew up in Middle America, visited Alaska once in his life and now lives in Canada could do reporting on a story based up there. Flat rate long distance plans have worked wonders for journalism.

As I’ve been doing for 40 years, when I’d finish interviewing one source I’d ask them if they knew anyone else I might call. Thus, one source frequently begat a second which, often, begat a third. Thus, a picture of Sarah Palin began to emerge and the result was Alaskans Speak.

Do I wish more people would have spoken to me on the record and for attribution? Absolutely. Do I regret writing a piece that relied upon so many anonymous sources? Not one bit.

98 comments:

ckennedy said...

Keep at it. And thanks.

Anonymous said...

OMG! You're really Scott Beauchamp, aren't you? Your writing styles are exactly the same!

Franco said...

All anyone has to do is use the googles and they will find out your work is well respected, you are a REAL investigative journalist, not some hack like Judy Miller or a McCain enabler like Fournier. I have read many of your pieces before, and I am so happy we have a person like yourself, doing this really tough work. I am sure most of the critical comments you got were from wingnuts who have been sent here from the likes of Malkin et al......That is what they always do, to try to stop the facts from coming out about their idols(no matter how new-found)....Again many thanks for your work, and I look forward to more follow-up on Palin who is a heartbeat from the presidency if ..IF they are elected.

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment in the other thread before seeing this one. here's the gist of what I wrote: I'm from Alaska, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if this were true. plenty of Alaskans aren't racist, but a whole lot are. This is especially so when it comes to natives, but I've heard plenty of bad things about African-Americans, including the n-word numerous times. I've seen a massive brawl break out because somebody used that word within the last year. That doesn't mean we should assume that these allegations are true without proof, but please don't rule it out of the realm of possibilities.

mark said...

Thanks for the clarification of your (obviously very professional) working methods.

I guess that leaves then the question: What now?

Given the situation, it sounds like this can only end in a he said / she said scenario -- which sadly wouldn't achieve much, if anything. The only thing I can atm imagine which could possibly pose an obstacle to Palin would be to record video testimony of the witnesses, modified to protect their identities if necessary. Even that, however, could appear like an unfounded smear campaign.

Most convincing, of course, would be recorded testimony of a well-respected, non-anonymous source who would be clearly risking their reputation if found out to be lying. Is there anyone out there in such a position who has such courage?

euddoggwyn said...

ok. Thanks for this clarification. I still urge more follow-up.

Thank you for your work. I still need to see more for this to be a campaign-ending moment.

I write as an Obama supporter who knows that the Republicans would like nothing more than to see kossacks and hufpo groupies making asses of themselves promoting scurrilous attack material that turns out to be bogus.

It is quite possible that in this day and age there simply is no anonymity. Something tells me Lucille is going to be discovered and hounded mercilessly. I urge you to tell your friend about the tsunami coming his way and for their maid as well. They need to get legal affadavits prepared and perhaps get someone to help with PR because the hounds are NOT going to leave them alone until they get what they want.

The alleged remarks from Palin are THAT important and potentially history changing.

Keep on this and do it right, please. But I am glad to see this defense of your methods and professionalism.

Hillary or Bust said...

God, for all your righteous defense of Lucille and your journalistic methods, you still haven't shown that:

a) you've also interviewed people on the other side of the story, which is also part of "good" journalism.

b) "Lucille" is a credible witness.

Let's say Lucille is sincere and not just some Obama supporter out to take out Palin. Isn't it possible that she overheard wrong? C'mon. You're in a crowded restaurant with lots of noise...you said yourself this woman may be in her 60s...how does she even know she really heard what she thinks she heard?

Criticize Palin's public record or other aspects of what she's done or not done in Alaska, but this focus on the word of one possibly misguided waitress is just foolish at best and meanspirited at worst.

Ndstillie said...

dude. you are a hack. I'm from alaska. For one thing. nobody calls Alaska natives "mukluks". Also, nobody calls them "Indians or Aboriginals". Actually probably the last two things would get yourself in more trouble. Go to your local community college and learn some journalism. Your story reeks.

Haniel Perigueux said...

A million Thanks. We need to know these things. If there is anything I HATE it is a racist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Missing in your Palin notes is recognition that while we cover the largest land mass of all states there are MANY fewer people in the state than in the city limits of San Francisco.It IS true that people know each other...all over the state.It is also true that a nasty form of racism is rampant here. While I can't speak to whether the governor indulges in racial slurs in public the type of people she appeals most to here do! Ms Palin has a well established reputation for seeking revenge... which everyday people with everyday jobs can't afford to test.Hats off to my neighbors who have spoken up-! Anonymously, or openly. As Ms Palin is wowing throngs around the country with her gun-toting,bible-thumping mama reformer routine there are plenty of us back home in Alaska who feel ashamed our dirty secret is out... WE elected her governor...agh.

Dusty said...

Thank You Mr. James for all your hard work.

Dusty said...

With Alaska being such a small-town atmosphere, getting anyone to go 'on the record' would be hard if they wanted to continue working and living in the state.

B said...

What's the story on this Arnold Gerstheimer? I ran a Google search on his name in quotation marks, and the only thing that turns up are quotes from your article. These days one can find a webpage mentioning just about anyone they know, even if it's just on some public record. That the guy whose quote is the only one in the article fully sourced is a BUSINESSMAN and has no Google trail, is extremely suspect.

Is it a pseudonym? If so, that leaves us back where we started, having to rely on anonymous testimony that unfortunately borders on hearsay. For a subject this explosive, that's not going to do.

I despise Sarah Palin, by the way.

Anonymous said...

It is totally believable that this woman would be so arrogant to assume she can 'So, sambo beat the bitch!' while acting as Governor of the State of Alaska in a public restaurant.

I don't doubt it for an instant.

And to those who think calling racial epithets out, even though a family member is part of that group is impossible are very, very naive.

Some of the worst religious and racial slurs are thrown back and forth between spouses. Sometimes in jest, many times in outright hatred or just plain frustration.

Keep up the good work.

DailyCost said...

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW THE REAL CHARLEY JAMES--
* His pseudonym is "The_Curmudgeon". He wrote a short essay recently in praise of Bill Cosby and in agreement that black America has not made it, and won't make it.http://www.slate.com/id/2103794/
*He lavished praise on Obama's website blog the day after his acceptance speech. http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/tag/Denver?page=2
* He has a sister Janice, he grew up near Halen's grocery store in Milwaukee, he used to work for WCCO-Tv and was an assistant editor for Business Week.
* he claims his mom and dad marched for Dr. King in the 1960s and ended up on Nixon's "enemies list." http://www.alternet.org/election08/96887/obama%27s_grand_speech:_reason_for_hope/?comments=view&cID=991457&pID=991344#c991457
***THIS CHARLEY JAMES GUY IS SO LIBERAL THAT BARRY OBAMA IS BARRY GOLDWATER.

Anonymous said...

I think your work is utter crap. It reminds me of the people who write paranoid gibberish over at rense.com. The shelf life of this story will be the same as that lying Kos article about Trig Palin.

Anonymous said...

You're not a journalist, you moron. That phony hit piece you wrote is a figment of your imagination and loaded with opinion.

All anyone has to do is READ the phony crap you wrote and, if they still use their brain, understand for themselves that you are a complete fraud.

Haunchie said...

You pigs really are scared of Sarah, aren't you?
And yes, keep it up. There's only so much Obama can do when he's got friends like Jerimiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, et al waiting in the wings.

Anonymous said...

What a marxist lying scum bag you are. I don't think even your fellow travellors believe that you do more than think invent this stuff while masterbating to pictures of Obama.

United States Department of Justice said...

In faking sources and repeating lies you've crossed the "malace aforethought" line.

I hope you have good lawyers.

Dave said...

Thank you for having the courage to pursue this as I believe it's critical to expose Sarah Palin for who she is. There's a way to creepy Manchurian Candidate vibe surrounding all this and her rise from anonymous Alaskan to potential V.P. while being shielded from the media.
Please keep your good work.
Thank you.
Regards,
Dave Hunter

Anonymous said...

Big fuckin' deal. Another lie from another liar.

And this one is lamer than most.

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Jack Lacton said...

...but will you apologise when your lies are exposed?

NightTrain said...

I live in Wasilla, and you're full of crap.

One nifty bit of info you didn't research is that her husband, Todd, is part Yupik Eskimo. You might want to "modify" that part of your little tale.

I've lived here all my life and have yet to run across the timid, scared people you paint in this bit of hack storytelling.

Instead of inventing characters and facts, get off your ass and fly up to Alaska to see what we are like and observe for yourself firsthand how immensely popular Palin is.

fed up with the smears said...

Just proves there are no depths the left wing liars will not go to get their Messiah elected.

Stan said...

Hmmm. In your Blogger profile, you call yourself an "independent investigtative jouralist."

What is a jouralist? What does the adjective investigtative mean?

In a previous comment a reader calling himself Mark said, "Thanks for the clarification of your (obviously very professional) working methods."

Well, one would assume that--as a professional "jouralist"--you would have spent a little more time proofreading your user profile before you posted it.

Your "jouralistic kredenshuls" reek from the outset, my spurious friend.

Stan said...

Hmmm. In your Blogger profile, you call yourself an "independent investigtative jouralist."

What is a jouralist? What does the adjective investigtative mean?

In a previous comment a reader calling himself Mark said, "Thanks for the clarification of your (obviously very professional) working methods."

Well, one would assume that--as a professional "jouralist"--you would have spent a little more time proofreading your user profile before you posted it.

Your "jouralistic kredenshuls" reek from the outset, my spurious friend.

Bob Parks said...

Charley,
May I ask you some questions about your interview?

bob@black-and-right.com

Mr. Brooks said...

I don't have any problem with what you wrote. However, I think it's safe to say that Anne Kilkenny wrote the bulk of your article for you. "Legwork" aside.

NRL said...

Keep up the good work Mr. James. I'll be joining you in Canada if McCain and Palin win.

Democracy Lover said...

If we had the luxury of other journalists doing the legwork necessary to get at the truth about Sarah Palin, this story would either be supported by additional witnesses or refuted by others. Unfortunately we don't live in a country with investigative journalists, or at least with very few of them.

I find it somewhat amusing that the same people who lambast you for using anonymous sources, have no trouble at all believing stories leaked from "anonymous sources" in the White House. In the case of the Palin story, there is nothing for these people to gain in telling lies about her, and may be a great deal to lose. In the White House cases (of which there are far too many to count), the stories are intentionally leaked for the political gain of those doing the leaking.

If this story and the buzz on the internets causes some enterprising mainstream reporter to get his ass up to Alaska and investigate, then it will have served us well. Many of the details of the claims made by the people interviewed here should be a matter of public record. Is there a mainstream reporter ready to do the job?

Anonymous said...

Charley, your reputation as a journalist speaks for itself. An unverifiable story can be dismissed without saying a word - the expression "I won't dignify that with a reply" comes to mind. It won't change anyone's perception of Palin because the only people who will take it seriously are already convinced that she harbors racist views. Palin's supporters will use the Lucille story as more evidence of a mean-spirited conspiracy by the left to discredit Palin, and your clarification, while appreciated by many including myself, won't change that. To give the story real legs, either Lucille needs to come out and identify herself on a YouTube version, or other witnesses to the event need to come forward. Otherwise, it just looks like so much gossip.

Brian Dunbar said...

Uh huh.

An old college friend of mine recently contacted me to tell me about a woman he knows. This woman - we’ll call her “Ethel” - is a dog walker who has a client in your neighborhood. In hushed tones, she told me that she has seen you painting racist and ethnic slurs on the homes of some of the people who live in your neighborhood. She also verified that you have a Natzi flag in your garage. I won’t violate her trust by revealing her name; she is terrified of retribution. But I know that the story is true because she says here are other people who have seen the same things! In addition, “Ethel” has been my friend’s dog walker for years - and my friend said that she would no sooner tell a lie than she would fail to scoop the poop!

Do I wish more people would have spoken to me on the record and for attribution? Absolutely. Do I regret writing a piece that relied upon so many anonymous sources? Not one bit.

Anonymous said...

Propaganda or investigative journalism, you decide:

We are to believe in Alaska, the politicians are so immune to PC that they talk this way indiscreetly. So we have this quote: “Because everyone who isn’t aboriginal or Indian in Alaska talks that way.”

Old Bogus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old Bogus said...

I had a typo in my first post which changed the meaning 180°! Here is the corrected comment.

I found it amusing that most of the complaints about "anonymous sources" were posted by anonymous posters. :)

I recently found your blog and am now a loyal fan.

Anonymous said...

I watch SP deride community organizers, and I heard the tone in her voice when she said those things. No one has to work too hard to convince me she's an elitist jackass who disdains the common person. She feels ENTITLED to be privileged.

I heard that with my own ears.

skywriter321 said...

Actually, even though Lucille thinks she is safer withholding her full name, the people who WILL know who she is are Sarah Palin and her croneys who at in the restaurant where her abusive language was overheard.

It might be considerably better for Lucille to be in the public eye, where interference with her employment or other forms of retributive harassment from Palin or others within the Republican party can be deterred by the knowledge that the public is watching.

Brian Dunbar said...

It might be considerably better for Lucille to be in the public eye, where interference with her employment or other forms of retributive harassment from Palin or others within the Republican party can be deterred by the knowledge that the public is watching.

If, you know. the lady is not a figment of the author's imagination.

Anonymous said...

ndstillie, I'm an Alaskan too and I've heard plenty of people use the term "muktuk" to deride natives. So perhaps that's what he meant. He probably changed "Natives" or "Eskimos" to "Indians or Aboriginals" because those are commonly used terms in Canada. You're really denying that there is racism in Alaska? You must have a motivating agenda of your own, even if it's just pride.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine (we'll call him Luke) tends bar at restaurant in Toronto that Charly frequents, and he told me he overheard Charly saying he hated Palin so much he was more than willing to make up quotes and sources in order to smear her. Luke also said it only takes two white wine spritzers to get Charly drunk. I'd like to tell you Luke's real name, but I have to protect my anonymous sources.

See how that works, Charly?

Lynn said...

The level of personal invective against the author here is a sad sign of the times. Sequestering Governor Palin is not helping to clear the air on this serious allegation either. The journalist has done his job and stands by his story. Cursing at him and making foolish remarks is not how we have discourse in this country (actually it is, but it is not the democratic ideal that people have died for). If you want to challenge the story, ask the McCain campaign to allow Sarah Palin to take questions. Or go out and do your own investigative reporting. People say untrue things about Barack Obama all the time, and he ponies up and answers the questions.

Robert M. Blevins said...

Charley: Your friend needs to come forward to corroborate this story. You need something to verify it, anything. As it stands, it's pretty thin. You need SOMETHING, and if this story is true, there are any number of major publications that would gladly front you a round-trip plane ticket to Alaska to do a little research - maybe even expenses.

But more is needed here...
I'm sure you understand this requirement, and I want to qualify my comments by saying that I'm the administrator of Publishers and Authors for Obama over at the main Obama site.

Robert M Blevins
Adventure Books of Seattle
adventurebooksdotnewsvinedotcom

Ndstillie said...

Well he used direct quotes for "Scott Beuchamp". In Journalism 101 I learned you don't make up direct quotes. When you make up quotes though, i guess you have free rein to change whatever you want to suit your purposes.

The Contentious Centrist said...

This story sounds to me highly suspicious. Does anyone here remember that Michelle Obama was herself the target of a similar slur, that "she had railed against "whitey"?
http://garlinggauge.com/2008/05/19/gop-rumor-michelle-obama-whitey-video-lurks/

In literary theory, this kind of reportage is called the unreliable narrator. Usually the most deadly give away of such a method is the many screens erected between the actual teller of the story and its origin. Since no solid evidence is offered to the reader, there is a great deal of information provided around and about the witness so as to give it a semblance of authenticity.

A reliance upon a reader's ready gullibility about the kind of story provided is also a factor. The Curmudgeon knows his target readeship and their expectations, because they share his bias.
Unreliable narrators are usually first-person narrators, but more unreliable are the third-person ones, as is the case here: The author of this blog is quoting something he heard from a person he spoke to on the phone for 10 minutes, and who claims that she was serving at at a table just when the fatal words were uttered.
Another giveaway is that the report frames the story in such a way that the narrator appears as a minor character in it.

What characterizes such stories is the a strong wish on the part of the narrator that they be true. Simultaneously, aware of its feeble credibility, the teller weaves into the tale the provisos, should he be obliged to beat a retreat from it. So that when and if it turns out to be false, the reporter can always claim that he was just a good-natured and trusting messenger, nothing more nothing less.

Anonymous said...

You wrote this this on September 2nd: "Ever since 2003, I’ve been ashamed to tell people I am an American after Iraq was invaded based on 935 lies; now, for the first time, I am ashamed to tell people I grew up in the Twin Cities.'
I am ashamed that American's buy into your hatred for our (not your) country. Your story could be true or not, but you owe the American public a better source or simply denounce your citizenship as you have refused to do thusfar.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your courage for using old-fashioned investigative techniques and journalistic ideals to research this story. As you said, anonymous sources are a time-honored tradition in the reporter's tool-kit and it seems to me that certain posters were eager enough to believe 'uncredited' stories about Mr. Obama. Why is Ms. Palin held to a different standard? I'm tired of the mean-spirit nature that has become the hallmark of our election process, and so many citizens seem so eager to carry on in that same venal vein. How sad. Civility and intelligence have taken a back seat to bluster and partisanship. There appears to be very little tolerance for clear and critical thinking today, only mindless platitudes. Sometimes I despair for the future of my country if we have so little tolerance for anything outside our own narrow viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

JADE said. . .
Charley,
Thank you for writing the article. It was informative and highly disturbing. Disturbing because it appears that white people in Alaska are perfectly comfortable using racist language on a regular basis. Not only is there great distance between Alaska and the rest of the United States, there is a backwardness when it comes to race relations.
Jade Wells, Los Angeles, CAS

Anonymous said...

As someone who has been "thrown under the bus" by Palin (by the way---it is getting crowded under the bus with all the people she has fired, harmed or been slandered by her) we are all afraid to speak out. She is well known for her vindictive ways and now that she hs the McCain machine behind her, we all want to come out and sing to the world but she is just too tough to want to deal with. It is just too dangerous...in more ways than one. Troopergate, Dairygate, Broken Water Gate, baby Gate........Ethics Gate...........

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely full of crap. The Onion does a much better job of making up humorous satire. Maybe you should spend some time reading it, instead of trying to create your own BS, made-up out of whole cloth.

Hack.

Anonymous said...

We are fans. Keep up the good work. Would love to see a follow up story on Palin as sexist and racist. She should not be allowed to get away with has past without journalists like you holding her feet to the fire (yes, fire!).

www.straighttalkexpresswatchblog.wordpress.com

dualdiagnosis said...

Great job! Keep it it up, the attacks on Sarah are working. Please continue and if you could, make the stories even more over the top.

The momentum that has been created for the McCain/Palin ticket is awesome and you definitely need to be credited with some of the boost.

Again, thank you and I look forward to even more creative charges from the "netroots".

Kel said...

THANK YOU, Ndstillie and Dailycost, et al, your comments were the only sane things in this group!

Mr. James, "If you're born in Milwaukee, you are born a Democrat" is your opinion, not a fact. I'm FROM Milwaukee, I'm definitely NOT a Democrat, and neither is my family nor is anyone else I know. We are thrilled with Sarah Palin, and this is only another very desperate attempt to smear her.

I wholeheartedly agree with this: Your story reeks. Per your blog title, "writing from the relative safety of Canada" shows me your true stripes. "Deranged?" You said it yourself.

twistedtree said...

Is Palin's alleged "Sambo" comment verifiable enough for the national media, like MSNBC? This is a very important story if true. Thank you.

JohnnyRussia said...

I just came across your blog, and it is superb.

I will certainly be back, and would like to add your link to my blog:

http://jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com/

mlfx2 said...

If there really is a Lucille then there must be a restaurant and other patrons you claim also heard the slur. Also, if this is inherent to her character there should be other examples of her racism. If you are an "investigative reporter", find other subtantive sources. I think you are a liar. Prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

So are you taking all your information to the major news outlets and insisting they follow up?

If Obama can be skewered over a common idiom, is it too much to hope that Palin's slur might actually raise a reaction or is her pretty face so overwhelming that all mortals lose all ability to think in her presence.

Anonymous said...

Saying something doesn't make it so. Despite any credible work you may have done in the past, this is the lowest level of "investigative journalism" that exists.

Here is something you might add to your report: http://tinyurl.com/PUMAs-ObamaSWATteamReport

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm Charley James' Anonymous source. I would just like to go on record as saying that Sarah Palin never said the fore-mentioned. I was mistaken to think I could just take the money Charley "the progressive blah, blah, blah" put in front of me without feeling guilty. The truth is, Sarah is the least racist person I know. Charley James, however, is extremely racist & sexist. He also hates the elderly, handicapped, and mentally disabled. He kicked a homeless vet he saw in an alley yesterday, and he tests cosmetics/drugs on animals. To build his 9,500 sq ft winter home, he cleared 24,000 sq mi of rainforest. He is slowly poisoning the water supply of a small rural town in New Mexico, he caused Hurricane Katrina, the Exxon Valdez, Chernobyl, and Global Warning. He's a Grande Wizard in the KKK, a card-carrying member of Hamas, Taliban, & the 3rd Reich. Of coarse, being Charley James' anonymous source (who works at an unnamed restaraunt), I would know all of these things about him. And since not even he, the author, would think to question the credability of a source who can neither be confirmed nor held accountable, that means my preceding statements are above strutiny, and deemed as fact.

Signed,
"Lucille"

JohnnyRussia said...

"Lucille", keep believing what FOX and Rash Limbo tell you.

Baaaaaahhhhhhh....

Anonymous said...

OK, someone has a concern about the possibility of retaliation, hence the need to conceal their identity behind "Lucille." Your time frame provided is vague ("...a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.") Nor do you provide a location (even a town) that would allow someone to conduct even basic fact checking as to the whereabouts of Gov. Palin at the time the comment was allegedly made. The anonymous source was sufficiently incensed to note the number of people in the party, the specific phrase used by the governor, but can't provide the time (and you choose to omit the location). Even Wikipedia wouldn't accept that kind of unsourced reporting.

JohnnyRussia said...

Anonymous:

Hmmm. You have concerns regarding "unsourced reporting" and "Wikipedia".

So I guess you ignore FOX news, too.

Anonymous said...

You're so full of shit your breath stinks.
Stay in Canada and mind that country's business you commie pinko piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

Dude, I was in this un-named tavern in Toronto, and the waitress there told me that you once told her you like to let your dog lick peanut butter off your dick, oh and that you're a shitty tipper.

It's a reliable source you dog fucker you.

Neocons suck and their mean too. said...

I hope all the anonymous bags o batshit are enjoying themselves acting like punks and bullies.

And speaking of bullies and their bullshit, you all make it very easy to believe what has been attributed to Sarah Palin here...you do nothing to change that, you fuckwits.

Sherbear said...

Oh come on, Lucille? Ex patriot whoever you are. What were you afraid you were going to be drafted
and fled to Canada. Go pick on someone else you commie and leave good patriots like Sarah Palin alone. S. McComas

Jeff Saxton said...

It's amazing the hate and "commie" calling just because some people disagrees with the Charley James's blog about Sarah Palin. If you disaree with someone, just say so and say why. Attacking the messenger with vicious language just diminishes you and your point of view.

Cheers,

Jeff Saxton

Anonymous said...

Has it struck anybody else that if Obama wins, Palin's comment will be all the more true? "Sambo beat the bitch"

Liberal and Proud of It said...

Its amazing how many people are absolutely positive that this report is untrue, even though their knowledge is no better sourced than Curmudgeon's.

As it is, the accuracy of this report is unknowable, but it does lead us into areas of Palin's character that may not have been questioned before. That's a good thing.

As the Law and Order crowd likes to say, "If she hasn't done anything wrong, why should she object to answering a few questions about it?"

Brian said...

WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WE KNOW FOR SURE MADE THE COMMENT, BECAUSE YOU DID SO IN PRINT. WE CAN VALIDATE THAT. ALSO, YOUR POLITICAL LEANINGS TAINT THE SUPPOSED REPORTING OF THE COMMENT BECAUSE YOU WOULD LOVE IT IF IT WERE TRUE. THEREFORE, WE ARE LEFT ONLY TO ASSUME THAT THE STATEMENT ISN'T TRUE AND YOU CAN'T BE TRUSTED.

Anonymous said...

How many other quotes have you used by anonymous sources that might support Palin or any other Rebublican canidate? Or, do you just listen to liberal anonymous sources? Once upon a time journalists were nuetral, reporting both sides of an issue.

I am here to tell you that I have known Sarah for years as she would never, ever, use a word like "Sambo" with its' cruel connotations. A woman who did not abort and instead choose to raise a challeneged child knows in her heart not to be mean and spiteful. Never, in any of the conversations we have had, or that others have told me about, have I ever heard her utter even one slightly racial comment. I was involved with the Union movement in Jueno with Chuck Dunnagan, Atty. at Law, when I first met Sarah.

My name is Mike and I also wish to remain anonymous. Please quote me and make sure that this anonymous source gets as much exposure as "Lucille". In fact, you have this quote in writing which should make your job easier.

Thank you for being such a introspective investigative reporter, I think. We will see?

JohnnyRussia said...

Hey, "Mike", who claims to know Sarah Palin:

Is she as dim and confused in person as she was with Charlie Gibson, when he asked her about the Bush Doctrine?

She is a disaster.

http://www.jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

BFD! The Victims (blacks and others living on handouts and liberal welfare) were not going to vote for her anyway, and the thinking adults will recognize private table talk as just that.

JohnnyRussia said...

To "anonymous" who says "BFD":

"Blacks" are "victims"?

Sorry they botched your lobotomy.

http://www.jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com

Dusty said...

Charlie, your comments are getting pretty hateful and obscene. You really need to close them.

The rightwingers are getting a woody trashing you on this thread, and I can't read their tripe any more, so I am unsubscribing.

Your a talented and respected writer, so why you give these asshats a place for all their hate makes no sense to me. But its your blog...I will continue to read your articles, but not this thread.

suzx said...

anonymous; you elected her governor. and guess what; on past record - you elected George W Bush!!!!!!!! - you'll also elect her VP. I'm from the UK. i suppose we can hardly talk as we elected that total waste of space Tony Blair, your pres's poodle. But i think we've learned our lesson and are going to have more sense next time. And you? I have no hope whatsoever. "Fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me." Lincoln was right - you can, it seems, fool all of the people all of the time. either that or...well, what?

Anonymous said...

If someone says something...let them...we live in a free country where we can do and say as we please within the laws of the land, meaning without hurting anyone or ourselves (yet that happens all the time, which is a whole other story).

If someone can't say their name because they are "afraid", well they better be for being so ignorant and stupid that they can't keep their negative comments to themselves. The worst of all, they will feel guilty for the rest of their life.

Gosh, I can't believe I'm wasting my time worrying about what someone else said. Give me a break. We have famines going on, wars between nations and hatred among ourselves in a GOD given free country and we're worried about a stupid word.

I'm done, I can't believe what Americans are wasting their time about.

tjmx said...

I checked on this at Snopes.com and Factcheck.org and they can not label this as true or false because it is not irrefutable. Having said that I have no doubt someone said such a statement and someone attributed it to Palin, but, like the secret source of the statement that xxxx xx xxxxxxxxx was pregnant by Kennedy when she drowned in his car at Chapaquidic it is hard to believe. Of course in America you are innocent until proven guilty except in the media.

Anonymous said...

Once again we have a reporter trying to gain fame by using unreliable sources to defame a candidate. Palin has too much savey to issue a statement like that. She did not get where she is by being prejudice. We need her leadership in our country that has fallen apart and badly need a Christian in a leadership position to bring stability back to our country. Her record speaks for itself and she will be an excellent Vice Prersident because of her knowledge of how government should run to remain free and independent. Also, she does not mind asking God's help and guidence.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Alaska and have had occassional contact with Palin and her family. (My cousin worked for her in Wasilla.) While I'm not a supporter of her politics, I'd be shocked if there were an ounce of truth to this. She's shown absolutely no sign of being a racist. Besides, while she tries to come across as a hick, she's way to polished to let something like that slip, even if the phony statement did reflect her actual sentiments. If you want to win this thing for Obama, stick to the issues.
By the way, I've got some fake National Guard documents you can run with.

Minnesota Nice said...

A comment from "Minnesota Nice"

I wasn't with Lucille at the restaurant, so I cannot speak with
authority. However, has Barack
Obama ever expressed himself in a
racist manner? One doesn't have to
rely on anonymous sources for his
commentaries on racism. Just read
his books "Dreams of My Father" and
"The Audacity of Hope" to find out
where he stands. From the first one, "I found solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race---" and from the second, "I will
stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly
manner." In these, one does not
have to rely on "Lucille." Here
you get it straight from the horse's mouth. These are just tips
of the iceberg. Read the books--
and if you don't "get it" the first
time, re-read them. I don't hear
about anyone chastising the "annointed one" for these kinds
of feelings.

Anonymous said...

Are you totally brain-dead? Or just act that way.
We always know when a marxist/progressive/socialist idiot is lying by what he accuses the conservatives are doing.
Everett B

JohnnyRussia said...

"Minnesota Nice" and "Everett B" should hook-up on eDisHarmony.

http://www.jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

You know how I know this isn't true? Nobody uses such a lame, old epithet as that anymore. You should have come up with something a bit more believeable.

Fenny said...

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." --Winston Churchill

Updated: remove "five-minute conversation with" and replace with "blog-comment by."

Listen to yourselves. All of you.

actionbastard@verizon.net said...

I have it on good authority that Charley James is one of the original co-conspirators behind 9/11. I have a witness whom I'll call "Enrique" who I was assured by another party, that said witness is totally reliable. "Enrique" overheard Mr. James say on 9/11. "All according to plan". I hereby call on Mr. James to either come clean, or admit his role.

I don't give a hoot about your reputation or politics sir, because people still lie to feel important. I don't accuse you of dishonesty, but rather "Lucille". I wouldn't be so quick to believe this story with only one source and no concrete evidence, and as a reporter, you should know that. Perhaps in your zest to find the "Dragon-Slaying Sword" you were the victim of a snake oil salesman.

Anonymous said...

Total hearsay. It is amazing that you are willing to degrade you integrity as a journalist in a bid to "help" Obama whether he wants you to or not. Lying and ruining your own reputation in the process is not going to sway one voter. Unless "Lucille" is interviewed and takes a lie detector test you are just publishing tabloid gossip. Palin could,if she chooses,go after you in court since you wrote this as fact and you would then have to come up with "Lucille"and hope she is a good liar.

JohnnyRussia said...

Hey, "anonymous": what do you know about First Amendment law? What do you know about "anonymous" sources?

Maybe you never even WROTE your post; I mean, it's signed "anonymous"....

Let's hope Sarah Palin slinks back into anonymity soon.

http://www.jackrabbitcafe.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you have now fulfilled all requirements set forth by the Dan Rather school of journalism.

This entitles you to full rights to publish half truths, anonymous comments, and baseless personal attacks, without any shred of real evidence except those you deem "sound good" and to publish same as respectable stories as long as you preface all comments with "some say" or "Lucille says".

Congratulations. Your journalism teachers are very proud.

Hitandrun said...

Hey, since we're allowed to post hearsay as truth here, I have one, too: A good friend of mine is gay, and he and Obama lived in rooms across from each other in the dorms at Occidental College in L.A., where Obama went for two years.

My buddy is fairly effeminate, and he supports Obama, but ask him about Obama and he'll say, "Oh, Barry, yes, of course I remember him! He always used to yell 'Fag' at me whenever he saw me in the dorms."

So hey, I believe my friend, and he certainly had no reason to make up that story, so it must be true, right? I can even back it up with full names, phone numbers and dates, although I doubt my friend will be willing to talk to a reporter about it.

(Anyway, even if it is true, that was a long time ago. I'm just saying, no one's perfect.)

Will said...

gee, a racial slur of huge magnitude, from an anonymous source that cannot be found by anyone other than the author, about one of the most media slammed vp candidates in history, one who has absolutely no history of racial slurs. Sad, no make that pathetic. Your past work mike have had a shred of talent, but now? Nothing more than a blogging hack. Respected high end journalist that you claim, your work would be on a byline for pay, not blog. Not a journalist, just a hobbiest.

tomcarmich@yahoo.com said...

Too post such a story about someone and claim it as fact, while stating that your a credible reporter is disapointing. You need multiple sources when making such an awful charge. If Ms. Palin said such an awful thing I want to know. Your sources should stand up publicly and be counted. Thats what my parents have always told me.

In the famous Watergate scandal, the source Deep Throat pointed Woodward and Bernstein in the right direction, he made them gather the facts. Self serving as it was (for Deep throat) they had multiple sources to support their stories.

What happenned to honor in this country. The baseless charges that get made against public figures simply make it impossible to get the best qualified people to run for public office. I don't like that Barack Obama, John Kerry or John McCain have their names reputation sullied because they run for President.

Reporting based on one source vouched for by a freind, well thats not real reporting. That is essentially mud slinging and simply demeans you and your profesion.

Anonymous said...

I just read all the comments put to the author of the "Lucille story". I can't believe in this day and age that such rudeness and foul language is used to express your opinion. Does that make you feel big that you use such language? You degrade yourself and show your ignorance. People who use that kind of language have much hate in there soul. There are ways of expressing youself with dignity and intellegence. I do believe that if one speaks out about a politican or overhears something said that is racist could be putting their life in danger. Where harm could come to them or family members. It has happened before and is still happening. We seem to live in a very vendicative time where we can't speak out when we hear or see something that is wrong without repercussions. It's very sad that this great nation has lost it's trust and honor which other countries always looked to us as strength. We need to teach our young children who will be running this country one day that this country stands that all people shall be treated equally with honor and love not hate. Hate will only bring war, resentment and greed. Why don't you all take a moment and think about all the good things country has done. IT'S UP TO US TO GET THIS COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER NOT TEARING EACH OTHER DOWN. I HOPE YOU ALL READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS COUNTRY AND OUR ECONOMY. OUR COUNTRY IS IN A CRISIS AND WE REALLY NEED TO PUT THAT NEGATIVE ENERGY TURN IT AROUND AND DO SOMETHING POSITIVE.

I don't need to sign my name because it's not important who I am but it is important that we help each other.

Anonymous said...

After reading your comments and seeing the type mind set you have following your writing, I understand why you would take the word of some waitress and write about it. You just wrote a story based on the words of one woman who obviously hated Sara Palin. Although it's very hard to find anyone in Alaska that doesn't think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread, it seems YOU DID IT!

Of course the story is totally false and will be considered such by anyone with a brian.

Anonymous said...

You'd think after what happened to Dan Rather, anyone who calls themselves a reporter, and values his journalistic reputation, wouldn't be so careless as to risk his reputation on a single source... especially an anonymous one that can not be independently verified.

Is "Lucille" lying? Maybe she genuinely believes that Palin said that but was mistaken, maybe she outright made it up, maybe it's true. Who knows? Certaintly nobody who can verify this story as definitely true or false... making this story no better than any other random baseless rumor. I have nothing against anonomous sources per se... but extraordinary claims should require extraordinary evidence, should they not? If Palin was such a racist that she had no problem uttering a racial slur in a public place (even if she was racist enough to do so, you'd think a public figure would have the sense to be more discreet, especially in public) then there shouldn't be any problems finding other incidents where she spouted racial slurs in earshot of multiple sources willing to go on the record. If there's anything to this, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding it, right?

Even in this single instance... in a crowded restaurant, someone else besides just Lucille had to have heard that, if Palin actually said that, right? Any of them willing to go on the record?

Failing any of that, all we have is anonamous source of unverifiable veracity, posted by someone with a known and obvious political bias against the subject. Kind of like a certain reporter who came across a certain memo that proved something he wanted to believe to be true, so he didn't do as rigourous fact-checking as he ought to have. Don't let the same thing happen to you... I have no doubt that you actually encountered someone who said Palin said that, and that anonomous source may very well even believe what she said... but the evidence is way too thin to stake one's journalistic reputation on the veracity of a single anonomous source. Do your due diligence in fact-checking, then come back and tell us if there's anything substantial to go on in this story. I'd be interested to see what you come up with then, either way.

Anonymous said...

Such picayune "stuff". Even curmudgeons THINK about what they're saying.

Anonymous said...

Just not Creditable. Verify your source. Or shut up.A word to the wise "trust but verify" Here is something else to ponder. I live by this quote. As soon as men decided that all means are permitted to fight an evil,Then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil they set out to destroy.
Christopher Dawson
1942