Life as an investigative anti-Palin blogger is an eventful one – there can be pleasant events, and also less pleasant ones. Disputes with other bloggers are definitely less pleasant, and I came to the conclusion that it’s best to completely avoid them. From mid-2010 onwards, as a blogger on Palingates
, I decided to completely ignore other bloggers, not even make short remarks about them, in order to fully be able to focus on Sarah Palin – which turned out to be an excellent decision. The reasons for disputes amongst bloggers are often highly complex, and it’s made worse by the fact that often there is very little communication between “feuding” bloggers. Communications over the internet in general can serve as a “trigger” for misunderstandings of epic proportions, as I have experienced on a few occasions in the past.
Being aware of all that, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes when Gryphen at “The Immoral Minority” made claims against me on January 28 in a post titled “Concerning Palingates”
(which is still available online) which are not only factually wrong, but a complete invention. Not just that, but actually pretty much the opposite of what really happened.
As many of you know it was the Shailey Tripp piece (since removed) that proved to be the straw that snapped the camel’s back over at Palingates. But what you may not know is how that piece caused me to lose credibility, and possibly put the Enquirer story at risk.
You see the gentleman friend of Ms. Tripp, who I will only identify by his initials R.N., was hoping to tell his side of the story concerning the private side of Shailey Tripp, in order to let people know that she was not just a prostitute but a real person who happened to make a very poor decision which has virtually destroyed her life. However RN is a VERY private person and he was determined to remain so. He thought he might be willing to tell his story but ONLY if his anonymity was protected. I was working to make that happen.
Somehow P got a hold of this gentleman’s contact information and told him, and I quote “I am working with Gryphen. Talking to me is the same as talking to Gryphen.” Because of this assurance RN trusted P enough to reveal a few preliminary bits of information for which he was rewarded by having his entire life plastered all over Palingates. Not only was his life put on display, but so were the names of many of Ms. Tripp’s friends and acquaintances, some of who had no idea what she had done, and now found their names linked to her on a blog.
Obviously I started to get calls immediately. Angry calls wanting to know why I betrayed RN and allowed my “collaborator” to do what they did. When the first call came in I literally had no idea what they were talking about.
It took me most of the day to explain that I had nothing to do with it, and to attempt to rebuild the trust that was now in shattered pieces. As of this writing that trust is still badly damaged and may be irreparable. Which of course could also impact my ability to gain the trust of others in the the near future.
As a blogger, without the deep pockets of a tabloid like the National Enquirer, all I have to use as currency to “buy” information is trust. Once I don’t have that, I don’t have anything.
So yes I was very angry. Especially since this was not the first time this very same situation had played out.
However my anger was NEVER at Regina who I have always considered a true friend. And now that she is back in charge of running the show, and the offending post has been removed, I am happy to welcome Palingates back onto my blogroll. I wish I had never felt it necessary to have removed it in the first place.
So Gryphen claims that I told “RN” that “I am working with Gryphen. Talking to me is the same as talking to Gryphen” and that Gryphen was then forced “to rebuild the trust that was now in shattered pieces.”
(Read some details about the Shailey Tripp story HERE
The problem is that this story is a complete invention, a fabrication. I never claimed that I was working with Gryphen to RN in our exchange, not even anything close to it. Gryphen was (of course!) never mentioned.
Also: Why should I do such a thing? Everybody in the Palin-blogging world knows that my relationship to Gryphen is abysmal. Since I joined the babygate investigation in November 2008, I have exchanged a mere handful of emails with him. The exchange mostly was “tense”, although I tried to be as nice as possible.
The main reason for the “tension” was the fact that once in early 2009 I contacted Tank Jones, which Gryphen claimed almost “cost him that source”, and that I also sent Gryphen’s email address to Andrew Sullivan, because I was excited and wanted to bring both of them together. Gryphen didn’t appreciate that, because he wanted to remain anonymous back then. It should be noted, however, that his email address was already available back then for the whole world to see just by clicking on his paypal account – that’s why I didn’t see a problem in sending it to Andrew Sullivan.
I was enthusiastic because back then in 2009 it seemed like a blogger such as Gryphen, who is based in Alaska and was taking part in the babygate investigation, could in fact be able to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. In early 2009, everybody who was involved in the babygate investigation knew already beyond any doubt that Sarah Palin’s pregnancy was faked, as incredibly as it sounds, given the situation we have today: That Palin’s faked pregnancy is still considered a “taboo subject” and a “conspiracy theory” in the mainstream media, two years later!
I apologized to Gryphen in 2009 for my impulsive action and we hardly had any communication any more. Ironically he later wrote to me asking for Tank’s email-address because he had trouble in contacting him. I happily gave Tank’s email address to him (which I originally had found in Tank’s myspace profile). I am not disclosing any secrets here because the fact that Gryphen had contact with Tank Jones is now common knowledge, as Gryphen himself wrote about it extensively later on his blog in several posts, for example HERE.
Back to the Shailey Tripp story:
Contrary to Gryphen’s claims, it wasn’t me who contacted RN, but it was RN himself who sent me a message over the “privacy box”
which I had installed on the Palingates website (and now again on Politicalgates in the sidebar). In this message, he didn’t provide his name, only an anonymous email address. He asked me in this message whether Palingates wants to pay money for the Shailey Tripp story.
Only after I sent an email to this address to which he responded, RN’s full name then appeared in the email header of his response.
There is one thing I would like to make absolutely clear:
Gryphen never contacted me before he published his allegations, nor did “RN” complain to me after I posted the Shailey Tripp post on Palingates.
Thinking that the situation might be a big misunderstanding I sent the following email to Gryphen on January 29, 2011, to both email addresses I have of him:
you claimed on your blog the following without discussing it with me
or giving me the opportunity for a statement:
These allegations are untrue and a flat out lie. Either present proof
for it, or retract these accusations. We know that you cannot provide
proof, as we have proof to the contrary which documents our dealings
with RN in every detail. If there is no retraction, we will have no
choice than to present the matter in public. The real story is very
different and has nothing in common with the events you described.
We will publish a welcoming post on our new blog
http://politicalgates.blogspot.com today and hope to see a retraction
from you within the next 24 hours (Saturday 3:15 pm), otherwise we
will feel free to publish our evidence, which is bullet proof.
I received no reply to this email at all, which surprised me a lot.
I still hoped that it would be possible to sort all this out “behind the scenes”, and so I made another attempt, writing to “RN”, to both email addresses I have of him – the email address he originally contacted me with and which was used for my exchange with him, and the email address which he provided in his public “flickr” profile.
But not only that: I also copied Gryphen in, because I still hoped that they would resolve the situation without my having to go public about it. They haven’t.
I will not mention RN’s full name in this post and have blacked it out in the screenshots as well.
I wrote to him on January 30:
on the blog “The Immoral Minority”, in a post called “Concerning
Palingates”, Gryphen wrote the following:
R, as you very well know, this description is a complete
invention. I have to assume that it was you which gave this false
information to Gryphen. Even if it was not you, you are in a position
to tell Gryphen what our communications looked like, and that NOTHING
of the above happened. I am also very surprised that you didn’t
contact me after I published the post “Some facts about Shailey Tripp”
if you felt unhappy about the content.
Yesterday, I already wrote an email to Gryphen and demanded a
retraction. Nothing has happened so far, so I thought it would be a
good idea to bring Gryphen’s post to your attention, as you might not
even have seen it.
If there is not retraction, I will have no choice than to publish our
communications, and will not hesitate to do so. In the past, I just
sat back and did nothing when lies were published about me on “The
Immoral Minority”, but this post went a step to far, and I will defend
Copy to Gryphen.
Up until the writing of this article I have received no response. No response from any recipient, and the post on “The Immoral Minority” still remains online as it is, unchanged.
This post is not about attacking Gryphen, it’s about setting the record straight, and I believe that this is my good right. If I had been in Gryphen’s position and had been planning to publish such serious allegations, I would have at least contacted the other side for a statement, at a minimum. However, it seems that Gryphen automatically assumed that the allegations are correct, which is very sad.
Therefore, I have uploaded the screenshots of my complete exchange with RN, which can be downloaded HERE.
As I mentioned above, “RN’s” name is blacked out.
It greatly disturbs me that somebody, whoever it was, told lies in order to trash my reputation and, in my view, in order to stop me writing about Shailey Tripp. This is hard for me to understand, but in any case it’s my good right to set the record straight and to defend myself.