Sunday, September 14, 2014

Employee Fired for Talking to the Press (at Palin Brawl)

There has been lots of attention around the "Palin Brawl" since Alaska political blogger Amanda Coyne broke the story (yay bloggers!) in a blog post that also mentioned some important political stories, including this update (I assume) about efforts to repeal the collective bargaining bill AO37.
Former Anchorage Police Department Chief and state Department of Public Safety commissioner Walt Monegan, and retired Anchorage Fire Department Chief Craig Goodrich have agreed to co-chair the repeal effort of Mayor Dan Sullivan’s controversial AO37.
Also mentioned in the blog post that mentioned mainstream media bait Palin is this update that Mayor Sullivan is running for Senate
The Alaska Support Industry Alliance has endorsed senate candidate Dan Sullivan. It is the first political endorsement that they’ve made in 20 years. The Alliance is an oil, gas and mining trade association with 500 member companies representing 30,000 employees in Alaska.
Then there's this bit of news from the Cook Political Report
The Cook Political Report moved the ratings of the Alaska governor’s race to “likely Republican” from “solid Republican.”
And finally an anniversary
Fifty years ago this week, a political TV ad aired, showing a little girl plucking flower petals, and helped elect Lyndon B. Johnson to the presidency of the United States. Watch the 60-second ad that revolutionized paid political advertising here.
So some news about collective bargaining, a senate race, oil industry endorsements, other news updates and


On September 11 Amanda posted an update to readers about the brawl, explaining (that she is trying to do more important work in my opinion).  She does do more important work, like covering Alaska oil and natural gas projects with Japan, and state political races and healthcare policy as she explains below.  I don't know how many people had heard of her before this week.  I am sorry to say that before this week I hadn't.

emphasis is mine
I wrote about the Saturday-night Palin family brawl  in my Loose Lips column—my version of a gossip column–hoping that some other news source, preferably a local news source, would pick it up, and run with it. I’m a one-woman show here. I’m the writer, the editor, and the business manager, and I’m trying to cover the state’s political races. 
As I write this, I’m at a health care conference in Girdwood, trying to learn as much as I can about why healthcare costs are so astronomically high in Alaska, when they have appeared to be declining elsewhere. (Expect a post on that later). All this is to say that I have little time to track down the details of the brawl. And even if I did, I’d probably pass. I spent many years covering Palin. It’s a rabbit hole every time.

But I thought I should update, because people seem to really want to know. Frankly, I would too if I were them, and weren’t at a health care conference, etc… 
Later on the 11th she did post the Alaska Police Department's statement on the brawl.

But here is why I am writing about the Palin's at all, as you can see in my headline for this story.  A witness to the brawl was (some report allegedly) fired from his job for talking to the press (ABC News Good Morning America)

emphasis mine
Eric Thompson was having fun with friends and his wife at a party in South Anchorage on Saturday night. Thompson, who is 56 years old, was the designated driver for the evening, so he wasn’t drinking. But that was okay with him. He was among friends. It was a birthday party for twins Matt and Marc McKenna, who own McKenna Bros Paving, for whom he works as a project supervisor.
A few other media outlets reported that the witness was fired, and give credit to Amanda for reporting the story.  CNN did give credit to Amanda for breaking the story but didn't mention that Eric was fired.

Washington Post steals the credit
Since we reported Thursday afternoon that the Palin brood was allegedly involved in a dramatic, bloody, straight-from-reality-TV rumble up in Alaska, the story went viral.
Sadly they got this right--but media is the problem here
Love her or hate her, people are still intrigued (entertained?) by Sarah Palin.
If the media wants to report on this story, fine. But please give credit to the person who broke the story, and media should always mention media related topics, like witnesses being fired for talking to the media.

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