Palin rips Murkowski, says “hired guns threatened” talk show host

posted at 10:30 am on October 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Want to know how the world will look if Congress reinstates the Fairness Doctrine?  Take a long look at what happened in Alaska when a radio talk-show host ran afoul of the political Establishment.  After running a contest to get Alaskans to add themselves to a list of write-in candidates for the Senate race, Lisa Murkowski’s ad buyer threatened to get the FCC involved in Dan Fagan’s “electioneering” — and got him taken off the air.  Now Sarah Palin has launched a broadside from her Facebook site against Murkowski for attacking free speech and political discourse:

Yesterday, Lisa Murkowski’s hired guns threatened radio host Dan Fagan, and more importantly, the station that airs Fagan’s show, with legal action for allegedly illegal “electioneering.” The station, unlike Murkowski, who is flush with millions of dollars from vested corporate interests, does not have a budget for a legal defense. So it did what any small market station would do when threatened by Beltway lawyers charging $500 to $1000 an hour – they pulled Dan Fagan off the air.

Does all this sound heavy handed? It is. It is an interference with Dan Fagan’s constitutional right to free speech. It is also a shocking indictment against Lisa Murkowski. How low will she go to hold onto power? First, she gets the Division of Elections to change its write-in process – a process that Judge Pfiffner correctly determined had been in place without change for 50 years. She is accepting financial support from federal contractors, an act that is highly questionable and now pending before the FEC. And today, she played her last card. She made it clear that if you disagree with her and encourage others to exercise their civic rights, she’ll take you off the air.

The concept of “electioneering” involves several issues, but typically refers to campaigning at the polls, which is appropriately banned. Under federal law, it can also mean paying for advertising on broadcast media during a federal election cycle, and it requires disclosures if done by groups and corporations. Fagan used satire to mock Murkowski’s write-in efforts and encouraged Alaskans to run as write-in candidates. That is not illegal. That is free speech.

Would Fagan and the radio station eventually get cleared on this?  Yes, for the reasons given by Palin — but that’s not really the point. Murkowski didn’t need the FCC and the FEC to act in order to silence Fagan’s dissent; she only needed to use her power to threaten an intervention to succeed.

The real problem is that giving the powerful a tool like the Fairness Doctrine makes it even easier to shut down media criticism.  We know this from its track record.  The FD was so unworkable and vague that most radio and television stations simply refused to air political commentary of any kind.  Imagine what kind of power that will hand people like Murkowski once it gets re-enacted, or a similar restriction under a different name.

Of course, the first thing that people can do is to keep those who abuse their power from holding office in the first place.  Hopefully Alaskans take a lesson from Murkowski’s easy reach to government authority to silence her critics, and choose wisely at the ballot box on Tuesday.


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Does anyone think the establishment has even thought that far ahead?

HondaV65 on October 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM
Well, no. And I think that’s the point of Obama’s campaign attack point about giving them back the keys.

It’s a legitimate argument, I say.

They are really bad at governing because they are so deeply corrupt, just like a lot of the Dems.

Seriously, we must keep pushing for a revolution. Missteps and all.

AnninCA on October 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

If Murk wins, I fear what Jim DeMint will be forced to do. remeber, he was the only R Senator outspoken about his disgust with the decision to allow LM to keep her seniority. He would have named LM’s supporters’ names for the voters but was talked out of it by other conservatives who didn’t want to rock the boat before the election.

If Murk is re-seated in all of her triumphal glory, she will be up on DeMint in Seniority and he will look petty to object. If he stands on this one principle alone he may force a 3rd party split before we are ready for one.

rwenger43 on October 30, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Put them under a little bit of stress – and it comes out every time for all the world to see. You saw it with Crist, with Specter, with Castle, with Bennett … you see it in the actions of John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell.

This is an attitude that we need to eliminate from the Republican party.

HondaV65 on October 30, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I have never seen it come out of Gov Palin when she is under pressure which is one of the biggest reasons I support her. She is very different.

unseen on October 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM

unseen, that’s an excellent thing to bring out. She’s withstood attack after attack and has not buckled or become bitter or devolved into self-centeredness.

INC on October 30, 2010 at 12:43 PM

BTW, I love DeMint and his sense of principle.

But I think that, having gained the R party what will be a historic election result on 11/2, the most conservative members will not forsake the GOP for a 3rd party until the R party has proven itself unworthy of being the conservative party. So if a split comes later, it will be a major event with lots of conservative momentum.

But not now. De Mint may have to caucus with the woman for 6 more years, even though she will be an unapologetic cancer to all of the principles the country used to refudiate Obama.

If I’m DeMint, and that LM woman is back in the caucus, I have to wonder which of my colleagues will be Brutus for the conniving b!@ch.

rwenger43 on October 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Well said, Ed.

Moohcowski is despicable. I see no difference between her and Harry Reid’s past attempt to silence radio critics. This goes way beyond party labels, it’s a freedom of speech issue. Simply appalling that Murky would sink this low.

Norwegian on October 30, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Just a reminder …

If Lisa Murkagawa wins the election – the establishment republicans will welcome her back into their caucus with OPEN ARMS.

And – I wonder – what kind of revolution that’s gonna stir at the deckplate level with Republican voters?

Does anyone think the establishment has even thought that far ahead?

HondaV65 on October 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

No, I don’t. That’s one thing that is dismaying. DeMint will need support and encouragement. The conservatives in the Senate will be fighting on two fronts: the Dems and McConnell, et al.

INC on October 30, 2010 at 12:55 PM

No, I don’t. That’s one thing that is dismaying. DeMint will need support and encouragement. The conservatives in the Senate will be fighting on two fronts: the Dems and McConnell, et al.

INC on October 30, 2010 at 12:55 PM

MCConnell? Please, what did he have to do with this? The real problem is that there are two Republicans in the race and the one that Palin supports is in trouble. Is this a mean race? Yes, it is. It seems that a lot of races in Alaska are like that, but the idea that DeMint and other conservatives need to get involved in some useless and self destructive civil war because of a nasty election in Alaska seems ridiculous to me. The truth is the people will decide who they want and what kind of government they want.

Terrye on October 30, 2010 at 1:05 PM

No judge did. Lisa’s attorneys just filed complaint with the FCC, and the thought of paying lawyers was enough for thee radio station. The station did say it would evaluating the situation before the Monday show.

Wethal on October 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

The FCC and the FEC can’t issue virtual temporary restraining orders. They need a court involved.

The effect of complaining to the FCC is what? The vague threat of fines many months or years from now?

The station management played the fool, and folded. I understand the position, though. This is not their particular battle to fight. Political satire and free speech can be defended later, by deeper pockets.

bbhack on October 30, 2010 at 1:14 PM

The truth is the people will decide who they want and what kind of government they want.

Terrye on October 30, 2010 at 1:05 PM

That’s the way it is supposed to work. I’m not sure the playing field is quite level most of the time. If you don’t think McConnel et al are playing favorites in this, you’re naive. Rove also needs to quit playing games with his TV appearences. He isn’t elected to anything and his dedication to the elite side of the equation makes a big party split that much more likely down the road.

a capella on October 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

The effect of complaining to the FCC is what? The vague threat of fines many months or years from now?

The station management played the fool, and folded. I understand the position, though. This is not their particular battle to fight. Political satire and free speech can be defended later, by deeper pockets.

bbhack on October 30, 2010 at 1:14 PM

When the station’s license was up for renewal, the FCC would be the one to decide, I think.

And yes, the station did fold. Hope management comes to its senses over the weekend. Imagine the fun this guy could have on his Monday show.

The backlash of this is to make Lisa look like a figure of dicule (ok, more than already). The less people see her as a serious candidate, the fewer are likely to vote for her.

Wethal on October 30, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Given Murkcokeski’s campaign conduct, it will be an absolute disaster for the establishment GOP if she wins … they will have effectively (by not stripping her of her seniority when she launched the write-in campaign) a candidate who:

1) Relied on judicial activism to change the election laws in Alaska in a manner that was most corrupt;

2) Used heavy-handed tactics to shut down free speech;

3) Exhibited an overwhelming sense of entitlement and elitism;

4) Went against their own party’s rightfully nominated candidate.

Every GOP senator who refused to take her seniority after she went against Joe Miller by starting the write-in campaign needs to be taken to task for it. Future primary challengers, here is your first campaign ad against those incumbents.

thirteen28 on October 30, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I posted this on the Headline story about the same topic:

Station has a right to remove Fagan.

The station also has a right to be intimidated.

The Murk has a right to intimidate people by insinuation

The public has a right to give the Murk what she deserves

Fagan has a right to feel screwed out of a job

The Murk could have handled the episode with class, and gotten a lot of good publicity, by simply making the media rounds in Alaska claiming sweet victim status, crying (metaphorically) about Fagan was trying to trick the people out of their vote. She could have used the ‘attack’ on herself to jimmie public opinion but she was too stupid to see a gift horse.

She really insulted the voters by implying they were so moronic they would throw away their vote to make a funny

There is a reason she solves her problems with muscle

I was not considering the Fairness doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine is like all the level-the-playing-field doctrines.

There are diabled folk who use the Americans for Disabilities act to intimidate businesses. In my town, no one would lease a perfectly good upstairs storefront, because it did not have an elevator, and the lawsuit was waiting – failure to provide access. Similar lawsuits await any poor sucker trying to get a business start in a older storefront with no wheelchair access to the old fashioned toilet

All such law guarantees challenges, and fear of the challenges becomes self enforcing. Anyone want to say the N-word, even with a group of buddies, in our ‘free speech’ guaranteed world? Even if you win the court case, you might have to mortgage the home to keep from losing by default.

This is the reality of political correctness. Equalization by intimidation means loss of freedon, and loss of the belief you can act freely.

There is a Murk for every such law and they will take every drop of blood from you if you leave any body part exposed

entagor on October 30, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Alaska has surely become part of the mainstream political discussion after years of being in another galaxy. Incredible.

Hening on October 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

I think that what is really going on here is that there is corruption on a grand scale going on and if Moocowski doesn’t keep the Senate seat she won’t be able to deliver on her part of that corruption or it might get exposed. Why else go all in like this to the point of crazy to try to keep the seat? There is a lot more to this than “I can bring home the most pork” which the Alaskans don’t want anymore…

CCRWM on October 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM

The real problem is that there are two Republicans in the race …
Terrye on October 30, 2010 at 1:05 PM

No there aren’t . The Republicans made their choice. Now Moocowski is trying to undo what they decided by getting Democrats and porkers to vote her in. Why would Democrats help a Republican? They wouldn’t, they will help someone who will stop the true conservative Republican and she’ll owe them big!

CCRWM on October 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM

What is wrong with the average Alaskan – can’t they see there’s no more money for the Pork Train to run non-stop? Don’t they see it’s time for ALL Americans to suck it up and stop demanding a free ride?

Wake up Alaska – it’s time to grow a set and stop living off the Big Gub’mint tit!

Ogabe on October 30, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Murkowski is one scary witch. Man she needs to be sent to the house. Get ‘er Sarah!

TXMomof3 on October 30, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Murcowitz is exactly the kind of rotten apple that screwed up the party to begin with. Its hard to believe Alaskan’s would send such a corrupt, self-entitled biznatch back to represent them.

American Elephant on October 30, 2010 at 2:52 PM

If Alicia Morecocaineski is willing to do this on something so trivial, you kind of get a hint of what the hardcore progressives are willing to do to the rest of us.

slickwillie2001 on October 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Morbidcowsey is just as much the problem in Washington as the Democrats are. You know why Bernard Goldberg wrote a book titled, “Crazies to the left of me, wimps to the right?” Because so many politicians in Washington have no higher principle than getting reelected. These anything-to-stay-in-power Republicans are the central reason that the country is so ruled by liberal othodoxy even though we’ve had nominally conservative Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the White House multiple times.

Just to take one example, if Republicans hadn’t wimped out on President Bush, we’d have had — at the very least — some meaningful Soc Sec reform, and probably been able to avoid that whole mortgage crisis. But the Democrats brought in the Congressional Black Caucus to accuse Republicans of racism who wanted to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they folded. Which led to financial crisis and President Obama, all while pointing a finger at Bush.

Moredumbcowsy and Castle are two peas in a pod. Maybe instead of calling them RINOs or Establishment Republicans, we should just call them Entitlement Republicans.

tom on October 30, 2010 at 3:29 PM

CCRWM on October 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Ted Stevens was delivering pork to certain favored interests for years. Once he was gone, Lisa was all they had. Millions in federal pork each year will make someone do desperate things, if the final result is to win. She doesn’t care if she wins messy, just so long as she wins.

She is beginning to look ridiculous.

Wethal on October 30, 2010 at 3:44 PM

This will not end well for Liza McBlowstick.

She went and pissed off the one person she should not have.

I will drink a toast to Leese MalCloscinski’s defeat, if I have anything left to drink from toasting the destruction of the House Democrats district by district.

Brian1972 on October 30, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I listened to the podcast here last night:

http://www.kfqd.com/podcast_info

It really was not a contest. The only time he mentioned a give away was maybe a mug, or “hell maybe I will even throw in a trip to Hawaii or something” It was a caller who brought registering as a write-in in the first hour and it was as a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling. People were stating their registrations were acts of civil disobedience to judicial activism.

For Murky to shut this kind of community communication down is completely in character. After all, she believes the Constitution is a living and breathing document. (which means you can make of it what you wish)

Fagan was not the instigator, you can hear callers saying they saw a facebook account on it and emails and blogs reporting on it and how to do it.

Give Joe Miller a hand here: http://www.joemiller.us Murkowski needs to be retired. Big money goes down badly.

Buckeye Babe on October 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Murkowskowoloski campaign endorsement from Joy Behar in 5……4……3……

BREAKING NEWS:
Joy Behar today endorsed “My Klondike B***h” Linda Mukowski.

Film at 11.

PappyD61 on October 30, 2010 at 4:45 PM

I’m not sure what Sarah will become. I think I hope she’ll some day be Prez. But for now, she’s a fearless leader for the conservative movement, and I say, “Thank goodness for Sarah Palin.”

Just watched “Fire from the Heartland“. Good stuff!

petefrt on October 30, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Ed, I think you missed the part of the note that says the following [emphasis mine]

Individuals like Dan Fagan have a fundamental right to speak their minds without threats from the incumbent Senator from Alaska. It is hard to find a constitutional right Americans cherish more than the right to free speech. This was a right Joe Miller, as a decorated combat veteran – a tank commander tested in battle, was willing to die to defend. Dan Fagan has not always agreed with me, but I will gladly defend his right to speak freely on his radio show, which he has often used to criticize me. In fact, Fagan has actually used his radio show to attack and insult me, my husband, my children, and my family in just about every way possible. He was especially insulting to my son, who left for a war zone to defend Fagan’s right to attack our family. But when I was his governor, I never would have dreamed of threatening his right to free speech. I support him in this fight because this D.C. Beltway thuggery, as exemplified by Lisa Murkowski’s latest threat, is ruining our country. The powers that be want ordinary Americans to sit down and shut up and let the ruling class ride us right off the debt cliff we’re heading towards with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid steering the nation’s car. We can’t let them. Now is the time to put aside our past differences and stand up to the establishment powers.

SgtSVJones on October 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Whoops should have read

the BEST part of the note that says the following:

SgtSVJones on October 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Whoops should have read

the BEST part of the note that says the following:

SgtSVJones on October 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Indeed, it is. But Murky’s PORK is like a COCAINE to many Alaskans both R & D. The establishment Rs in Alaska will never forgive Sarah Palin. SHE EXPOSED THEIR ADDICTION TO FED PORK AND THREATENED TO STOP IT.

TheAlamos on October 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Palin:
Dan Fagan has not always agreed with me, but I will gladly defend his right to speak freely on his radio show, which he has often used to criticize me. In fact, Fagan has actually used his radio show to attack and insult me, my husband, my children, and my family in just about every way possible. He was especially insulting to my son, who left for a war zone to defend Fagan’s right to attack our family. But when I was his governor, I never would have dreamed of threatening his right to free speech. I support him in this fight because this D.C. Beltway thuggery, as exemplified by Lisa Murkowski’s latest threat, is ruining our country.

SgtSVJones on October 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

WOW Thanks for posting that. Sarah Palin is an amazing woman. A true class act and a true patriot who can be trusted to uphold the Constitution.

Elisa on October 30, 2010 at 11:03 PM

The ridiculous thing is she is passing out wristbands and buttons for people to wear to the polls to ‘remind’ them. How wearing apparel to the polls with a candidates name on it isn’t electioneering beats me.

clement on October 30, 2010 at 10:41 AM

To this citizen and voter, that deed by Miss Muckymoroweenie represents violation of election laws.

Just one person wearing Miss Muckymoroweenie’s name on an item would prevent them from voting.

pause…

Oh, wait, O.K., then, wear the wristbands and buttons.

Lourdes on October 31, 2010 at 1:16 AM

And, by this one act alone by Miss Muckymoroweenie (attacking Fagan, him suffering harms by Miss Muckymoroweenie’s attack), I can barely imagine what hideous behavior by Miss Muckymoroweenie would ensue should she be elected.

Lourdes on October 31, 2010 at 1:18 AM

It matters not how the write in is written. Even severe misspellings of Murkowski will be counted as for her…for the first time ever. For the first time ever a list of write in candidates will be available to the voter…just for Lisa.
At the same time that Murky is runnin’ her attack ad aimed at Joe for the brief handcuffing of a “journalist”, liberal scumbag looking to get physical with Joe, she has a talk show host silenced for being against her and for being effective at revealing what she is.
The punk that was handcuffed, not arrested as Lisas lying attack ad states, was detained after he slammed a man in to a locker…that’s assault. The man demanded and accepted an apology from the punk and no charges were filed.
The scumbags that lie for Lisa doan mention that Joe wasn’t even in the room when all this went down.
Lisa wants to keep the power her Daddy gave her and that she has managed to hang on to. She likes the power that Cap and Trad will give to the Feds…she likes the idea of controlling your health care, she just wants it done her way.
This RINO must go. To think I once supported her…it just makes me sick to my stomach. I feel so betrayed…but mostly stupid.

Army Brat on October 31, 2010 at 2:16 AM

You can’t call Murky a RINO! She doesn’t even pretend to be a Republican now – except to have that listed as her “affiliation” on the write-in list (which grew to some 120 names before the filing closed).

Murky is for Murky, not country, state, or party. Too bad the national Party and the Senate leadership is playing both sides of the street – figuring the GOP keeps the seat as long as the Dem doesn’t win (which he could only do with Murky in the race anyway, though).

Reality check, though. Write-in candidates ALWAYS do a lot better in polling (if they had name recognition going into the race) than at the polls. If she cracks 15%, I will be shocked – and dismayed at the wanton corruption of so many Alaskans.

The ONLY Senator to EVER win as a write-in was Strom Thurmond of SC, and that was a very special case as the public was outraged by the way the Democratic Party bosses (at the time, the only game in SC) appointed a successor to the deceased incumbent nominee, Senator Maybank, only minutes after his funeral. It was a popular uprising that had little to do with Thurmond – except that his promise to resign and seek renomination in an open primary at the next election sealed the deal (he kept the promise, won easily anyway).

Adjoran on October 31, 2010 at 5:17 AM

The ridiculous thing is she is passing out wristbands and buttons for people to wear to the polls to ‘remind’ them. How wearing apparel to the polls with a candidates name on it isn’t electioneering beats me.

clement on October 30, 2010 at 10:41 AM

wristbands = CHEATSHEET?

We are wrong. Murky is “genius”. Yes genius, yet politically evil through and through.

TheAlamos on October 31, 2010 at 5:28 AM

Hear the latest? A CBS “journalist” was caught trying to drum up a smear story, showing one of Miller’s staff as a sexual predator.

Honestly, this race is far worse than even the KY race.

AnninCA on October 31, 2010 at 8:23 AM

wristbands = CHEATSHEET?

We are wrong. Murky is “genius”. Yes genius, yet politically evil through and through.

TheAlamos on October 31, 2010 at 5:28 AM

T-shirts are being banned in many places. And this is OK?

AnninCA on October 31, 2010 at 8:24 AM

You can’t call Murky a RINO! She doesn’t even pretend to be a Republican now – except to have that listed as her “affiliation” on the write-in list (which grew to some 120 names before the filing closed).

Adjoran on October 31, 2010 at 5:17 AM

I am amazed that she can be affiliated with the Rs. When she thumbed her nose at the Republican primary and said she would run as an Independent write-in, the Rs should have gotten the message that she really wasn’t a Republican. The primary process in Alaska should be scrapped and just have a general election. That way they can have everyone run for each seat and the winner can declare whom they will be affiliated with AFTER the election.

The Republican Party in Alaska is dead if Lisa wins, and it couldn’t happen to a worse bunch of losers.

belad on November 1, 2010 at 8:15 AM

but I will gladly defend his right to speak freely on his radio show, which he has often used to criticize me. In fact, Fagan has actually used his radio show to attack and insult me, my husband, my children, and my family in just about every way possible. He was especially insulting to my son, who left for a war zone to defend Fagan’s right to attack our family. But when I was his governor, I never would have dreamed of threatening his right to free speech. I support him in this fight because this D.C. Beltway thuggery, as exemplified by Lisa Murkowski’s latest threat, is ruining our country. The powers that be want ordinary Americans to sit down and shut up and let the ruling class ride us right off the debt cliff we’re heading towards with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid steering the nation’s car. We can’t let them. Now is the time to put aside our past differences and stand up to the establishment powers

.

The STRONGEST woman in politics right now. What a slam!!

Sultry Beauty on November 1, 2010 at 12:53 PM

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