Todd Palin Bans People From Wife’s Event

palinsSeveral bloggers, most notably Andrew Sullivan, are calling attention to Shannyn Moore‘s bizarre post about being banned from a Sarah Palin event by husband Todd Palin.

Sarah Palin’s Wasilla book signing had a few rules. “Per Todd Palin”, three of us were banned. “Public servants” in their police uniforms at a “public event” in a “public building” had a list of “public citizens” not allowed in.

My qualms about Sarah Palin are longstanding and well documented and I’ve never previously heard of Moore, even though she apparently has a television show of some sort.  But the Palins have every right to ban whomever they damned well please from their book signings.

The event was “public” in the sense that a ticket was apparently not required but actually private in the sense that the Palins had rented the room and were controlling access.  Media were required to present credentials and Moore and two other people I’ve never heard of were specifically banned.

“Public” buildings are frequently rented to private parties, at which point they aren’t open to “the public.”  Indeed, even when in their capacity as public buildings, they’re frequently not simply open willy-nilly to whomever walks by.

And, while I absolutely detest the practice, it’s been a fact for at least a quarter century that many police departments allow their officers to moonlight as private security guards while wearing their official uniforms.  I hate it precisely because it conveys the illusion that it did to Moore — that they are acting in their official capacity as public servants — but it’s done all the time.

As to the larger question of “transparency,” I’m reminded of Ronald Reagan’s famous retort, “I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen.”

Sarah Palin is, so far as I’m aware, simply a private citizen trying to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame by selling a book she paid someone else to write in her name.   She’s under zero obligation to subject herself to press scrutiny while so doing.  One presumes that Todd Palin thinks the three people on the “banned” list are going to somehow disrupt a staged event for his wife’s fans.   So, why shouldn’t he exclude them from the festivities?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Billy says:

    “Public” buildings are frequently rented to private parties, at which point they aren’t open to “the public.”

    I think my Con Law Professor might disagree with this. That said, I’m not sure “Liberal Blogger” is a protected class, but it’s not as simple as “I’m a private party renting a public building so now it’s private.” In any event, I don’t disagree that Palin can ban whoever she pleases from her events, and I believe she should be encouraged to do so with as much jack-booted thuggery as possible. This kind of thing only makes her look worse in the end.

  2. Jeff says:

    Are you sure the Sullivan post was written by Andrew and not someone paid to write in his name ?

    I assume your definition of “15 minutes of fame” is measured in some sort of dogs years ?

  3. James Joyner says:

    Are you sure the Sullivan post was written by Andrew and not someone paid to write in his name ?

    They are as much Andrew’s words as Palin’s book is hers. Maybe more!

    I assume your definition of “15 minutes of fame” is measured in some sort of dogs years ?

    She was briefly famous for being McCain’s running mate. She’s long since morphed into pop culture celebrity, mostly famous for being famous.

  4. James Joyner says:

    I don’t disagree that Palin can ban whoever she pleases from her events, and I believe she should be encouraged to do so with as much jack-booted thuggery as possible. This kind of thing only makes her look worse in the end.

    Alas, I’m afraid she only looks “worse” to people who weren’t inclined to like her to begin with. For her admirers, this just shows she won’t put up with an BS from pointy-headed liberal troublemakers.

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    I’m not a Palin fan but I’m less of a fan of those who continuously attempt to smear her. This is a non incident.

  6. I doubt Palin paid her ghostwriter. Most likely Rupert and HarperCollins ate that cost. (Disclosure: they are also my paymasters. I’ve also used and paid ghosts on long-running series, but normally the publisher pays ghosts.)

    But even so any author is responsible for the work put out under their names. (More disclosure: been bit on the ass by this more than once myself.) Sullivan takes the responsibility for what his sub-bloggers write under his byline so people who obsess over his use of sub-bloggers are being naive. Palin likewise with her ghost.

    I agree re cops used for private events. (Yet more disclosure: have used them myself on a couple of occasions, not for signings.) And by the way, they don’t have to be in uniform — it’s a rare person who can’t spot a plainclothes cop.

    Palin has a right to exclude people she doesn’t like. But it goes to her tone-deafness as a politician. Then again, she’s an idiot in so many, many ways, this is hardly a shock.

  7. JVB says:

    Sounds like sour grapes from a disgruntled person who assumes ‘entitlement’. And ghost writing got Obama elected so I wouldn’t knock just one person for going that route. Palin Smearing should be an Olympic Sport…at least then those who compete could lay some form a lame fame to their past time.

  8. DL says:

    Sarah is a refreshing breeze surrounded by a outhouse-odor permeated media, who actually think they are the ones with the magnificiant odor.

    It must feel like skunks interviewing a rose!

  9. JVB:

    Evidence that Obama had a ghostwriter?

    Ghosts are almost always acknowledged, either on the cover or as we used to do it, on the acknowledgements page.

    There are no secrets in publishing. It’s not the CIA, it’s a bunch of Brown University grads, flakes, geniuses, bureaucrats and maladjusted weirdos. (That’s my category.) Writers talk, editors talk, agents talk. If Obama had had a ghost we’d know about it. We’d have a name.

    Do you have a name? If you don’t then there was no ghost.

  10. Highlander says:

    Ah Mi Laddies! You let this insignificant, state college educated, moose shooting non-entity of a mere woman from that God-awful state,take up so much of your valuable time and energies.

    Remember, she will only be around for her 15 minutes of fame, and then you’ll never have to hear from her again. Yea, right, and if you believe that we can discuss you buying that bridge in NYC.

    Most of you are too young to remember the presidency of Jimma Caarter, trust me there was a reason or two he wasn’t reelected. Obama is Jimmy on Steroids, and during wartime to boot. The political backlash against what is about to occur will make for some very curious events in 3 or 4 years.

    Besides that Palin is the only real man, the Republicans have as a contender thus far.

  11. PD Shaw says:

    I have a name of Obama’s ghostwriter, one of his books was written by Bill Ayers and the other was written by . . . Michael Reynolds.

    I’m sure Michael can’t admit or deny it because of contractual obligations, but I think the books were written by two different people.

  12. PD:

    Hah. I’ve used, I think, 12 different pseudonyms so far. But never one as interesting as “Obama.”

  13. PD Shaw says:

    I’ve been excluded from a Hillary Clinton rally. She used the historic building and public green space outside my workplace as a backdrop for some campaign event, but only wanted supporters with signs and cheers in the camera view. I really don’t have any problem with that, I just watched from beyond the barriers.

    There were city cops providing security, but I’ve suspected that when you get permits for these kinds of things, the city might encourage you to hire them since they might want city cops for large rallies anyway. This way the permittee pays for it.

  14. SJ Reidhead says:

    If the story is true, then kudos to Todd! Shannon Moore is basically a disturbed person who is responsible for the majority of the dismissed ethics complaints that were filed against SP. I have a good idea who the other two banned individuals are and they also deserve being “banned”. These are the people who made SP’s life a living hell while she was governor, simply because they are partisan Dems.

    Good for Todd!

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  15. anjin-san says:

    I’ve been excluded from a Hillary Clinton rally.

    Well you can’t come to my rally either…

  16. Herb says:

    How far the mighty have fallen, huh? A year ago, Palin was a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    Now she’s just “a private citizen trying to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame.”

    I agree with that assessment completely. Someone tell the Republican party before they hitch their wagon to that star! Oh, wait…too late.

  17. Norman Rogers says:

    Sarah Palin is, so far as I’m aware, simply a private citizen trying to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame by selling a book she paid someone else to write in her name.

    Oh please! Can’t you stop your condescension from dripping onto your page?

    1. She’s hardly a “private citizen” — she is a public person, having been elected to public office (most recently, governor of Alaska).

    2. She’s been famous for more than a year — and rightly so.

    3. She always has something to say (unlike Mr. Joyner who would pooh-pooh our quite understandable urge to punish those who would attack us).

    4. What have you accomplished, Mr. Joyner — other than this blog?

    5. Do you really think our President wrote his own books?

    What drivel!

  18. ulyssesunbound says:

    NOrman,

    1. Fine point, but being a public persona doesn’t mean she’s not a private citizen. I think you have some misdirected anger at James on this point, who was actually defending her.

    2. You, apparently, aren’t aware of the metaphorical qualities of the phrase ’15 minutes.’ Let me assure you, no one believes that she has actually only been famous for 15 minutes.

    3. Always having something to say is an accomplishment?? Now, maybe always having something intelligent and reasonable about any subject is an accomplishment, but Sarah hardly qualifies for this.

    4. Graduating from school on the first try.

    5. I can’t speak for James here, but I’m guessing the answer is probably ‘yes.’ Present some documented evidence that the President didn’t write his book, please?

  19. anjin-san says:

    most recently, governor of Alaska

    A job which she quit because it stood in the way of her ability to cash in on her 15 minutes. Guess the trust that the people of Alaska put in her meant a lot less than cold hard cash in her book.

  20. Norman Rogers says:

    For Odysseus …

    I understand that subtlety isn’t your strong point, but there is a great difference between being a private citizen and being a public person. James, and folks like you can make slanderous remarks to your hearts’ content about our Sarah because she is a public person.

    And, perhaps you’re too young to remember Andy Warhol — the author of the phrase, 15 minutes of fame. Andy’s prediction was that everyone would get theirs — and it would be literally 15 minutes. Sarah obviously has staying power — a fact that distresses James no end (and you, as well). Perhaps you meant, metaphysical?

    Can you provide any evidence to buttress your silly claim that our Sarah is unintelligent? I thought not.

    And, I think there was a recently published bio of our President that quoted his familiars about that truckload of reference material he shipped off to Ayers to get his first book written. Am I wrong?

    And poor, sans engine. Do you mindlessly repeat ALL of the Democrats’ talking points? My sense is that good Sarah realized she could do far more for Alaskans (and for the rest of us) by moving on. Smart choice — it leaves you folks gnashing what few teeth you have.

  21. ulyssesunbound says:

    And, I think there was a recently published bio of our President that quoted his familiars about that truckload of reference material he shipped off to Ayers to get his first book written. Am I wrong?

    Link? Reference? I don’t know wtf you are talking about.

    Can you provide any evidence to buttress your silly claim that our Sarah is unintelligent? I thought not.

    Gladly:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRkWebP2Q0Y

  22. Louis Wheeler says:

    What a bunch of drivel, who is this Shannon Moore? She has her 15 minutes of self promoted notoriety, now, as the girl that Sarah Palin dissed. What made Shannon think she had a right to Sarah Palin’s attention? Oh!Yes, she is the hostile media.

    Also, what made James Joyner think he has a right to judge Sarah Palin? There was something smarmy about his writings — all slight digs and off handed slurs. James dear, do you think you invented faint praise?

    At best, you could say that Todd Palin was too protective of his wife. But, after the insane behavior of the Mainstream Media in the last year, I can forgive him of that.

    I can also forgive Sarah for ditching her job as Governor of Alaska early. It was a no win position for her. If she had stayed in office for the rest of the two years, she would have gotten nothing done from the bogus ethics charges and would have been four million dollars in debt. Those people decrying Sarah’s action have experienced not even a hundredth of the abuse which she tolerated with good cheer. You are not fit to walk in her pumps.

  23. Herb says:

    I find it interesting that Palin supporters always refer to those “bogus” ethics charges. It’s either “bogus” or “frivolous.”

    Never “unwarranted” or “ridiculous” or “false” or any other adjective.

    It’s always bogus or frivolous, almost like they’re reading from a script or repeating things they heard other people say.

    And the ethics charges? They’re always someone else’s fault. Palin would never do anything unethical…no, not my Sarah. And if she did, well, I’d forgive her…

    Devotion to Palin has truly become cult-like.

  24. Norman Rogers says:

    For Odysseus,

    Christopher Andersen, in “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage,” writes that Obama was faced with a deadline with the Times Books division of Random House to submit his manuscript after already having canceled a contract with Simon & Schuster. Confronted with the threat of a second failure, his wife, Michelle, suggested he seek the help of “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”

    Obama had taped interviews with relatives to flesh out his family history, and those “oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers,” writes Andersen.

    And your youtube link? Yes, Katie Couric is an airhead. Next question?

  25. anjin-san says:

    I can also forgive Sarah for ditching her job as Governor of Alaska early. It was a no win position for her.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going – for the exit?

    And your youtube link? Yes, Katie Couric is an airhead.

    Possibly. Yet she ate Palin for breakfast, without really even trying.

    Do you mindlessly repeat ALL of the Democrats’ talking points?

    Actually, I spend most of my political time here, and I don’t see too many lists of Democratic talking points. I just know a quitter when I see one, and Palin is a quitter. But she is sort of the logical conclusion of the modern American conservative movement. She makes Bush look like a MENSA member. Once upon a time there were conservatives in this country who had real ideas, such as Goldwater and Buckley. No more. Run along Norman, and worship your golden calf of stupidity and mediocrity…