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Bill McAllister: From reporting to flacking to reporting

Craig Medred

Former Palin spokesman Bill McAllister is in the news again. He's joined KTVA Channel 11. Here are some miscellaneous facts about the lamestream media that McAllister has chosen to be a part of again:

July 3, 2008, Juneau Empire: "Gov. Sarah Palin hired experienced Alaska journalist Bill McAllister to be the new director of her rapidly changing communications office. He is currently a reporter at KTUU-TV, Alaska's top television station, and previously was a state government reporter for the Empire."

July 27, 2008, AndrewHalcro.com: "On Sunday, April 6, Sheila Toomey printed a blurb in her (Anchorage Daily News) Ear column that stated that McAllister was preparing to leave KTUU. At 10:44am, McAllister sent an email to (Gov. Sarah Palin aide Frank) Bailey attaching a link to his KTUU blog where McAllister had just posted a blog disputing Toomey's claim he was leaving. 'Just wanted to eliminate any possibility of looking presumptuous', McAllister told Bailey. Ten minutes later, Bailey responded by telling McAllister, 'As soon as I read the ear this morning I thought 'dang, hope bill doesn't think I said anything on this! You brought clarity to people all over the State Bill. You're an awesome communicator', Bailey wrote. Two days later McAllister sent an email to Bailey saying 'Still haven't received anything from you, at either email account. FYI.' Bailey responded six minutes later; 'Let me know if you finally received that from my personal account (last few words redacted)' So was McAllister negotiating a job with the administration while he was still covering them as a reporter during the legislative session?"

Oct. 31, 2010, Fox News: "Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is accusing staffers at CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA of conspiring to fabricate a story about Republican senate candidate Joe Miller. Sunday on Fox News, Palin said a cell phone recording shows two of the reporters were trying to discredit the Miller campaign. 'It was revealed and we have the tape that proves it, that the CBS reporters, the affiliate in Alaska, conspired to make up stories about Joe Miller,' said Palin on Fox News. 'We have the tape, [Host] Chris [Wallace], that proves it and I can't wait till it busts out all over the nation.'"

Oct. 31, 2010, Alaska Dispatch: "KTVA Channel 11 issued a statement Sunday in response to a controversy swirling around a message left on Senate candidate Joe Miller's spokesman's phone Thursday. The Alaska news station claims Miller's charges of journalistic impropriety are bogus, though the garbled message makes it hard to determine what exactly happened."

Nov. 2, 2010, Alaska Dispatch: "Local CBS affiliate KTVA announced Tuesday afternoon via press release (.doc) that two producers are no longer with the station as a result of an accidental voice recording which captured newsroom staff discussing coverage plans for Joe Miller rally last Thursday. 'At no time did any of the elements associated with the recorded comments become part of any coverage or broadcast. The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening's Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went downhill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards,' states KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever in the press release."

April 5, 2011, Bill McAllister, Alaska Department of Law spokesman and former Palin communications director: "I was a journalist for 30 years. I took down a conservative Republican congressman, Arlan Stangeland (7th District, Minnesota), in 1990, because he used his House credit card to bill phone calls to and from the home of his mistress. (Johnny Apple of the New York Times followed up on the story.) In 1980, I took down the police chief of Winona, Minnesota...."

April 6, 2011, KTVA: "Awesome news! Bill McAllister will be joining our news team next week as a reporter!" (http://twitter.com/ktva)

Who will be taken down next? Who can you trust?

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com.