Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

Construction

My response to the Blue Alaskan

On October 18, I wrote an article about the problems with anonymous news sources, including the increasingly popular Blue Alaskan media operation. In that article, I offered a $500 reward to anyone who can provide irrefutable proof of the identity of the person(s) behind the Blue Alaskan. Last week, the Blue Alaskan fired back with an article titled, “Fast and Loose.” While I enjoyed the title, the Blue Alaskan’s article only further deepens my belief that the Blue Alaskan needs to come clean.

Let me explain.

The Blue Alaskan’s first criticism is that I did not contact them. To that I say, of course I didn’t. I would have no idea who I am contacting or who is writing back. That’s the whole point.

Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

Ermine Skate

Second, the Blue Alaskan argues that anonymous writing is protected under the First Amendment. This is an argument a lawyer would love: it is factually correct, convincing, and speaks to a principle that many of us–including all of us at the Landmine–hold dear. We are big First Amendment fans at the Landmine. I successfully sued Governor Mike Dunleavy on First Amendment grounds after the Landmine was excluded from press conferences.

Unfortunately, the Blue Alaskan’s First Amendment argument is completely irrelevant here. Nobody in this discussion has argued that anonymous writing–by the Blue Alaskan or by anyone else–is illegal. That would be silly. Of course anonymous (or pseudonymous) writing is legal. I am arguing that the anonymous operation of a news outlet is irresponsible and unethical.

The First Amendment argument made by the Blue Alaskan is a classic “straw man:” a weak or irrelevant argument propped up only so it can be toppled for the edification of the writer. Moving on.

Next, we have the argument that the Blue Alaskan must remain cloaked in anonymity out of fear. As the Blue Alaskan stated:

“…clearly my voice is unpopular in a state where Progressives are one of the minority voices in a place where political war is being waged against ‘tyrannical leftists.'”

Yes, Alaska is a conservative state overall. But the Anchorage Assembly is heavily progressive and the Alaska House of Representatives is controlled by a coalition full of progressives. Anchorage (which seems to be the setting for much of Blue’s writing) is a purple city politically, which split solidly for Biden in the last presidential election. Residents of Juneau (the seat of Alaska government) voted for Biden at a higher rate (68.11%) than residents of California (63.48%). There are countless progressive voices in our state, and have been for decades. Blue’s appeal for “minority” status as a progressive, in a state with progressive cities full of progressive voices, is, frankly, kind of embarrassing.

As I stated in my first piece, we live in the United States. This isn’t Russia or China. Blue’s desire for anonymity seems to come from a desire for convenience–not out of genuine concerns for safety. Is it sometimes uncomfortable to report the news in a “big small town” like Anchorage (or Alaska, for that matter)? Sure. But you get used to it. And ultimately, accountability encourages you to do a better job.

Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

Ermine Skate

Next, the Blue Alaskan made a few points that I really think underscore the absurdity of anonymous news reporting:

“The Blue Alaskan is one person, hardly worthy of the title of ‘elaborate and organized media operation.'”

Well, how do we know? Are we supposed to just take your word for it? For all anyone knows, the Blue Alaskan could be one person, two people, a group of people, a PAC, the media arm of a local political communications firm, an operation by a candidate or group of candidates, etc. Is the writer connected to any candidates, companies, or political organizations? Is the writer being paid to write the large volume of news being put out on Blue Alaskan? If not, then how does Blue Alaskan support themselves financially? Nobody has any way to verify who or what the Blue Alaskan media operation is or why it publishes the content that it does.

“The Blue Alaskan does not have ‘high-level institutional support’ or ‘funding.'”

See response above.

“I have heard rumors that some other Alaska blogs/media outlets have received some form of funding in their formative days. The Blue Alaskan is not one of them.”

See response above.

“The Blue Alaskan is not ‘the work of an Alaska-based or outside PAC, a political campaign (or campaigns), or an individual with political connections that would affect how readers assess the content of articles.'”

See response above.

“The Blue Alaskan does not have a ‘personal or professional relationship’ with any candidate for political office, nor any affiliation with any company or organization I have written about.”

Advertisement. For information about purchasing ads, please click here.

Oxford

This actually seems unlikely. There aren’t too many people in Alaska who could put out the type of content that Blue Alaskan does but who don’t have any connections to candidates or campaigns. Of course, it’s possible. But again, see response above.

In my last article, I was critical of the Blue Alaskan soliciting donations when nobody knows where the donations are going. The Blue Alaskan defended this practice, writing that “A business license is not required to accept donations in the State of Alaska. This was verified with the state well in advance of the donation link going live just recently. There is no exchange of goods, no merchandising, no paywalls.” While Blue might be correct about the legality of this arrangement, the claim that “there is no exchange of goods” is… sketchy. Obviously the donations are being made in support of a “good,” even if that good is intangible news reporting.

Since attempting to find out the identity of the Blue Alaskan, I have received numerous tips. Many are meritless, but a few are promising. In particular, we may have been able to identify one person who either is the Blue Alaskan or is assisting the operation by attending public meetings on their behalf and creating media. There is clear evidence of this… but we are still investigating.

That being said, I have increased the prize to $1,000 for anyone who can provide irrefutable evidence of the identity of the person or person(s) who are behind the Blue Alaskan. I will write you a check directly or donate the $1,000 to a charity of your choice.

Subscribe
Notify of
19 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Richie Romero
29 days ago

I think it’s Revera and Constant. Both blue job specialist

Richie Domedo
29 days ago
Reply to  Richie Romero

“Wrong” – Everyone.

Margaret D Stock
29 days ago

I seriously wish you’d spend more time on the news and less time worrying about the identity of an anonymous blogger. Anonymous bloggers are common these days, and have been operating in Alaska for a long time (i.e., Wickersham’s Conscience). For how Word Press encourages anonymous bloggers, and for some very good reasons that a blogger might want to be anonymous, read here https://wpklik.com/wordpress-tutorials/start-an-anonymous-blog/

Flordiawoman
29 days ago

It’s strange because in General Landfield has mostly focused on important issues-concerns and put his skills to good use.
This “am going to demask” someone as a public service thing is bizarre at best, mis-gudied and potentially harmful.

Say the bluedog worked for Dunleavy…you know the Gov with loyalty pledge…. for example.

I’m a little surprised actually that Landfield doesn’t understand how entrenched Alaska politics and worklife is and how expressing the wrong opinion or being from the wrong church can be harmful to keeping ones health insurance.

Read the firecracker boys and follow the money lineage from there…

Dan
29 days ago

I don’t know exactly what I think, but if it’s good enough for Margaret it’s good enough for me.

TK Kleiner
29 days ago

Perfectly legit for the BA to strive to protect anonymity within lawful parameters. Perfectly legit for Landfield to use any legal means to breach BA’s anonymity. Neither course offends me. Yet, it increasingly feels to me as though, reputationally, this may end badly for one or both parties.

Jeff is a bully
29 days ago

Jeff,

Go fuck yourself, you pathetic bully. Anchorage was much better before you showed up and will be much better when you head south.

Richie Romero
29 days ago

Wow Bully
What big blue balls you have.

Evan S Singh
28 days ago

Well, freedom of speech and all that.

Peter Schneidler
28 days ago

I have never even heard of the Blue Alaskan until reading this. I don’t know if I agree with what they’ve been writing or not. The argument I’m most sympathetic with is the idea that it can be hard to reveal yourself as a progressive in Alaska. Jeff points out that Anchorage and Juneau are pretty progressive. Yes, and if the Blue Alaskan lives there, I think Jeff is right that it would be no big deal to reveal themselves. But the other 99% of the state’s acreage is hyper conservative. If you live in the Mat-Su, or the Kenai… Read more »

Flordiawoman
28 days ago

I find it hard to swallow (why does that sound dirty?) that Anchorage, which elected an opening antisemitic major, is progressive by any measurement of the word.

Richie Romero
28 days ago
Reply to  Flordiawoman

I’m sure you never had a hard time swallowing.

Test
27 days ago
Reply to  Flordiawoman

Given the prior two term mayor was Jewish, I’m struggling to see how your perspective should be credited.

The Alaska Poaster
28 days ago

You have no idea what you’re talking about if you think native villages are “hyper conservative”. You don’t even have to visit one; just look at the state election results at the precinct level.

Maureen Suttman
28 days ago

Name your own AK Stalker Jeff.

Jared L
28 days ago

They have multiple times

Lynn Willis
28 days ago

You think the dark money funded “messaging” is bad now, just wait a few months as the elections approach. Best defense against self deception or spreading falsehoods is to observe that old adage (sometimes credited to the Russians) which President Ronald Reagan would quote to Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev during nuclear arms negotiations: “Trust but verify”.

Jeff Landfield, Blog Police Detective
27 days ago

Your little vendetta here has no news value to speak of and doesn’t seem to meet any demand from your readers. You are squandering your credibility on a bad hunch. The Blue Alaskan isn’t important. Your engagement numbers are probably getting a boost from this non-story, but trying to dox an unimportant blogger is making you unimportant. Even if you turn out to be right, the way you got there is just plain wrong. I trust the judgment of a blogger offering a cash reward for doxxing an anonymous blogger based on a dumb guess about as much as I… Read more »

Jeff
26 days ago

Who is the AK stalker? $5