As someone who has read Alaska Landmine fairly regularly, I have mostly found the political writing and investigative reporting to be a good job – presented in a way that makes complicated and convoluted issues easy to understand and dissect.
That being said, no one at the Alaska Land Mine reached out to me until a âcash prizeâ was placed on my head. I find the cash prize both disturbing and disappointing, not to mention the reckless act of publicly naming individuals like the author of The Blue Alaskan without any factual basis for doing so.
Criticism is one thing, leveling what many have interpreted as a bounty over a writer is another, even though I have already been judged “low value. “
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the right to anonymous speech is protected by the First Amendment and that the right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page.
A frequently cited 1995 Supreme Court decision reads as follows:
Anonymity is a shield against the tyranny of the majorityâ¦ It thus illustrates the objective of the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from reprisalsâ¦ from an intolerant society.
McIntyre v. Ohio Election Commission, 1995
It is important to note that this right is not unlimited, but my voice is clearly unpopular in a state where progressives are one of the minority voice in a place where political warfare is waged against “tyrannical leftists”.
Even though I don’t feel obligated to address concerns Alaska Landmine raised to justify their recent actions, I will address some of them, knowing full well that this is unlikely to appease the landmine and others. I am optimistic that even in these days when conspiracy theories and mistrust prevail in a politically charged atmosphere filled with animosity and skepticism, this truth will be recognized.
Concerns: The Alaska Land Mine
- For the princely sum of a few hundred dollars, you too can have a “fancy WordPress website”.
- A business license is not required to accept donations in the state of Alaska. This was verified with the state long before the donation link went live quite recently. There is no exchange of goods, no merchandising, no paywalls.
- The Blue Alaskan is a person, hardly worthy of the title of “elaborate and organized media operation”.
- The Blue Alaskan does not have “high level institutional support” or “funding”. I have heard rumors that other Alaskan blogs / media received some form of funding during their training days. The Blue Alaskan is not one of them.
- The Blue Alaskan is a progressive blog, he says at the top.
- The Blue Alaskan is not “the work of a PAC based in or outside Alaska, a political campaign (or campaigns), or any individual with political connections that would affect the way readers assess content. articles â.
- The Blue Alaskan receives press releases, I believe, because they are sent to an email address that is publicly available on TBA’s Facebook page.
- The Blue Alaskan has no âpersonal or professional relationshipâ with any candidate for political office, nor any affiliation with any business or organization I have written about.
I cannot disclose what does not exist. I don’t find Alaska Landmine’s underlying argument that they are the moral arbiters in this case convincing, especially in light of their actions this week. None of my personal friends are lobbyists or politicians.
I took it on myself to start writing after seeing the rise of Save Anchorage, that as I understand it, the Alaska Landmine thinks it’s just a Facebook group. Save Anchorage is a Facebook political group whose members have come to demonstrate armed, threatened officials and encouraged others to storm the Houses of Assembly. Identified neo-Nazis and members of anti-government militias joined the group. A member of the group was arrested for their alleged role in the armed uprising of January 6 at the United States Capitol. Many members of the group celebrated the attack.
I used to publicize the threats I received and quit, not knowing if the practice was ultimately beneficial. Anchorage Press, I have been told, has removed comments considered threatening to me from its Facebook page in the past and I have received communications offering to slit my throat, stalk me, etc. just like I’m sure many mainstream media writers have – the subtle difference being that The Blue Alaskan is a blog.
I appreciate Landmine’s recognition that The Blue Alaskan has done âa good jobâ and that they are ready to share the Alaskan media space. Indeed, there is room for everyone. I don’t see any of my work as competitive and I don’t audition for nothing.
In conclusion, as it says above, âIt’s not CNN and certainly not Fox. It’s a blog, âsomething worth remembering as right-wing onlineâ posts âhave distorted or perhaps even ruined the role of the opinion blogger – to something far more sinister.
The Blue Alaskan is really just one person. While Alaska Twitter is sort of a progressive echo chamber, they got this one correctly.