November 17th, 2009
09:18 PM ET
9 years ago

Reporters, former aide dispute claim about Palin daughter

Palin's daughter Piper, pictured above to Palin's right, traveled with the former Alaska governor throughout the 2008 campaign.

Palin's daughter Piper, pictured above to Palin's right, traveled with the former Alaska governor throughout the 2008 campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In her new memoir, "Going Rogue," Palin accuses two national reporters of trying to corner her young daughter Piper on the street in Juneau for an interview several months after the presidential campaign ended - a charge both the journalists and a former Palin campaign aide reject.

Palin writes in her book that after the race ended, "members of the national press continued to hang out in Alaska sniffing for tabloid stuff."

"In one early press conference we noticed that our local reporters were flanked by a couple of reporters from the Lower 48 who'd been hanging out around Juneau in search of material for their own Sarah Palin book," Palin writes. "We never shut our doors to anyone, so people of all kinds attended these press availabilities. But glancing along the side wall, I recognized these particular folks as the same ones who had cornered Piper on her walk home from Harborview Elementary School and talked to her for who knows how long about who knows what."

According to Palin, Piper returned home and told her mother: "Mom, remember those reporters who came on the campaign plane with us? You know, the ones Nicolle [Wallace] said didn't like us very much? They just interviewed me on the sidewalk." Palin adds after the incident, Piper was no longer allowed to walk to or from school by herself.

The journalists in question - Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, authors of the newly-published book "Sarah from Alaska" - deny Palin's characterization. Both traveled with Palin on her campaign plane throughout her 2008 vice presidential bid, and the precocious Palin daughter frequently visited with the press corps and became friendly with them, a fact Palin boasts about in her memoir.

Conroy and Walshe said in a statement Tuesday that in the course of reporting for their book, they conducted 190 interviews, including sit-downs with Palin's parents and her husband Todd.

"We did not, however, interview Piper Palin, nor did we corner her on her way home from school," Conroy and Walshe told CNN in a statement. "Contrary to Governor Palin's recollection of having seen us both at a press conference, Scott has never attended a press conference in Alaska."

Wallace, who advised Palin on media strategy during the campaign but fell out favor with the candidate, also rejected Palin's version of the story. She said it would have been impossible for Piper to have used her by name in a discussion about the campaign reporters in question, because Wallace never spoke to Piper about them.

"I have never met Shushannah and Scott and had never seen Shushannah until I saw her on TV yesterday," Wallace said in an e-mail to CNN. "Couldn't have picked either of them out of a line up and never heard their names or had any idea who they were until after the campaign ended."

Conroy and Walshe tell their version of the story in their book, which was released earlier this month. On happening to bump into the reporters in Juneau, they write, Piper "seemed excited to chat briefly with us about her return to Alaska." An hour later, they received an angry phone call from Palin's deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow, accusing them of "cornering Piper at her bus stop for comment."

"We don't appreciate you being here, and we don't appreciate you stalking the governor as you have been," Leighow said, according to the authors.

Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Breaking News!!! Palin's book is filled with inaccuracies! In other news fish have learned to swim in water!

    November 17, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Andrew

    She's playing martyr for her base. Kind of like setting your house on fire and saying an arsonist made you homeless, BUT this stuff works on her "well" informed base. Mission accomplished.

    November 17, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. DawnL,CA

    The Palin Network is at it again....ooops, I mean CNN. All week, nothing but Palin...who cares???? She is not running for anything!!! Don't we have more important news to discuss. Let's see..2 wars, healthcare, job, job, jobs!!!
    CNN has stopped being a NEWS channel. Wake up or a lot of us will go elseware for real news.

    November 17, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Andrew

    If the rational media stops covering her, that will leave the irrational media to do so – getting her less nat'l exposure. Why an org like CNN covers her is beyond me.

    November 17, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. larry

    It is no surprise that wailin Palin's daughter is a liar too.

    November 17, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. KArcher37

    I'm sure Palin's claims here are as true as her claims of Death Panels. Oh wait...

    Even if true, its a "boy cried wolf" scenario.

    November 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. strong

    Who cares?

    If we care less about what the mother says, why would we care about what her kid says? Nobody cares, get it?

    November 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. Drewsie

    GEt over her already. Why is she entitled to media coverage? We have real problems in this country and this world, and Sarah Palin is not even close to the one we need to pay attention to.
    I am tired of media saying this what the people want to hear about. If you treat them like idiots, it is idiots you will have.
    Dont' want to be an American Idiot!
    Wise up, America.
    Smart is good.

    November 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. MeThinksNot

    Not at all clear how an elementary school student would "...happen to bump into the reporters." Good reporters don't waste their time all the way up in Alaska with time spent just bumping into news targets. Smells bad to me.

    November 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Emma

    Piper must have a role model she emulates when it comes to telling the truth. It looks like Sarah's book is not going to help her image with the folks who already don' t feel drawn to her as a leader in America. There
    may come a day when Sarah does better reality testing.

    November 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Uncle Jimbo

    Are we to be surprised that she cannot tell the difference between truth and falsehoods ? She has shown before she has an overactive imagination that creates its own reality.
    Oh please !

    November 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. hongli

    I am not surprise by any of the news coming out about Sarah Palin. Look at the States this RACIAL Idiot is visiting on her book tour and then make your decision. Sarah Palin knows that she is falling by the WAYSIDE on a daily basis and that's the reason this money grabber is doing all she can to lighten the pockets of Americans who think dearly of her.

    November 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. I am the Not-So-Great and Powerless Wizard of Rush

    Piper to Sarah: "You told us we did it for the show"

    Catch any similarities folks?

    November 17, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Lies lies lies lies lies.

    Anybody that pays for over 400 pages of lies and divisiveness is a fool parted with their money.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    November 17, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. LA in WYO

    Thank you John McCain for letting this lunatic out of the asylum. What on earth were you thinking? It's amazing that she was even elected as Governor of Alaska. The Alaskans must have been very uninformed and just voted for a pretty (not!) face. They sure weren't electing her on her intelligence, vast experience, or sanity. She was a mayor of a town of 8,000 people. She should never have gone beyond that.

    November 17, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Hank

    Palin, rarely discusses issue of National concern. He comments are on here continued war with the press. Her whole life is consumed by pettiness.

    November 17, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Jim

    typical republican exaggerations. right to the point of blatent outright lying.

    it sure would be nice if the republicans would just be truthful and factual for a change.

    November 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. snowflake

    I just wish the media and all others who are so interested in this woman would let go of this stuff, and let her "sink her own ship"! Most of us could care less about Sara Palin. It's all about the money$$$$$$ (I understand up to 10 mil) and LIES! LIES! LIES! There is just no doubt about it - Sara Palin is a whiner, a two-faced person, and a fraud!! Give it a break, media!! GOODBYE SARA PALIN!!! We won't miss you at all!!!

    November 17, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. [R]s are Dumbasrocks

    The Palin drama goons are all over the place. Fact-checking this lying piece of trailer-trash would be a life-time job. But it really doesn't matter. The bright among us analyse the facts, and can discern that she is lying. And her goof-ball rightwing supporters don't run their lives by facts anyway. The rightwing underbelly of this nation are self-deluded and purposefully ignorant so they can continue to live in their ideologically driven fantasy world that has no room for facts, truth-seeking, and the human Enlightenment. This American version of the Taliban is already living in the cultural Dark Ages, and their goal is to drive all of American back into the real Dark Ages. You have to be as dumb as decaying vegetation to be true-believing rightwing [R] these days, routing against America in order to gain some sort of ideological advantage. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

    November 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Ted from Calif.

    Just like Sarah; always whining! She puts herself in the limelight and complains when anyone notices. Sarah is just shilling for dollars.

    November 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. people

    How sick does this have to get! just think she could have been the vice president. This is a sick spoiled brat and has dumped her responsibility as a Governor to make lots of money and the spot light. She got what she wanted and is still complaining. America listen to someone like this the last eight years. Look where we are now

    November 17, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    she wouldn't know the truth if it hit her in her face.

    November 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Mike Campbell

    This has been and continues to be totally ridiculous. Are all republicans paranoid about the media. It is ONLY Fox News that has it right? Give me a break. She set for the photo originally and it apparently was not used without permission. She has her name in front of the nation. This woman would lead this nation further down the drain then the last president Bush and his buddy Cheney did. It is going to take Obama more than half of his term to undo just a portion of the problems Bush left him. Heaven help us if Palin gets into office. We will be going backwards in time and will fall further down the republican and conservative rabbit hole to a 2 class country. Them and all of the rest of us.

    November 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Republican

    Sarah is not a bad lady, but the more I read and investigate about her book, the more it becomes blatantly obvious it's a work of fiction. A world created, fabricated and distorted by the vivid imagination of a woman who see's herself as a victim. A victim of her own imagination.

    November 17, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. dia

    The version...that the child happened to bump into the reporters and was excited to talk is lame and not believable in the least. Put that before any judge, and stalker like behaviour would prevail, it makes no other sense than Palins version.

    November 17, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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