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

Reporters, former aide dispute claim about Palin daughter

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Speaking for Liberals

    Isn't this like the second or third story on the ticker where something Palin stated in her book is being disputed?
    Let me pose the question in a different way. Isn't this the 3rd or 4th story where it is pointed out that Sarah Palin lied in her book?
    How about, in honor of our troops over seas, she starts telling the truth?

    November 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Bedtime for Obonzo

    For those of you complaining about excessive Palin coverage, may I suggest that you all stop posting 300+ comments every time her name appears? You're showing CNN that you're interested, hence, more coverage.

    Note to nongrammarians - the contraction for "you are" is "you're," not "your."

    November 17, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Abby

    She has solidified her reputation as a dishonest person who takes liberates with the truth and as a caricature who blames the 'elite media' for absolutely everything ang takes no personal responsibly. Some people will always like her - I for one wish her well– but she will never win an office as she has become a joke to most people.

    November 17, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. So What...

    Of course there are 6 articles on Sarah Palin, she is on a book tour and is courting media attention. For heaven's sake, she loves being in the spotlight. I know she likes to tout herself as an average american but she's just as plastic and phony as all politicians. The Newsweek bias slays me – I guess FOXNews is fair and balanced. This would all be hilarious except for the fact she may some day run our country. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.

    November 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. buckwheat

    The left is afraid of someone who tells the truth.They can't stand the light shining on them.

    November 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. gina

    THE CNN no longer report the news what going in our country ,just make the news that nothing to dowith anything!
    The case close with this women.

    November 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Okey Anozie

    I was wondering if other realised, that Mrs. Palin seems to blame everybody for her mistakes. The Mcain camp, The Media, The Legislature (both Alaska and National) The White House, Levi...list goes on and on. When a person points one figure at someone, 4 are pointing right back at them. I would hate to be her husband!

    November 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Cheryl

    It should be obvious to everyone by now that Sarah Palin says whatever she thinks will get her what she wants. Concepts like truth or accuracy don't enter into it.

    It's the same approach Fox and other conservative mouthpieces use...say what your audience wants to believe and they'll never question if it's true. In fact, they'll adamantly defend it even if they know for certain it's not true.

    November 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Doc in Virginia

    Dont make things up that can be readily tipped over by facts. Oh wait, we're talking about Palin here, so that goes out the window.
    Again, using her children as human shields.

    November 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Simmy

    Christianity was no more than a covering for Palin as VP candidate......I wonder if she read the verse in the Bible that says lying is a sin.....Such a bipolar entity......

    November 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. z

    is it possible she is looking for the spotlight .....probably.
    is it possible that cnn will be biased against her..... more then likely
    is it possible that all the media networks work together to devert your interest from much more important issues........ certainly

    think about it... how many big name celebrities do you no nothing about while others are exposed in everyway by the media.

    "it's all part of the puzzle. either peice it together with us or stand back and let us show you peice by pecie what you're missing"

    November 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Ruty

    I think the entire U. S. is acting like high school kids when it comes to Sarah Palin. This woman is a ditzy nobody who needs to go home and take care of her children. On the cover of Newsweek she is posing as if she were 16 years old.It is time for CNN to STOP writing about her. Grow up America. This woman is a loser. If I remember correctly, she and her husband belong to a coalition that want Alaska to seceed from the union. She claims to love her country sooooo much. Does that meam Alaska ONLY?

    November 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Like Mother, Like Daughter(s)

    LIAR !!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. pam Eugene OR

    Why is CNN not reporting that Palin's book is already down to $4.95 if you allow a sleazy right wing magazine to be sent to you.
    This is news! Day one of the release and it is 90% off the price printed on it. It is only number 1 because so many right wing groups bought a ton of them
    What a joke

    November 17, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Moderate

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Look it up. It is a mental illness that Ms. Palin suffers from and guides much of her behavior. The sooner everyone recognizes this, the sooner we can begin to ignore her and get on with the business of repairing this great nation. We should all follow the mantra "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore" "Ignore-Palin-Ignore"

    November 17, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Michael in Houston

    My predictions earlier this summer stand...

    * she will move from Alaska by early 2010 at the latest and set up camp in Southern California
    * helped by the stupid media and some books sold, she will be convinced that America has a thirst for her and she will find a way to be on our TVs every night
    * She will probably split from her husband at some point
    and finally...
    * out of money, rejected by the republican party in 2012 she and her family will become a reality TV show to bring their freakshow front and center one more time.

    November 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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