Further details have emerged about the banning of undesirable reporters from the Sarah Palin book tour event in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, after Alaska-based photojournalist and videographer Dennis Zaki found himself on the list.
We reported that Zaki was turned away from Palin’s homecoming event in Alaska on Tuesday. Zaki checked in at the media window with a blogger friend, and they were told they had to leave. “They were anxious to get us out the door quickly,” blogger Jesse Griffin told TPMmuckraker. The two men didn’t fight the decision.
Zaki, an Alaska journalist, has been trying to get to the bottom of the mystery — particularly who put together the “banned list” that was cited by a police officer. We’ve now gotten Zaki’s later report in an email sent to TPMmuckraker:
“Just spoke to James Hastings, the manager who booted me from the Wasilla Center. The ‘banned list’ is just four names he wrote in a notebook after getting the names from Todd Palin. Yes Todd Palin. The shadow governor. The photos he had to identify us were from the internet that he (Hastings) found himself to identify us.”
Zaki’s use of the phrase “shadow governor” refers to Todd Palin’s reputation as having been something of an enforcer/hatchet-man for his wife during the time when she was governor. For example, he played a central role in the Trooper-Gate scandal, pressuring state officials to get rid of Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. CNN described him as his wife’s “most loyal protector.” Has the same pattern continued in her new role as touring author and right-wing activist?
(Additional reporting by Justin Elliott)