Police, FBI deny Palin stalker arrested, Jim Hoft runs debunked story as fact
A spokesman for the FBI’s Anchorage field office denied British press reports that a stalker against whom Sarah Palin was granted a restraining order was arrested in Alaska.
The Mirror and Daily Mail reported, vaguely citing Palin family sources and in the wake of a BBC interview in which Palin’s father complained of threats, that the stalker, Shawn Christy, had been arrested by the FBI after actually traveling from his Pennsylvania home to Alaska — which would have been a scary escalation to correspondence that already included receipts of guns purchases.
But Eric Gonzalez, a spokesman for the FBI’s Anchorage field office, said the stories were utterly false.
The Anchorage office “has not arrested or had any contact with Mr. Christy,” he said.
UPDATE: The British press reports appear to be an exaggeration of something Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, told the BBC — which was also contradicted by the FBI:
We kind of laugh it off, we got a restraining order on him, and lo and behold last week he showed up in Anchorage, from Pennsylvania, and fortunately the FBI was on top of it and sent him home.
UPDATE: An Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman also says they have no record of arresting Christy. A spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department, Anita Shell, also said her office had no record of contact with Christy.
UPDATE: The origin of the story appears to be a February trip Christy took to Alaska, which appears not to have run afoul of the law.
Who else but Jim Hoft, right?
On Monday at 5:52 p.m., the Andrew Breitbart blogger posted this breathless headline:
Deranged Gun-Toting Palin Stalker Arrested 50 Miles From Her Home in Alaska
The alarming report was based on a British article in the Daily Mail. Only problem is, as is often the case with British reporting since Obama’s inauguration, the “stalker” report was bogus.
How do we know? Because nearly five hours before Hoft pushed it, Ben Smith at Politico and David Weigel at Slate both debunked the story with on-the-record quotes from law enforcement.
Stay Classy Jim