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Posted at 1:08 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

UPDATED: No record of FBI nabbing Palin stalker

By Emi Kolawole

Updated 2:46 p.m.:

Politico's Ben Smith reports that an original Daily Mirror report cited by Fox News (and cited in this blog post) that reported Shawn Christy had been arrested was wrong.

According to Politico's Smith, the Mirror report appeared to be an exaggeration of a statement Palin's father Chuck Heath made during an interview with the BBC :

JL: And people have threatened her life?
CH: Oh yeah, oh yeah. And her kids too.
JL: In what way, what are they saying?
CH: A good example is one guy from Pennsylvania. He sent us and other people copies of a gun he'd bought, copies of a receipt for a gun he bought, copies of a one-way ticket to Anchorage. 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.

Smith goes on to write that Eric Gonzalez, a spokesman for the FBI's Anchorage field office said the stories were false, and that an Alaska state police spokeswoman and a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department had no record of any contact with Christy.

Note: The original headline on this post, which read "FBI nabs teenage Palin stalker" has been changed.


The FBI has arrested a teenager who sent threatening letters to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, warning her to "watch her back" and claiming he had purchased a gun and a one-way ticket to Alaska.

Shawn Christy, 19, was arrested in Palin's home state of Alaska after Palin won a six-month restraining order against him in October. The order required that Christy stay a mile away from Palin's home and from a Wasilla-area high school. An order of protection was also issued for Palin's friend, Kristan Cole, who testified that Christy had been contacting her since 2009, sending her a letter with proof of a gun purchase and the claim that he had an affair with Palin.

In an interview with the Associated Press in September, Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flien, said Christy had "risen to the top of the dozens and dozens of people" who have threatened Palin since she was tapped as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Fox News reported Monday that Palin's family has revealed Christy was held in Anchorage, 50 miles from their home in Wasilla. The FBI has ordered Christy to return to his home state of Pennsylvania.

(h/t Fox News, Associated Press)

By Emi Kolawole  | March 7, 2011; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

"Democrats would never be violent and threaten anyone" was flung around so much after Gifford’s assassination attempt. Now what do they say.... I don’t deny Republicans can go overboard, many do, but so can the democrats. Just sayin... HUMANS can get violent and kill.. ANY political persuasion. How about John Hinckley Jr.?
Posted by: thatavkguy | March 7, 2011 3:04 PM
*************************

Another Republican Tall Tale- seems to be rampant, like breathing they talk and lie.

John Hinckley, Sr was a George H.W. Bush Pioneer large large donor and the family was Republican all of their lives- they were all in the oil business together. Good Friends with Neil Bush also.

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | March 9, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There are supposed to have been all kinds of threats against them, but if that is the case- why don't they make a police report to that effect? Why can't the law enforcement confirm the threats or at least the reporting of said threats? I find it interesting - all the claims the Palin clan makes that don't seem to be backed up with actual facts. Keeping oneself in the limelight perhaps?

Posted by: alaskan2 | March 8, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

How is this possible? buddy2105 lambastes "the Left" for its supposed "hate speech" that has been "Pushing a mentally imbalanced individual to the brink of violence."

The story above is quite clear. The guy in question has never even been to Alaska. The story about the FBI was simply untrue - an overdramatic lie told by Palin's father. But somehow, Palin's fans think that this made-up story *proves* how evil and hypocritical about political violence "the Left" is!

"The Left", the, must comprise anyone who can actually *read.* There was no person driven to the "brink of violence." The beliefe that there *is* such a person is a hysterical reaction to an imaginary fear - simply complete hysterical conversion.

Let's not even get into the belief of an earlier poster, who believed that it would be justified if "Sarah took 4 or 5 shots to bag this guy. The Second Amendment was apparently included in the Bill of Rights so that we could assassinate anyone we believed *might* physically hurt us - even if they've made no threatening moves!

Of course, the fact that this young adult was never even near Palin would have made it difficult for her to "bag" him - unless she was in a helicopter. Would she have the right to hunt him down the next time she swings through the Lower 48 on a speaking tour? What land would we be living in, if this vision of an armed citizenry and its behavior becomes its law?

Are these really the beliefs of a legitimate political party in our country right now? Are these people actually electing enough Representatives to control a House of Congress?


If they win control of the Senate or the Presdency (since they may already influenec the Supreme Court), you'll be living in a country run by violent paranoiacs who can't read or follow arguments. They see enemies all around them, even where there are none. They believe in fantastic theories that are not supported by science. data, ligic. They believe that anyone who doesn't agree with them are either idiots of traiotrs.

They will control the largest military force ever put together by Man.

If you do not think our nation can run that risk, you better do something.

Posted by: mowder | March 8, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

The most disheartening dimension of this story is that after watching and participating in the 8 years of innuendo, misinformation and disinformation that shaped the Republican response to the Clinton era, the same patterns of behavior have emerged as the primary MO of Republicans for the Obama era, and the press is still being manipulated into reporting this kind of drivel without an appropriate level of skepticism.

The moral acceptance of "the end justifying the means" has shaped the GOP for most of my adult life. They posit that it is so important for them to run things that dirty tricks to make it happen are acceptable. Why the press is still so gullible eludes me. Exactly how many times will they cooperate? It would seem to me that by now there should be a knee jerk response to messages that warrant careful investigation prior to dissemination.

Polls that show the American public is grossly misinformed about all manner of issues should shame journalists everywhere. A good example is the Affordable Care Act. Reporting on distortions and misinformation has been robust; clarification of the Act, miniscule. Even the moniker of "Obamacare" has been adopted by the press, as if they have no idea that doing this is a very intentional political tactic of the GOP.

Pawns!

Posted by: pbkritek | March 8, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

How can a supposedly serious publication like the Washington Post let itself be punked by Fox News?

Posted by: sembtex | March 7, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

BORING. Why do we have to keep hearing about these YAHOOS.

Posted by: racam | March 7, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Gee, LAST week the O'Riley Factor on FOX showed news footage purporting to be violence in Wisconsin...the palm trees in the background kind of gave that one away.

Now a blogger at the Washington Post quotes FOX and is surprised that the story was false? Neither this blog or the Washington Post checked? Who is more stupid: FOX, the Washington Post or readers who believed it? What's next? Quoting the ONION?

Posted by: tsnell1 | March 7, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

This quote in the article suggests Palin may have had an "affair" with teen Shawn Christy:

"An order of protection was also issued for Palin's friend, Kristan Cole, who testified that Christy had been contacting her since 2009, sending her a letter with proof of a gun purchase and the claim that he had an affair with Palin."

Nothing surprises me anymore these days! :(

Posted by: EvanCA | March 7, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise or bother me that a Palin family member would embroider a story to get attention. But it is quite scary that based on that alone, washingtonpost.com was good to go with a false story and a pretty provocative headline. Hello? Journalism? Check your sources? Double check before printing? Palin's dad's word is now beyond research?

Posted by: fmjk | March 7, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't surprise or bother me that a Palin family member would embroider a story to get attention. But it is quite scary that based on that alone, washingtonpost.com was good to go with a false story and a pretty provocative headline. Hello? Journalism? Check your sources? Double check before printing? Palin's dad's word is now beyond research?

Posted by: fmjk | March 7, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Palin has committed political suicide and should drop out of Public Life. She needs to retire completely. She quit as Governor of Alaska she was not strong enough. She is not Presidential material, she couldn't pack the Presidents lunch. She doesn't know how our Government runs just ask Katie Couric. She is directly or indirectly responsible for the bloodshed of Democrats and innocent by standers.

Posted by: allpau09 | March 7, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Palin's family pants on fire!
How about a little truth for a change!

Posted by: Marywexler38 | March 7, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

How can the entire US population get a restraining order against all of the Palin family, to keep them a mile away from all media sources?
I'm sick of the hourly 'updates' on what the Palin family is doing and saying now.

Posted by: momof20yo | March 7, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Well if the Palin family doesn't like all the attention they're getting, why don't they stay away from all media sources? Why don't they all just shut up and quit thinking they're somehow worthy of 'celebrity status'?


And I wish the media would quit following the Palin family's nonsensical rants on Facebook and Twitter. We've been telling the media for two years, that we don't want to hear about the Palin family anymore.


It's long past time for the media to refuse to give those idiots any more 'air time'.

Posted by: momof20yo | March 7, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

More lies from RepubliCorps PR department.

Fear, hatred, Distortion ,Distraction and Division is all Republicans have to offer America.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 7, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

So, how did the WaPo publish this without fact-checking it?

Posted by: markvc1 | March 7, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Politico's Ben Smith reports that an original Daily Mirror report cited by Fox News (and cited in this blog post) that reported Shawn Christy had been arrested was wrong."

So, is anyone holding Fox responsible for spreading the story?

Posted by: j762 | March 7, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't exactly a secret that Christie was in Anchorage. The Wasilla newspaper interviewed him. He said he checked with local law enforcement to make sure he wasn't violating the order.

http://www.frontiersman.com/articles/2011/02/13/local_news/doc4d5770023e72e544575617.txt

Let's remember that Mrs. Palin had absolutely no compassion when Rep. Giffords expressed her concern about being targeted by those infamous surveyor's marks.

It's also clear that the real problem with Palin coverage isn't that there's too much of it. It's that journalists never call her or her family on their BS with the simple tactic of checking the facts.

Posted by: BlueDog1 | March 7, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The Post blows it AGAIN.

Posted by: Jerkstore | March 7, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Check out the lineage of this story:
Palin's Father --> Uk Mirror --> Fox News --> Wa Po"

From Sarah's POV, did WaPo change from "reliable" a "hating MSM" source when the truth came out?

Her MSM chant is getting lame. Sarah did an interview with O'Reilly the other day - it went around in circles. I wondered if she might give details of "the Palin Plan" to deal with SS and MC. Was not much better/worse than her 2008 interview with Couric. The chick is lost.

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/transcript/sarah-palin-cutting-budget-reforming-entitlement-programs

Posted by: chris76543 | March 7, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

An extended family of paranoid schizophrenics - can't tell the difference between reality, wishful thinking, scary thoughts, or voices in their heads. Remember ... Sarah actually hears God telling her to do what she does.

Posted by: chris76543 | March 7, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"a one-way ticket to Anchorage"

Well, the planes don't transfer in Calgary anymore, otherwise they would have reported it to his local draft board too.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 7, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

LOL....add this to the Palin scrapbook. What a bunch of tools.....

Posted by: CHICO13 | March 7, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

So was Palin's father totally lying? Hello, journalists?

Posted by: brian_away | March 7, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz! And golly gosh!

When will the new Palin reality TV show air?

This one will be good till the commercial break, I reckon. . .

Posted by: chamateddy | March 7, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Too funny, another lie from the Palin family. This one is quite good. Palin canceled an appearance in Colorado recently citing saftey concerns over threats, then the next day it was found out that the tickets could not be sold even at half price and that is the reason that the event was canceled. There were no threats that were ever reported to any authority about this appearance, but the Palin camp put it out there anyway, hoping that people are still falling for anything they say. Now her dad is busted in a huge lie about another threat. Hilarious. But the wingnuts still want to pork her so she will remain in the spotlight for all to mock. Thanks wingnuts.

Posted by: greenmansf | March 7, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone side-eying the Post over this. How on earth did you manage to run a post with absolutely no verification from anyone other than Palin's dad?

Hey WaPo, I'm one of Sarah's in-laws, Michael. I seen Beyonce at Burger King, and she was eating with Sarah Palin. Run that headline, why don't you.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 7, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats would never be violent and threaten anyone" was flung around so much after Gifford’s assassination attempt. Now what do they say.... I don’t deny Republicans can go overboard, many do, but so can the democrats. Just sayin... HUMANS can get violent and kill.. ANY political persuasion. How about John Hinckley Jr.?

Posted by: thatavkguy | March 7, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............

Posted by: Jerryvov | March 7, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

What are the corroborating LEO sources for this story? Oh, yes, well, there are none. And there may never be any, because the story appears to be a complete fabrication.

This story is based on a statement to the press made by Chuck Heath. If it turns out to be a false report, he may find himself under investigation.

Posted by: fred_p_harris | March 7, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The same pivot for both... guns, seems to be drawing them together.

Posted by: Geopolitics1 | March 7, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

When I saw the headline, I thought the FBI must have arrested Dana Milbank from the Post!

Posted by: familynet | March 7, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Dionne and Capeheart have some competition; as America's foremost Palinophic newspaper, the Post should hire this yahoo.

Posted by: CubsFan | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Check out the lineage of this story:

Palin's Father --> Uk Mirror --> Fox News --> Wa Po

NOT A SINGLE SOURCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT WAS QUOTED! What on God's Green Earth has happened to responsible journalism in this country?

The only thing we can be assured of from this story is that Palin's Father called the British Tabloid "The Mirror" and submitted a story. That is all.

Posted by: mb56 | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse


When I saw the headline, I thought the FBI must have arrested Dana Milbank from the Post!

Posted by: familynet | March 7, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Now if we could just get a restraining order to keep Palin away from the lower 48 states and or arrest her the world would be so much better, John Mccain was liked till he infected us with Palin, now he is no better. Lock them both up and toss the key on the bridge to nowhere.

Posted by: joedamico34yahoocom | March 7, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Check out the lineage of this story:

Palin's Father --> Uk Mirror --> Fox News --> Wa Po

NOT A SINGLE SOURCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT WAS QUOTED! What on God's Green Earth has happened to responsible journalism in this country?

The only thing we can be assured of from this story is that Palin's Father called the British Tabloid "The Mirror" and submitted a story. That is all.

Posted by: mb56 | March 7, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

So, Christy is in compliance with the court order. He's in Anchorage, 50 miles away from Palin. Since when does the FBI get to order any American citizen who is not in violation of any law to leave any place. Sorry, if Ms. Palin is uncomfortable that someone from the lower 48 decided to visit her lovely state. After all she has been hawking it in her very own Travel Channel reality show, for considerable personal profit I might add.

Mr. Christy should defy the FBI and dare them to arrest/detain him as long as he is not violating any condition of the court order. Caribou Barbie isn't Queen of the World, yet. The FBI should focus its attention on all the real ciminals. Let the local police deal with ordinary citizen Sarah's stalking problems. They, after all have that responsibility, not the FBI, U.S. Marshals, or the Secret Service. Sarah Palin has chosen to capitalize on her noteriety. All the issues associated with celebrity are her problem, not the Americn tax-payers' I'm sure she has a personal bodyguard and plenty of local police/deputies to look out for her safety.

If she wants better security, she needs to pay for it. I don't want one dime of tax money spent on her personal protection. That's her personal problem, not the public's.

Posted by: old_sarge | March 7, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Not to downplay the seriousness of this incident, but someone who fully intends to be a genuine threat wouldn't telegraph his moves as this "teenager" (who at 19 is an adult in almost any jurisdiction) has done.

The kid should definitely go back to PA and enjoy its fiscal collapse under Dem leadership.

Posted by: NotJim | March 7, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

According to the FBI via Politico-this is a bogus story.
Politico has quotes from both the FBI field office in Anchorage and the Alaska State Police.
No such arrest, no such suspect.
More Palin fantasy.
Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Palin's daddy spun a tall tale to the UK media like his daughter routinely does on FOX News.
FOX News is becoming more and more of a laughingstock every day.
They should just rename themselves the Palin Network and show cartoons and soap operas all day.
It is absolutely mind boggling that a once decent network ruined it's reputation for Fair and Balanced by allowing Palin
and her perfidy and petulance to dominate the channel.

Posted by: CaptainKarl | March 7, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The people comparing this to Jared Loughner are ignoring one important fact. Unlike the congress member who was shot, Sarah Palin's job is to roam this country and incite reactions. She put herself into this position. She intentionally uses strong rhetoric and should expect that not everyone will agree or like her. Some may even want to put an end to that rhetoric if they feel threateneded enough.

In any case I give Sarah Palin >1 year after 2012 elections to be nothing more than a footnote in the history books. Her influence is superficial and based on a misguided perception. Those who love her, have fun. You must be blind or something... This woman is nothing more than a illusionary politician. She works for the entertainment business and her act is politics. If she was truly a leader or politician she would have never resigned from Governor. Can't make millions from corporate America while working for the People. Would have been a conflict of interest and landed her in court. Her bank account is her only agenda these days.

Posted by: JosephC1 | March 7, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Not to downplay the seriousness of this incident; but someone who fully intends to be a genuine threat wouldn't telegraph his moves like this "teenager" (who at 19 is an adult in practically every jurisdiction) has done.

The idiot should definitely go back to PA and enjoy its fiscal collapse under Dem leadership.

Posted by: NotJim | March 7, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If every American was forced to carry a gun after completing gun safety training, this wouldn't even be a story. We'd just hear about it after Sarah took 4 or 5 shots to bag this guy. The 2nd Amendment is there for a reason folks. Signed: A True Patriot

Posted by: chris76543 | March 7, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Can any of you brain surgeons spewing off at the mouth prove this kid's a liberal? Link?

Posted by: CHICO13 | March 7, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I hope Sarah Palin spends the rest of her life looking over her shoulder and sleeping with one eye opened!

Posted by: jeffc6578 | March 7, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

A friend of mine just got off the phone with the U.S. Attorney's office. Christy was not arrested in Alaska, to their knowledge he was never in Alaska so obviously..he was not "sent home" as Chuck Heath said. Just another lie from snowdrift snookie and her clan.

Posted by: ruadearry2 | March 7, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Boo hoo... so Palin pulled a nutcase from the woodwork. Obama gets about 30 threats a day, but we don't hear about it. The one we DID hear about was when Palin was whipping her parrots into a frenzy and one yelled "Kill him". Wish she could rile followers up to help find solutions for problems.

Posted by: chris76543 | March 7, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY news source who's reporting this is Fox. WaPo got it from Fox. The FBI are reporting nothing. Slow news day for Palin so she has to do this to stay in the limelight.

Posted by: blarsen1 | March 7, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The irony of Sarah being shot in AZ. Or hunted down by grizzly. No more ludicrous than her snippets.

Posted by: KraftPaper | March 7, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

please, release him

Posted by: Thehawk1 | March 7, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Well I am glad to see that the FBI finally arrested Sarah Palin. That woman has gotten away with breaking so many laws that it is embarrassing. I was losing my faith in "the system" but maybe the FBI is actually on the job after all.

Posted by: bjuhasz | March 7, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

don't believe everything you read

Posted by: roboloki | March 7, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Why is this man permitted to have a gun? When you buy a gun you are to have a thumb print, and a felony record check here in Oregon. This guy should be put in jail, and acquitted, not sent back home to come back and re-stalk. Idiots who comment on this page only can see past their noses. This is a Liberal stalking a conservative and threatening to kill her, but when someone gets shot by a lefty, and they blame it on conservatives, then all hell breaks loose and you never hear the end of it. Get a life lefties and quit the bantering about your stupid ideologies. This is a free country....so far.

Posted by: allforher58 | March 7, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

why is this man permitted to have a gun? When you buy a gun you are to have a thumb print, and a felony record check here in Oregon. This guy should be put in jail, and acquitted, not sent back home to come back and re-stalk. Idiots who comment on this page only can see past their noses. This is a Liberal stalking a conservative and threatening to kill her, but when someone gets shot by a lefty, and they blame it on conservatives, then all hell breaks loose and you never hear the end of it. Get a life lefties and quit the bantering about your stupid ideologies. This is a free country....so far.

Posted by: allforher58 | March 7, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

so can the conservative base now flame (rachel maddow/lawrence o'donnell ; the Ed Show and Chris Matthews) for the 24/7 "republicans/conservatives are bad and evil' rhetoric as being behind the cause that incited this nutjob the same way they flamed Palin with Jared Loughners actions?

Posted by: mlansdon | March 7, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

so can the conservative base now flame (rachel maddow/lawrence o'donnell ; the Ed Show and Chris Matthews) for the 24/7 "republicans/conservatives are bad and evil' rhetoric as being behind the cause that incited this nutjob the same way they flamed Palin with Jared Loughners actions?

Posted by: mlansdon | March 7, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The author of this article should make an inquiry of the FBI to determine if the only source for this story is Palins' father.

Posted by: WESHS49 | March 7, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

so can the conservative base now flame rachel maddow/lawrence o'donnell for the 24/7 "republicans/conservatives are bad and evil' rhetoric that incited this nutjob the way they flamed Palin with Jared Loghner?

Posted by: mlansdon | March 7, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Why is Sarah Palin being protected by the FBI? If we are really looking for things to cut to balance the budget this should be first on the list.

Posted by: Menauhant | March 7, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, if it was reported on Fox, then is simply must be true? Right? We know they ONLY report the facts and don't make up stories.

Posted by: lyndee1 | March 7, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Shocker, another violent lefty actually tries to do something VS made up tea party violence.

Posted by: j751 | March 7, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

A teen-age stalker? Teen-age?

Where are all the middle-age men?

Posted by: kishorgala | March 7, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually according to the FBI, this report is untrue. This was just a statement Palin's father made during an interview recently. Emi Kolawole, you might want to do a better job of fact checking before you report something as fact.

Posted by: davidandrachel2007 | March 7, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

So this is what all the Palin bashing by the Left has accomplished.

Pushing a mentally imbalanced individual to the brink of violence.

The Left of course doesn't believe Hate Speech - Violence connection appies to them.

They just get to pontificate that it applies to everyone but them.

Posted by: buddy2105 | March 7, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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