It appears the Palins are tired of being defamed by media, for the day after the Alaska governor announced her intention to step down from her post later in the month, her attorney issued a written warning:
This is to provide notice...those who republish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law.
As reported by Politico moments ago:
Ratcheting up her offensive against the news media, Gov. Sarah Palin’s attorney threatened on Saturday to sue mainstream news organizations if they publish “defamatory” stories relating to whether Palin is under federal investigation.
In an extraordinary four-page letter, Alaska-based attorney Thomas Van Flein warns of severe consequences should speculation that until now has largely been confined to blogs — about whether Palin embezzled funds in the construction of a Wasilla, Alaska, sports arena — find its way into print.
"This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who republish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law," Van Flein warned, citing Alaska liberal blogger Shannyn Moore. [...]
“Just as power abhors a vacuum, modern journalism apparently abhors any type of due diligence and fact checking before scurrilous allegations are repeated as fact,” the Anchorage attorney wrote.
Neither the Times or the Post made any mention of the embezzlement rumors in their Saturday editions, but sources close to Palin consider the letter a warning shot to stay away from the topic.
In the letter, Van Flein writes: "'The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those "responsible for the abuse of that right.'… These falsehoods abuse the right to free speech; continuing to publish these falsehoods of criminal activity is reckless, done without any regard for the truth, and is actionable."
Those interested can read the entire letter here.