Anti-Palin rally organizers receive threats
by Lori Tipton Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- Opponents of Gov. Sarah Palin's policies are being threatened.
Alaska Women Reject Palin, a local group that opposes the Republican vice presidential candidate, on Wednesday announced plans to host an anti-Palin rally this weekend.
Since that announcement organizers say they've received intimidating messages.
A press release for the Reject Palin rally went out to practically every media outlet in town Wednesday. And one talk radio host decided to share the names and phones numbers of the two contacts on-air.
That decision has left organizers feeling somewhat fearful of practicing their First Amendment rights.
KBYR talk radio host Eddie Burke admits he is a conservative and a "Palinista."
But on Wednesday Burke resorted to name calling when he found out Alaska Women Reject Palin planned to host a Saturday rally.
"They're a bunch of socialist maggots, that's what I'm going to call them -- socialist maggots, that's what they are, a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," said Burke.
On Thursday Burke pulled back, a little.
"Yesterday, I was probably a little over the top," he said.
The talk show host encouraged listeners to call the two women listed on the press release, which he calls a public document.
Burke says he released the information across the airwaves because organizers had included their contact numbers in the press release.
But some listeners ended up making abusive threats toward the two rally organizers.
One message said, in part, "You liberals need to get a life. What is wrong with you? You think you speak for everybody? You don't speak for nobody but your individual, stupid selves."
An organizer of the rally said the message "shocked" her. Channel 2 News is not publishing or broadcasting the name of this organizer.
"I was honestly shocked because I couldn't believe that a member of the media would take information that I think is pretty standard in a press release and use it for what seems like pretty unethical purposes, for one thing," the organizer said.
This organizer and another woman have voicemail boxes "full of messages," they say, thanks to Burke.
The messages range from people objecting the rally to personal threats.
"To really abusive, hostile, you know, swearing, personal attacks, name calling," they said.
On September 13, 2008, the "Alaska Women Reject Palin" Rally took place as scheduled.
Thank you to these courageous women.