2008 went fast, but it was a very good year for the left blogosphere. I made out fairly well myself, according to some of my favorite sites. I finished fourth in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2nd Annual Smackdown Awards and earned Alternet’s fifth most outrageous story of the year. I also finished fifth in Alternet’s top ten hottest videos of 2008 for a collaborative investigative project with filmmaker Michael Wilson about Prop 8. It’s good to be in the middle of the top.
But no blog award meant more to me than being included in Phil Munger’s top five Alaskan muckrakers of 2008. Without Phil and his wife, Judy, my coverage of Sarah Palin would not have been possible. They were more than generous hosts, they were skillful guides to a vast, complex and utterly fascinating local culture that I knew little about before I arrived. Phil’s presentation is below the fold, from his blog, Progressive Alaska:
Max Blumenthal. David Neiwert, one of the Pacific Northwest’s top experts on ties between militias and fundamentalists, and on the history of hate crimes, told me in mid-September to expect Max to show up, covering the Rev. Thomas Muthee and the latter’s colleagues, at some Wasilla revivals. Max stayed with us for a bit over a week, overlapping with a stay by Nancy Lethcoe, who ran against Rep. John Harris for the state House.
I chose Max here, to represent himself and several other young people who came to Alaska, hoping to find information that would convince Americans – especially the vast reservoir of non-partisan Americans – that Sarah Palin was totally unfit to be a candidate on a presidential ticket. I have to say, these youngsters give me hope.
Max, like many of the people who visited Judy and me, or stayed with us, combined an awesome sense of humor with total dedication to his work. He left Alaska with a lot of raw material, and did as much or more than any other Outside reporter to get the truth out in September.