Archive for ‘Dan Riehl’

August 8, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Timeline ofthe Investigation; Note on Credit

Matt Carter of the Dallas TV Examiner:

After it was made clear that “Gryphen” (his handle on the blog) was in fact Jesse Griffin, the blogger abruptly resigned from his job as a kindergarten aide at a local Anchorage school. . . .
Since the story broke, some commentators have chosen to add their thoughts. Fox News has been the most prominent channel to televise news of rumors so far, with Bill O’Reilly referring to it as “nasty” and a “vicious attack;” Glenn Beck introduced the story as “Americans ignoring common sense.” Fox News is watched by a more conservative audience than CNN or MSNBC. Could this have something to do with why the network is choosing to cover it while others are choosing to turn the other way? (Emphasis added.)

Note the passive construction, “it was made clear.” By whom was it made clear? Carter gives no indication, and the unwary reader might be excused for supposing that Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck were responsible.

Given that Dan Riehl and I spent six days sweating blood to get this story, Mr. Carter’s failure to acknowledge our work constitutes an attempt to deprive us of proper credit. He should rectify this oversight because, while I am tolerant and forgiving, Dan Riehl is from New Jersey — IYKWIMAITYD — and his umbrage is something no one should incur even by well-intentioned oversight, much less by purposeful insult.

Just in case anyone has arrived late at this news, here are links to major items, arranged in chronological order, in the development of the “Gryphen”/Griffin story:

Anyone in any medium (online, print, radio, TV) wishing to report further on this story is free to do so, but anyone who fails to acknowledge the original reporting . . . well, trust me, you wouldn’t want Dan Riehl mad at you.

BTW, Dan and I have had the help of various Web scavengers who have not sought credit for their contributions to this investigation. Yet I freely acknowledge, as I am sure Dan also would do, that we could not have done this without the assistance of many unnamed others.

Because I’ve got other work to do, I’m content to let Dan handle things from here on out. Be sure to check Riehl World View for any further developments. And now, the unofficial Dan Riehl theme song:

“Cheap” I wish. It’s a labor of love.

August 6, 2009

Known Traffic Menace Terrorizes D.C.

Now I’m on my way to Capitol Hill — texting this post via cell phone while weaving wildly through traffic — and I notice I’m linked by The Sarah Palin Blog:

“Gryphen” is upset that “minions” of “the Palin team” exposed him. So it was okay for him to fabricate a story about the Palins and create a rumor cancer that spread on the Internet. But, it is not okay for someone to expose him.
Gryphen, you do see the difference right? What you did is called – “lying.” What Dan Riehl did is called – “good reporting.” The difference being – now stay with me on this Gryphen – something called – “the truth.”

Hey, where’s the nuance in that? Please note once more that this post is clearly marked “humor,” so I’m probably just joking if I tell you I just had to jump the curb and drive half a block down the sidewalk — stupid tourist bus! — so I’m not late for my next appointment.

Well, that’s all for now. I might need to drive with both hands for the next maneuver. Be sure to check in at Riehl World View for more good-spirited humor.

August 6, 2009

Nice Career You’ve Got There,Lefty Blogger . . .

Advice to amateur Bozos: Next time you get the urge to start making stuff up, don’t mess with Dan Riehl.

August 6, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Of Moonbats and ‘Minions’

“Yes I stand by every single word of it. Believe me if it had been wholly inaccurate you would NEVER have witnessed such a response by the Palin team and their minions.”
— “Gryphen,” a/k/a Jesse Griffin, Aug. 5, 2009

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)

One of the basic problems of liberalism is that it requires a false optimism about human nature. If you believe all human problems can be solved by goodwill (and, of course, a few billion dollars of taxpayer money) you are self-evidently a fool, and I’m too old to waste time arguing with fools.

The Vision of the Anointed, as Thomas Sowell has famously called the fundamental delusion of liberalism, necessarily leads to other errors, until eventually the True Believer finds himself imprisoned by a set of false assumptions which he cannot question, lest his entire worldview fall apart. Once a reasonably intelligent person begins in earnest to critically examine the truth-claims of liberalism, he will eventually become an ex-liberal.

Habits of thought, however, can be as difficult to break as a heroin addiction, and someone who gets into the habit of thinking that every Democrat is a saint and every Republican is evil will have a hard time reconciling these beliefs with the facts.

As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things, and the fact is that Jesse Griffin’s victimhood schtick looks like the predictable reaction of a narcissistic phony caught in a lie. Griffin is counting on his fellow liberals to subscribe to a syllogism:

  • All liberals are good people;
  • Griffin is a liberal; ergo
  • Griffin is a good person.

If you think like that, you’re a chump. And if you think that everyone with a nice smile is a good person, you are also a chump. Ted Bundy had a nice smile. (As does Sarah Palin, for that matter.)

Griffin wants to make this all about Palin, and invite his fellow Palin-haters to believe that Palin is the ultimate source of Griffin’s woes.

Very convenient for Griffin, you see, as it seems that every dingbat in Anchorage with access to the Internet is spending all their time spreading malicious nonsense about Sarah Palin. So, by playing this Victim-of-Palin card, Griffin invites the swarm of blogospheric myrmidons to testify what a swell guy he is.

Whatever. I’ve spent five days working with Dan Riehl on this story, and it’s time for me to move on. By the time any members of the Anchorage PDS Moonbat Brigade read this, I’ll be on a train to D.C. to get back to the stories I was working on when Griffin ruined my weekend by claiming to know — for a fact — that Todd and Sarah Palin were getting divorced. As I wrote in my article earlier this morning:

Griffin’s story was immediately promoted by Dennis Zaki’s “Alaska Report” site, which claimed that “multiple sources” had confirmed the report. Jeanne Devon, an Anchorage Democratic activist who had previously blogged anonymously, also promoted Griffin’s “exclusive” at the Huffington Post.
As a result of this promotion, by Saturday afternoon Zaki’s headline, “Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce,” was the lead item at the popular Memeorandum political news site, even though it had already been officially denied by Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.

That’s where the story stood a little after 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday when, taking a break from an article I was writing for the American Spectator, I decided to check Memeorandum and came to the erroneous conclusion that I’d been scooped by some nobody blogger in Anchorage.

This resulted in a phone call, and by 5:08 p.m., I had an authorized “completely false.” By 5:38 p.m., I had a direct quote from Sarah Palin. And I then spent a little time conclusively demonstrating that Dennis Zaki is a clueless Bozo who wouldn’t last a week covering the Floyd County Commission for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune. (The city editor is Mike Colombo; Bozos need not apply.)

This is what happens when stupid amateurs play “investigative reporter,” you see? And then Sunday afternoon, some anonymous Internet dude sent me an e-mail with the identity of “Gryphen.” I called Dan Riehl, who was CC’d on the e-mail, asked him what he thought, poked around a bit on the Google, and decided I’d better post it before Dan did, if I wanted the scoop.

Then I spent perhaps the sweatiest four hours of my professional career waiting for Dan to nail down the ID. If Griffin thinks he’s suffered hell this week, imagine if my anonymous e-mailer had ID’d the wrong “Gryphen.” Some poor schmuck who doesn’t even have a blog finds a lynch mob in his front yard — no, that would not do. Thank God, Dan nailed it.

Everything that I’ve done since then has been motivated by two factors:

  1. My love of a being in on a big story; and
  2. My personal opinion, as a father of six children, that I would be extremely angry if I found out somebody like Jesse Griffin was a teaching assistant in my kid’s kindergarten class.

One of my sources, somebody who was never quoted or even mentioned in our reporting, is a Ph.D. expert in such matters.

“How in the blazes did they hire this guy?” said my source, after being filled in (names excluded) on the background, including the quotes from “Gryphen” when he was still anonymous.

Maybe it’s all perfectly innocent. Maybe Griffin’s the sweetest guy in the world. But as my source put it, any school principal who hires a middle-aged divorced man as “an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children” needs to have their head examined.

Simply as a statistical proposition, it’s a nightmare of unnecessary risk. My own daughter is majoring in early elementary education, and it’s not like there is any shortage of potential kindergarten teachers.

Well, I’ll let Dan Riehl fight it out from here. But I still have questions because — thanks to Dan’s ace research skills — I know what the Anchorage school district was paying Griffin, and it sure isn’t enough to make the payments on a $330,000 house.

Griffin keeps talking about having some other job that’s his main source of income, but if he’s actually being paid — by the National Enquirer, maybe? — to do journalism, he needs to be fired from that, too.

Maybe he’s not a pervert, but he sure as hell is not a reporter. Now you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a train to catch. And don’t forget to hit the tip jar — good minions don’t come cheap.


August 6, 2009



Jesse Griffin, the Alaska blogger who Saturday claimed in an “exclusive” report that Todd and Sarah Palin were divorcing, will no longer work as an Anchorage kindergarten teaching assistant, school officials confirmed Wednesday.

Griffin’s resignation followed revelations that the 49-year-old Griffin had posted (under the alias “Gryphen”) sexually explicit advocacy of pornography and masturbation on his “Immoral Minority” blog. (See “Give Jesse Enough Rope” WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE.)

Because Griffin’s MySpace profile page featured a link to “Immoral Minority,” that material — as well as other vulgar content, including descriptions of former Gov. Palin as “a nasty b*tch” who wore “f*** me pumps” — could have been accessed by anyone searching online for “Jesse Griffin” in Anchorage. (See “Jesse Griffin: Disturbing Revelations,” by Dan Riehl.)

Investigative blogger Dan Riehl on Wednesday spoke by phone with Anchorage school district officials who seemed to have been previously unaware of the graphic content on Griffin’s “Immoral Minority” site. (See “Jesse Griffin: Latest Developments,” by Dan Riehl. )

Riehl was interviewed Wednesday evening about the Griffin case on Eddie Burke’s popular Anchorage KBYR radio program. Burke said on the program that school officials told him that Griffin had submitted his resignation and that the district had “no record of any inappropriate actions” by Griffin while he was employed at Trailside Elementary School in Anchorage.

“Sarah is finished with Todd and has decided to end their marriage,” Griffin wrote at “Immoral Minority” Saturday morning, saying that “one of [his] best sources” had told him the Palins were divorcing. Griffin’s story was immediately promoted by Dennis Zaki’s “Alaska Report” site, which claimed that “multiple sources” had confirmed the report.

Jeanne Devon, an Anchorage Democratic activist who had previously blogged anonymously, also promoted Griffin’s “exclusive” at the Huffington Post. As a result of this promotion, by Saturday afternoon Zaki’s headline, “Todd and Sarah Palin to divorce,” was the lead item at the popular Memeorandum political news site, even though it had already been officially denied by Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton.

Griffin wrote on his blog Wednesday, “I stand by every single word” of the original report, which accused Sarah Palin of attempting “to hide a broken relationship” with husband Todd.

Griffin blamed “the Palin team and their minions” for discovery of his “Gryphen” online alias, which he says resulted in death threats and harassment. During his KBYR interview, Riehl disparaged Griffin’s credibility.

“Right now, the best I can tell, [Griffin] has ‘bogus’ written so much all over him it should be his middle name,” Riehl said, adding that he had discovered “one lie after another” from Griffin.

Griffin wrote Wednesday at “Immoral Minority” that he had a “long career working with children in gymnasiums, camps, and various schools.”

After revelations that Griffin had used his “Immoral Minority” site to advocate “self pleasure” and express his preference for amateur pornography, Griffin told his blog readers Wednesday: “I think what is truly frightening is how ready some people are to believe that just because you are a male who works with kids you must be a pervert. . . . The truth is that I have never even been accused of anything inappropriate with a child in my classroom, camp, or home. It has simply never happened.”

Further updates are expected at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.

August 5, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: Real Facts, Riehl Theory

Did Jesse Griffin get fired or suspended from his Anchorage kindergarten job Tuesday? The school itself can not comment on personnel matters. It’s quite unusual for Dan Riehl to publish speculation or theory:

Does he have a personality so weak he can’t afford to lose face under any circumstances, going to any length to try to prevent it?

On the other hand, because “Gryphen”/Griffin published an “exclusive” from “one of [his] best sourcces,” yet he was just making stuff up . . . well, Dan says:

This is all speculation, of course. But then, so are Jesse Griffin’s alleged news reports on Sarah Palin. No harm in experimenting with his form of journalism for a change, right? It isn’t like he has any grounds to complain.

Read the whole thing. And keep checking back at Riehl World View, on the outside chance that Link“Gryphen”/Griffin decides to give straight answers some of the questions Dan e-mailed him.


August 5, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES: When You Catch A Liar Lying

Sunday, an anonymous source e-mailed the identity of “Gryphen” to Dan Riehl and I. In ensuing days, the same source has also sent along quotes (with screen-capture JPEGs) from Jesse Griffin’s Immoral Minority blog.

Griffin is not only a liar, but an extremely stupid liar, who arrogantly believed that no one else could ever possibly be smart enough to discover his “Gryphen” deception. For three days now, Griffin piled up lie upon lie in an effort to explain that deception. And all the time, there were those quotes the source had sent:

STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING: Please note that the juxtaposition of quotes at that post is intended to highlight the vast difference between (a) what he wrote when he thought his anonymity was secure, and (b) what he wrote once his deception was exposed, and it was learned he was “an assistant teacher in a room full of five year old children.”

An interesting development discovered while compiling that post: At some point since Monday, Jesse Griffin changed the banner motto at Immoral Minority from this:

“What is morality? Who decides? Are we in charge of our own destiny? What is right? And what is wrong? Are these questions which can be answered? You betcha.”

To this:

“Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey.”

Question: Why the change? Why now?
Answer: The first quote was a blunt statement of moral relativism, in which each individual decides, without reference to any enduring and acknowledged standard, what is right or wrong.

Or, as the serpent said: “Ye shall be as gods!”

Remember that mysterious delay Monday? Last night someone found the answer to a question I’d been asking since Sunday night. Which is why I took some poetic advice Angela McGlowan’s father taught her: I burned the midnight oil.

Previously, “Gryphen” had declared himself an atheist. He is, in fact, his own god. Let him save himself from the consequences of his own freely chosen actions. The banner motto at this blog, meanwhile, remains unchanged:

“One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.”
Arthur Koestler

Hmmm. Didn’t some commenter tell me to “STFU”?

As bloggers say, READ THE WHOLE THING and look for further updates at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.

Once more all readers are warned not to threaten anyone. LEAVE JESSE GRIFFIN ALONE!

August 4, 2009

THE GRYPHEN FILES:Dan Riehl Is Not ‘Making Stuff Up’

Remember when Jesse Griffin was predicting he’d be “vindicated”?

Remember when Jesse Griffin tried to threaten Dan Riehl?

Remember when Santa Claus didn’t bring you that pony, Griffin?

July 28, 2009

My good friend Dan Riehl is angry

I’d call your attention to July 23rd when I recorded just over 47,000 uniques — far from a site record, by the way. But it had nothing to do with Erin Andrews videos, or girlie pics, it was a substantive essay on Obama’s burning down of his post-racial theme due to his rhetoric on Crowley-Gates.

OK, Dan is honest in his assessment and deserves honesty in return. Dan is one of my original blog buddies, going back long before this blog ever existed.

Dan’s skills as a researcher are invaluable to the conservative blogosphere, and have been valuable to me personally. When the question was posed, “Who Is Eleanor Acheson?” it was Dan who discovered that Acheson was actually a registered lobbyist in New York.

Given all his services to the ‘sphere, which continue daily, Dan’s got better things to do than to referee a silly dispute over Donald Douglas and the “Erin Andrews nude” Google-bomb, in the same sense that I’ve got better things to do than fisk David Brooks. Considering that I spent a couple hours last night digging for the lost e-mail in which one of my sources sent me Gerald Walpin’s phone number — which is now sitting atop The Notorious Pile O’ Crap Otherwise Known As My Desk — I should probably shrug my shoulders and walk away.

However, there is an important consideration here that I wish I could make Dan and other longtime denizens of the ‘sphere appreciate. Dan’s been blogging since September 2004 and, like other early-adapters of blogging, he benefits from having built a loyal readership back in the day when the ‘sphere was in its infancy, or at least its late pubescence.

Well, way back in September 2004, the policies of my employer specifically forbade me from blogging. There is neither time nor need to go through the whole story, but in July 2006, I came this close to getting fired for blogging about Ralph Reed. Around the same time, I recall reading a magazine article explaining that the hierarchy of the blogosphere was already set in stone, and that new independent bloggers didn’t stand a chance of reaching the level where they could actually earn a living at it.

All of which is by way of explaining that when I decided to quit my job in January 2008, to seek my living elsewhere, I couldn’t afford to fail.

‘Don’t . . . Tell Me It’s Raining’
On the day that news of my resignation hit Fishbowl DC, I got a call from the managing editor of a monthly magazine, eager to hire me. Because the primary reason for my resignation from the newspaper was a project that required me to fly off to Africa, I wasn’t immediately available. But at the insistence of that editor, I sent him a resume.

Some weeks later, when I called the managing editor back — “OK, let’s talk about that job now” — I discovered that his boss, the publisher, wasn’t nearly so eager to hire me as the managing editor was. However, they might consider me, if I’d be willing to try offering some freelance work for them and . . .

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

I had no shortage of freelance opportunities, and was indeed already freelancing for The American Spectator. My references are excellent, my body of work and career skill-set were equal or superior to anyone that other publication might try to hire, so I made up my mind. The publisher of that other magazine would bitterly regret having heinously insulted me. As I remarked in an essay a few weeks ago:

Success in any endeavor starts with the resolute determination to succeed. No matter how formidable the competition, hold your head up high. They’re no better than you, and victory begins with the decision to rule out the possibility of defeat. “Can’t never could.”
That attitude took my father from a farm in Alabama to a brick home in the suburbs of Atlanta. It took me from Georgia to Washington, where now I find myself in daily competition no less formidable than those big boys from Bessemer, even if the sport is a bit more refined. Really, though, it’s still the same game, and the formula for winning has never changed.
I’m going to beat you today.
Count on it, buddy. I didn’t come this far to start losing now.

One reason I relentlessly excoriate David Brooks is that he evidently doesn’t feel the need to earn his pay. When I consider how hard Dan Riehl and some other of my friends work to make a few bucks in New Media — shout out to Jimmie Bise and Cynthia Yockey — I become enraged by the spectacle of Brooks being paid to waste 804 words on useless navel-gazing.

Growth vs. Entropy
We who are own bosses, hustling for every dime, can’t afford wasted words, so I regret if any words have been wasted in this ongoing debate sparked by Donald Douglas. But those of us who entered the ‘sphere after the hierarchy had solidified, and who push, push, push to build readership — the opposite of growth is not stability, but entropic decay — aren’t going to make headway by endlessly reiterating familiar arguments about health care or global warming or whatever today’s talking point may be.

If Donald went too far in his relentless quest for traffic enhancement, and it is well-nigh universally agreed that he did, then one ought to consider his motives, even if the best that can be said is that those motives were the good intentions that paved the road to Internet hell.

But I don’t want to argue with Donald, or Dan, or Cassandra or Attila. What I want to do is eat a sandwich, take a shower, clear my head and then call that telephone number on my desk. Unlike David Brooks, I have to earn my pay.

July 25, 2009

Harvard plot thickens

by Smitty (via Memeorandum)

The Harvard plot thickens just a bit.

Dan Riehl has some excellent analysis of the seemingly-uncharitable charity the Inkwell Foundation, Inc. Possible motive for taking a reactionary stance towards a policeman?

Confederate Yankee has a snarky take:

It’s too soon to know for sure if Gates has done anything illegal with the funds that his charity hasn’t properly accounted for, but I was Gates, I wouldn’t worry.
If Obama Justice Department will cover for the New Black Panthers, I’m sure they’ll cover for a personal friend, even if he acted “stupidly.”

Big Hollywood had an Amy Holmes post with some Harvard context, about non-students invading the Yard for nefarious reasons.

Carol at No Sheeples Here quotes the good POTUS about having the good fellas over to discuss the kerfluffle he helped build:

“So at the end of the conversation there was a discussion about—my conversation with Sergeant Crowley, there was discussion about he and I and Professor Gates having a beer here in the White House. He also did say he wanted to find out if there was a way of getting the press off his lawn. I informed him that I can’t get the press off my lawn.”

Carol offers

Mr. President, that’s NOT your lawn, it’s the people’s lawn and the White House is NOT your house it is the people’s house.

So, let’s put this together. There was gross, rampant, institutionalized racism at one time in the United States. Since then, we’ve had plenty of people of all ethnic backgrounds arrive in academia and in society who are anointed to preach the evils of the path, and, purportedly, lead us into some shiny, post-racial future.

What Are The Entry Criteria For That Future?

When do we take the police report at face value, and just admit that somebody was disorderly? Because it looks more as though we’ve simply got a priesthood that is going to manufacture the occasional ritual to perpetuate itself, becoming the very thing it set out to despise.