The goal of Pete Winn's Sept. 10 CNSNews.com article was to spin away questions about Sarah Palin's use of state per-diem payments for travel expenditures by claiming that what she did was standard practice. Winn found a willing participant in Gerald McBeath, professor of political science at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and, according to Winn, "an expert on Alaska government and politics."
So why did Winn feel a need to attack McBeath when he dared to question CNS' motivations? From the article:
Like the legendary Alaskan grizzly bear, McBeath became testy when asked about the travel reimbursements. He told CNSNews.com that he’s had over 100 phone calls from journalists trying to get dirt on Palin.
“I have to be suspicious about your questions,” McBeath said. “What are you looking for? Are you implying that the governor has been unethical in her travel and not followed procedures?”
When CNSNews.com replied that the intent was simply to find out if such reimbursements were normal practice, McBeath’s response was matter-of-fact.
“The state’s practices are like that of most states,” McBeath said. “People are compensated for their travel costs. That includes the airfare or car fare, and (the state) pays them whatever it costs to keep them alive on the days that they are away from their official station. That’s normal.”
Winn got the answer he was looking for. Why smear the guy as "testy" like a "grizzly bear"?