Turns out Miss Alaska 1984 lives in Smyrna. Maryline Blackburn beat another candidate named Sarah Heath. The also-ran ended up as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, now running for VP with John McCain.
The AJC’s Dan Chapman produced a piece on it Monday. He reported that Sarah Heath wrote Blackburn a congratulatory note:
“Instead, the flute player from small town Wasilla — also voted Miss Congeniality — wrote Blackburn a lovely note on the back of a group photo at pageant’s end: ‘I do love you. You’re more admired than even you know. And please keep God Number One. He’s got great things for you, baby. Love, Sarah Heath.'”
WAGA sent Denise Dillon to do the TV version of the same story, catching up with Blackburn in Smyrna Monday night. Blackburn, now a recording artist, was working on a new CD. Dillon’s piece was breezy and fun. Blackburn spoke admiringly of Palin’s competitive fire. And she capped it with a word of support for Palin’s current opponent: “It’s all about Obama, baby.”
Inexlicably, WSB waited another day before copycatting the story, sending Diana Davis to Smyrna to chat with Blackburn. Blackburn has a performer’s personality, but Davis’s treatment was very by-the-book. WSB buried the story deep in its 5pm news Tuesday.
Blackburn had no blockbuster insight. But her firsthand impressions of the politician as beauty queen were revelatory, as Palin’s public persona continues to gel.
This corrects an earlier version wherein LAF failed to recognize that the AJC reported the story first.