Mainstream Media Fools Again Play Right Into Sarah Palin's Hands

There hasn’t been such a mass mobilization of mainstream media resources in anticipation of a single event since President Obama’s inauguration.

And The New York Times and Washington Post want readers to help sort through the whole mess.

It’s like a contest where the winners get to work for big, rich media organisations for no money.

You, too, can be an unpaid intern for a day or two or three.

I have no idea what they’ll find, nor how much redaction there will be in the 24,000 pages, but I am certain that the nearly 2,400 pages that are being withheld by the state of Alaska would make for far more entertaining reading.

In any event, plenty of media fodder to fill a slow weekend in June.


How over the top is this media frenzy about emails from the administration of a half-term governor of a state with three electoral votes who was a defeated candidate for vice president and who has not held any elective office for almost two years?

It’s mass media hysteria. I’ve seen nothing like it in regard to government documents since Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago.

And as The New York Times wrote at the time, the Pentagon Papers “demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance”: the Vietnam war.

Here’s the irony: the very same mainstream media whose paid pundits tell us over and over again how inconsequential Sarah Palin has become are treating the release of Palin administration emails as an event of transcendent national interest and significance.

The New York Times and Washington Post (see above) are asking members of the public to work without pay to help them sort through the emails, looking for nuggets of gold amid the dross.

MSNBC, Mother Jones and ProPublica have together hired technological experts to help them create a full database of the emails asap.

The ghost of Paul Revere set out on a midnight ride tonight to warn, “The emails are coming!  The emails are coming!”

My question: given that almost everyone has agreed that Palin has become as irrelevant to our national discourse as a third tit on a mule, why – especially in this age of journalistic decimation – are so many major MSM outlets pouring so many resources down a dry hole?

The New York Times and Washington Post putting out help-wanted ads in order to attract volunteer labour to work on this story of transcendent national interest and significance?

Think about that for a moment: those twin pillars of MSM have never tried to shanghai crews of amateurs in advance to help them with any other story.  But for the Palin emails it’s all hands to the pump.


All the experts tell us Sarah will not run for president next year.

If she doesn’t, her political career ended on July 3, 2009, when she resigned as governor of Alaska.

Yet the political chattering class can chatter about little else but Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.  They remain obsessed.

As I write in THE ROGUE:

Sarah Palin practices politics as lap dance, and we’re the suckers who pay the price.  Members of our jaded national press corps eagerly stuff hundred dollar bills into her g-string, even as they wink at one another to show that they don’t take her seriously.

Anybody who thinks I exaggerate need only witness the spectacle about to unfold over the weekend.

This post originally appeared at The Rogue Blog.

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