Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Palin Emails – Redactions = Zero

 

What a waste of media resources, and how predictable to anyone who paid attention to the fact that while almost 25,000 emails from Sarah Palin’s tenure as Alaska governor–but stopping before Election Day, 2008–would be made available for public consumption, almost 2,500 additional pages would be withheld.

And who decided what to withhold?  The state of Alaska.

And who is governor of Alaska today?  Palin’s fellow-evangelical Christian lapdog, Sean Parnell, who became governor only because Sarah quit in July, 2009.

Just the list of withheld emails was 189 pages long.

As conservative Paul Jenkins explained in the Anchorage Daily News last week:

It turns out state lawyers and folks in the governor’s office — where some, it turns out, worked for Palin but now work for Gov. Sean Parnell, who was Palin’s lieutenant governor — made the calls on those 2,415 emails. Not an impartial panel of citizens and lawyers, or folks lacking direct or indirect ties to the authors of the emails or any court. Just insiders.

Does anyone detect a smell of fish?

Notwithstanding that the state announced in advance that more than ten percent of the emails would not be disclosed, MSM–even including The Guardian, from England, descended on Juneau in a state of mindlessness that can only be likened to mass hysteria.

As readers of this blog will know, I don’t have much truck with Greta Van Susteren, but her description of this as a “colonoscopy” was apt.

Sarah can only be relieved by the result: no malignancy found.

Of course, in a colonoscopy, the patient doesn’t get to hide ten percent of the area under examination.

To me, the most disturbing aspect of this whole overblown farce is that those assiduous protectors of Palin’s privacy, who redacted ten percent of the emails, did not bother to cross out personal contact information for anyone who’d emailed the governor’s office with criticism of Sarah.  As first reported by PoliticusUSA,  Alaskan citizens who exercised their right of free speech now find their email addresses, telephone numbers, and home addresses made available to the same sort of vigilantes who came after me last summer for merely moving in next door to her.

Let us hope that no harm–even in the form of threat or harassment–comes to anyone whose privacy has been invaded by Palin loyalists who retain government positions in the Parnell administration, and who were responsible for setting critics up as targets.

Will MSM call Parnell to account for this lapse?

Don’t hold your breath.

Now that they’ve come up empty in their frenzied quest for scandal, representatives of MSM will retreat as quickly and quietly as possible, asking the editors who put them on this cold case, “What were you thinking?”

The answer is, they weren’t thinking. They were hoping for a quick hit, a tabloid headline that could parlay the public’s ongoing obsession with all things Palin into website hits that equal advertising dollars.

It used to be only the supermarket tabloids that operated in such a fashion.

Now we witness the singularly unedifying spectacle of The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, MSNBC, and even the Guardian hanging out their tongues in the hope that a tasty crumb might fall from Sarah’s table.

Sorry, folks. Move along, nothing to see here except a governor who was sensitive to criticism and worried about her public image as (see CNN) “she pushed to get landmark oil and gas legislation through the statehouse; [while] demanding that Exxon finish paying damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.”

There could be no stronger validation for the point of view (which, by the way, I don’t agree with) expressed by Joshua Green in the current issue of The Atlantic that Sarah was a strong and progressive governor before being blinded by the national limelight and running off the tracks.

The emails bolster Green’s argument in “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin” that:

“As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics.”

Or, as Molly Ball writes in Politico:

The emails from her governorship, released Friday, brought back the memory of a long-lost Palin: the popular, charismatic, competent woman of the people.

That’s like going in for a colonoscopy and being told that not only is your colon fine but you’ve got no cavities.

Nor could there be better advance advertising for Steve Bannon’s upcoming cinematic hagiography, “The Undefeated,” which will receive national release on July 15.

Note to MSM: Be careful what you wish for. Especially if it’s going to be redacted.

Whatever is or isn’t in them, Palin emails will be BIG NEWS because MSM says so. UPDATE//Yo, these aren’t the Pentagon Papers!

 

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 organizations 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.

UPDATE:


 

 

 

 

 

 

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 forty 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 labor 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.

Why?

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.

New Gallup Poll Shows Romney-Palin Tossup for GOP Nomination//UPDATE//UPDATE 1.1

I place little credence in long-term polls, but this one has to be considered a warning shot across the bow of all those purveyors of conventional wisdom who have decided that Sarah Palin can be safely stored in our collective memory/nightmare bank.

Think about how she must view developments of the past few days: two people who were outpolling her have chosen not to enter the race. Absent Huckabee and Trump (always a farce, but even Slate bought into it late last month ), Sarah finds herself rising to the top by default.

To Sarah, this likely seems evidence that God is, in fact, opening the doors for her and sending her a message that she is His chosen candidate, the Christian leader best prepared to wage war on the secretly-Muslim darkie who occupies the White House.

Given her egomania and ambition, and her belief that she has been anointed by God to prepare the USA for the second coming of Jesus, why would she not run?

And let’s not ignore what Rachel Weiner reported in the Washington Post: she just sent out 400,000 solicitations seeking donations to SarahPAC. She entitled her pitch letter “2012 Can’t Come Soon Enough.”

Does this sound like someone who’s not planning to enter the race?

UPDATE:

Politico features new poll results:  ”Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin jump to top in new Gallup poll.”

She’ll be on FOX twice tonight:  with Sean Hannity and with Eric Bolling.  No doubt Hannity will ask about these poll results and whether she’s going to run.  No doubt she’ll duck the question.  What’s the hurry to announce when she can become a front-runner by doing nothing?

UPDATE 1.1:

Outside-the-beltway right-wingers climbing back on board the S.S. Sarah.

 

Right Wing Rallies Round “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin”

Pen a fantasy about how Sarah Palin could have been Barack Obama if only she weren’t so:

a) selfish

b) filled with anger, resentment and hate

c) greedy

d) stupid and uneducated

e) all of the above

and you tap into a deep vein of right-wing nostalgia for the Sarah-Who-Never-Was, which will prove of immense benefit to your personal brand and career.

I’m not impugning Joshua Green’s motives for writing his “Sarah-We-Hardly-Knew-Ye”  paean of praise in the June issue of The Atlantic.

I’m sure he felt he had a legitimate, counter-intuitive, against the flow argument to make. He’s proven himself to be an excellent and fair-minded reporter in the past.  And nobody should knock him just because his first job in “journalism” was at The Onion.

It may be that with “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” Green is returning to his satirical roots.  Although if you read some of the comments in response to my earlier post, “If Only Sarah Weren’t Sarah, She Coulda Been a Contender,” you’ll find some strong fact-based arguments against Green’s hypothesis.

In any case,  I’m sure Green was perspicacious enough to sense the likely windfall that would result from a “St. Sarah, The Fallen Star” story.

And he’s knee-deep in peaches and apples already, as the huzzahs arrive from all the obvious right-wing shills:

John Podhoretz in Commentary

Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post

Ross Douthat in The New York Times

This chorus sings in only one key: the key of sorrow, for the loss of a Sarah Palin who never existed outside the realm of their collective yearning, and who ever existed only as a figment of their collective imagination.

Andrew Sullivan wrote a bracing response yesterday and today added:

Josh’s piece will serve as balm to the right. And it will allow them to believe that their choice of veep in 2008 was not an indictment of them or the media – but just an unfortunate decision by Palin to change her colors. The only problem with this argument is that it is manifestly untrue. But we know that Palin lovers, like Palin herself, must perforce be wedded to mountains of untruth.

Amen.

“Remember When We Cared?” I’m Afraid We Still Should

Alexandra Petri is a terrific young pundit-to-be, who stepped straight from Harvard (class of 2010) into an opinion blog at the Washington Post.

She doesn’t need my good wishes in order to succeed, but I extend them to her anyway. I’ve actually read some of the columns she wrote for the Harvard Crimson and have found her to be a clever writer with a keen wit. She’s a breath of fresh air in the flatulent opinion pages of the Post.. Bookmark her and read her: she’s a voice of the future.

But like many young artists, Ms. Petri lacks a sense of history–even recent history. As witness her most recent Post piece:
“Remember when we cared.”

It’s yet another argument that Sarah Palin doesn’t matter any more.

I hope Ms. Petri will be proven right, eventually, but the headline on her column: “Palin…Remember when we cared?” is premature.

Only last weekend, Ms. Petri’s own newspaper cared very much about Sarah.
Presumably, Ms. Petri has not yet been compromised to the extent that she would have attended the “after-parties” (why do I think of placental expulsion whenever I hear that term?) that followed the White House Correspondents’ annual dinner–which, by the way, the New York Times does not allow its reporters to attend–but had she done so, she would have learned that Sarah “Isn’t She Pretty, Isn’t She Nice?”" mattered very much to the WaPo reporters who were there.

Even Sarah’s dithering for fifteen seconds before naming Greta Van Susteren as the most influential journalist in America became news on many a website over the past couple of days.

The sad fact is that only a few days ago the Washington Post said Sarah stole the show at the biggest inside-beltway-insider-politico-media event of the year.

The time will come when we’ll remember–or not–those days or yore (and bore) when we cared about Sarah. But it’s not here yet, as I’m afraid the next few months will make clear.

So do the country a favor, Ms. Petri: don’t stop paying attention yet.

The Girl Can’t Help It: Nastiness & Pettiness Form Sarah’s Core//UPDATE 1.1

Even knowing that it was the right thing to do–both from a standpoint of simple decency and for her own self-interest–Sarah Palin last night could not bring herself to congratulate President Obama.

On Twitter, she thanked “American men and women in uniform.”

On Facebook, she added “our intelligence services.”

But for President Obama, Commander-in-Chief of U.S. military and intelligence forces, nary a word.

She’s just too mean-spirited and resentful.  It’s in unguarded moments that character–or lack of same–most often reveals itself.

First, after the Giffords shooting and again last night, Sarah inadvertently gave us a glimpse of what passes for her heart.

It ain’t pretty.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that when Sarah appeared at the MSNBC party after the White House Correspondents dinner, “Invariably, onlookers whispered to their friends: ‘Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she nice?‘”

Answers?

No, and no.

UPDATE:

Even Rush Limbaugh was able to say what needs to be said:  ”Thank God for president Obama.”

Snarky Sarah has painted herself into another lonely corner by refusing to give the president credit for the successful Bin Laden operation.

UPDATE 1.1

Limbaugh now says he was being sarcastic, which makes him every bit as horrid as I always thought he was.  Let’s see what Sarah says tonight at the “Honor the Troops” event at Colorado Christian U.

Cold Water Thrown on Simmering Trig Hoax Allegations?

UK’s Daily Mail posts a photo of Sarah at her Dallas speech that shows her with “not only a pregnant stomach but a visibly fuller face and breasts, all signs of late pregnancy.” Case closed, say they.

Hey, none of the pictures of Sarah pregnant-or-not with Trig is the Zapruder film. None of them proves anything. At most, people can use them to support the opinion they already have. I just learned today, for example, that a couple of Brits spotted about-to-be princess Kate Middleton’s face on a mango jelly bean. Truth is as the eye of the beholder sees it.

But a mainstream backlash is developing against impudent suggestions that questions about Trig’s birth are legitimate. MSM news and opinion site Slate (owned by Washington Post Co.) posts an article headlined “Occam’s Razor Says Sarah Palin Is Trig’s Mother.”

Who doesn’t like Occam’s Razor? This is a philosophical principle posited by a 14th Century Franciscan friar called William of Ockham. It says, bottom line, that when there are varying explanations of an occurrence, the simplest is most likely to be true. In this instance, Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig. Period. End of story. That’s the simplest explanation. Occam says, “No story here, move along now.”

But as I just mentioned in a Twitter post, Occam never got to Wasilla. If he had, he might have thrown away his razor and grown a beard.

Is Sarah Palin at the Tipping Point?

Chris Cilizza, who writes The Fix at the Washington Post, is one of the most reliable purveyors of the political conventional wisdom of the moment.  He writes today that Sarah “may have peaked, politically speaking.”  He cites recent polls as evidence of “Palin fatigue” among Republicans and says the most likely reason for the dimming of Sarah’s star was her churlish and ill-advised response to the Tuscon shootings in January.

Even my friend Geoffrey Dunn (his book, The Lies of  Sarah Palin, will be published next month) now puts the likelihood of Sarah running for president at only fifty-fifty.

I disagree.  There is a natural ebb and flow in the tides of politics, and not even Sarah (or maybe especially not Sarah) can always be at high tide.  The primaries are still almost a year away.  She stumbled badly with her needless–did I mention that it was also churlish and ill-advised?–response to the Gifford assassination attempt, and at the end of January another CW spinner, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, declared February a “Palin-free” month.  Even Sarah could tell she was over-exposed.

So she’s retreated to the high grass temporarily. But let’s remember that it was only two months ago that her hiring of Michael Glassman to head Sarah PAC was seen as a strong indication that she was preparing to challenge Pres. Obama next year.

Then she went to India and Israel when she could have made just as much money closer to home.

So, no, I don’t think we can yet write her off as a fallen star.  If nothing else, her old Wasilla High point guard instinct will not allow her to stay on the bench as Michelle Bachman becomes the Tea Party’s new darling.

One thing about tides:  whatever direction they’re flowing in, they’ll soon move in the opposite direction.

 

 

CONNECT