Of all the media feeding frenzies we have enjoyed the last few years, there are few that compare to what happened when the Alaskan government finally released Sarah Palin’s e-mails. The media crowd-sourced relentlessly, begging readers to dig through the e-mails to find something, anything. But, as much as I love transparency, this exercise was pointless. Even Palin nemesis Joe McGinnis admitted as much, noting that 2500 of the e-mails were redacted — the choice of redaction being made by Palin’s lieutenant governor. Did anyone imagine anything remotely interesting would be in them? Assuming there was anything interesting to begin with? The worst thing there was that they did not redact the names, addresses and phone numbers of people who e-mailed criticisms to the governor.
I’m afraid my thinking is close to that of Matt Welch:
It seemed the former governor of the 47th-most populous state in the union, a woman who holds no elected office now and almost assuredly will not again anytime soon, had thousands of e-mails from her 21-month tenure data-dumped onto the public.
Transparency advocates doubtlessly breathed a sigh of satisfaction that sunlight-disinfectant was being applied to a government figure. And people with any sense of political proportion were left with an additional thought: When is this journalistic scrutiny going to be applied to politicians who wield actual power?
He specifically notes the lack of media attention paid to Obama’s factually challenged statement on the auto-maker bailout, a statement that blew out Factcheck’s bullshit-o-meter. He also contrasts the attention they’ve devoted to Palin’s death panel claims against the President’s bald-faced lies on keeping your healthcare plan if you liked it, standing up to healthcare interests and getting a good score from the CBO.
This is why I don’t blog about Sarah Palin (much). She is, to some extent, a distraction. All of the GOP candidates are. The first primary is eight months away. There are six hundred things that have to happen before we even know who the top candidates are (my money is still on Romney).
Even the Weiner thing wasn’t this irrelevant — he is at least a sitting member of Congress. But going through Sarah Palin’s selected e-mails hoping to find something juicy? Please. If Sarah Palin is closer to a reality TV star than a politician, as many claim, what does this make the e-mail feeding frenzy? Paparazzi crap.
There are things going on right fucking now that need to have their bullshit peeled away. We have a debt crisis and three wars and a Democratic establishment more interested in scaring the shit out of people than finding solutions. We have a President openly deceiving us about his economic policies. Doesn’t that warrant a little bit of a mention? I’m not saying ignore Palin, but maybe devote a tenth of the resources being used on her to cover the White House and the Senate?