I was an editor for almost 15 years in Oklahoma. I have been a publisher in Kansas for almost four more. Never once have I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see every email sent from a public official. But Sarah Palin was never my governor. If she had been, maybe that would have changed.
I was an editor for almost 15 years in Oklahoma. I have been a publisher in Kansas for almost four more. Never once have I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see every email sent from a public official.
But Sarah Palin was never my governor. If she had been, maybe that would have changed. Palin has made a fortune by purveying one of the most polarizing personas ever to rise to the national stage. No one inspires such incredible admiration and abhorrence simultaneously than Palin.
I think Palin is intriguing. I know her resume excites hardcore conservatives, and so does she. That is why she has veered further right as her celebrity has increased –– she knows her base.
But her shrillness may be less calculated –– or less accurately calculated –– than she believes. She takes on the media and anyone who disagrees with her in no-holds barred cage matches. The problem with that is the same as the method used by “heels” in professional wrestling: Sooner or later, the heel has to join forces with more popular wrestlers if he wants to make any real money.
Palin has made her money as a heel. The more the mainstream media –– or lame-stream media –– rails against her, the more her base loves her. That’s great for book sales and television ratings. But it is a poor electoral plan.
Polling has shown that for all of her positives, her negatives are worse than other potential candidates. Inside her party and among Democrats and Independents, her negative numbers are staggering to someone who might be tempted to spend a billion dollars trying to become commander in chief.
Case in point is the ghastly flock of reporters who teamed up to comb through tons of emails she sent during her brief tenure as Alaska’s governor. There is no evidence of wrongdoing, but those reporters have hope.
What evil or idiocy could be captured in even one stray email to a political ally or friend? Unfortunately for them, Palin has come out of that trial by fire without even smelling like smoke.
Former White House spokesperson Dana Perino told Fox News, “When it comes to Sarah Palin, there is an obsession that nearly turns into a circus.”
She went on to point out the bias in the attempt to catch Palin in the act.
“The media asked their readers to help them read through the emails as if they were trying to find something that would either prove she was evil, prove she was stupid, prove she did something wrong in office. And they’re disappointed, and the thing that is great to me: Guess who wins again? Sarah Palin,” said Perino.
I don’t know that Palin necessarily won, but the media certainly lost.
Even if a smoking gun had been found, doesn’t the exercise beg the question of why every public official isn’t treated this way? Where are Mitt Romney’s emails? What about Michele Bachmann?
The request for Palin’s emails was put in three years ago. Many thought she fought the release because something was there that needed to stay hidden. Instead, it appears she was fighting over principle.
I remember when members of the media used to fight for principles. I remember when news value outweighed celebrity or salaciousness when it came to reporting.
As the advertising revenue pie is divided up into smaller and smaller pieces by technology and a poor economy, reporters are forced to forego principle in search of profit. No one wants to be that unemployed reporter with great principles, it seems.
But that doesn’t make it right. I don’t have a problem with raiding Sarah Palin’s closets looking for skeletons. I just expect the process to be fair.