We wrote last night about the frenzy surrounding the State of Alaska’s release of emails from Sarah Palin’s tenure as governor. Both the New York Times and the Washington Post turned the release into a major media event, enlisting their readers to help them comb through the approximately 13,000 documents, in hopes of finding nuggets that reflect badly on Palin.
Today the hysteria kicked off in earnest in Juneau, when the state made paper copies of the emails available to reporters. Here, one group of reporters films another group of reporters hauling emails into a waiting vehicle:
Substantively, the emails appear to contain little of interest. The Washington Post has breathless headlines including “Emails show Palin’s governing style,” “Palin wanted less time in state capital”–everyone wants less time in Juneau, and state government has largely moved to Anchorage–and “Palin’s staff tried to balance time in state capital with time on road.” No scoops, apparently.
One embarrassing aspect of this episode, among several, is that major newspapers like the Times and the Post don’t seem to have the resources to review a few boxes of emails to determine whether there is anything there of interest. Otherwise, why would they solicit help from hundreds of readers? In my business, litigation, it is not unusual for parties to produce tens of millions of documents. A production of 13,000 emails would be considered minuscule. That our major newspapers evidently don’t have staff to do this minimal amount of work speaks volumes about their decline.
Governor Palin, meanwhile, is engaged in much more substantial activity than the TMZ-like obsessions of the Times and the Post. On Facebook she writes, “Another ‘WTF’ Obama Foreign Policy Moment,” about the Obama administration’s perverse plan to share missile defense technology with Russia:
As Governor I fought the Obama Administration’s plans to cut funds for missile defense in Alaska. So imagine how appalled and surprised I was to read this article by former Clinton CIA Director James Woolsey, appropriately titled “Giving Away the Farm,” concerning President Obama’s latest bizarre actions relating to missile defense.
President Obama wants to give Russia our missile defense secrets because he believes that we can buy their friendship and cooperation with this taxpayer-funded gift. But giving military secrets and technologies to a rival or competitor like Russia is just plain dumb. You can’t buy off Russia. And giving them advanced military technology will not create stability. What happens if Russia gives this technology (or sells it!) to other countries like Iran or China? After all, as Woolsey points out, Russia helped Iran with its missile and nuclear programs. Or what happens if an even more hardline leader comes to power in the Kremlin?
We tried buying off the Kremlin with technologies in the 1970s. That policy was a component of “detente,” and the hope was that if we would share our technologies with them, they would become more peaceful. Things, of course, didn’t work out that way.
Palin has her faults, but she is a serious participant in the national dialogue on the key issues of our time. The New York Times and the Washington Post, in contrast, are frivolous rags with little or nothing of substance to offer.
UPDATE: Jim Hoft points out some ironies; the same news outlets that think it is urgently necessary for you to learn of any dirt that may be contained (but probably isn’t) in Sarah Palin’s emails are prudently concealing from your eyes some much more interesting information, which they have possessed for years: “LA Times Won’t Release Obama-Khalidi Tape But Posts 24,000 Sarah Palin Emails.” Via InstaPundit.