It’s hard to imagine the media doing anything other than to express outrage should some low-life hacker hack into email accounts connected to President Obama’s family — especially if something was found that might damage Obama politically. But that same courtesy was not afforded the Bush family yesterday. After a hacker released emails that contained correspondence between members of the Bush family and the two former presidents, the media had a gay old time.
The criminal act received a ton of coverage, and on Twitter some left-wing media types, like Politico’s Ken Vogel, were positively giddy under the apparent impression George W. Bush had sent his sister pictures of himself in a bathtub (they ended being perfectly innocent paintings). BuzzFeed Politics’ Ben Smith sent his 100k-plus Twitter followers to the site hosting the full content of the emails. (I’m not going to link the tweet.)
There’s no question that two former presidents having their emails hacked is news. But the delight many took in the hack, along with numerous stories that revealed the contents of the emails, only gives the criminals the reaction they desire and further encourages them. In 2008, VP candidate Sarah Palin had her private emails hacked and then gleefully viralized by the media in an even more aggressive way.
Usually, my philosophy is to hold the media to its own rules. Whatever standard the media sets in its attacks against the Right I encourage others to hold the media to. But in this case, we’re talking about encouraging illegal behavior. So I would just like to say to all the hackers out there that it would be wrong — terribly, horribly and unforgivably wrong — to hack any email accounts owned by members of the elite media.
While I realize some members of the media make their email accounts public — for instance, Ben Smith is firstname.lastname@example.org — it would just be wrong-wrong-wrong to hack those accounts and make public the contents. I just can’t express how wrong it would be. Doing such a thing would make you the mayor of Wrongtown, so please just don’t to it.
I’m not saying the release of those emails wouldn’t get a lot of attention. But it would be the WRONG kind of attention.
P.S. Miss you like hell, Dubya.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC