On Friday, June 10th, when 24,000 of Sarah Palin’s personal emails were released for public consumption, the mainstream media went crazy. Matt Lauer, Chris Matthews, and Lester Holt thought for sure Palin was going down. And just like I wrote in a post for Big Journalism on that day, the Washington Post and the New York Times posted the emails online and begged their readers to go through them and find some trash on Palin.
During that morning’s episode of NBC’s “Today,” Lauer showed up live in Juneau, Alaska, where the emails were being released in hard copy, and from where he told viewers: “[Today] could be a tough day for potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”
Turns out it was a tough day for somebody Mr. Lauer, but that somebody wasn’t Palin.
Of course Matthews couldn’t wait to see Palin get what was coming to her for being a beautiful, decent, human who dares to champion faith, family, and America the exceptional. (I honestly think Matthews knows that if forced to stand side-by-side with Palin, Democrats in general look even more secular, Obama looks even more anti-American, and Hillary Clinton even less camera friendly.)
When Matthews’s show began on the afternoon of the 10th, he compared the feelings he had that day to the feelings someone has on Christmas. As he conversed on air with Michael Isikoff – an MSNBC reporter who had traveled to Juneau to get the good stuff on Palin – you could literally hear the excitement in his voice:
“It’s Christmas morning, you’re opening up Santa’s mailbox here or Santa’s pack. Mike Isikoff what do you have in the bag so far?”
Now just imagine the 300 or so viewers who watch Matthews’s show leaning in toward their televisions, just waiting for Isikoff to drop the big news. And they’re waiting, and they’re wating, and they’re waiting … and Isikoff pretty much says “move on folks, nothing to see here.” (Actually, some of his exact words were: “I gotta say so far I don’t think anybody’s found any bombshells here.”)
Enter Lester Holt, who was sitting in for Brian Williams on the night of the 10th, and opening the “Mail Call” segment of the show with this narrative:
Responding to media requests, the state of Alaska released 24,000 pages of e-mails covering the period from December 2006, when she was sworn in as governor, to September 2008 when she was named John McCain’s running mate. With Palin a potential presidential challenger, the question tonight is: Could her foes try to use them to try and define her candidacy?
How about that Lester, huh? Here he is, as liberal as the next guy at NBC, yet he has the nerve to try to sound neutral and, with a straight face, ask: “Could her foes try to use [the emails] to try and define her candidacy?” Well the answer to Holt’s question came soon enough as the camera panned to none other than Isikoff, who was still standing in Juneau wondering how much longer he was expected to keep talking in a way that made the dwindling viewing audience believe there might actually be something in the Palin emails.
I have an idea: How about we get 6,000 of Lauer’s emails, 6,000 of Matthews’, 6,000 of Holt’s, and just for fun, 6,000 of Isikoff’s? Although that’s a total of 24,000 emails, each man is only turning over a quarter of the number of emails that Palin was forced to make public.
And there’s no need for them to be overly nervous about it. All we’ll be doing is following Holt’s lead to see if there’s something in those communiqués by which we might “define” them.