Can you imagine a mainstream newspaper soliciting readers to help sort through the emails of, say, Hillary Clinton? It simply wouldn’t happen. There’s a different set of journalistic rules though when it comes to Sarah Palin:

Over 24,000 e-mail messages to and from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska’s governor will be released Friday. That’s a lot of e-mail for us to review so we’re looking for some help from Fix readers to analyze, contextualize, and research those e-mails right alongside Post reporters over the days following the release.

We are limiting this to just 100 spots for people who will work collaboratively in small teams to surface the most important information from the e-mails. Participants can join from anywhere with a computer and an Internet connection.

When Sarah’s first book came out, the Associated Press assigned 11 “fact checkers” to comb through it, but at least they were their own employees. The AP should have just let their readers do it and saved some money. It would be doing nothing but inviting falsehoods and spin as well as offering the comments a large forum with which to reach a lot more readers than they normally would have, but that’s what the WaPo is doing.

Another point: In the age of muckraking bloggers, a mainstream media operation hardly has to invite scrutiny of information, whether it comes from the right or the left. What we’re really seeing here is a media dinosaur recognizing that it’s being scooped continually by the new media and demonstrating its desperation to keep up. But again, they’re being selective (read: biased) when it comes to how, who and when they feel the need to keep up.

Update: The New York Times is also soliciting citizen-journalists.

Jim Treacher:

Wow. Just imagine if they had put this kind of effort into analyzing… I dunno… Obamacare?


10 Responses to “Washington Post Seeks Cub Reporters to Help Sift Through Palin Emails; Update: New York Times Also”

  1. Marshall_Will on June 10th, 2011 12:14 pm

    I've bird-dogged a few stories I felt were pertinent to Doug in the past in the hopes they'd find their way on the blog? But I learned real quick, being an actual journalist is hard work!

    You have to call, call, call. Get people on the phone, verify, verify, verify. THEN get them to go OTR! To be fair.., I've researched stocks for almost 20 years. Same "turd hunt". But to expect people that are nothing more than 'subscribers' to have the moxy to delve into a challange of this order is, well frankly ridiculous!

    Why not just issue them torches and pitchforks? ( Isn't that what they're 'asking' for here? )

  2. RoseB on June 10th, 2011 12:39 pm

    The last paragraph certainly said it all!

  3. SignPainterGuy on June 10th, 2011 2:16 pm

    How much are they paying ? Matching NYTimes / WaPo coffee mugs ?

    I remember back in 2000 and 2004, these very same "fine news purveyors" sent their own reporters at their own expense to Florida to count the disputed ballots in "unexpectedly" dem controlled districts to prove that GWB had cheated somehow. They failed in their missions "unexpectedly" so not much was reported about it !

    "When" they "unexpectedly" fail in this mission as well, will they report it factually ? At all ? Or blame the unprofessional pajama-clad researchers for the failure ?

    Oh, don`t you just love the smell of desperation in the morning !?

  4. Marshall_Will on June 10th, 2011 3:03 pm


    Publicity stunt more than anything. As you note, and thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'd never heard that! But I'm doubting ( probably along w/ Doug and MM ) that -nothing- noteworthy will be 'revealed'.

    You have to know what you're looking for, let alone AT! I have no grounding in State Government. The proverbial smoking gun could be staring me in the face and I'm none the wiser?

    If they're thinking this is treasure trove of juicy gossip, I'm afraid sorely disappointed is all they'll be. How's BIZ btw!? TALK to me!

  5. Granny55 on June 10th, 2011 4:35 pm

    Dear NYT and Waah Post:

    We here at Powers That Be would love to help you out. Here is what we will do. You guys send us all the files and emails you have been sitting on and/or hiding from the public regarding Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright, Zero's college transcripts, employment papers and law review writings, the sale of Zero's senate seat, Bill Ayers and Bernadeen Dorn, the gunning running operation from Zero's justice department, the Black Panther intimidation case, Shirley Sherrodd's Pigford theft and any other info you are hiding and/or sitting on regarding your messiah and we will go thru those papers. That will give your lazy ass reporters all sorts of time to go thru Sarah's emails.

  6. SignPainterGuy on June 10th, 2011 5:47 pm

    "Waah Post" ! Too right ! Goes well with the "Waambulance" the left needs when they don`t get their way or their shenanigans are exposed ! Lovin` it !

    Yes maam ! I`ll take a stack of the docs you mentioned and Promise to overlook all the misspellings and grammatical / punctuation errors………just concentrate on the real stuff !

    BTW Granny, I`m only holding my breath if you do ! ;-)

  7. SignPainterGuy on June 10th, 2011 6:07 pm

    I think in `05 in the Wa Times, the reporters were really disappointed to find that GWB not only unexpectedly won, but by an even greater margin than was officially tallied AND also determined that the FL AG did her job as she should have when, after 30 days, declared GWB the winner, also unexpectedly ! :-)

    If your "how`s biz Q" wasn`t rhetorical, it`s still taking the "Gault nap" until we get a biz friendly gov in place. NC is moving in the right direction with the first R majority Leg in 103 yrs. The dem givner is still being a lib pain. Waitin` on fed gov to improve regs and enjoying life in God`s country !

    If that WAS rhetorical, never mind ! ;-)

  8. Granny55 on June 10th, 2011 9:53 pm

    I'm already blue in the face – laughing at how stupid these "reporters" are! I think it is hysterical at how they are lapping up these emails, panting like a dog in heat!!! Sorry didn't mean to diss the dogs and dog lovers out there.

  9. SignPainterGuy on June 10th, 2011 11:24 pm

    Rush today said they already had the dirt on Sarah ! In one of her e-mails, she said (the e-mail recipient) was in her prayers. And signed it, Sarah and Tod. Yep, to a true leftist, that`s damning indeed !

  10. Jim T. on June 11th, 2011 2:48 am

    After enlisting "citizen journalists" I don't want to hear these hack newspapers ever whine again about "not real journalists" of the likes of Drudge, Breitbart, Malkin, et. al.

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