Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch in CNN.com About the Sarah Palin E-Mails Frenzy


Writing over at CNN.com, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch compares journalistic coverage of Sarah Palin to that of Barack Obama. Here is how the column starts:

On Friday afternoon the websites of the five most important newspapers in the United States—the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today—each had above their digital folds the same breaking story: It seemed the former governor of the 47th-most populous state in the union, a woman who holds no elected office now and almost assuredly will not again anytime soon, had thousands of e-mails from her 21-month tenure data-dumped Video onto the public.

The New York Times responded with a rare burst of interactivity, inviting readers "to point out items of interest." The Washington Post had video, a photo gallery, live updates, and headlines such as "Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's e-mails show a constant concern with how she is portrayed in the media, on matters big and small."

Transparency advocates doubtlessly breathed a sigh of satisfaction that sunlight-disinfectant was being applied to a government figure. And people with any sense of political proportion were left with an additional thought: When is this journalistic scrutiny going to be applied to politicians who wield actual power?

Read the whole thing here.