"The Daily Show" had a great montage of the idiotic media excitement over Sarah Palin's email.
A few thoughts:
1. This intense eagerness to get Sarah Palin for whatever it is she might have done on line unfolded concurrently with all the attention that had to be paid to Anthony Weiner for his on-line antics. What we can't see is the agony the poor journalists must have endured as Weiner's wienerisms hurt the Democratic Party just when they stood ready to damage the Republican Party with Sarah's misdeeds. And then — oh, how awful! — they got nothing from Sarah. Nothing but hard work and — urrrgghhh! — good government and — damn! — family values.
2. The fact that there was nothing was actually news, and the journalists should have protected their integrity — appearance of integrity — by reporting the nothing with clarity. In the run up to the receipt of the boxes of xeroxes, air time was devoted to speculating about what might be in those emails. Most notable — it's in the middle of the "Daily Show" montage — was the suspicion that the governor's husband was secretly running the show, pulling the strings. (You know, the shameful sexism.) But there was absolutely nothing that looked at all like that. Maybe there's another montage that could be made of these reporters spelling out clearly what was disproved by the emails. But I think what they did was dribble out statements like "no smoking gun yet" — seemingly expecting that we'd gradually lose interest and move on to something else.
3. Let's credit Sarah Palin for phenomenal, hilarious restraint. She knew there was nothing that would hurt her in there. She resisted the disclosure for legitimate privacy reasons, but she had to also know that the revelation of nothingness would backfire on her disgustingly salivating opponents. Her designation of them as "lamestream media" is vividly vindicated. And, because there was nothing, the invasion of her privacy looks especially unkind. Finally, she knew that the most interesting thing in the big box was the full text of the letter from God. She'd edited it down for publication in her memoir "Going Rogue." It might have seemed maudlin to reprint the whole thing at that point. But now we get the entire missive, and we're stunned and weeping. Oh, Sarah! The idiot is a genius!