Mother Jones Washington Bureau chief David Corn is among a group of liberal and left-win journalists who more than two years ago filed an Alaska Freedom of Information Act request for all emails sent or received by then-Gov. Sarah Palin.
Their request was part of the Left's unprecedented assault upon Palin following her meteoric rise to national political stardom after being named Sen. John McCain's vice-presidential running mate in 2008.
Corn and company have yet to receive a completed response to their request from Alaska officials, a fact that is described in great and interesting detail in Mother Jones this week in a piece headlined “The Long Wait for Sarah Palin's Email.”
Corn explains what has transpired during the long wait:
“A group of journalists, including myself, have been trying for two years to win access, under Alaska's open records law, to emails Palin sent and received during her partial stint as governor of Alaska.
“But the state has postponed releasing the emails, with the office in charge of the request repeatedly asking for and receiving extensions from a series of state attorneys general (including Palin appointees). But the delays could be coming to a halt, with the current AG demanding a 'work plan' for turning over the Palin emails.”
Naturally, Corn seems to assume the delays are a nefarious product of coniving Alaska bureaucrats seeking to protect Palin by slow-walking the request in hopes those pesky journalists will tire of the game and go away. It's a tiresomely familiar game for anybody in the media who has ever filed an FOIA for information some bureaucrat or politician prefers to keep behind closed doors.
Think what you will of Palin, the bubbling controversy raises an interesting question, one that I emailed yesterday to Corn: How many FOIAs have you submitted for all emails sent or received by other national political figures? No answer thus far from Corn, but my guess is that the answer is none.
But Palin ought not be the sole figure on the national political scene for whom the daily back and forth of emails is grist for the journalism wheel. She is, I suspect, because most mainstream media editors and reporters are liberals or leftist and she drives them bonkers, so they devote extraordinary efforts to nail her.
Why shouldn't the same level of intense examination be applied to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, incoming House Speaker John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell?
Indeed, shouldn't all members of Congress, presidential appointees and senior career bureaucrats expect just as a matter of course that their emails will be the subject of multiple FOIAs from inquiring journalists?
There are multiple difficulties here, to be sure, not the least of which is that Congress conveniently exempted itself from the FOIA. There's also a generational thing in that more than a few of our national leaders either don't use email at all or do so only rarely.
There is also little doubt, at least in my mind, that were FOIAs for emails to become a fixture in the inboxes of prominent political figures they would stop using email altogether. But presumably that hasn't happened yet or totally, so there must be some fascinating news stories just waiting to be discovered via a flood of emails from journalists of all ideological stripes to politicians across the political spectrum.
So my question to all my fellow ink-stained wretches is this: What are we waiting for?