In the wake of the release of 24,000 emails from the office former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the media’s obsession with the former Vice Presidential candidate has reached such a fever pitch that even Morning Joe can no longer stand it.“Did you see the obsessive countdown to Sarah Palin's e-mails being released? Did they not make themselves look like fools and - and just prove - and again we have been harshly critical of Sarah Palin, but did the media not prove how biased , over the top biased they’ve been every step of the way on Sarah Palin?” host Joe Scarborough said this morning.
(video after the break)
Time magazine’s Mark Halperin admitted that press coverage has been driven both by bias and by the need of news outlets to compete amongst one another to get the best stories. “Fifty percent bias against her and fifty percent no one wanted to miss out on a big story - competition.” Halperin also mocked the media for reporting on the lack of any major stories in the Palin emails. “when the first few headlines out of the emails was ‘nothing in Sarah Palin e-mails,’ I decided I could spend the weekend working on my Tony pool.” Halperin told the panel.
Scarborough went even further, and criticized the media for not investigating President Obama’s history in Chicago politics. “Well, you know at least they obsessed over Barack Obama's decade in Chicago politics as much as they obsessed over Sarah Palin's two years. Oh wait, actually, no they didn't.” Scarborough told the morning panel. “He ran Blagojevich's campaign in '02. He and Rahm, Rahm said it.”
The Palin Derangement Syndrome exhibited by Morning Joe and its associated network have been well documented. When Palin critics like Scarborough begin attacking unfair press coverage, it is revealing of just how obsessive the press looks.
A transcript of the exchange, which took place at 6:14 am EDT on Monday, follows below.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Did you - did you see, it was like Beatlemania for the mainstream media. Did you see the obsessive countdown to Sarah Palin's e-mails being released? Did they not make themselves look like fools and - and just prove - and again we have been harshly critical of Sarah Palin, but did the media not prove how biased , over the top biased they’ve been every step of the way on Sarah Palin?
MIKA BRZEZINSKY: I’d be interested to see how much was invested in flying to Alaska because I believe you had to do this to get these e-mails, and what was the - was this through a FOIA request? What was the reason for the need to see the e-mails? Was there some sort of potential illegal action? I'm sure there was something serious.
MARK HALPERIN: Fifty percent bias against her and fifty percent no one wanted to miss out on a big story - competition.
BRZEZINSKI: I know, but what was the reason for the requests? I mean there must have been some -
HALPERIN: Well, it had been pending for months, they were made when she was first chosen because Senator McCain chose someone who no one knew anything about, and there was a chance she was going to be Vice President of the United States.
SCARBOROUGH: But, but she, she's not Vice President of the United States.
HALPERIN: Well, that’s when the requests were originally made.
BRZEZINSKI: That, That's important. That's legitimate.
STEVE RATTNER: It’s prurient interest, right, there are 24,000 e-mails. Who knew what was in there. Maybe there would be something interesting, maybe there would be something titillating and off you go.
WILLIE GEIST: I think there was interest to the people of Alaska. There were unanswered questions, but on the national level, I'm not sure that anything groundbreaking came out.
BRZEZINSKI: I do see some legitimacy to it.
SCARBOROUGH: The obsessiveness, though. The countdown. I mean, was that not over the top?
BRZEZINSKI: I don't disagree.
RATTNER: They’re all still up in Juneau reading them. There's 24,000 of them, and they’re working their way through them.
SCARBOROUGH: It's unbelievable. Well, you know at least they obsessed over Barack Obama's decade in Chicago politics as much as they obsessed over Sarah Palin's two years. Oh wait, actually, no they didn't.
BREZINSKI: No, I don't think they did. We'll have to find out.
SCARBOROUGH: You didn't really see boat loads of reporting -
BRZEZINSKI: So Halperin, have you been reading this?
SCARBOROUGH: No, seriously, that is one of the most shameful episodes of the 2008 election. The obsession over Sarah Palin's Alaska records and what she told her hairdresser about Todd and versus Barack Obama in what's considered one of the most corrupt machines in America and there wasn't the same obsession with the guy who had been there for a decade. He ran Blagojevich's campaign in '02. He and Rahm, Rahm said it.
HALPERIN: I - I have long said the failure to scrutinize the president was a big failing of the press. Should have been done.
BRZEZINSKI: So have you been reading the Sarah Palin e-mails?
HALPERIN: You know, when the first few headlines out of the emails was “nothing in
Sarah Palin e-mails,” I decided I could spend the weekend working on my Tony pool.
BRZEZINSKI: I was going to say -- thousands of pages and I bet you there won't be one thing that changes what we already know.