Were news organizations Dumpster diving, as one outraged reader of The Washington Post put it?
News outlets insisted that they were trying to be as thorough and efficient as possible while reporting on information that the public was entitled to know.
“This is not a witch hunt,” said Jim Roberts, an assistant managing editor at The Times. “There are 25,000 documents here, and we can use all the eyeballs we can get.”
The Times, like The Post and others, uploaded the e-mails onto its Web site and invited readers to sift through them and comment on anything compelling they found. (Because the state of Alaska made the e-mails available only on paper, news organizations had to scan them to make them viewable online.)
“From our perspective, we’re just providing the public records to the public, who own them,” said Bill Dedman, a reporter for MSNBC.com who was helping lead his Web site’s effort. “The people of Alaska will figure out what news or insights they find in their public records.”
The scope of the coverage led one close Palin associate to equate it with a mass attempt at “gotcha journalism,” using a favorite characterization the former governor often uses to criticize the news media’s taste for blood.
Anyone else wonder why these pillars of the news world weren’t interested in help to read the 2800 pages of the Obamacare bill when no one read it?