Another (Non) Shocker: Documents Reveal Journalists Conspiring to Derail Palin, Fall of 2008

Oh Yes.

This is the Daily Caller document drop I’ve been waiting for. This batch of JournolList emails, follow the announcement of Palin as McCain’s V.P. pick, as many of the Journolisters eagerly formulated talking points to derail the McCain momentum.  Johnathan Strong of The Caller says “the tone was more campaign headquarters than newsroom”:

Daniel Levy of the Century Foundation noted that Obama’s “non-official campaign” would need to work hard to discredit Palin. “This seems to me like an occasion when the non-official campaign has a big role to play in defining Palin, shaping the terms of the conversation and saying things that the official [Obama] campaign shouldn’t say – very hard-hitting stuff, including some of the things that people have been noting here – scare people about having this woefully inexperienced, no foreign policy/national security/right-wing christia wing-nut a heartbeat away …… bang away at McCain’s age making this unusually significant …. I think people should be replicating some of the not-so-pleasant viral email campaigns that were used against [Obama].”

Ryan Donmoyer, a reporter for Bloomberg News who was covering the campaign, sent a quick thought that Palin’s choice not to have an abortion when she unexpectedly became pregnant at age 44 would likely boost her image because it was a heartwarming story.

“Her decision to keep the Down’s baby is going to be a hugely emotional story that appeals to a vast swath of America, I think,” Donmoyer wrote.

Politico reporter Ben Adler, now an editor at Newsweek, replied, “but doesn’t leaving sad baby without its mother while she campaigns weaken that family values argument? Or will everyone be too afraid to make that point?”

Everybody knows family values means mothers have to stay home with the baby. That turned out to be one of the talking points against her.  Liberals pretended to care that her choice to accept the nomination might infringe on her duties as a mother of a special needs baby.

Blogger Matt Yglesias sent out a new post thread with the subject, “The line on Palin.”

“John McCain picked someone to help him politically, Barack Obama picked someone to help him govern,” Yglesias wrote.

They were pushing the idea that “Slow Joe” was all about gravitas? Heh.

Ed Kilgore, managing editor of the Democratic Strategist blog, argued that journalists and others trying to help the Obama campaign should focus on Palin’s beliefs. “The criticism of her really, really needs to be ideological, not just about experience.  If we concede she’s a ‘maverick,’ we will have done John McCain an enormous service.  And let’s don’t concede the claim that [Hillary Clinton] supporters are likely to be very attracted to her,” Kilgore said.

Amidst this debate over how most effectively to destroy Palin’s reputation, reporter Avi Zenilman, who was then writing about the campaign for Politico, chimed in to note that Palin had “openly backed” parts of Obama’s energy plan. In an interview Wednesday, Zenilman said he sent the information as a means of promoting a story he had written for Politico.

Chris Hayes of the Nation wrote in with words of encouragement, and to ask for more talking points. “Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get,” Hayes wrote.

Suzanne Nossel, chief of operations for Human Rights Watch, added a novel take: “I think it is and can be spun as a profoundly sexist pick. Women should feel umbrage at the idea that their votes can be attracted just by putting a woman, any woman, on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views.”

Mother Jones’s Stein loved the idea. “That’s excellent! If enough people – people on this list? – write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket,” he wrote.

Another writer from Mother Jones, Nick Baumann, had this idea: “Say it with me: ‘Classic GOP Tokenism’.”

All of this was in the hours just after the announcement was made. It must have gotten considerably worse in the days following the announcement, when McCain’s poll numbers finally overtook Obama’s.

Tragically,  the subprime mortgage meltdown and the resulting rippling repercussions occurred in mid September,  effectively ending McCain/Palin’s chances, because in 2008, the electorate foolishly blamed the economic downturn on Republicans.

UPDATE:

Ed Morrissey and Jim Geraghty focus on the Joe Klein emails, which I didn’t excerpt.

UPSIDE?

At least no one goes through a plate glass window in this one.

Others blogging:

The Other McCain: Oh, Joy! Guess What the Journolisters Had to Say About Sarah Palin?

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!

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6 thoughts on “Another (Non) Shocker: Documents Reveal Journalists Conspiring to Derail Palin, Fall of 2008

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