Monday, June 20, 2011

The media double standard

Email dumps - Palin & U.Va.

By Times-Dispatch Staff

Blogger Glenn Reynolds recently circulated a comment that highlights yet another glaring inconsistency among the establishment media.

Major organs of the press have been so eager to air the dirty laundry from Sarah Palin's emails — obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — that they have turned to "crowdsourcing" to expedite the job. In other words, they're disseminating the material to the general readership so they can find the juicy bits faster.

Contrast that with the vitriol and scorn heaped on conservatives who have requested that the University of Virginia divulge emails written by climatologist Michael Mann when he was employed there. The very idea that anyone would request such private material is an atrocious assault on privacy and academic freedom, is the general view — at least inside liberal echo chambers.

True, Palin and Mann are differently situated. Although both are now private citizens and although all the emails in question were written on the government dime, he has never run for public office, while she has. But the differences are not nearly so great as the manner in which the two cases — or, for that matter, the earlier Climategate email controversy — have been treated.

Repugnant double standards will continue until the day when opinion-makers begin to put principles first and personalities second. That day, we fear, remains very far off. By the way, the Palin emails have redounded to the author's benefit and have left her critics dismayed.

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