Just how much are liberal bloggers driving the mainstream media attacks on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin?
According to a report in Saturday's Politico, postings by the Netroots Friday concerning a friend and former business partner of the Palins trying to have his divorce records sealed created a media feeding frenzy in Alaska.
This was to be the smoking gun tying this individual to a National Enquirer piece last week that alleged Palin had an extramarital affair some years ago, which according to Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel, sent mainstream press members scurrying like rats to a small courthouse thousands of miles from their nests (emphasis added, photo courtesy AP):
Surely, the Netroots speculated, that friend must be the unnamed business partner whom this week’s edition of the National Enquirer alleges — without proof so far — was romantically linked to Palin. The McCain campaign's characterization of the story as a "vicious lie" seemed to only fuel more speculation.
And then the moment of truth, as the motion to seal was denied. The filings, housed in a district courthouse in this town about eight miles east of the Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, contained a lot of hot news — presuming, that is, you’re interested in the child-custody agreement reached by Scott Richter and his ex-wife Deborah Richter, or in the former couple's holdings, which include a recreational property that Scott owns with Sarah and Todd Palin.
That hasn’t stopped a stream of journalists and couriers from NBC, the Los Angeles Times, Court TV and other outlets (including this reporter, presently serving as Politico’s Alaska bureau) from making their way to the Palmer courthouse to photocopy, at 25 cents a page, the 75 or so pages in the Richters’ marriage dissolution file.
So this is the state of journalism today: a liberal blogger can post any unproven claim about a Republican candidate or elected official, and mainstream press members will be all over it like white on rice.