Note to the Daily Caller: Private tweets don’t make a public story
May 24, 2011 - 8:07 am
The Daily Caller’s Jonathan Strong runs a story based entirely on the private tweets of Sarah Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour. Mansour sent them to someone she trusted, in hindsight trust that the person has proved unworthy to hold. There is no news in the tweets: Mansour does what loyal political staff do, trashing those who trash the boss, dishing, being fierce. Not news, at least to anyone who has ever worked anywhere near politics since the advent of email. But evidently it’s news to Jonathan Strong and the Daily Caller. Frankly, it’s garbage.
It turns out that the snitch who handed Strong the tweets has been trying to sell them, for a while.
“Does Politico pay for exclusives? Cause I’m looking to sell. I have 122 direct messages from Sarah Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour,” the person emailed, eventually sending along sample direct messages identical to a couple the Caller posted. They were forwarded from the account of one improbably named Toki de la Vega, a contributor to some pro-Palin sites, though there was a man’s name attached to one of the tweets as well.
I responded with a counter-offer of lunch and “undying gratitude.”
“Sorry, Ben, but it’s going to take more than a happy meal and a hand shake to get me to betray someone’s confidence. Only freshly printed 100 dollar bills help me get over feelings of guilt,” wrote the emailer, who continued, “Would it violate some fake journalistic ethics and standards to get me in contact someone who does pay? I know that the thought of blogging about this is making your panties wet. The topics range from Chuck Hagel to Ricky Hollywood and everything else in between. It’s a f***ing blogger’s gold mine.”
Would thirty pieces of silver have been a sufficient price? Is that what the DC and/or Strong paid for them? The tweet source says no, but is there any reason to believe them? I don’t see one. Their “guilt” at violating “fake journalistic ethics and standards” can be assuaged with $100 bills. They are not above lying to a reporter who refused their offer of sale, to cover their tracks.