As many of you know by now, the love that Mark Sanford shared with his Argentinean paramour played out in many, many emails, in which Sanford enumerated his feelings as best he could, not knowing how to use Powerpoint. These letters are like a modern day Griffin and Sabine of epistolary awkwardness, and a South Carolina newpaper, The State, sat on them for six months without reporting them out.
What's up with that? Sarabeth at 1115.org asks, "What were they waiting for exactly?" She goes on to opine, "If they had published those emails at any time up to one week ago, it would have served the public interest. To publish them yesterday, as they did, only served a prurient interest." But the tick-tock that the New York Times put together paints the picture of a newspaper that could simply not properly authenticate the emails until last week's events -- Sanford disappearing from the face of the earth without telling anyone where he was going -- ramped up the urgency and provided the vital evidence needed to start connecting the dots.
All of which sounds okay to me: Newspapers should have to clear a bar before broadcasting private, intimate correspondence. That's why this suggestion, from a Daily Kos contributor, sounds sort of slippery-slope to me:
An interesting side note to the Sanford scandal: The State Media Co. laid off 11 percent of its work force in March 2009. And this happened while the newspaper was sitting on Sanford emails they had received in December 2008.
I guess they didn't want to sell any additional copies at the time. After all, with increased revenues they might have been able to... Well, not lay off so many people. No wonder newspapers are going down in flames.
Who knew that the media economy depended so much upon adultery? With the future of journalism at stake, how can any of us afford to not cheat on our spouses?