That tearing and gnashing noise is the sound of dozens of reporters—and thousands of bored citizens—feasting on the 24,000 pages of email from Sarah Palin's days as governor of Alaska that were released today. We haven't read them all—not all have been scanned in yet—but here are some of our favorites so far:
Click on the emails below to view full-size.
"Bring Beef, Tequila, and Condoms"
On September 8, 2008, Palin was invited to a barbecue at record executive Alexis Rivera's Los Angeles home "to celebrate Preston surpassing 10,000 friends on MySpace. The Strange Boys are playing... so tip the kids, and bring beef, tequila, and condoms." What? The Strange Boys opened for Spoon last year at Radio City Music Hall. I don't think Sarah Palin likes them!
We reached out to Rivera today, who runs Echo Park Records. He explains: "Haha this shit is hilarious. I always use a dummy e-mail address in the to line of party invites (and BCC everyone else). I had no idea it was her real address. Real address but to a dummy I guess?"
"The accuser of the brethren is not very happy with a Governor who dedicates the state to the purposes of God."
This was a random email from a supporter that came to Palin through her bulk inbox, but it was pulled out by her staff, presumably because they thought she might like to see it: "Kris, This one was in her hulk box you may want to forward." So what sort of supporter e-mail does Palin's staff think she'd like to read? One that claims to be a "Prophecy for Governor Palin" based on the dreams of her fans in Wasilla. "The fist dream that we sent you was about the media and the time of the fish," it reads. "While I was praying for the governor's administration, the Lord gave me a scripture for her! [A] plot is enfolding to ensnare you by those who are now against you."
"Install the bed in the basement next to a dryer."
Palin's decision to install a tanning bed in the governor's mansion was big news during the campaign—she paid for it herself. Here's the e-mail from the state-employed executive residence manager laying out her options for where the bed could go.
"I don't want to get chewed out by him again."
Palin was scared of Rep. Don Young, Alaska's only congressman. In September 2008, a staffer e-mailed her that Young was trying to reach her. Palin replied: "Please find out what it's about. I don't want to get chewed out by him again. I'm not up for that."
"I'm looking for someone to correct the letter writer's goofy comments, but don't want...the response to come from me."
An e-mail from July 2008 seems to show Palin ghostwriting a letter to the editor of the Alaska Daily News that was to be sent under the name of a supporter. Apparently a critic had written to the ADN questioning her failure to appear at the 2008 Miss Alaska Pageant, and Palin was moved to defend herself against the "goofy" charge. But she didn't want it to come from her, so she wrote a letter to the editor that referred to herself and Todd in third-person—and quoted herself—and told her staff to find a person to sign it. "Kristan Cole would be perfect," responded an aide.
"I love her and what she stands for and want to make sure she is shown only In the most positive way."
Elan Frank, an Israeli filmmaker, met Palin randomly long before her ascension to the national stage and spent time filming her. When she was named John McCain's vice presidential nominee, he contacted Palin's spokeswoman to offer congratulations and pledge fealty: "Let me know if I can be of any help with the footage I have. The footage I have and my approach present the governor in a bright and positive light, and can be very helpful. You can direct news agency's to me, I will make sure they get only the very good stuff." Guess who eventually purchased Frank's footage for a documentary about Palin, and hired him as a consultant? FOX NEWS, DUMMY [pdf].
"We will have the answers in a teleprompter."
Palin likes to make fun of Barack Obama for his reliance on left-leaning teleprompters, because he's stupid and can't remember words. Here's an e-mail exchange from March 2007 explaining how an interview with Palin for something called Energy TV will be conducted: "Sharon [a Palin aide] will ask the questions, we will have the answers in a teleprompter, and then send those answers over the satellite tomorrow afternoon." That's right—Palin needed a teleprompter even when the questions were coming from someone paid to make her look good.
"Although I am not able to vote yet, I am curious about a few things."
Poor Tim Ellebracht wrote an email to Palin when he was in eighth grade, and it didn't go so well: "Dear Governor Palin, My name is Tim and I am an eighth grader at St. Margaret Mary Alcoque. Although I am not able to vote yet, I am curious about a few things." And that's it! We hope you've figured everything out, Tim.