Liberal journalists and commentators on an exclusive web group coordinated ways to discredit Sarah Palin on the very day she was nominated as Sen. John McCain's vice presidential pick in 2008, according to a new report.
The Daily Caller has been publishing excerpts from the now-defunct listserv Journolist on which hundreds of reporters and bloggers discussed everything from how to help Barack Obama's presidential campaign to whether the government should shut down Fox News.
The online publication released new excerpts on Thursday that showed the members discussing a number of different campaign-style tactics to undermine Palin. They generally noted it would be unwise to target her relative inexperience given Obama's light record in public office, deciding instead that the focus should be on her "wing-nut" ideology and her alleged dearth of ideas.
They reportedly cast their conversations as an incubator for talking points on television.
After one member wrote that women should take "umbrage" at the idea that putting "any woman on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views" could win them over, Mother Jones' Jonathan Stein urged others to echo that point.
"That's excellent! If enough people -- people on this list? -- write that the pick is sexist, you'll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket."
Time's Joe Klein added that Palin's "first flub" may be that she supported the so-called "bridge to nowhere." Klein later told the Daily Caller that "anybody who knows me knows I do my own thinking."
The members readily offered up talking points for anybody opposed to Palin and suggested "non-official" Obama operatives "scare people" about her record. Blogger Matt Yglesias offered one: "John McCain picked someone to help him politically, Barack Obama picked someone to help him govern."
Former Politico reporter Ben Adler noted that "leaving a sad baby without its mother" could undermine the family values argument. "Or will everyone be too afraid to make that point?" he asked, according to the report.