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Like many others across this country, we were surprised -- maybe “shocked” would be a better word -- when Sen. John McCain named then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. McCain was already facing headwinds in the general election, and the choice of Palin gave him a quick boost in the polls. But as people found out more about the chief executive of the frozen state, they decided she didn’t have the qualifications to stand a heartbeat away from the presidency, as some like to refer to the vice presidency. We shared those views; while we found her an engaging and refreshing personality, she didn’t seem to have the gravitas to occupy the White House.

In the ensuing period, she has been savaged by the mainstream press in what some consider a vicious way. And when the state of Alaska announced that it would release thousands of e-mails Palin sent and received while governor, it set off a stampede of journalists to Alaska, most of them in a feeding frenzy to find sleaze. Representatives of the television networks and many of the largest newspaper organizations in the country -- they profess with a straight face that they are balanced observers -- couldn’t wait to uncover examples of whatever it was they thought they’d find, certainly none of it praiseworthy.

Alas, they were disappointed. After sifting through reams and reams of paperwork, not only had they not found a smoking gun, they hadn’t uncovered even a hint of impropriety, ignorance, sexual scandal or doubtful conduct. They skulked back to the lower 48, maintaining all the while they had simply been doing their duty.

Palin might not have the experience or wherewithal to be president, but the released documents showed a governor who was focused and was interested in getting things done. The e-mails also showed that she was concerned about her image, and we’ve never yet met an elected official who wasn’t. The disappointment among the media types was palpable. Fair’s fair, but the mainstream media never gave Palin even a hint of fairness. Is anybody surprised?