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NYT Asks Readers to Help Dig Up 'Interesting and Newsworthy' Palin Emails (AKA Anti-Palin Dirt)

News that Alaska would release a trove of Sarah Palin e-mails from her tenure as governor spurred the Times to look to its liberal readership for help digging up dirt: "We're asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight. Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address..." The Times could have used some of that initiative to uncover Obama-care's expensive surprises.
Early Thursday afternoon, Derek Willis posted on the paper's "Caucus" blog a request surely enticing to the paper's online liberal readership: "Help Us Investigate the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records." Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters says enlisting newspaper readers to pore through the email trove "indirectly amounts to free oppo research for the 2012 Obama campaign."

On Friday, the State of Alaska will release more than 24,000 of Sarah Palin's e-mails covering much of her tenure as governor of Alaska. Times reporters will be in Juneau, the state capital, to begin the process of reviewing the e-mails, which we will be posting on nytimes.com starting on Friday afternoon E.D.T.

We're asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight. Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address so we'll know who should get the credit. Join us here on Friday afternoon and into the weekend to participate.

Sounds like a liberal party at the Times this weekend. But where was this crowd-sourcing investigative enthusiasm upon the release of the 2,000-page Obama-care bill, when it could have uncovered all sorts of expensive hidden surprises?

The Times was actually beaten to this game by the Washington Post, who made a similar request (it's a more formal process than the Times') just after noon on Thursday.