Among the emails is one (.pdf) from Eric Erickson, the head honcho at RedState. You may remember Erickson's RedState posts from that time period because they were so hilariously wrong that I flagged them here.
On the evening of June 22, while Sanford was still "hiking the Appalachian trail," Erickson emails (.pdf) Sanford's press secretary:
If he wants something more personal for the blog to push back, I'm happy to help. ... Obviously he's got more than just the usual suspects trying to make hay out of this and we're big fans.
The next day, June 23, Erickson wrote at RedState:
First, we need to be clear on the facts -- not the media speculation:
-- Sanford did tell his staff and family where he was going.
-- Because he was traveling without a security detail, it was in his best interests that no one knew he was gone.
-- His political enemies -- Republicans at that -- ginned up the media story.
-- When confronted by a pestering media, things went downhill.
-- Again though, at all times there was no doubt that Sanford's staff and family knew where he was.
As we'll all now know, none of that was true. The very next morning, June 24, a reporter busted Sanford at the Atlanta airport, flying in from Argentina after a week visiting, errr, breaking up with, his mistress (which prompted another memorable Erickson post).
The State asked Erickson to comment on his email exchange, and his response captures his own view of his role and function:
I wasn't trying to be a reporter. I wanted to curtail the story. Well that didn't work.
For someone like Erickson, the facts are important only insofar as they are in service to the advocacy. The advocacy can exist, as it did here, independent of the facts -- or before the facts are even known.