Morning Joe Producer Offered “Friendly Place” For Sanford To Tell Story

July 17, 2009 1:23 p.m.

We’ve made it through all 570 pages of those emails sent from and to Mark Sanford’s office in the period just before, during, and after his disappearance.

Earlier we highlighted how big name TV journalists like David Gregory, George Stephanopoulos, and John King aggressively wooed the South Carolina governor’s press secretary in an effort to get the governor to come on their shows. But here are a few of the other interesting finds — mostly press related — from our search:• Ann Edelberg, a producer at MSNBC, wrote to Sanford press secretary Joel Sawyer to say: “Of course the Gov has an open invite to a friendly place here at MJ, if he would like to speak out.” MJ refers to Morning Joe, the MSNBC show hosted by former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, and also frequently featuring hardcore right-winger Pat Buchanan.

• Politico‘s Jonathan Martin, after making a few inquiries to Sawyer, wrote sycophantically: “Jakie causing you guys problem?” That’s a reference to state Sen. Jake Knotts, who had first raised questions about the governor’s whereabouts.

• A woman named Jessica Gibadlo — this seems like her — wrote in an email to Sawyer that MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer was suggesting Sanford could come on her network to spin the story favorably. Wrote Gibadlo:

As you know I’m close to Contessa who has been in my ear on this. She said that the tone in the news room is that Mark could spin this favorably if he talks it up as the outdoors man in the woods etc. For all we know he’s contemplating the last year of his term and thinking through his priorities before he goes on his family vacation.

As you know, she’s close to Contessa.

• A barely literate Fox News producer and Sanford fan wrote: “Where is he…we LOVE to governor he is okay right?” Hey, who doesn’t love to governor?

• The Wall Street Journal‘s Brendan Miniter — who we already told you had dissed his own paper’s reporting on the saga in an effort to suck up to the governor’s office — doubled down on that effort, writing to Sawyer that that he “wanted verification that the WSJ story was BS.” Now there’s some team spirit!

• Stewart Moore, the anchor for local South Carolina news station WIS-TV, showed great news judgment, writing:

Off the record, I think this whole thing is ridiculous. Sounds like slow news day stuff.

On the record; for the sake of good journalism, is there any way we can get the governor on for a phoner @ 6:30am? I think that will end the crazy situation we both find ourselves, more so you, in.

Thanks dude.

• And John O’Connor of The State, the paper that led the reporting on this story throughout, and would the next day bust Sanford at the airport upon his return from Argentina, bombarded the hapless Sawyer with a litany of pointed questions, including
“will the governor publicly discuss the trip?,” “what was the governor going to write?,”
“why did it take so long to get an answer about where the governor was?,” “where did he plan to travel?,” “how far did he plan to hike? with whom?,” “are their (sic) issues in the Sanford marriage?,” and, “can we see his passport?”

Sawyer’s reply: “AHHHHH!”

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: