A guest post from Double X intern Meredith Simons:
Sara, I agree that the way the truth about Sanford's whereabouts unfolded underscores the importance of local newspapers . But said local newspaper's release of e-mails between Sanford and Maria, the mysterious Argentinian, complicates things a little bit. The State 's reporter didn't go to the Atlanta airport on a hunch. The paper had known since December that Sanford was having a transcontinental affair. And they had a McClatchy reporter on the ground in Argentina Wednesday, knocking on Maria's door just as the news broke in the States.
This raises all sorts of questions: Why did The State wait so long? Would they have released the e-mails (and sent someone to Argentina) if Sanford hadn't attracted attention to himself by disappearing? It's counterintuitive to suggest that a news organization would cover up such a huge story, but it's very strange that they let things go on as long as they did. After all, they've known about Maria for more than six months, and they had no way of knowing that the press corps was about to get caught up in a game of "Where in the World is Mark Sanford?" So what were they waiting for?