Sarah Palin's Emails By The Numbers

The state of Alaska is about to release Sarah Palin's emails from her tenure as governor, and even with the inevitable redactions, that's going to be a lot of material. Let's take a look at exactly how much.

  • According to the Anchorage Daily News, the emails will total about 24,000 pages. This is roughly the length of outsider artist Henry Darger's epic novel, In the Realms of the Unreal, plus its unfinished sequel. Unlike these works, Palin's emails will probably not include descriptions of a bloody war fought by bands of naked girls with penises.
  • Another 2,415 pages are being withheld because the state says they're personal, contain privileged information, or for some other reason aren't subject to disclosure law. This is like the combined length of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, The Pale King, Consider the Lobster, and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Read these; they're great.
  • The emails will be shipped to news organizations that requested them, including the Times and the AP. They'll take up about 5 boxes, each weighing 55 pounds. That's a total of 275 pounds, or the weight of a small wildebeest.
  • Each news organization will have to pay $725.97 in copying fees for the documents. For that price, you could buy 22 big game hunting kits for your next birthday part/moose hunt. Or if you're a vegetarian, you could make your own stuffed moose — and then make 49 more. Or mix and match!

Andree McLeod, who has lodged ethics complaints against Palin, says everything interesting will probably be redacted from the emails: "I don't hold out much hope that all of these emails haven't been scrubbed of any incriminating information." So if you were thinking of putting in a request, maybe just get a wildebeest instead.

State Prepares To Release Palin Emails [Anchorage Daily News]