Politico‘s E-mail Debacle

Few Politico reporters understand what went down Wednesday when, for much of the afternoon, the e-mail system was malfunctioning. Michelle Levi, a Politico media manager, e-mailed out at 2:41 p.m. time, saying, “Hi Guys – We are having some email problems this afternoon at POLITICO.  Please email [BLANK] for the next few hours with any TV/Radio requests.   Thank you!.” Other reporters e-mailed out notes with instructions to use their gmail and not their Politico accounts.

Largely, reporters were in the dark about what happened. And still are. The day wasn’t completely shot – some found ways to enjoy the sudden blackness.

“From a technological perspective, I actually have absolutely no idea what happened,” said one reporter. “I can tell you that it was down from about 1.30p until about 6p. I can also tell you that the newsroom felt sort of like a snow day or the last day of school.”

NBC’s Luke Russert (and other outlets such as @FishbowlDC on Twitter) spared no time cracking wise about it, saying, “Roll Call, The Hill, CQ, National Journal…please break something big while Politico’s email is down. I want to see @JakeSherman sweat.” Later Russert added, “Politico‘s @KasieHunt on the email system being down: “It’s like my right arm is gone.”

Another Politico reporter added,  “Wasn’t that big of a deal. We lost email access for a couple hours but it came back and didn’t lose any our emails, a technical glitch that seems to happen almost anywhere these days.”

But Politico reporter Kendra Marr, hinted of deeper troubles in this Wednesday tweet: “the great email outage of 2010 continues … IT emails about “urgent mailbox moves” tonite.”

Politico PR had no comment.