Did Someone Pay for the Leaked Sarah Palin Twitter Story?

A big story broke on the Daily Caller today with a series of leaked Twitter direct messages from top Sarah Palin aide Rebecca Mansour mocking major political figures like Mitt Romney and even Palin’s own daughter Bristol Palin. Mansour sent private messages calling Romney’s fans “wacky as hell,” and said conservative blogger Erick Erickson of Red State was “a total douchebag.” She also said about Bristol: “She will hold her at arm’s length. Even Thatcher was never able to disown her screw up son Mark. It’s a Mom thing,”

But an intriguing part to this story is how the direct messages were leaked in the first place. Politico’s Ben Smith wrote that he has been waiting for this story to break for a few months, as somebody tried to sell him the same emails last fall.  “Does Politico pay for exclusives?  Cause I’m looking to sell. I have 122 direct messages from Sarah Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour,” the person “Toki de la Vega” emailed.

When Smith responded with a counter-offer of “lunch and ‘undying gratitude,'” he received this response:

“Sorry, Ben, but it’s going to take more than a happy meal and a hand shake to get me to betray someone’s confidence. Only freshly printed 100 dollar bills help me get over feelings of guilt,” wrote the emailer, who continued, “Would it violate some fake journalistic ethics and standards to get me in contact someone who does pay? I know that the thought of blogging about this is making your panties wet. The topics range from Chuck Hagel to Ricky Hollywood and everything else in between. It’s a f***ing blogger’s gold mine.”

But it turned out that The Daily Caller didn’t pay for the story either.

“Of course we don’t pay for stories, and we didn’t pay for this one,” its chief, Tucker Carlson, emailed this morning.

Smith also expressed surprise that the emailed didn’t contact Gawker “which has a policy of paying for information, or to the voracious celebrity information market.” And the leaker himself told Smith in an email this morning that he never actually intended to be paid.

” I wasn’t serious back then. I was just … trolling you for fun. The Internet can be a boring place sometimes. :\,” the correspondent wrote.

(h/t The Atlantic Wire)

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