Eyebrows were raised Tuesday evening after a batch of Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department turned up the names of two prominent journalists.

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith and former New York Times correspondent Les Gelb both make a brief appearance in the newly released trove of messages, as the two reporters apparently discussed Clinton-related story ideas with various members of her team. The emails, which cover only the former secretary of state's first year at Foggy Bottom, raise questions about how much input Clinton's people had in the press' coverage of her early days as America's top diplomat.

In one of the correspondences released Tuesday evening, Smith, who was reporting for Politico at the time, discusses possible story ideas with Tommy Vietor, the former spokesman for President Obama's National Security Council.

On June 22, 2009, Smith wrote Vietor, saying, "[Thanks]. I've been successfully, mostly, talked out of that thesis."

Vietor responded with a simple, "Victory!"

Smith told the Washington Examiner that there's more to the story than the single State Department email suggests.

"I think I'd tried to get them to talk to me by floating the thesis that she was totally irrelevant," Smith told the Examiner. "Reporters' tactics are not always great."

He later uploaded an image of an email conversation preceding his June 22 correspondence with Vietor.

Referencing a few working theses, Smith wrote in an email on June 18, 2009, "I won't pretend to you I've got it buttoned down, but here are other hypotheses: … she doesn't have the foreign policy heavyweights in the inner circle … she doesn't seem to have her own agenda (for better or worse) aside from getting more money for [the State Department]."

"I guess I don't mean she's a minor player — just that she's an ordinary secretary of state," he added.

On June 23, 2009, Politico published Smith's Clinton article, titled "Hillary Clinton toils in the shadows."

"I'd suggested I was writing that she was irrelevant, wound up w a bit milder (& holds up reasonably well)," he said later on Twitter, adding for the benefit of his critics, "I'm amused by the perception that I was a favored Clinton reporter. I think you weren't following then?"

For Gelb, there doesn't appear to be two sides to the story.

The Pulitzer Prize winner appeared in 2009 to be quite interested in writing the former first lady a flattering profile, according to an email written by longtime Clinton ally Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

"I spent yesterday with Les Gelb on Nantucket. He had lots to say which might be of interest, but I thought the most important thing to tell you is to make sure you are aware of the Parade magazine piece he wants to do about you," she wrote in an email addressed to the now-Democratic presidential candidate. "He would like to do a day in your life, when you meet with members of Congress and international figures. He wants to show the impact you are having domestically and internationally."

She added in a passage that reflected poorly on Gelb, "He said he would give you a veto over content and looked me in the eye and said, 'she will like it.' Maybe you know this, but did not want it to fall between the cracks. Enjoy your vacation and love to all of you."

Gelb's Clinton profile, "24 Hours With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," was published on Oct. 25, 2009, by Parade.

He did not respond to the Examiner's request for comment.