Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's official. A threshold has been reached.

For months I have been researching the story of Sarah Palin's alleged pregnancy last spring. At times, I've been serious, at other times facetious, at others sarcastic. But on some level, I always thought this was a serious story.

No more. Today, as I searched for a word to best describe where we are now, my husband suggested surreal. And that's a good word, no denying it.

We are now 48 hours after the news broke on that Triggy Trippin' Track (or whatever the hell his name is) had been born. The birth day and the birth weight have each already changed once, but I think we've finally settled on Saturday, December 27th, and 7 lbs 8 oz. No matter that ... depending on how you count it... either two days or five days in, not one Alaskan newspaper has confirmed the story. Not one Wasilla/Palmer/Anchorage hospital has confirmed the child was actually born there. We have not seen a single photo, even a quick smile and wave from the proud new mom as she carries her little bundle o' joy out of the hospital. And most incredibly of all, the Governor's office has "refused to comment," saying that it is only a private family matter.

Read that again. Sarah Palin's office - five days after the putative birth - has not yet actually confirmed that the child has been born.

So.. how is it again... that we know this then? Let's review: It turns out that the alleged baby has an alleged great-aunt (who doesn't even live in Alaska, but hey, minor details) who got an alleged email from the alleged grandpa and then somehow (this is totally unclear) talked to (So how was it, just out of idle curiousity, that alleged great-aunty got Saturday and Sunday mixed up? Was the initial email from Chuck "Sarah's Water Broke" Heath wrong? Mistaken? Oh never mind. There's no point in even asking.) Great-aunty has actually admitted that she hasn't really TALKED to anyone in the family, but again... minor details.

But then, today, just when I thought surely it could not get any worse, it does. People is now reporting that Gov. Palin called them today... and left a message. Hmmm.

And on that message was the earth-shattering info that: Levi and Bristol are not really high school dropouts. Gov. Palin wanted everyone to know that. She wanted it to be abundantly crystal clear. She even says it right out. "They are certainly not high school drop outs." Hmmm.

Because later in the same article we are told that: Levi, also 18, told the AP in October that he had "left high school" to enroll in an apprenticeship program training him as an electrician. (I don't know what YOUR definition of high school dropout is, but that's pretty much mine.)

And her reason for imparting this pearl? To protect the young folks' reputations. Of course, considering that we are talking about a young woman who supposedly just had a baby (possibly her second) at age eighteen and a young man whose mother just got arrested for drug charges, the word "reputation" probably needs to be applied a bit loosely. If at all.

Oh, and what does she tell us about her darling newborn grandson? Umm, let me check the article again. Ummm. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Squat. Nothing about how cute and chubby and perfect he is. Nothing about how he smells so sweet that his grandmother just can't put him down. Nothing about how cute he looks in his little sleepers or darling hats. But... Levi's going to be an electrician. Yeah, that's important.

She does reassure us that "Levi and Bristol are working their butts off to parent," an odd statement at best considering that the new (alleged) rugrat is barely five days old, and, pardon me for pointing this out, but many of us believe that Bristol has been parenting Trig for, oh, eight months now.

Which brings me to the conversation I had with my husband on the word that could best be used to describe this absolutely unbelievable morass. His suggestion was, as I said, surreal. And it surely is. But I felt somehow I could do better. Somewhere, there was the perfect word. And then, it came to me.


For those of you who many not remember high school English, I'll give you a refresher on the definition of farce.

A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.
Or perhaps you might like this one better.

A low style of comedy; a dramatic composition marked by low humor, generally written with little regard to regularity or method, and abounding with ludicrous incidents and expressions.
Yup. Farce.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Blessed Event

So it's official. Or is it?

People Magazine announced Monday evening that Bristol Palin gave birth Sunday to a 7 lbs. 7 oz. baby boy named Tripp. The source of the news? Not the parents themselves or the proud grandparents. People said the birth was confirmed by Bristol's great aunt, Colleen Jones, the sister of Bristol's Grandma Sally Heath.. 

Curiously, People has since revised its online article to say the birth took place on Saturday. Hmm. The birth date provided by the NY Daily News is even sketchier. Their report simply says the baby was born "over the weekend." The NY Daily News gives a different birth weight, too. They put the little bundle of joy at 7 lbs. 4 oz.

Really, people, how hard is it to get it right?

But at least the print media is trying. Well, some of them. 

While the NY Daily News actually had a staff writer do their story, the Alaskan newspaper of record, the Anchorage Daily News, apparently didn't think the story was even worthy of a byline, so they just ran a blurb announcing the birth and cited their source as People Magazine. To their credit, however, they did note that an attempt to get a statement from the governor was unsuccessful this time, while noting she issued a press release in April after Trig was born.

Over at Fox News, they announced the birth via an AP report that includes a most curious error at the end:

Sarah Palin and her husband Todd have five children ranging in age from son Trig, 7 months, to son Track, 19.

Wasn't Trig born on April 18th? If he was that'd put him at eight and a half months of age, not seven.

What about family reaction? The birth of a baby is a beautiful thing, right? It's hard for parents, grandparents and great grandparents not to brag. 

But as ADN pointed out, there's no word from Sarah Palin other than a tersely worded statement from her press secretary, Bill McAllister, stating that the governor's office would not comment on this "private" matter. 

If Sarah or her First Dude were there by their laboring daughter's bedside, they aren't saying so. For that matter, we don't know if Tripp's father Levi Johnston was there. The New York Daily News says it isn't clear whether he even attended the birth.

There's no comment from Levi Johnston's parents either, although in their defense the arrest of Levi's mother on drug charges may make any sort of public statement awkward. And what about Sarah's parents, the Heaths? It was Chuck Heath, after all, who told the world that Sarah's water had broken in Texas. It was Chuck Heath who gave Bristol's due date as Dec. 20th. Now, apparently, he's not saying a word and is referring all questions to the governor's office. 

The only one who's talking is a great aunt, who gave two facts - birth date and birth weight - with neither being yet reported to any degree of certainty.

So where does this leave our investigation? As far as this blog is concerned, as long as questions remain we'll stick around to answer them. And this "birth" raises plenty.

Why was the birth announced on Monday, with conflicting dates and birth weights given and/or reported. Again, how hard is it to get this right? 

No reports state where the baby was born. Usually when a celebrity or public figure gives birth, some hospital flack will issue a press release confirming the birth. So far, no hospital has identified itself as the birth place.

If the baby was born Saturday or Sunday as claimed, it certainly is convenient to announce it on Monday. With healthy babies and mothers discharged within 24 hours these days, Bristol & Son have had ample time to get home, or to some other undisclosed location.

There are no pictures and likely won't be until the family decides to release them. A lucrative deal with People has been reported, but if the family changes their mind we may never know.

It's hard to believe with all the attention the Palins are getting that photographers weren't stationed at every hospital in the area waiting to get a shot of Bristol either going in or coming out. 

But again, nothing.

And finally, let's not forget one important point. Even if Bristol gave birth to Tripp on Saturday or Sunday - and that has yet to be verified via photos or official reports - it does not mean that Sarah gave birth to Trig.

Sarah Palin's wildly unbelievable birth story and photo evidence of what indicates a staged fifth  pregnancy still leave ample room for speculation regarding a saga that only grows more twisted with time, especially with the latest chapters of a mysterious church fire, Sherry Johnston's arrest and now this vaguely detailed birth announcement.

So stay tuned. If you read the comments on this and other blogs it's abundantly clear that doubt persists. As long as it does, so shall this investigation.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Photoshop Report

First, up front: I'll get this out of the way, so those who disagree with my decision can just stop reading now. I have agreed with the expert who did this report that I am not releasing his name publicly on this blog. He is fully aware that his name can and will be released to media personnel who make appropriate inquiries. He has a website which contains personal phone numbers as well as emails, and - based on what has occurred to others who have become involved in this story (which has included, in the case of at least one blogger who has posted on this publicly, emails to his employer demanding that he be fired) I have no problem agreeing with his request that he does not need to reveal himself to those who are simply malicious.

Second, I am making a commitment. If anyone disagrees with these results, he/she is free to hire another expert. I will be happy to post the results of another report on this blog, even if the results are sharply in disagreement with what the report that I was given.

Third, and I apologize for this, the report is in the form of a pdf. This is to protect the author of the report from having his work altered or plagiarised in any way. I realize it makes it a bit more difficult to read the report - you'll have to download it and open it on your own computer - but there's no way around this.

To review, I asked the expert to look at the following two photographs.

(Original caption from Flickr account: CBS 11 doing a live interview as the legislative session comes to an end. ) For the rest of this discussion, this is referred to as Image 1.

(Original caption from Flickr account: Myself, Governor Palin, Press Secretary McAllister. ) For the rest of this discussion, this is Image 2.

These photos were allegedly taken on April 13, 2008 in Juneau, less than one week prior to Trig Palin's birth.

Why is there so much focus on these photos? I think it's essential to review this briefly. Those who have supported Sarah Palin over the last four months, and who have insisted that there is "no doubt" that Sarah is Trig's mom in fact have very few pieces of "concrete proof." These two photos are two of only five known photos taken during the period of time during which she was said to have been pregnant (March 5, 2008 through April 18, 2008) in which there is an unobstructed view of her midsection. The other three are:

One, taken March 26th, which showed only very dubious evidence of pregnancy.
One, taken around April 8th, which shows a pregnant appearance. (However, I have asserted that the "belly," while certainly present, appears oddly flat, not "round and taut" as I would expect in a woman close to 35 weeks pregnant with her fifth child. In addition, screen shots from a video taken this same day show clear evidence of a square shape under her shirt.)
One, taken March 14th, which shows no evidence of pregnancy whatsoever.

These two photos - then - in my opinion - are the ONLY two which show her realistically pregnant. The belly is, in my opinion, rounded and quite natural-looking. And because of this, the photo of her being interviewed (Image 1) is pointed to again and again and again as proof-positive that she was pregnant with Trig. Just recently, on a website which supports Sarah Palin for president in 2012 ( there was a thread - now removed - which questioned the pregnancy. Like clockwork, someone posted this photo.

Frankly, without this ONE photo I personally believe that she would not have been able to "prove" the matter last August 31- September 1. This photo - along with the uncorroborated announcement that Bristol was "five months pregnant" - saved her candidacy. That's why this photo was - and continues to be - critical.

So ... without further ado, here's the link to the full pdf from the professional analysis. For those of you who want the result without having to wade through the analysis, here it is.

Image 1 (2814199887_67e84850f4_b.jpg) shows some signs of alterations consistent with an image that has been composited from different sources. However, due to the fact that the image available for analysis is only 1024 x 768, it is not possible to give a conclusive analysis.

Image 2 (2814979078_4815e908a9_b.jpg) shows no signs of alterations.

"Some signs of alterations." Admittedly, this is not proof positive. I concur that. But that the image shows any signs of alterations --- any signs at all --- should be very troubling considering that this is the single photograph that has been pointed to repeatedly as demonstrating that Sarah Palin is Trig's mom.

What are these signs of alterations? First, the area around her hair - a very common place to look for pixels that don't "match" in altered photos - shows signs of masking, a technique used when photos are composited. Second, as was pointed out in an earlier post on this blog, the area around her neck shows signs of adjustment - "a redundant pattern of murky pixels." Third, some discrepancy was noted in the area of the door that can be seen through her glasses, though if her glasses were clear and clean there should not have been a discrepancy. (However, to be precise, the expert felt that at 72 dpi, there was not enough detail say conclusively that this area had been altered: he calls it only an "area of interest.")

Fourth - and this was something that the expert brought up on his own (I had asked him only to look at the photos at the pixel level) in Image 1, Gov. Palin's body position seems, in his word, "peculiar." Many others have noted this. She is simply not facing where she should be if this picture is what it represents itself to be - a still shot of a news interview in progress. Even if, while Gusty was speaking, Palin's attention was drawn to something off camera and she glanced away, her body should still be facing the camera person squarely. But Palin's body is facing down the hall, quite nearly away from the cameraman, her expression almost unfocused. She does not appear in any way to be part of the action around her.

This report is not proof positive. It is not conclusive. But the main reason that is not is primarily because we do not have access to high-quality images from a known and reliable source from which solid conclusions can be drawn. What we have are low-resolution images taken by an unknown person uploaded anonymously to a Flickr account.

Considering all the other questions, concerns, and anomalies with this photo, that it shows any signs of alteration at all is profoundly troubling.

Here are just some of the questions surrounding the provenance of these photos ... and some comments on each.

1. This photo was released nowhere prior to Sarah Palin's candidacy being announced. While this is not per se a problem - lots of photos of Gov. Palin were no doubt released only after her VP nomination thrust her into the national spotlight - it is, in a word, unfortunate, that this most crucial picture was not seen anywhere prior to August 31, 2008.

2. The identity of the photographer is not known. Anyone who is willing to view these photos as "proof" should be at least slightly concerned that no one has ever been willing to publicly state who actually was behind the camera when the photos were taken.

3. The Flickr account holder is "Eric99559," and he/she has never been identified. In Image 2, the man to the left of the photo is Dan Carpenter, a photographer with KTUU - Channel 2 news (NBC Affiliate in Anchorage) , and the caption on the photo states that this person is "myself." This would lead one to assume that Eric99559 is Dan Carpenter. But this has never been confirmed.

4. The woman interviewing Gov. Palin in Image 1 is Andrea Gusty, a reporter with KTVA in Anchorage. She has gone on record as stating this photo was taken April 13th, a Sunday, which was the last day of the Alaska State Legislative Session. However, quite oddly, her account of the day (which is available for a fee on the KTVA website) is in conflict with the account published in the Anchorage Daily News the next day. Gusty's report states:
The halls are silent in our state Capitol after a bustling 90-day session wrapped up late Sunday night. More than 700 bills were introduced and less than half were voted on. Those that did make it are headed to the governor's desk for approval.
But according to the Anchorage Daily News, the session was adjourned "with time to spare," "at lunchtime," a fact that was met by considerable rejoicing from most legislators. This is not a minor difference, one person saying for example that it was over "at lunchtime," and another saying it was 1 PM. There is a huge difference between lunchtime and "late Sunday night." Was Gusty actually in Juneau on April 13th? If so, how could she confuse lunchtime and "late Sunday night?" Or was her written report uploaded to the KTVA website at a later time, and simply inserted with the date of April 14th into the sequence? Yet, archived video on the Anchorage Daily News site from KTVA on April 14th mentions that Gusty is in Juneau. I simply cannot understand how such an error could have been made.

5. Image 1 is a still photo of a news interview in progress. No actual video is now (or as far as I can tell after diligent research, ever has been) available.

6. The EXIF data on these two pictures, available openly on the Flickr account, show that these two photos were taken three minutes apart in 2005. Here is the EXIF data for Image 1. Here is the EXIF data for Image 2. Questions have been raised from the beginning about the incorrect date on these photos, with those skeptical of the idea that Palin may have faked the pregnancy insisting that the incorrect date is no big deal. The camera used was a mid range digital SLR. It cost around $700.00 when it was released, new, in 2005. Here's a page which is full of information about this camera. When it was released in 2005 it was a very nice, high end (9 megapixel) camera, a camera that would have been purchased by either a professional or a serious amateur. Here is what I have learned from conversations with two separate tech support people at Fuji:
There is no "default" date in this model camera (that the camera would reset to if the batteries died completely.) The first time the camera is turned on, the user must set a date. The camera will not work without this being done. After that point, the date is hard programmed into the hardware of the camera itself and even if the camera's battery dies completely is never lost. However, it can be changed by the user.
I find it extraordinarily odd that a professional grade camera used in what we are supposed to view as a professional interview environment has the wrong date, since there are only two ways this could happen with this particular camera. Either the date was set wrong when the camera was initially turned on OR the date was intentionally changed. Why would a professional photographer change the date in his camera - by many years?

7. These photos were intentionally downsized AFTER being uploaded to Flickr. Both images were uploaded as 3418 x 2616 images, then made smaller, to 1024 x 768. This is the procedure that was used. (It is very important to note that this is the procedure that MUST be used in order to maintain "original appearing" EXIF data.) (My thanks to Patrick and Kathleen for figuring this out.)

First, the picture was uploaded by Erik99559 to flickr in the ORIGINAL size, which was then recorded in the exif-data.

The original size, as recorded in the exif data, was:

Image Width: 3488 pixels
Image Height: 2616 pixels

THEN, the person who uploaded the picture went into the INTERNAL FLICKR EDITING PROGRAM and changed the size of the picture to 1024 x 768 pixels. He then saved the change and replaced this picture with the original flickr picture.

AS A RESULT, the picture was from then on viewable on flickr ONLY in 1024 x 768 or smaller file size.! The exif data doesn't change at all after you have done the procedure as described above.

You have to click in the end on

"save as new copy"

and NOT

"replace picture"

....because if you click "replace picture", it says in the flickr description that the picture "has been replaced", however, if you just save it as a "new copy" on flickr, then you get a new copy in the smaller size with the ORIGINAL exif data !!! (then you just have to delete your picture in the original size or make it private)
Why would someone do this? This is a FREE account - there is no expense involved in having larger resolution photographs up there. Someone had to follow a very specific set of steps to post pictures that had much smaller resolutions than the originals - but maintained "real" appearing exif data (except for the original size, which can't be altered.) So... why change the resolution so significantly AND then delete the original uploads? Is it because it is much much easier to spot alterations in higher resolution photographs?

8. It is at least worth remarking on the reference to Bill McAllister as Gov. Palin's press secretary. He was - as of mid August, 2008. But at the time the photo was taken, he was still employed by KTUU.

So, let's summarize.

This photograph is the single most often pointed to piece of evidence that Sarah Palin was "definitely" pregnant with Trig Palin in April. But upon examination, what we really have is this:

We have two photographs with incorrect dates, one of which shows signs of being composited, taken by an unknown photographer, uploaded by someone who has never come forward to an anonymous Flickr account after Sarah Palin's VP nomination. They were intentionally made smaller after they were uploaded and the originals either deleted or made private. The only person who has ever commented publicly on the photos, Andrea Gusty, has affirmed they were taken April 13th, but her published account of that day conflicts sharply with other news reports vis a vis what time the legislative session ended. No corroborating video of the photograph of the video shoot can be found.

And these are the only two photographs in which Sarah Palin appears unequivocally pregnant. These photographs have been looked at by millions and used countless times to argue that Sarah Palin was pregnant. My merely pointing out this almost endless list of problems with these photos gains my being termed a "moonbat," "wingnut," and/or many other names I would not even publish here. Would any court in the US accept photos with so many problems as any sort of evidence whatsoever for anything? I doubt it.

The fact that no one in the main stream media - with far more resources at their disposal than I have - has not looked at these photos more critically months ago is absolutely appalling.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Photoshop Report, Etc.

The report from the Photoshop expert came in... finally... at around 5 PM tonight.

I apologize for the delay, and before I say anything else (so I am not accused of being an incredible tease) I will say upfront that I am not going to release it until tomorrow. Why?

The reason that the report was so delayed is that the expert and I (over Christmas Eve and Christmas, so not exactly the most opportune days) were exchanging numerous emails that dealt not with his conclusions per se but with confusing issues about how Flickr (the source of the photos) handles photo data. During the analysis of the photos, we discovered that the photos were edited on Flickr by the account holder after they were uploaded on August 31st. As the expert I was working with was not really at all familiar with Flickr, I needed to get some answers concerning just how Flickr handles photos and displays data on photos after they have been uploaded. This took some time.

The post that will accompany the release of the report is going to be long and detailed, and will discuss not only the contents of the report but will give a concrete summary of other questions and concerns surrounding these photos. It is important that this post be as complete and well-documented as possible, because these two photos were (prior to the release of Dr. Baldwin-Johnson's medical letter on November 3rd) the single most often pointed at "proof" that Sarah Palin was pregnant with Trig last spring. I am expecting this to be the most scrutinized post that I have put on my blog, and I can't risk anything less than total accuracy. I simply did not have the time this evening to finish this post. So, again, my apologies, but I truly have been dealing since Monday - over the holidays - with questions that I never anticipated arising when I first asked him to do this work.

Meanwhile, I'd like to offer two comments I have received in emails over the last two days. Both individuals express my feelings exactly, and I thought I'd share their words with you.

This from B******:

I'm a mother of 5, one of those crispy granola homebirthing gals that somehow survived the Reagan years.

And I don't KNOW exactly why it bothers me that Sarah Palin lied about having that baby, but I never believed it...not from the first picture, timeline, breath of information about it. Most of the careful moms I know don't believe it either. It just seems so wrong to me that someone would wave a prop baby around for as unimportant a reason as being elected. It seems wrong that she'd drag Bristol through it. It just isn't nice behavior.

That's hardly a political jeremiad, is it? :oD

So I check into your site occasionally, and I wanted to thank you before the old year ends for helping represent, well, the common sense of women. As Judy Grahn so eloquently put it: "I swear it to you/ I swear it. on my common woman's head/. The common woman is as common. as a -loaf of bread/ and will rise /"

Back to my baking. Happy New Year. :o)


And this from K*****

Watching Sarah Palin through your eyes and the eyes of blog commenters has been educational -- about her psychology, about our psychology as Americans, and the psychology of the media. Although we still don't know the truth, the evidence you amassed proves beyond a reasonable doubt that SP lied regarding her (non) pregnancy and the circumstances of Trig's birth. But no external proof should have been needed. SP was given the benefit of a doubt that should never have existed.

That's by no means a criticism of your work, since the doubts were there-- and incredibly, still are-- but I wonder what would have happened had they been met more forcefully from the beginning by reporters and commentators.

Everyone who questioned her story said she had either been incredibly reckless or was lying. We use "incredibly" loosely, but here the word should have had its literal force. If SP had said last summer that she executed an eight-foot high jump, no one would have said she was either an incredible athlete or a liar. I suppose there's a difference, in that it is physically possible that a pregnant woman leaking amniotic fluid could have pulled the stunt she says she did without having to avail herself of business-class obstetrical facilities at 30,000 feet. But no woman in touch with reality would have risked it, and if SP was out of touch with reality for a moment, Todd was there to say no, but the down-to-earth "First Dude" gamely made the airline reservations. She should have been called out as a liar from the get-go, and her failure to respond with anything more than her own uncorroborated statement that Bristol was five months pregnant and couldn't have given birth to Trig (which, of course, did not prove that SP had), should have ditched her candidacy then and there.

We need to ask hard questions about Americans' apparent need for charismatic leaders, our eager willingness to suspend disbelief, to play along as if we were watching a movie or television show instead of choosing a leader with tremendous power over our lives. (The same was going on with Obama, but at least there is substance to him despite his inexperience, and he and his campaign did respond to accusations, while McCain-Palin simply stonewalled and sought to suppress evidence.) Via the internet, you and others are creating a new "journalism" that is our best hope in resisting the corrupt partnership of politics-as-entertainment and entertainment-as-journalism that will continue to serve up bread and circuses, indulgence and gossip, until the barbarians crash the gates.

God bless you, and merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Material Mysteriously Disappears

Or maybe not so mysteriously.

In September, Fox News compiled a five part series on Gov. Palin. I discussed these videos on this page of the website.

As of perhaps a week ago, all videos were still available on YouTube and working. Now they are gone. When you click on them, you get the message that they have been removed for terms of use violations.

That's all well and good, except for one teensy-weensy little thing. Parts 1 and 2 are still available on Fox's website, no problem.

Parts 3-5 (which include the long segments from which we got our screen shots showing a suspiciously square belly and the screen shots which show her hugging up tight to Piper's back with no "baby bump" in sight) are gone from Fox as well.

Never fear: I have archived copies. They have not disappeared completely. However, I cannot legally post them.

One has to wonder why Fox would ask YouTube to take those down, when, for example, all the interviews that Greta Van Sustern did with Todd Palin are still up on YouTube and playin' just fine. Draw your own conclusions.

The Photoshop report should be available tomorrow.


(Update: Numerous people have pointed out in comments that the links to the Frank videos that I posted from the website had been posted by a private individual who may have had his account terminated for legitimate reasons that had nothing to do with the posting of these videos, and other copies of the videos are available on YouTube. I will research this this morning and hopefully find new links.

HOWEVER, there is no doubt that when you go to Fox and search on Sarah Palin, parts one and two were there (as of last night) and three through five were gone.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Late Night Update

I know we've gotten many comments today inquiring about what the Photoshop expert has said. Unfortunately, we may need to wait a bit more, but hopefully not more than a day or so. I got the report in today - and yes it does raise some questions about the pictures - but in asking the expert a few questions, I discovered he had used the photos from my blog post for analysis instead of going back to the original photos on the Flickr account. It appears as if one of the photos from my blog post was NOT the original from the Flickr account but something that I had downloaded from another site in September.

While we have NO reason to believe that his conclusions will change with the original Flickr photos, those were the ones that he needed to be looking at. I have asked him to review his conclusions vis a vis the Flickr photos; I am hopeful that I will have a "final" word from him tomorrow.

Meanwhile... I am swamped with letters asking me when Bristol is going to have her baby. People, (should I say, "My friends"?) I have no earthly idea when Bristol is going to have her baby. The Palin family is not updating me.

However, enough people have written suggesting a Christmas day "miracle" that I thought I should address this here. This comes straight from my email, and is typical of what I am receiving:


Christmas Baby for Bristol?

I think it's very likely that that we're going to see a press release around Christmas Eve or Christmas Day announcing the birth of a son to Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin.

I'm almost completely certain that it won't be true, but will have been deemed a necessary political move by Sarah Palin and Co., who realize that the longer Bristol's "pregnancy" continues, the more likely it becomes that this girl could have given birth to Trig, which Sarah now claims as her own.

If Trig is Bristol's, the child she carries must be delivered by no later that two weeks after Dec. 20 for her to be ruled out as Trig's mother. Dec. 24/25 would be an optimum date for Sarah's political purposes. First of all, it would put this child one week overdue, which is not extraordinary for a first pregnancy. Second, having this baby arrive on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day would have symbolic significance for Sarah's fundamentalist Christian base. A son born to this persecuted Christian family on Christ's birthday? How appropriate. They'd say it was a sign.

Let's also consider the practicality of the timing. Sarah Palin wouldn't be the first politician to dump a big story on a distracted public, and let's face it: The period between Christmas and New Years is a time of distraction for almost everyone. As we entertain friends, run to the store for those forgotten batteries or mediate disagreements between visiting relatives our newspapers pile up unread and the television remains ignored.

By the time the Christmas tree is withering on the curb and we're recovering from that New Year's Eve hangover, Bristol and Levi's son will be a week old. Then and only then will we find the press reports of his birth, which no doubt will contain a note about how the first time parents are requesting privacy to bond with their son.

For Sarah Palin, who learned how effective timing can be when she released that dodgy letter from Dr. Catherine Baldwin Johnson on Election Eve, timing will be everything.

Are there risks involved? Sure.

If Bristol Palin remains pregnant, then she'll have to be kept out of sight until the baby is really born. Any photos showing her with a newborn will be carefully posed ones of her cradling something in a blanket ( a doll, another newborn). And she won't resurface until her new baby is large enough to where its size - like Sarah's baby bump - will remain a matter of speculation and date matching.

This will, I think, be Sarah Palin's Hail Mary Pass. Because if Bristol Palin is Trig's mother and is now carrying her second child, then Alaska's governor has no choice if she's to carry on this charade.



Do I think this is possible? I return in my mind to the McCain campaign's shocking decision to release an absolute joke of a letter from Dr. Baldwin-Johnson at 10:45 PM Eastern time the night before the election. The next morning, as people rushed to the polls, I watched CNN for almost two hours with nary a mention. As my correspondent indicated, a Christmas morning timing of the birth would be an omen for her religious supporters... and would cause the story of the birth to be buried somewhere behind the Christmas Day parades for most people. So, yes not only is it possible, but based on past history (the medical - ahem - records) it would be a strategy that has been used before - with surprising success.

However, I do not know for sure. I continue to receive an equal number of letters insisting that Bristol is not expecting at all... the entire thing is a fake. (I don't agree with this position, but there are surely those out there who believe it fervently.)

And... it is entirely reasonable to suggest that Bristol could be expecting a child... any day. I believe strongly that the photographic evidence is absolutely conclusive; Gov. Sarah Palin was not pregnant last spring. And, as I have said in the past, while Bristol is by far the most plausible "other mother," she is by no means the only alternative. Bristol could have a baby by the time we wake up in the morning, and the other evidence does not change.

But whatever the truth, I ask all my readers to remember this. Bristol Palin is eighteen years old. She is barely out of childhood. Quite probably, very soon (whether this week or next month or the month after) she is almost certainly going to become a mother. Maybe for the first time, maybe for the second. Whatever the truth about Trig Palin's birth, this young woman deserves our good wishes, kind thoughts, and our prayers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's going on at Audrey's...

Just wanted to give people a quick update on what I am working on as of this morning.

I heard from the Photoshop expert, and we should have an in depth report from him on 12/22. It will be published in full on the blog.

Second, I am taking a bit of time today and tomorrow to update the website. As I have said before when I began this project, it started as a website, where I would archive and link to all info about this issue. As things evolved, this blog (which I had never intended to do) became the dynamic part of the site.

While the blog is great - and I am definitely glad I did it for the "What's NEW?!" aspect of it - the nature of it means that things have gotten lost way down back in October or November. I was shocked when I went to my own website the other day to look for something and discovered that this fairly important piece of information had never been added to the site. It was only on the blog.

We have obtained several more photos of Gov. Palin during the critical March / April time frame which are going to be added to the site. Some we've never even posted here on the blog, so it will be new material. I'll post an update here when the site update is done, along with links to any pages that we've changed.

Thanks for continuing to read and post here. I hope to have some new information for everyone soon.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Elan Frank Screenshots

Many questions have been raised about these particular screenshots, and I have decided to share them here.

Because the images are taken from an online video source, the resolution is very poor compared to higher quality jpeg images that can be downloaded. Nevertheless, some detail is clear, and, with brightness and contrast adjusted to emphasize detail, what we can see is very odd.

Israeli filmmaker Elan Frank filmed Gov. Palin for four days in early April this year, 2008. I have contacted Mr. Frank's office to determine the exact dates, and have not received an answer. However, we know for a fact that one of the four days was April 8th. In other words, this footage is from approximately ten days before Trig's birth, and within one week of the "April 13" pictures that we have discussed at length.

I originally discussed one still shot available from this shoot in this post. Here is the shot. Here is a Flickr page with some larger versions of the photo. (Interesting to note that this photo was originally released by the Governor's media office, though now it's no where visible on the state website. It's also interesting to note that many places that are still showing this photo are showing a cropped version that stops just below her neck.)

In my original post on this picture, I stated that while it is clear that there IS something there, the "something" looks wrong. This looked then, and still does, like some sort of flat pad. This "tummy" lacks the taut roundness that pregnant bellies typically have by 33-34 weeks gestation. I also stated, at the time, that I was very bothered by the fact that if you look carefully at the very bottom of the photo, as her belly is silhouetted against her blue jacket (our right, her left, closest to Frank) it almost appears as if her belly is getting slimmer again at the very bottom of the picture. But if one tries to envision anatomy, you realize that this is roughly the level of her navel. Now do a Google image search for pregnant women at 33 weeks. See the problem? Pregnant bellies at this point do not look like a flat pad whose "bulk" is mostly above the level of the navel, and then get thinner below.

This screen shot was taken on the same day as the photo above, based on her outfit and accessories which are identical.

Anyone can get this same screen grab. The embedded Fox videos from YouTube are on this page of my website.

As before, at first glance, it doesn't seem like you can tell much. Just another mass of black. But even in the poor quality screen grab, there is additional data that you can't see at the median settings. But by adjusting the brightness and contrast, all of a sudden, more becomes available.

Here's an intermediate adjustment.

A delineation begins to be visible below the bottom of the belly and the legs.

Now a second adjustment.

Yes, it's hard to make out exactly what you're looking at here; the initial screen grab just doesn't have enough date to make a really clear shot. But the overall impression here is that we are looking at something that is rectangle shape. While indistinct, a clear "corner" can be seen on the left side of the belly. There is a line ... a STRAIGHT line ... at the bottom this belly that is not consistent with a normal pregnant woman's anatomy. I have personally seen thousands of pregnant women in my life. Fuzzy or not, I have never seen anything that looks quite like this.

A reader sent in this (rather odd) photo of a young woman dressed up in a costume, with a pillow under her shirt to make her look fatter. Look familiar?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More on Last Night's Photo; PDF Questions

Thanks to the readers who sent in some additional versions of last night's photo. As I think I made pretty clear, I really don't know that much about Photoshop. The brightness/contrast adjustment (with Jen's help) was just about the limit of my "skills."

However, several people - much more knowledgeable than I have sent us new material. As before, the exact instructions for duplicating these results will be given. (Do note that last night's adjustments could be made by anyone who had any sort of photo editing software at all, including many free packages. One of the adjustments shown tonight may be available only to people who have more advanced software, like full versions of Photoshop.)

I will also say that I feel the question about whether adjusting the brightness/contrast/luminosity of photos is "altering" them somehow has been adequately addressed. The comments on last night's post address this issue repeatedly. If anyone still has questions, I would direct them to the thorough and excellent discussion of the question posted by Amy at 1:18 a.m in the comments. I like her analogy very much... it's alot like adjusting the treble or bass on an audio recording. You're not "adding" anything to the music that's already on the CD, that would be impossible. You're just changing what you can hear. I think the question has been adequately addressed here and we will not be approving any more comments that suggest that somehow adjusting the brightness of this photo is exactly the same as adding Joe Blow into a photo with his fishing buddies so we can prove he wasn't home murdering his wife. The contention is ludicrous.

First, this version from R.

To do this yourself in Photoshop: (Don't know about other programs.)

Add Layer
New Adjustment Layer
Change the mode to Luminosity.
On the popup histogram, move the center arrow to the left = 1.++, 1.10 or more

This will enable you to see details without messing with the colors or creating artifacts.

Thanks, R.!


Then this one from B.

Here's how it was achieved from B.'s email:

There’s a tool in Photoshop called shadow/highlight. Open a photo and go to image—adjustments—shadow/highlight. It allows you to open up shadow areas and/or bring detail back into highlights. I use it quite often, but usually subtly. In this case, you want to really open up the shadows. 50% is the default, but you can play with it further.

I think shadow/highlight is only available in the full version of Photoshop. Photoshop Elements, which for most people does more than enough, may not have this tool active.
Thanks, B. I think this version is excellent!

I don't want to beat this horse to death, but I do think this photo is something that can no longer be ignored. This was a photo published in Gov. Palin's home town newspaper! To say that ADN was asleep at the switch on this one is putting it politely. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the techs at the paper, who are assuredly far more experienced at Photoshop than I could ever be, did not do exactly these same adjustments. Last March. And they said nothing.


Over the past few days, numerous people have commented about anomalies they have noticed in the actual physical pdf that was released by the McCain campaign of Cathy Baldwin-Johnson's medical "statement." Although I had commented on some of the oddities of this statement in the past - and intended to return to it in a future post - my points were always dealing with the content of the letter. There are now several posters who have noticed things awry in the actual physical production of the pdf, something I never even considered. Unfortunately, their information is spread out in comments over several days over several posts, and I am having trouble collating it all. Since I have never even considered this question, I am depending on the information that those of you who have looked at the statement have put together.

Could anyone who has looked at this please put together all of your questions/concerns/observations together in email - not comments please - and send it to me at I will look at every email carefully and do a post on this issue soon.

G'night all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Photoshop Fun!

Alert Internet sleuth and Photoshop whiz Jen sent this on, and I thought it was interesting enough that I wanted to post it. Again, for those who are quite dubious already of Gov. Palin's story, this will just be more proof which you don't need; for those who think everyone at this blog (and primarily me) belong either in the nut-house or on the moon or both, I'm sure you'll be able to see clear evidence of pregnancy here. Nevertheless, I am posting it anyway.

First, this photo has not been "Photoshopped" which is taken to mean altered in some way. (Like putting someone's head on another body, or removing blemishes from a girl's senior picture.) What we've done is altered settings (specifically brightness and contrast) which allows us to see detail that is already present in the digital data of the photo that you can't see at the "standard" settings.

This photo is available from a public source. Anyone who wants can download the photo. I will tell you what settings were used to achieve our effects; if you have Photoshop you should be able to duplicate this exactly. If you have another photoediting software, you may have to use slightly different numbers but I would guess you will be able to get very similar results.

Here's the photo. (Larger versions of each photo are available by clicking.)

Here's the original source. This photo was taken on 3/14/2008, exactly 35 days before Gov. Palin allegedly gave birth to a six pound child. She was allegedly in her seventh month here, 31 weeks gestation. This was roughly one week after she announced that she was pregnant.

Most people's first response would be: You can't see anything. And it's true. You can't. You have pretty much a mass of black around her midsection. We can see she's wearing a jacket and (probably) a skirt, along with her signature scarf, but pretty much the tummy region is a mass of black.

But with the magic of Photoshop, we can see more than we ever dreamed possible. By adjusting the brightness and contrast, we can see clearly what is jacket, what is scarf (and there's a black stripe at the bottom of the scarf... can't see that on the original picture, can you?), and what is skirt. We can see shadowing and delineation between them. Because we are shooting up at the Governor, you can also get a good clear shot of her tummy.

Here's the first iteration.

This photo has the brightness upped to +80 with the contrast left at 0. The jacket, skirt, and black stripe at the bottom of the scarf are now visible.

Now, our next version.

This version has the brightness set to +80 and the contrast set to +85. The shadowed space between the jacket and the skirt is now well defined, and the line of the front of her stomach is clearly visible. And... in my opinion... clearly very flat.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lowest Common Denominator

Andrew Sullivan, Daily Dish blogger at has been very skeptical about Sarah Palin’s birth story for months. He is in fact, the only “main stream media” person who has stayed on the story.

Mr. Sullivan is on vacation this week, and several colleagues are writing his column in his place. One is Patrick Appel, who yesterday made a post entitled “In Defense of Sarah Palin.

He begins by quoting a reader, Will, who states: “After wading through the muck, I’m left wondering why he feels the need to badger the poor woman over the circumstances of her son’s birth.” As answer to this, I’d like to direct readers back to Mr. Sullivan’s single most thoughtful column on this matter.

Here’s my open response to Mr. Appel:

Dear Mr. Appel,

I have been as guilty as anyone of, at times, allowing the dialogue to deteriorate in to trivialities. If that’s “muck,” so be it. While I do feel that there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence, much of it based on photographic analysis, that Gov. Sarah Palin was never pregnant last spring, focusing on that too much does dilute what I feel is the most central, and single most damning piece of information of all: the choices made by Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign on August 31 – September 1, 2008.

On Friday, August 29th John McCain selected Sarah Palin for his running mate. The next day, August 30th, the first Internet rumors that Palin was Trig’s grandmother… not his mother … began to appear. The outcry only increased over the next day.

On August 31st, or possibly, early on September 1st, someone, I am assuming in the McCain campaign, made the decision that the rumors had to be addressed. No “bloggers” forced the McCain campaign to make this decision, and it’s very fair to point out that numerous other damaging pieces of information regarding Palin and her family that came to light during the campaign were ignored. But not this. They made the decision to address it.

Once the decision was made, by far the most logical option would have been to provide rock-solid medical evidence that Sarah Palin had given birth five months previously. We'll call this "Option A."

And, without a doubt, the easiest way to do that would have been to set up a news conference with Cathy Baldwin Johnson, the family practice physician that Palin has identified as the doctor at her birth, accompanied by Norman Stephens, CEO of Mat-Su Hospital. It would not have had to be elaborate or complicated, or in any way violating of Gov. Palin’s privacy.

Let me tell you what they should have said:

“My name is Norman Stephens I am CEO of Mat-Su Regional Hopsital in Palmer Alaska.” “My name is Catherine Baldwin Johnson. I am a family practice physician affiliated with Providence Matanuska Health Care in Wasilla Alaska. We have been asked to give a statement today regarding the circumstances surrounding the birth of Trig Paxson Van Palin last spring. We wish to read a short statement. We will not take any questions. Here is the statement: Trig Palin was born at this hospital at 6:32 in the morning of April 18th 2008. He weighed six pounds two ounces. Sarah Heath Palin, the governor of Alaska, is Trig Palin’s biological mother. I, Cathy Baldwin Johnson, personally attended Trig’s birth at this hospital. A full copy of the medical files as related to this pregnancy and birth will be made available to the press promptly . Thank you.”

That’s all. That’s it. That’s what I … and others like Andrew Sullivan… have been asking for for three plus months now. If that press conference had happened on September 1, I guarantee I’d be baking Christmas cookies for my family right now instead of writing to you.

But they didn’t do Option A. Not even close.

What they did was Option B. The McCain campaign, around mid-day on September 1, told the entire world that Sarah Palin’s seventeen year old daughter was pregnant. They "proved" that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig Palin by telling us that Bristol Palin could not have. They offered no verification other than their word. They turned a minor that should be loved and protected through a very tough experience into the most famous and gawked at and discussed pregnant teen in the world. On the political front, they opened Todd and Sarah Palin up for what had to be unwanted scrutiny about their parenting, a hardly desirable result.

Sure, Bristol’s pregnancy (if genuine – and I believe it is) probably would have come out at some point during the campaign, but it could have been handled quietly, sensibly, thoughtfully with the announcement that it was a private family matter. Instead, the poor child's personal information is bellowed from the roof tops by her parents and the McCain campaign.

I’ve asked this question before, Mr. Appel, but I am asking you now. Why in the world would anyone choose “Option B” if “Option A” was available to them?

And the answer is simple: They wouldn’t. If Cathy Baldwin Johnson had been willing to give a statement that Sarah was Trig’s biological mother, they would never have announced that Bristol was pregnant. They wouldn't have needed to. But she wasn’t willing to make that statement. If the medical records were solid and routine and above board, they would have released them. But the records aren't what they should be.

They told the world Bristol was pregnant because it was all they had.

All the blurry photos and mysterious baby bumps and whispered rumors and wild rides and reckless choices fade into nothing compared to this. I’m repeating it: Cathy Baldwin Johnson has never been willing to say (and is still not willing to say) that Trig Palin was born on April 18th at Mat-Su Hospital, that Sarah Palin is his biological mother and that she, Cathy Baldwin Johnson, delivered him.

Why, Mr. Appel, do you think that is? Is she lazy? Forgetful? Busy? Dead?

Or has Dr. Baldwin-Johnson refused to make the statement because it’s not true?



A bit more about the Necklace

I am going to make one more comment on the "necklace" pictures, posted last evening. Ironically, as I was working on this, a comment came in which expressed my questions and feelings on this perfectly.

On necklaces like this, the pendant - in this case a cross - is almost always "free floating." In other words, you can slide the pendant back and forth on the chain. (How many times have we all seen people "futzing" with a necklace like this?) Looking at the cross carefully, I believe that oblong loop on the top of it is one that will allow it to move back and forth on the chain.

First, I agree that the "without" picture is much more grainy and the chain might not be clearly visible. But the cross will be. The cross is large enough that even with the blurry aspects it should show up. If it doesn't, there are only two possibilities. The first, of course, is that it's gone. The second is that the cross has slipped either under her collar on the right (as we face the picture, this would be HER left) or it has slipped behind the fold of the collar on the left (HER right.)

Fine. This is possible. But the length of the chain has to be consistent in both pictures. If you say the necklace is there, you must agree that the length of the chain can't change. Play with a short necklace yourself. In the first "With" picture, the chain follows the line of her collar. The chain and her collar are very nearly parallel lines. (See, I took Geometry in High School!) I printed out a few copies of this picture, and tried to engineer where the cross would have to be if it can't be seen. If the cross is hidden on one side or the other, the chain on that side shortens. Then, the chain on the other side gets longer - and the angle sharper. Instead of following the line of her collar, it would cut across her neck, sharply. And I believe that it would be visible, even with the blurriness of her skin in the shot. Thus, I stand by my statement that the necklace isn't there.

I also agree, however, with the commentor in the last post, who asks, rather plaintively, What does this mean? My only answer is "I don't know." I really don't. IF there is some skulduggery with these pictures (and given the combination of their timely appearance precisely on the day they were needed (a lot, come to think about it, like Bristol's timely five month pregnancy) coupled with the fact that no one has yet stated they he or she was the photographer) one would be a fool to not at least consider that possibility. But I can't put together any scenario. If one picture is real, and the other is created from it, then the necklace should be there. If the pictures were taken at different times, you can't explain the identical nature of her hair. Honestly, I don't know.

I am turning these pictures over to a forensic Photoshop expert. The report that I will get will be on a letterhead, signed by a real person, who will give an opinion that would be comparable to something he would give in court. I commit to all those who read here, that regardless of what the opinion says, I will publish it in full on this blog.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Photoshop Sleuths Strike

For several weeks, I have had a group of very sharp research assistants helping me with this blog and the website. Patrick and Kathleen's tireless searching of Flickr was solely responsible for the discovery of the previously undiscovered photograph of Sarah Palin taken on March 26th, in which, I believe, she does not look at all like a woman three weeks away from delivering a six pound child.

Patrick and Kathleen have done it again! Before I reveal their new discovery, however, I should say that throughout the day, as the two photos allegedly taken on April 13th have been pushed into the limelight again due to my post, and other blog posts which have revisited this story, numerous people have written to me with some very troubling observations about these two photos. So troubling, that several hours ago I made the decision to hire - at my own expense - an independent forensic Photoshop expert. I still intend to do that.

However, Patrick and Kathleen have discovered something concrete that I feel very comfortable about going with publicly prior to getting the opinion of the expert. Look at the two photos which follow carefully.

Now look at this photo:

There is absolutely no sign of the necklace. The earring may be missing as well.

So, what does this mean? I honestly don't know. But as my husband would say, "It ain't good."

I am sure that those who support the Governor will have some perfectly plausible explanation as for why she's got the necklace on in one and not the other. Some possibilities might be:
1. She forgot it in her office and ran back and put it on.
2. It itched and she took it off.
3. It's really there and we just can't see it.
4. Andrea Gusty admired it and Palin gave it to her.
5. The two photos were really not taken the same day. We just assumed they were based on her identical outfits, hair style, and location.

Except there's just one little teensy-weensy thing. Photos have something called EXIF data. Yes, I know that the EXIF data on these photos have the wrong date. This has been explained countless places by saying that the date on the camera is set wrong. Sounds plausible to me. I have a camera that for all I know is probably set to 1929. But the EXIF data also contains a time stamp. And while the date might be set wrong, the two photos are almost certainly correct vis a vis each other. If they are not, we really need to ask why. And the EXIF data on these two photos say that they were taken three minutes apart. Here's a little graphic that says it all:

So then, backed into the corner again, TeamSarah will tell us, vehemently, that yet another anomaly, yet another thing in this whole story that is just a little bit wrong, has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT SARAH PALIN IS TRIG PALIN'S MOTHER. NOTHING. It's just a coincidence or a fabrication or... something. She put a necklace on and that's the end of it and don't ask.

But I just want to remind everyone of an important reality. These two pictures are damn near the only photographic evidence that those who think Sarah Palin is Trig Palin's mother have. We are talking about the governor of Alaska here, theoretically one of the most photographed woman in the state, and there are THREE pictures in existence which show her indisputably appearing as if she's pregnant.

And these pictures are two of them. (The third is a single still shot, taken with Elan Frank, and that picture cuts off mid belly.) Let's review what we know about these pictures.

First, we don't know who took them. No one has ever come forward and said, "I took those photos."
Second, they never appeared anywhere until after Sarah Palin's nomination, until questions about Trig's birth had threatened to destroy Palin's nomination.
Third, they are still photos of a video shoot. As I pointed out in my last post, as far as I know, the video footage supposedly shot here is currently unavailable. I can't even determine if anyone ever saw it. Why not? Where is it?
And now, fourth, the "photo" anomalies themselves start to pour in.

And they call me crazy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: KTVA Has LOTS of unseen footage of Palin. Really. They do.

One statement that I - and others - have stated repeatedly is that no concrete proof that Sarah Palin is Trig Palin's biological mother has ever been released or provided. Frankly, we've been villified over this. There's lots of evidence, it's claimed. Lots. Tons. Evidence that we are just ignoring.

Over the next few days I intend to look at some of what has been released.

Today, I am going to focus on the most famous picture of all, this photo which was taken on the last day of the Alaska State Legislative Session (Sunday, April 13th) , in Juneau, with Andrea Gusty, a reporter for KTVA Channel 11 - CBS affiliate in Anchorage). I am also going to discuss a statement made by Cherie Shirey, the Assignment Manager for the same TV station.

Here is the photo - Click for larger version:

This photo has been controversial from its first appearance. I cannot determine for certain where or when it first appeared. The closest I can get is a Flickr account on 8/31. However, consensus is that it appeared nowhere prior to her announcement as the VP nominee on August 30, 2008. (If anyone can refute that please please do so.)

It's also a bit mysterious how it was released, as Andrea Gusty has been quoted by as saying:

We spoke with Gusty, who sent us this copy of the photo, and she told us she was surprised the photo had made it onto the Internet. “I was under the impression that nobody had it except for me.
Well, someone must have had it because it WAS released, and it sounds as if Gusty is stating clearly it was NOT RELEASED by her. I have tried very hard to pin down its first source. The Daily Kos diary that first shows it attributes it to Free Republic which in turn links to a Flickr page.

There is a second photo on this same Flickr account, shown here.

So who is erik99559? His Flickr accounts shows two photos both uploaded, helpfully, on 8/31/2008. I don't know that it really matters, (though I would think Andrea Gusty might be a bit curious to know who Erik is since somehow he managed to get access to what she has said was a private photo.) I don't really have a problem with the fact that this photo did not come to light until after the pregnancy rumors hit the internet. Lots of photos of Gov. Palin (for example, the Philadelphia Zoo photo that was discussed yesterday) don't seem to have been released until after the nomination. With the great surge in interest in Gov. Palin it is only logical and to be expected that new photos would crop up.

However, there are only four photos in existence which show Gov. Palin between 3/5 and 4/18 in which her midsection is not obscured by a scarf, and three of these four were not released until after her nomination. Those photos are these two, the still shot of Palin with Elan Frank taken on or about 4/8, and the photo released on this blog, taken on 3/25 and posted to a Flickr account shortly after that. All other photos in existence of her from this time frame show her from the side, or back, obscured by - usually - floppy scarves and black jackets or other coats. The only one of the photos that shows her straight on that was available prior to the announcement of her nomination is the one I released on this blog. The three released after her nomination show her clearly pregnant, the one released before is ambiguous at the very best.

Andrea Gusty has stated clearly and explicitly that this photo was taken that day, that it is not photoshopped or altered in any way, and that is how Gov. Palin looked.

We also have a statement, made to
Lee Stratham at the Huffington Post on 9/1/2008 by Cherie Shirey, the Assignment Manager at KTVA. She states:

These internet rumors are very bizarre. We worked with Governer Palin many times in 2008. Our reporters worked her on location and in the studio and I worked with her myself. She was definitely pregnant. You could see it in her belly and her face. The whole idea that Sarah Palin wasn't pregnant with Trig is completely, absolutely absurd.

Now, this is really really good news. The station worked with Palin many times. She looked pregnant. This is a TV station. That means... video tape, right?

Hmmm. Not so fast. In fact, as far as I can tell not a single interview done by KTVA of Palin after January 2008 is available, including, incredibly the one associated with the most famous picture above.

So... given what we have been told by Ms. Gusty and Ms. Shirey, I have a few questions for them and their station.

It is beyond dispute that every single media outlet that reported on Palin's pregnancy announcement in Alaska said the same thing: that it was an utter surprise, a complete shock. This includes the
Anchorage Daily News, ("shocked and awed just about everybody... even her staff was unaware she was pregnant") Newsminer and Juneau Empire ("a day-ending bombshell"). Channel 13 (Alaskasuperstion) called it "the biggest shocker of the year." Channel 11 KTVA itself said the announcement "caught a lot of people off guard."

It is also beyond dispute that from the time of the announcement (late in the afternoon on March 5th) until Trig Palin was born early in the morning on April 18th, was a period of 44 days, slightly more than six weeks.

So... returning to Cherie Shirey's statement, "We worked with Gov. Palin many times in 2008... in the studio..."

Examining Sarah Palin's travel schedule at length, from the time of her announcement until Trig's birth reveals the following:

Circa March 4: Los Angeles to Anchorage
Circa March 7: Anchorage to Fairbanks
Circa March 9: Fairbanks to Anchorage
Circa March 11: Anchorage to Juneau
Circa March 14: Juneau to Anchorage
Circa March 27: Anchorage to Juneau
Circa April 15: from Juneau to Dallas
April 17: from Dallas to Anchorage

During this time, not counting days that she was traveling, Sarah Palin was physically in Anchorage / Wasilla approximately 17 days... out of the 44.

The first question I'd like to ask Cherie Shirey is how many times in these 17 days was Gov. Palin in your studio in Anchorage? What were the stories you were covering? Now certainly, a crew could have followed (and on at least one occasion did follow) Palin to various events: the famous Andrea Gusty shoot on April 13 was in Juneau, so the crew had to fly there. But you have stated specifically that you interviewed her many times in 2008 when she looked pregnant.

So... when? Where's the footage? What were the issues discussed? And, most pointedly, were you specifically claiming to Lee Stratham that there were those of you at KTVA who noticed or believed she was expecting prior to the official announcement on 3/5/2008? If so, why did you not state it immediately after the announcement when everyone else in Alaska was talking about shock and bombshells.

As I said, the search of the KTVA website tells a different tale. When you search on the (logical) search term "Sarah Palin," there is not a single archived story concerning Gov. Palin from early January 2008 (1/08 to be exact) until 7/18 that I can find. Not one. Including the footage - which I would think would be very interesting to a great many people - that was being filmed the day that Andrea Gusty has claimed she looked very noticeably and obviously pregnant.
The footage which would verify either that Palin really did look like that OR that Andrea Gusty is lying through her teeth. Here's the screenshot of the search I did just in case some new footage magically appears.

The reason that this statement needs to be vetted so SO critically is that Cherie Shirey's statement is one of the very few pieces of evidence that the people who have claimed that Palin was certainly pregnant have depended on. It was quoted again just this week by Michelle Malkin as she eviscerates those of us who have continued to question this story. Michelle states: "Shirey was ignored."

Hell yes, she was ignored. And for good reason! She is just about the only person in Alaska who has ever clearly stated that Sarah Palin looked pregnant other than Palin herself, yet she has never provided any proof of what she said even though logically she should be able to do so EASILY: she works at a TV station and the context in which she saw Palin was to FILM her!

She's also the only person who has gone on record at least implying Palin looked pregnant PRIOR to the March 5th announcement, because, given the time limitations, that's the only way Shirey's statement that the station had worked with Palin "many times" could possibly be true. (Even state staffers who had been willing to support Gov. Palin did so with whacky statements like
“All of a sudden she had this penchant for really beautiful scarves.” This description of Palin's accessorizing is not exactly what I would call a resounding confirmation of her pregnancy. But maybe I'm just too picky.)

Neither Shirey nor her station has been willing to provide footage or stills from any of those "many" interviews done in 2008 during which she states Palin was clearly pregnant. Like so many things that could provide some real solid definitive proof that Palin was pregnant last spring, they are said to exist, they should be easy to get, but somehow just never quite seem to make it into the light of day.

Why not?

Of course, to ask that question makes me a "tin foil hat truther," and a lot of other things that I am not even going to repeat here.

But hey, I've got a good idea. Audrey is a nothing but a wing-nut loony, but Michelle Malkin is one of the good guys. She's on the "right side" of all this. Maybe if Michelle Malkin would ask KTVA nicely they would release the Gusty footage from April 13th and the "many" other interviews in which Palin appears pregnant. And then, finally, once and for all, all these pesky rumors could just go away.

Why don't you try, Michelle, and then let us all know how that works out for you? I for one will be watching your blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Questions Answered

Over the last few days, questions have come up again about this photo.

Here's a news article from early September showing the photo. The Conference that Gov. Palin was attending ran from July 11-14. The Zoo apparently released this photo, but I can find no place it was actually published prior to her nomination. I've queried the zoo twice to ask if there are more photos and both times I have been told I will receive a return call, but I never do.

Sarah, Piper and Trig are obvious, but the identities of the other two young women have been questioned extensively. The problem is that numerous captions identify the middle (taller) young woman as Bristol, and the girl farthest to the left as Willow. However, the information released by the state of Alaska to the AP regarding Palin's expense reimbursement requests do not list Willow as having gone on this trip! I have looked at it carefully. My personal opinion is that the taller young woman with pony tail in the middle of the shot is Bristol. The young woman farther to the left is an unknown person who just happened to be in the shot. I may be wrong but this is my call.

The second thing I want to clarify briefly, just for accuracy's sake is the photos that have been dissected regarding Nicole Kidman. Much has been made of how small Nicole Kidman was (on her first pregnancy) thus "proving" that Gov. Palin (on her fifth) could also have been small. Further research has been done demonstrating that some of the pictures that were posted of Ms. Kidman were dated inaccurately.

Here's is a picture of Nicole Kidman taken in mid May (May 18) when she would have been around 33 weeks pregnant. In other words, nearly exactly at the same point as the "Nail in the Coffin" photo of Gov. Palin.

Nicole Kidman 33 weeks pregnant - first child - 40 years old.

Gov. Sarah Palin 33 weeks pregnant - fifth child - 44 years old.

The photos that have been referenced elsewhere, showing a very fit Kidman with a very small "baby bump" were actually taken when she was between five and six months pregnant. Here's a shot of her leaving the gym with her trainer early in March.

Here's an article from Celebrity Babies clearly dated early March. Here's an article discussing some additional fit Nicole photos.