Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Does Photographic Evidence Tell Us?

I thought I'd comment on this question briefly, after reading a comment from a reader yesterday that Gov. Palin looked heavy and as if she had had a baby in the Philadelphia Zoo photo. First, that commenter mentioned that "it looks as if she had a baby two months earlier." Trig's birth would have three months prior to the date of this picture (4/17 to 7/17) not two. Not that it makes that much difference, but I did want to correct that.

Obviously, I have put on this website a fair amount of weight to photos that exist from December 2007 almost to the time of Trig Palin's birth in which this 43-44 year old woman on her fifth pregnancy doesn't look pregnant at all or looks barely pregnant or, then rather abruptly, looks significantly expectant. I have also, however, made it clear that - if a pregnancy was being "faked" the existence of some photos in which someone appears pregnant would not be that remarkable. It would be hard to fake a pregnancy without looking pregnant at some point.

That having been said, consider the following: Here's a photo probably most of you have not seen before.



It's a look we've seen for Gov. Palin often during March and April 2008. Colorful, full, scarf draped over her midsection, same (I think) black jacket. Is this a previously undiscovered photo from the months "in question" (March and April)? No. In fact this was taken on August 9, 2008 - four full months after Trig's birth. Yet I could have dropped this as a "date unknown" into any of the pregnancy discussions and we would have been dissecting it rigorously.

Now, consider this photo:



This is Gov. Palin on May 15, 2008 - one day shy of four weeks after Trig's birth. I'd say she's pretty slim here... appears far slimmer in fact than she does in the Philadelphia Zoo picture.

One more exhibit:


I show this simply because we have gotten comments here and there about the possibility of Gov. Palin's face "looking full" in some pictures around the time of the birth. These two pictures were taken the same day in August 2008. One is flattering, one is not a particularly flattering angle - and her face does look heavier. But she's not pregnant here, it's just the camera.

The point is simple... photos tell us a lot but they don't tell us everything.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lady Rose said...

Photos only lead to new questions. I so wish some thing concrete could be found out.

Watching the news today - I thought I saw Bristol in some of the news footage (but not sure if it was the younger daughter). If it was Bristol she didn't look 7 months pregnant that is for sure. If she is due in Dec., I would think she'd be showing a lot by now and wonder how she is holding up with all this traveling.

Anonymous said...

All right, I'm the first to admit I may have absolutely jumped the shark in terms of loony conspiracy theories, but I just had a thought. Consider this logic:
1. Bristol was pregnant late 07-early 08. The family took her out of school to protect her privacy, a reasonable thing to do.
2. Sarah was also pregnant, but, under scrutiny as a fairly new governor, kept it secret as long as she was able.
3. When rumors of a pregnant Bristol began to grow, Sarah realized she could create a brilliant smoke-and-mirrors show by shrouding her own pregnancy in secrecy to lead the public to question whether Trig was Bristol's baby.
4. Bristol delivers in private -- with a low risk pregnancy she could have had a home birth-- and gives the baby up for adoption as many teen mothers will do. (She could have also had a miscarriage, but either way, she was both pregnant and not the mother of Trig.)
5. Sarah, with her late pregnant announcement, wild waterbreaking story, secret, unphotographed birth, and inconsistent stories flying, gives the public reason to doubt Trig's maternity and speculate that the baby is Bristol's. No one is allowed to make an official statement about the birth, and no records are released, all adding fuel to the fire.
6. When rumors crescendo, the campaign answers "Is Sarah Trig Palin's mother?" with "Bristol is pregnant now so it can't be her" which satisfies many, and leaves a few banging their heads against the wall trying to show that the "answer" doesn't answer the question. A focal point of their frustrated search is on proving that Bristol is Trig's mother.
7. Whether or not Bristol is pregnant now, inquiries into Trig's birth point to him being Sarah's and the MSM lays the story to rest.
8. Should it get to the point where the campaign is forced to offer proof of Trig's parentage, they will do so and we will all look like fools. In the meantime, Bristol carried out her initial pregnancy in secret. As for her first baby, to quote Verbal in The Usual Suspects "And like that, poof. He's gone."


Lower 48

Anonymous said...

To all those who keep saying "Leave Bristol alone!!! She is just a child!" Not anymore folks, oct 18, 2008 marked her 18th birthday making her free territory for whatever comments we would like to make.

Anonymous said...

I just want the truth to come out, just like the truth about Sarah spending $75,000 on clothes in Minnesota. I want the truth about who is Trig's real mother and I want the truth about Sarah and Todd's association with the Alaskan Independence Party. Sarah screeches at rallies about Obama coming clean about HIS associations; it is time for the Palins to come clean about THEIR associations as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow Lower 48, you have jumped the shark. Two concurrent pregnancies just on the off chance that they could use it to humiliate us nobodies should Sarah Palin ever get in the national spotlight?

As Audrey points out, photographic evidence must be considered carefully, particularly as any supposed proof of pregnancy, post-partem, or motherly instinct. Photos do none of the above and may only be probative if they can be accurately dated and verified. To wit, a photo where Sarah or Bristol Palin *look* pregnant is as much proof of pregnancy as they are proof that either Bristol or Sarah were faking pregnancy. The same analysis applies to rumors.

So let's review the verifiable evidence that we do have. It's pretty thin:

1) Sarah Palin announced to a stunned public and even those close to her with no reason to lie that she was 7-months pregnant on March 6, 2008. She simply didn't look pregnant to those her saw her all the time.

2) Trig Palin was born on or about April 18, 2008.

3) Sarah Palin was in Dallas, Texas on April 17, 2008 still appearing pregnant.

4) Sarah Palin has stated that she travelled to a remote hospital in Alaska to have labor induced to deliver Trig on April 18, 2008. This was, according to her and her physician's statements to the press at the time, after her water broke, after delivering a speech where nobody knew of her purported condition, after taking two flights over 10 hours where flight attendants had no idea she was in labor, after travelling another hour plus to a hospital in her home town to deliver on a multiple-high-risk pregnancy with her non-OB/GYN personal friend physician.

5) Bristol Palin left school some time during the 07-08 year (per the Assistant Principal) purportedly to attend another school, but no alternate school attendance has been confirmed.

6) The Palins, through the McCain campaign, announced that Bristol is currently expecting and based on their statements related to that pregnancy, Bristol could not be the mother of Trig Palin.

There are some other ancillary confirmable facts, of course, but that's the gist of the story and we have to determine what parts of it are true or not.

Speculation is fine. So is analysis of pictures, motives and behavior. But what we really need is documentation of someone's pre-natal care and delivery for Trig Palin. That should be easy to produce and hardly private, as the Palins have been talking about it for months now.

Their refusal to produce ANY documentation can, by itself, be enough evidence for us as the jury to conclude that Sarah Palin was lying and is not the mother of Trig Palin. It is not incumbent on us to determine who Trig's mother is. We only know that it could be either:

a) Bristol
b) Willow
c) someone else

Dangerous

Jack Bog said...

they will do so and we will all look like fools.

No you won't. It will prove that Gov. Palin recklessly endangered Trig's life by flying home from Texas. Which is grounds enough not to trust her judgment.

Anonymous said...

You're both probably right. Just throwing ideas out to see if there's a new angle that will help us make sense of it all.

Lower 48

Anonymous said...

Absent the smoking gun, i.e. someone 'in the know' who comes forward with irrefutable evidence, all you will ever have is a circumstantial case for the parentage of Trig Palin.

That being said, what is being considered here actually goes beyond the more base elements of tawdry speculation; what you're really questioning is Sarah Palin's judgment.

May I suggest that you do more, however, than engage in a healthy discussion via the internet? I challenge you to do something to help get more people out to vote where you live. I, for one, am volunteering to drive people to their polling place.

Big Babs

Anonymous said...

Big Babs,

While I'm engaging in various efforts to support my candidates in the election, I submit that the stakes in this Palin-faked-pregnancy affair is far greater than the election.

We are attempting to get to the truth against the efforts of those who seek to hide it and who attack us for even raising reasonable questions. They successfully cowed the entire MSM, except for Andrew Sullivan who is still reluctant to say what he thinks. But not us regular contributors to Audrey's blog.

We will get the truth sooner or later. When we do and we are vindicated, we can round up the whole lot of them: Rush Limbaugh et. al., the GOP spin-machine, the right-wing bloggers, the McCain campaign thugs, etc.

They will all have contributed to the cover-up and attacks on us so-called 'crazy left-wing bloggers' who happened to discover the truth despite their cover-up efforts. We will always be able to say that we were right about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy and there's no way to spin that!

That is more important than any one election because it will change the dynamic for good. Noone will ever be able to lie, attack and cover-up against legitimate questions.

Dangerous

Anonymous said...

Heard on Chris Matthews show:
Brian William interviewed Sarah Palin, asking her if she will be releasing her medical records and she said yes. Williams said her staff seems surprised.

Ocean

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be a practicing cynic to know that any information coming out of a political campaign is going to be scrubbed as squeaky clean as possible before being released for public consumption.

So I am going to assume that the medical records released by the McCain campaign for Sarah Palin are either 1) heavily edited, 2) amazingly short (read: one paragraph), or 3) totally fake.

And as usual there will be indignant voices from the McCain campaign vigorously blaming the "liberal" media when any questions are raised or comments made about these records that the campaign feels are "negative" (read: critical).

There have been many days during this presidential campaign process when I just cannot believe what I am seeing and hearing. Or rather, what I am being told. Or not told. It would be funny, I guess, if not so painful.

Reader from Ohio

Tina from CA said...

Perhaps Sarah is just one of those people who has large weight swings. I know from being a smaller framed woman that just 5-10 pounds can be a HUGE amount and makes you just look so much heavier. Some gain in their stomaches, some chest, some face, but for many of us...mostly BUTT!

Audrey, I always like your calm, rational thinking. You continue to impress with your vital points and ongoing conversation regarding this controversial topic.

I go back and forth on this all the time. Some days I think NO WAY did SP have Trig, some days I think perhaps there is a chance she did.

Will we EVER know?? I certainly hope so.

Anonymous said...

"Palin: God Gave Me a Down Syndrome Child To Help the Pro-Life Movement"

"Sarah Palin just gave a fascinating interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family. One of the most interesting moments is when she suggests that God gave her Trig, the child with Down Syndrome, in part to help promote the pro-life agenda:

"I've always had near and dear to my heart the mission of protecting the sanctity of life and being pro-life, a hardcore pro-lifer, but I think this opportunity for me to really be walking the walk and not just talking the talk. There's purpose in this also for a greater good to be met. I feel so privileged and blessed to have been, I guess, chosen to have Trig enter our lives because I do want it to help us in our cause here in allowing America to be a more welcoming nation for all of our children."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-waldman/palin-god-gave-me-a-down_b_136930.html

mommabear said...

I have just spent 2 hours (!) on your website and have read every post and every link to every post. The issue that is still dangling in my mind is 1) do you believe Bristol is now pregnant? 2) if you don't believe she is really pregnant then how will the Palin camp deal with this on the baby's alleged due date? claim a stillborn birth? she gave it up for adoption? This is the one piece of the puzzle i can't get my head around. i hope you can address it in future posts. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Palin has apparently promised to release her medical records, according to an article on the Huffington Post in regards to her interview with Brian Williams today.

Anonymous said...

here's something I can't get my arms around either. If Sara Palin faked the pregnancy there would be more people who knew about it besides the family. wouldn't you think that somehow someone would either slip up or be entised into talking with some money? Do you really think the white trash Levi family has been paid or something to keep quiet? This would be a pretty big conspiracy. It would be pretty impressive if you think about it that these backwoods people could acutally pull it off.

Anonymous said...

So Sarah thinks God gave them Trig to promote a pro-life agenda?

Perhaps God used Trig's birth as a way to promote sex education and birth control for teens. Just saying...

Ocean

Anonymous said...

From the New York Times over Palin to release her medical records+

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/medical-records-sure/

*Ms. Palin, however, appears to have changed her mind, telling Brian Williams of NBC News in an interview on Wednesday, “The medical records — so be it.”

“If that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off, that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or to rest them assured over, fine,” Ms. Palin said. “I’m healthy, happy. I’ve had five kids; that’s going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You’ll see that in the medical records if they’re released.”

So she claims the medical records will prove she has had five kids.

Anonymous said...

The following article about Todd Palin's grandmother explains that because the Palin children are one-sixteenth Eskimo, the children are eligible for Indian Health Benefits. These benefits are guaranteed under the 1970 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The article does not say if you have to be born in Alaska to claim these benefits.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/54512.html

Perhaps someone in Alaska would know more about these Indian Health Benefits. Are these life-long benefits and do you have to born in Alaska to claim them?

The article is from the McClatchy Washington Bureau.

Jay Raskin said...

“If that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off, that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or to rest them assured over, fine,” Ms. Palin said. “I’m healthy, happy. I’ve had five kids; that’s going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You’ll see that in the medical records if they’re released.”

What a strange thing to say, "I've had five kids; that's going to be in the medical records." Why should that specifically be in the medical records?

This suggests that she's aware there is a question about how many children she has had and the medical records will support her version of the story.

This is going to be interesting if she does release records. I just hope the medical records will include visits to Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson is a family doctor - she is not an oby-gyn. She works at a medical clinic. There are no oby-gyns at the clinic. They are all family doctors and pediatricians. So the fact that the medical records may show that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson is Sarah's doctor proves nothing. Where I live, oby-gyns deliver babies. But apparently things are different in small towns and they don't allow any stinking medical specialists in Wasilla. It's a maverick thing.

Check out Dr. Cathy's website

http://www.providence.org/Alaska/matsu/matsu_physicians.htm

Not an oby-gyn on staff there.

So visits to Dr. Cathy prove nothing. Still, I will take Sarah at her word that the records will prove that she has had five kids. We'll see. It certainly won't be proved by the mere fact of visits to Dr. Cathy.

Anonymous said...

I did some research on Indian Health Benefits. These are lifelong FREE health benefits that can be obtained at several clinics and hospitals in the Anchorage area. Last year the Federal Gov't spent 3.8 billion on Indian Health Services.

How nice. None of Todd Palin's children will ever have to worry about health care. I write this as the retired mother of an adult daughter with a progressive debilitating disease, whose medication is in excess of $2000 per month. Her ability to maintain health care is a never-ending worry.

Anonymous said...

Think about it - obtaining life-long FREE Indian Health Benefits for a Down Syndrome individual might be a very good reason for Sarah to stage a fake pregnancy and claim as her own a child who would not otherwise be eligible for these benefits.

Maybe Trig is not Bristol's baby, but is the child of Sarah's sister or good friend.

Anonymous said...

The medical records release, if it happens, will shed much light on her story thus far. If there are indisputable records of pre-natal care and delivery for her, and those records are independently verified, case closed.

But I suspect that she'll release SOME records but not all of them and exclude her neo-natal records, making some sort of excuse. That will only fuel speculation, but they will then say that she's released her medical records and they prove everything that she's said about herself. Of course, they won't since there will be no evidence of visits for Trig or the amnio she claims she had, but they will be able to CLAIM that they do and the records released will not disprove it.

This is standard operating procedure in an adversarial lawsuit. First, you assert that you don't have to produce anything. Then you produce scrubbed stuff and say that's all you're obligated to produce. Then you stall stall stall and block block block. Then you say you can't produce anything, perhaps because a fire or flood destroyed the records.

Believe me. We will never see her medical records. They only have two weeks left to stall before they lose the election, and that will be the end of it on that front. But I'm curious to see what they do produce. I'm guessing that it will be a one-page statement from her doctor stating she's in excellent health. The doctor will not be available for comment.

Dangerous

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that Sarah will release a one-page letter from her doctor, saying she's in excellent health. To be fair, that's exactly what Obama did, and Sarah will say that to demand anything more from her is "sexist." Of course, no one suspected Obama of faking a birth for political purposes.

We'll see if the one-page letter that Sarah will be releasing states that Sarah recently gave birth. and we will see if the letter is signed by the infamous Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson.

P.S. Can somebody please answer why Dr. Cathy no longer has hospital privileges at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center?

Anonymous said...

I think the blog should concentrate solely on the improbability and implausibility of the labour/birth story. It is quite sad to say that because one of the Palin Girls is now over 18 that she is fair game to be attacked.
The link below shows Sarah Palin agreeing to release medical records and then saying if they are released. She clearly has a conflict of opinion with herself.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=5TC5_MpuNGk

For the record, I don't believe SP is Trig's mother but I think that all the options being posted are far too speculative and undermine the integrity of this blog.
Ebenezer

Anonymous said...

Wow, doesn't anyone agree with the merits of brainstorming and discussion anymore or is that out of the question? To answer Big Babs regarding actually doing something -- yes, I've gone to PA to campaign this fall, written letters, given money, and will try to make at least one more trip to PA or at the very least make calls. I'd do more but I work full time and have a breast-feeding infant so it's a tricky time for me. Still you're right, I should do more and will try my best.
Lower 48

Anonymous said...

The fact there is no record of the birth at Mat Su raises questions. At the same time the fact there is a baby born on April 18th at Anchorage Regional Hospital to one "Amber and Levi" is certainly interesting.

here's the picture from anchorage http://www.newbabynews.net/hospitals/akr22/babies/images/h22-3127-med.jpg

and here's an early picture of trig
http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2008-08-29-sarahwithtrig.jpg

Certainly a lot of babies look alike, but I think it's obvious this is the same baby. All the features match up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote above:
"Where I live, oby-gyns deliver babies. But apparently things are different in small towns and they don't allow any stinking medical specialists in Wasilla. It's a maverick thing."

Anonymous, where you live must be a very unusual place. In the US Family Medicine physicians perform deliveries all across the country in both small towns and large cities. My wife has delivered 100s of babies some of which were in hospitals in LA and Cincinnati. Some women specifically prefer not to have an Ob-Gyn deliver as they are often perceived as being less friendly to natural childbirth and/or too quick to jump to unneeded procedures.
That said, rural areas do tend to have less specialists.

However, none of that changes the strange circumstances around this particular pregnancy.

Ohio

Tina in CA said...

Anonymous,
The Levi and Amber baby looks nothing like Trig. Look at the nose.

Also can't all Anonymous people just pick a fake screen name if you don't want to use your real name like Audrey asked?? It's really easy, just pick name/url instead of anonymous and type in a name. It would make it so much easier to address specific posts.

scott said...

The nose is the same shape, it's just flared a little, and the perspective of the camera makes it look bigger then it actually is.

The eyes are the same, the cheeks are the same, the mouth is exactly the same.

Just look at the top of nose and the distance between the eyes, there's no mistaking this is the same baby.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really want Sarah Palin and her dysfunctional family to be a role model for America:

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/65407

Yellowgirl said...

Interesting comment about the Amber and Levi baby, on the same day, at nearby hospital. Can anyone investigate if there is indeed an Amber and Levi, and do they still have possession of their little bundle of joy? If not, we might have the smoking gun. If so, of course, another avenue of speculation will be closed up. How could we locate AMber and Levi? Maybe someone at Ancorage Hospital is less grilled about HIPPA??

Yellowgirl

Anonymous said...

Yellowgirl,

A lot of local newspapers have birth notices. I looked at the Frontiersman archives, but didn't find any. Maybe someone can check the reels at a Alaska library?

CommonSenser

jo-jo said...

The picture Of Governor Palin that is supposedly from 7/17 does not seem to be from this past summer. Check out the glasses and compare them to the other pictures on this same page from May and August. SP is already wearing the new glasses in the May photos. I think the picture is not from 7/17/2008.

jo-jo said...

Sorry, I guess the picture in the suit with the colorful scarf is actually supposed to be from August 2008. My issue about the glasses remains. SP was wearing the new glasses way before August. Where did this photo come from and who says it is from August 2008?

Audrey said...

Here's the original link to the photo on the state of Alaska website.

http://gov.state.ak.us/large_photo.php?id=178

Here's a link to a news article from the same day. It does not contain the same photo but there's no doubt it's the same outfit. Have no clue why she's wearing "old" glasses.

http://www.newsminer.com/news/2008/aug/09/shirley-demientieff-honored-bridge-dedication/