Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Additional photo commentary

I have been rather shocked at the number of people who have written to me today to counter the photo analysis... stating that the photos posted yesterday are not in the kitchen of the Palin home in Wasilla. (Just as an aside, another question that has come up is why does the kitchen look so different from the kitchen in the Elan Frank videos. The answer is THAT kitchen is at the governor's mansion in Juneau. They look so different because they are different.) First, I have numerous other screen shots that I did not post... I thought the one I did post was conclusive. But in some of the other shots you can clearly see the upholstery and the arms on the chairs... it matches the chair that Mercedes is sitting in. You can also see that the family uses the wall to the left of the refrigerator to post papers, etc. I am 100% sure of this identification.

Another thing that has been mentioned numerous time is this photo.


I have had several people insist that wherever the Mercedes Johnston photos were taken, this one of the Heaths was taken in the same place. Several people have agreed with MY identification of the Palin kitchen, but then said that since this was taken the same day as the birth, with Gov. Palin's parents, this proves there was a home birth! They seem to be basing this on the similar tone of the wood.

This is not true. The photo of the Heaths was taken at Mat-Su Hospital. KTUU TV in Anchorage sent a film crew; according to the website, the interview was filmed at some point during the afternoon of April 18th, which was the day Trig was born.

Here is another picture of another family with a baby, from the hospital's website. While I am not 100% sure it's the same room (there seems to be a nook of some sort visible in the room below behind the mother which is not visible behind Mr. Heath, though it could just be a quirk of the camera angle) there's no question that the drapes are the same, as is the cabinetry. Also note the match on the top of the sofa visible behind the dad in the picture below.


I want to be very accurate about photos. Why? Because a picture IS worth a thousand words. When this story "broke" on August 30th, the two "top" pieces of evidence cited over and over were two photos of Bristol allegedly showing a "baby-bump." I am not going to repost them here, but they are at this link on my website if people want to look at them again. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.) One picture, it turned out had been taken in the summer of 2007. I still don't know for sure when the other was taken but it was probably fall of 2006. Neither photo showed Bristol Palin during the time period that "someone" was pregnant with Trig. When these two photos, on which so many had based so much, were disproved, panicked, a lot of people who had started questioning dropped the story... when they should not have. There were still many valid questions about the birth story itself. Many legitimate paths for investigation. And the opportunity was lost because many jumped to what might have been a true conclusion, based on false (and disprovable!) evidence.

So if it seems that I am a bit of a stickler for accuracy in photo identification, that's why.

15 comments:

Jeanie said...

I've been enjoying this blog for a while now. At first it was my way of dealing with nerves over the upcoming election. I can rest more easily, now, but I am still interested in getting to the bottom of this whole story - and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one!

Here's another inconsistency. Sarah Palin stated in an interview that she had an amnio done at 13 weeks, sometime in December. Riskiness of that procedure aside, let's look at the time line. Assuming that the "13 weeks" is a rough estimate, let's call it 14 weeks to give her the benefit of the doubt. For the same reason, we'll say this amnio took place on December 1st. That would put April 18th slightly before 34 weeks, not 35 - 36 weeks as has been commonly stated, for Trig's birth. At 34 weeks, there would be even more concern for the safety of the child in the event of preterm labor. This is pretty solidly in the "premature" range. Any idea what his birth weight was purported to be?

The whole 12+ hour airplane/drive thing seems preposterous. My first delivery took over 36 hours from first contraction to birth. My second took 3 hours from first contraction to delivery. I think if I had a fifth, it would probably fall out if I sneezed too hard!

Anonymous said...

Can you look into the Bristol/Mercedes prom pic? An accurate date on that could do a lot of damage to the Bristol had the baby story. I am skeptical of SP's story but I don't doubt that the baby was born when they said he was born. The question becomes who bore him?
~BG

ocean said...

I agree with Audrey on the locations of the different sets of photos.

Andrew Sullivan has another Palin entry: http://tinyurl.com/65vzcb

"What you realize is that the actual truth matters not a whit. She has no real memory; she has what she invents from minute to minute in her head for instant effect. She's pathological."

Lost_in_Idaho said...

You're analysis of the photos was brilliant, Audrey, and proves just how diligent you are.

I've noticed that many commenters seem to respond before they've really had a chance to digest what you have posted. That forces you to spend time correcting errors and misconceptions.

I hate to sound like somebody's mother, but for Audrey's sake, let's all think carefully about what she has posted before we respond.

jeanie said...

I realize these comments are not pertinent to the photo-thread thing. I'm a newbie at this. But I had another thought. This one is pure speculation, but why would SP take Bristol to NYC with her during the middle of the school week in October, 2007? The Women's Leadership Conference ran on Tuesday, October 30th. Could this have been a chance to take Bristol to (possibly) see NYC doctors (and on the state's dime)? The timing seems funny. If nothing else, it just validates the fact that education seems to be quite low on this family's priority list.

MC said...

Rel: the prom picture of Sadie & Brostol...according to information you can find on the web, Colony High did hold Prom on April 12, 2008. That was a picture from a series of pictures that some people had screen shots of when this story went national. In those pictures is a girl who I believe goes to Wasilla High. Wasilla held its prom on April 19th.

No matter which way you look at it, it appears unlikely that Bristol is Trig's mother, if indeed he was born on April 18th. I would like to run down the evidence we have that he WAS born on that day, especially since some people seem to think Trig looks bigger than his stated age.

Off the top of my head, I'm remembering a news story that had a reporter from the ADN stating that he (or she) was at the hospital on the 18th while SP was sleeping/recovering in another room. Anything else?

MC

Anonymous said...

Trig Palin had to be born on or about April 18th or SP would not have had to dash back to Alaska with a concocted story to claim credit for having given birth.

Any attempt to develop a theory of the case wherein Trig was born much sooner to allow for Bristol to be pregnant now and still have given birth to Trig is doomed to fail because it didn't happen that way. Subsequent actions of the parties don't make sense in that scenario.

But I agree with the anonymous poster who said that it just doesn't add up for Bristol to be Trig's mother either. Too many people had seen her in the time frame involved.

Dangerous

Anonymous said...

Have you seen any pictures of Heather Bruce from the time just before Palin "gave birth"?

Anonymous said...

In response to jeanie, I don't think Sarah ever said she had amniocentisis. I think she called it, "early testing."

sandra in oregon

Colleen said...

First....I think Trig was NOT born prematurely. Sarah just said she was 7 months when she made the announcement because NO WAY would anyone have believed her if she said she was 8 months-which Bristol probably was at the time of the announcement. A baby born 4-5 weeks early doesn't usually go home the next day- isn't that right?

Second......Is it possible that Trig was born at home to Bristol and then brought to the hospital postpartum....there by making it look legit by having the TV crew come on down for a look see??

Anonymous said...

I think, the photo from KTUU TV is a fake.
Look at the curtain- it is the same as on the picture of the unknown family- no curtain looks like an other!
The room looks different- keep an eye on the perspective and the space between the grand(grand?)parents.

MC said...

Dangerous--I am not understanding your logic regarding the possibility of Trig being born some weeks before April 18th. I actually think it IS an option for one scenario--the "wild ride" home story being one of the pieces of evidence in favor of it, rather than against it.

I started with the fact that SP's birth story as given to the media seems unbelievable. Given that, the choices are:

a) She is the mother; she acted completely irrationally, putting herself and her baby in danger by flying home in the manner that she did. End of story.

b) She had to concoct a story that made it SEEM as if she had done such a thing. Next logical question--why??

The conventionally accepted theory here is that someone close to her, probably a daughter, was in labor (unexpectedly early) on the night of the 17th, and SP had to fly back immediately to provide the cover.

But there is another possibility--that this baby was expected much earlier than the generally accepted and publicized due date. Remember that you have only the word of SP that May was when the baby was really expected.

So what if the baby was expected and was born in March, for example? SP announces her pregnancy and gives the due date as May, all the while knowing that her trip to TX in April would be the perfect situation to allow her to fly under the radar back to MatSu Hospital and "give birth" to a baby--prematurely, but not so far before May as to raise a bunch more questions.

The "wild ride" story is thus still false, but concocted not because she really was taken by surprise in TX by her daughter's early delivery--but to give a reason for SP to contact the media the morning of the 18th having already "given birth" without anyone other than airline personnel (who didn't realize she was pregnant!) seeing her.

No one in TX expected her to to leave, and no one in AK was expecting her back in the middle of the night. A premeditated, calm flight back to AK with no one watching for you would be a much easier situation in which to "give birth" when compared to having to get yourself to the hospital in Wasilla when the eyes of Alaska--the citizens, colleagues, friends, are watching and waiting for you to go into labor.

Then, add in the fact that the picture of (non-pregnant) Bristol and Mercedes together was almost certainly taken just prior to or just after April 18th. Bristol is then NOT the mother of a baby born on that day--but she still could be the mother if the baby had been born a few weeks earlier.

Finally, I believe the picture of the whole Palin family taken in Juneau is last year's holiday picture, possibly taken early last fall--if you do a close-up of this pic elsewhere on the web, I think you can see some leaves changing color.

http://gov.state.ak.us/photos/PalinFamily_Outside_v01.jpg

If Trig was expected earlier than May, I think it potentially puts this picture back into play. Leaving aside the "baby bump" question--it could just be the camera angle, but BP's face seems fuller than it does in the pic in April with Mercedes. And if you look at a high-res closeup of this pic, note that BP seems to be wearing a diamond ring on her middle finger.

MC

jeanie said...

In response to Sandra -

I have seen this stated in a number of articles (one is http://www.cnsnews.com/Public/Content/Article.aspx?rsrcid=35105) but have not actually seen a transcript or tape of SP actually saying "amnio". And the 35 - 36 weeks at delivery came from the letter from CBJ. I'm definitely not privy to any first-hand sources!
:)

Anonymous said...

I don't think that is the same room. The cabinetry does not look the same and there is something framed on the wall in one of the photo's. There appears to be a corner of some type of shelving in one of them as well at the lower left elbow of an individual.

The swag of the curtain looks really similar but the other things make me think they are not the same room.

Audrey said...

It may not be the same room. There are probably at least three, maybe even four birthing rooms at the hospital. All are probably furnished similarly, however, in terms of curtains and woodwork.

I agree, there does seem to be a nook or opening behind the mother in the second photo that is not visible behind Mr. Heath.

I believe that for the interview with KTUU, Mat-Su put the Heaths in an empty birthing room. This would have given the cameraman and whoever else was there a place to do the interview instead of out in a hall. A bit more private, plus less disruptive if there were other women in labor.

So I don't know that it is the same room. But I am going on record that it's at the same hospital.