Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anchorage Daily News: Come On. Ask Why.

We have this today from the Anchorage Daily News.

48 HOURS LEFT . . . As we wind down to the election, supporters on both sides get nuttier by the day. On Thursday, editors and reporters at your Favorite Good Morning Newspaper arrived at work to find dozens of e-mails, and even some phone calls, from Obama supporters all over the country imploring us to "do the right thing" and quit suppressing an "investigative report" on the "mystery" of Trig Palin.

They got a lot more than dozens. I personally was copied on dozens... and I did not ask to be copied. The primary call to do this did not come from my site/blog. It came from Cajun Boy who I suspect has a huge readership compared to mine. I would not be in the least surprised if they got thousands. So... why the need to downplay the number?

Groans could be heard across the newsroom as people signed on to their computers and discovered the spam, which resurrected an Internet myth that surfaced, then thankfully died, right after Sarah got nominated for VP.

OK, ADN. Let's review. This was not some fruitcake urban legend that appeared out of the blue on August 30th. The allegation appeared on the Internet from an Alaskan poster before Trig was born, in April, that Sarah was not pregnant and Bristol was. Palin's own spokesperson, formerly with the ADN, confirmed that Palin had discussed rumors that Bristol was pregnant with him PRIOR to announcing her own pregnancy in March. The ADN has confirmed that they looked into it around the time of the birth. And I have been provided with email that proves that the ADN had a reporter on the story in midsummer. Curious timing, actually: Too late to be something they were checking into casually around the time of the birth and long before she got the nomination. Whether he found anything or not, someone at the ADN must have believed that there was enough of a chance that something was there that he was still looking into the allegations 2-3 months after Trig's birth. But now it's "nutty?" "Stupid?"

According to the anti-Sarah mythology, Trig is not her baby. She faked her pregnancy to cover up a Bristol pregnancy.

The list of reasons why this story is stupid are legion, starting with Sarah obviously feeling no need to hide a Bristol pregnancy. The myth also ran into gestation issues when Bristol's actual pregnancy was announced, but conspiracy theorists never seem to let facts deter them. They assure us the current pregnancy is fake.

Again, let's fact check here. Sarah Palin only announced a relatively advanced BRISTOL pregnancy publicly when it appeared that this was the only way it could "proved" that SARAH gave birth to Trig in April. Never, in any way, shape, or form, has the "fact" that Bristol was as of September 1st "five months pregnant" been confirmed. And I have never asserted Bristol's current pregnancy is fake. I don't know anyone who has looked into this seriously or responsibly who has. In fact, I think there's a strong chance it is not. Furthermore, it cannot be stated sharply enough that saying that Bristol could not have had Trig does NOT prove that Sarah did.

Ear usually refers such callers to Lisa Demer's interview with Sarah's doctor, who delivered Trig but, alas, this too rarely works.

What Lisa Demer "interview?" Alas, the only article I can find could hardly be considered an interview. It is the often-linked ADN 4/22 article which contains a few Cathy Baldwin Johnson classics such as: "Things were already settling down by the time she talked to me," (which appears to be a direct contradiction of Palin's earlier statement that she talked to her doctor "around" 4 AM as soon as something started to happen) and "I didn't think it was unreasonable that she continue to fly back." And my personal favorite: Contractions had slowed to one or two an hour "which is not active labor." This is a medically true statement which could well have nothing to do with the birth in question. And slowed? Slowed from what? Are we really to believe that either an experienced physician OR an experienced mom (who has boasted about her fast easy births) felt confident about her getting on two separate four hour flights because "things" had "slowed?"

On Thursday, an exasperated reporter was heard shouting into the phone: "We saw the belly!"

Really? When? A few photographs of a woman "appearing pregnant" prove nothing if the allegation is that the pregnancy was faked.

Come on ADN, do your job.

Let's ask some real questions.

Ask why Sarah Palin told YOUR reporter on April 21st that you could not tell by looking that Trig had Down's and why she told People in September that a fourteen year old spotted it in the hospital.

Ask why Sarah Palin told numerous outlets last spring that Trig's Down's had been diagnosed in December, and why she's said recently that it was at thirteen weeks (which would have been 4-6 weeks earlier.)

Do some critical thinking about why a woman who supposedly would never terminate a pregnancy has now claimed she had testing done at a point in pregnancy where risks are much higher.

Wonder why any woman would not tell her own mother she was pregnant until seven months.

Ask why no photos of the family exist from the time of the birth, even though it's claimed that all three of the Palin daughters were at the hospital.

Ask why Gov. Palin claimed in September that no one realized she was pregnant because she was actually "hiding" it via scarves and blazers, yet numerous photos exist of her at a point at which any reasonable person would think a 44 year old on her fifth pregnancy would be showing, yet she shows NO signs of pregnancy and no signs of "fashion-assisted camouflage."

Ask why a woman who supposedly is competent to handle nuclear arming codes if Codger McCain drops dead would risk having to lie down on an airplane, spread her legs, and push her baby out.

And most of all, ask why Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, a very respected Alaska family practice doctor has flatly refused to give any statement about this birth since 2-3 days after it occurred. Even when doing so could have prevented a seventeen year old minor from becoming the most notorious pregnant teen in the world.

Sarah Palin's birth story makes no sense and I am not going to be intimidated into pretending like it does. Find one medical professional who is willing to go on record and say that her story is even plausible to say nothing of defensible.

Come on ADN. Ask some questions. And don't denigrate those of us who are doing your job for you as nutty or silly or stupid.

Do your job.


Jack Bog said...

Audrey, who cares about a newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska? They're obviously a podunk operation, even by Alaska (i.e., 19th Century) standards. They'll be embarrassed enough when Bristol has her miscarriage. They're not the story here, and neither is Cajun Boy. Stay focused!

If you want to write something every day, tackle this: If Sarah Palin comes clean with the truth after the election, what will people's reaction be? "I lied to protect my daughter, who was an unwed teen with a Down's baby." What's so bad about that?

Then there are the insurance and tax angles. I don't think there's a tax angle, because you can legitimately claim a dependent grandchild who lives with you. Insurance coverage is a different issue, however. What do Alaska employees get by way of family maternity coverage? Are dependent grandchildren covered? Those ought to be matters of public record.

What kinds of care should a Down's baby receive in the first year of his life? Is Trig getting it?

Mary G. said...

Well, now we know why Cheney was on the west coast recently--not to endorse McCain, but to intimidate any news organization that even dared to question the "official story." He and his minions probably said to that fine reporter with his source in hand: you can have a pleasant vacation and a Pulitzer nomination for that fine piece you did on Spay/Neuter clinics, or a one-way ticket to the bottom of the Bering Strait. You decide.
My local rag of a newspaper--now more than ever the instrument of Corporate Ownership from afar--also printed a pat piece on bizarre rumors during the election--and the Palin/Trig one was mentioned. It seems to be a concerted effort today to tamp down that story. Mary G.
PS the whole statement has the ring of "talking points" doesn't it? Totally disrespectful.

MC said...

Somebody read the comments on this post from Alaska Politics Blog, dated February 19th, 2008--pay particular attention to the ones from the poster named "syrin":

Does anyone get the sense that she has some suspicions about something up with SP and/or her family?

Syrin is actually Sherry Whitstine, and she has her own blog on Vox. She is definitely no Palin fan, although apparently she is a conservative. She has posted that she's known SP for a long time. Also, she is the one that Ivy Frye called and told to stop blogging earlier this summer.

I've read accounts on the Internet about how the Bristol rumor originated last winter with Lyda Green and her comment right after Palin's pregnancy announcement--something to the effect that Palin looked less pregnant at 7 months than she (Green) had at five months. Or something like that.

Anyway, these comments came BEFORE the pregnancy announcement or Green's statement. Am I reading too much into them? Because I am wondering what exactly she would suspect about the Palin family when even her staffers had no idea she was pregnant. She may have some other grudge against SP that is not evident, so she may not be the most reliable source. But to me, those are pretty odd comments for her to be making, since they're not based on anything obvious.

pupule said...

It just infuriates me that the McCain campaign has not released Palin's medical records! One can only assume there is really something in them that would blow the campaign out of the water. Or...more likely, something that proves she has lied to the people of Alaska and the American public.

Where has Bristol been the past two months? Where has Trig been when he is not being used as a prop? With Bristol?

We can't ask those questions, yet she drags Willow and Piper on the stage with her day in and day out!

She, Palin, is so above it arrogant!

pupule said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cat said...


You rock. In addition to posting it here, I hope you sent your latest post to the ADN as well. I know its wishful thinking, but I'd love to see the paper's response to the very reasonable questions you raise.

Anonymous said...

pupule: Just FYI, Greta Van Sustren was riding on a campaign bus with the Palins on Halloween. Piper was dressed up like a princess. Also on the bus were Todd, Willow and Willow was holding Baby Trig during the interview. No Bristol.

bacci40 said...

maybe the la times can help us all out

make a deal with the adn...

they release what they know about the fake birthing crazy christian lady and the times releases the video of that party obama attended in 2003

competing embarresing stories should cancel each other out

nuff said

in any case...this should not die on nov 4....the repugs want this woman to be the face of their party for the next four years, should mccain lose

we also owe it to alaska and guys like andrew halcro to make sure that the final veil is pulled off of the harlot of the north

i am bacci40, and i approve this message

sarah.hoax said...

The ADN saw the "belly"? Great, did they actually see the uncovered belly, the bare belly bump that pregnant woman are so often to show? If so, please let us know and we will all go back to where we came from. But, please don't bore us telling us you saw a "big" Sarah.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you mc. It seems very odd that "syrin" kept stressing that sarah palin needed to focus on her family one month prior to the announcement of her "pregnancy."

Anonymous said...

I read syrin's comments and I must say she does have a rather nasty manner so I suspect Palin has crossed her in the past in a way she is not forgetting. Maybe syrin is one of those hands that fed Palin and it is a hand that has been bitten.

Nevertheless my first reaction to reading it was to interpret it not that Palin was pregnant, but as though she were having an affair or something that does make her stray from her family commitments.

Syrin's blog doesn't make mention of the fake pregnancy stories at all, that I can see.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Audrey, Amen.

Rachel Green on Friends was definitely pregnant and gave birth to Emma, her and Ross's love child. Really! I saw it happen week after week on TV.

Jennifer Aniston looked more convincingly pregnant as Rachel Green than Sarah Palin ever did, and she wasn't. It was all an act, of course.

It's not that hard to fake a pregnancy for people who will suspend disbelief, as we see on TV all the time. It is virtually impossible to hide a pregnancy past a certain point, usually around 5 months. Sarah Palin was certainly one of most watched and photographed women in Alaska, yet nobody noticed and she told nobody. Not THAT's suspending disbelief.

I am appalled that ADN would so callously label us truth-seekers as conspiracy theorists. There are more than enough questions here to require some documentary proof -- which most certainly exists -- rather than access clearly contradictory statements at face value.

After the election and Palin is an afterthought, the cover-up will die down and the truth will come out. I think ADN knows the truth, but they decided long ago that it was a family matter and not for public consumption. The media does this all the time.

Media is a business and they certainly do not want to offend their customers. As a businessperson I can understand that. I think that we can conclude based on their aggressive desire NOT to investigate (or even to be seen investigating) that they decided that Sarah Palin's actions were reasonable and not a reflection on her character or professional life.

Based on my own conclusions of what actually transpired, I agree -- to a point. She should not have accepted the VP slot assuming that her ruse in Alaska would hold up to scrutiny from all of us. But we know her judgment is lacking and McCain did not vet her for this.

We are all participating in a great story nonetheless. Think 'Chinatown' in its level of intrigue and incongruous facts. It won't be left unsolved.


Audrey said...

And, Dangerous, as I have pointed out elsewhere, quite ironically, McCain himself was also accused of a scandal involving the source of a baby. It was alleged during the 2004 campaign that a Bangladeshi daughter that the McCain's had adopted was actually a black illegitimate "love" child McCain had fathered.

It was completely false, but this experience might have left McCain and his advisers overly willing to dismiss a Palin pregnancy/baby story as equally crazy (though really the two stories have very little in common.)

I have NO knowledge this is true, it's just a guess, but it does make sense.

Anonymous said...


I actually feel kind of special to know about this, since most people don't and will blithely accept whatever is reported (or not reported).

Cajun Boy stands by his post that set this off, and he did elicit a reaction from them, if nothing else. I think they know the truth but won't print it for editorial reasons. If you re-read the contemporaneous articles, or rather re-read between the lines, they were laying it out pretty clearly for anyone who was curious enough to put two and two together.

Why else would they go to all the trouble to track down the flight attendants? Why wouldn't they question the doctor's judgment more.

If 16-year-old Bristol gotten pregnant, Sarah Palin would not have faked for her, as is clear from more recent events and disclosures. And ADN would not have given her that kind of leeway. And while technically possible, what teenager having gotten pregnant once would let it happen again almost immediately. What guy would risk that?

Run down Willow's alibi for 7th grade. Bristol not having one means a lot more if there are no other suspects. A 13-year-old accidentally becoming pregnant is a story ADN would NOT want to get out, nor Sarah Palin faking to cover for her. Those motives are, at least, human. And it is a reason they would not pursue the story and to call us anonymous people names to attempt to put us off the story.


Anonymous said...

Audrey -- I really cannot thank you enough for your tenacity and your clear thinking. You really are doing what we had once depended on the media to do--ask tough questions and refuse to give up until they are met with reasonable answers. I can't understand what is going with ADN, if they've been intimidated into shutting up, or what, but thanks to you eventually we will get to the bottom of this.
Lower 48

Jay Raskin said...

Obama will win tomorrow, that appears obvious. I will be curious to see if anybody in the mainstream media follows up and asks why Sara Palin did not release her medical records.

I hope readers of this blog will continue to ask what is the real situation with Sarah, Trig and Bristol. Since Sarah Palin apparently may be running for president in 2008, it is still important that we get some answers.
All the other scandals - troopergate, jetgate, Bridge-to-nowhere gate, Russia-next- door-being-foreign-experience gate, $150,000 clothes-gate and getting caught in a hundred lies have failed to deter her mini-legion of delusional fans. Hopefully, baby-gate will allow her to go back to her family and give them the love and supervision they deserve and need.

Anonymous said...

This would be a good topic for Michael Moore's next movie. Yeah, the Republicans/conservatives would call him pinko liberal scum(or the like), but they do anyway. It would bring more attention to the subject. How about a February 2012 release date?

Anonymous said...

As an OB I want to second Audrey's statement as loudly as I can. No obstetrician, pediatrician, or CNM would be willing to go on record and stand behind the decisions that were made regarding this bizarre travel story. Frankly, I am shocked that this doctor has not been brought before the state medical board. If her physician actually did talk to her before the birth and Palin did actually say that she even suspected her amniotic sac was leaking, and her physician did not tell her to go the hospital immediately, she should lose her medical license. This is not even open to discussion.

"Things" had "slowed." ???? I must have missed that day at medical school.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't someone file a complaint with the medical board in Alaska? Or are they in SP's circle of terror, too?