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.