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,