At the outset of writing about the controversy surrounding Trig Palin’s birth, I said clearly that I could go either way on what to believe about this story.

On the one hand, I do see why some consider this to be possibly the greatest and most malevolent hoax in the history of American politics.

Yet, I remain intrigued by the odd, conflicting, indeed seemingly contrived anecdotes about what is now widely called The Wild Ride, Mrs. Palin’s allegedly reckless and lengthy return to Alaska while leaking amniotic fluid and suffering contractions unbeknownst to anyone around her in order to avoid delivering in Texas someone who might one day pick fish. 

Those who believe in the hoax theory argue that pictures tell nearly the entire story. That all one has to do is look at a few photos to determine that Mrs. Palin was not pregnant.

Me? I’m a skeptic. Or maybe I’m just stupid. Although with two degrees from Columbia University, for both of which I had to write a thesis (neither of which informs my thoughts or opinions today, even though I received A’s on them, Mrs. Palin), some might call me a notch above stupid.

Things need to be spelled out for me. I know there is someone out there who can explain away every single, niggling detail about this very strange birth story. But she doesn’t appear to want to do that.

So, I thought I’d start with the photos. And little did I know that Professor Brad Scharlott, whose paper on the Spiral Of Silence has got more people talking about this birth story than ever before, is actually a Photoshop expert.

Prof. Scharlott teaches both digital publishing and photojournalism at Northern Kentucky University.  And he said he’d be glad to talk me through a few of the more famous pictures.

BS: Thank you for that introduction, Laura, but let me qualify what you said. I have been teaching digital publishing since the late 1980s, and I’ve taught photojournalism for nearly a decade. So I’ve had to learn a lot about Photoshop and related programs in order to teach them to my students. I’m pretty good at “photoshopping” pictures, as that word is generally used – for example, I can put people’s heads on animals’ bodies, for laughs – but calling me an expert might be an overstatement. Still, I know enough to effectively teach digital photography and photo editing to college students.

Today I’d like to focus on a picture of Palin that appeared in the Anchorage Daily News on March 14, 2008. That was nine days after Palin announced that she was seven month pregnant, and four and half weeks before she allegedly gave birth to Trig on April 18. Here it is, as it appeared in the newspaper:
Picture
While Palin looks fairly trim in this photo, it’s hard to tell just how flat her stomach is, because the darkness of her outfit obscures details.

Here’s where an experienced digital photographer can help. It’s well-known among the pros that dark areas in a photograph can be lightened to show details that otherwise will not be apparent. Any photo-editing program can be used to adjust the brightness level of a photo like this; that includes the photo-editing programs that are bundled for free with most new computers. People reading this who want to experiment can copy the above picture to their own computer, open the picture in iPhoto (if you are using a Mac, as I am), then click on the “Edit” icon, bring up the “Adjust” panel, and finally pull the “Shadows” slider to the right. (If you don’t see the “Adjust” panel, drag a corner of the photo to make it bigger.) And while you are at it, you might also bump up the brightness and contrast sliders a bit, also.

What will your adjusted photo look like? Probably like this: 
Picture
Sarah’s flat stomach is now quite apparent. Notice that neither I, nor you, dear reader (if you followed along) moved a single pixel (a “pixel” is a dot in a digital picture). And I did not use Photoshop, so no one can accuse me, in any sense, of “photoshopping” the picture.

Let me address that term, by the way. When “photoshop” is used as a verb, generally it means to deceive by adding or subtracting or altering certain elements in a picture. But using Photoshop (or any other photo editing program) to simply lighten a photo is not deceptive. So be wary of what people really mean why they use the word “photoshopped.”

LN: Okay, Brad, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment. Mrs. Palin looks to be leaning back in this photo, possibly because she’s chuckling about something funny the Lt. Governor said, or because of a text on her ubiquitous phone. But seriously, one could argue she is tilted back because of the weight and force of a baby belly. Couldn’t that explain her posture?

BS: I’m glad you asked that, Laura. The photographer who took this picture apparently used a zoom lens at a long setting, thus producing a photo distortion known as pin-cushioning. Look at woman to the right in the photo; you can see that her body is bowing slightly to the left with her head skewing a bit to the right corner. In the case of Palin, the bowing makes her appear to be leaning backwards.

To get a truer sense of what Palin would have looked like if you had viewed her in that scene with your own eyes, I am going to use the “Correct Camera Distortion” feature in Photoshop Elements (the cheaper, home version of Photoshop), and basically add a bit of “barreling” to counter the effect of the pincushion distortion: 
Picture
The result gives a truer sense of how those three people would have looked if viewed with your own eyes that day. And while Palin seems to be standing straighter, the alteration did not affect the flatness of her stomach, which I think tells the story.

So what do you think, Laura? Do you believe Palin can be seven months pregnant in this photo?

LN:  What a great question! I know I need to buckle down and not dither, and I know that this is about health care and job creation, there, also too. But I need to ask a man and I will get back to you (as someone might say).

Seriously, Brad, can’t someone say that any change in a digital picture makes it less authentic, less true?

BS: Well, digital pictures are sometimes not admissible in court (for example, if the original is unavailable) because they are so easily manipulated. So you need to feel confident that the source of a digital picture is trustworthy. This particular picture comes from a major newspaper, so there is no reason to believe it was deceptively altered before it was posted online or published in the paper.

But the answer to your question is an emphatic “no,” altering a digital picture, say, by lightening it, does not make it less “authentic” (whatever that might mean). That’s because all digital photographs have already been processed in various ways before you see them. A cheap point-and-shoot camera makes numerous decisions for the user, such as light level and sharpness. A pro photographer using the “RAW” files captured by her camera must make those decisions herself before generating the pictures. (Back in the old days of film, any print of a picture had to likewise be processed through multiple steps, all of which introduced alterations from the “original,” which was generally a negative.)

Lightening a picture that already has been generated does not affect its “truthfulness” – it just presents a different aspect of the visual truth. The second picture above shows more detail than the first picture, and that is truthful, because in fact a person viewing the scene would have seen those details, since the human eye is much more sensitive than a digital camera. And the third picture is just as truthful as the first (or even more so) because it removes distortion caused by optics – in particular, by a zoom lens; it’s showing the scene as it would have looked to the human eye.

So the question for readers is this: Can you imagine any way Palin in this photo might be seven months pregnant?

LN:  For my part, I covered up her head with a piece of paper and tried to look at the photo that way. And I must admit I see no pregnant stomach there. What do Mrs. Palin’s supporters say about this photo? How do they explain it? Because as I’ve said all along on this blog, I am wide open to having a conversation about this.

BS:  Palin supporters generally try to ignore or belittle photographic evidence. Julia O’Malley, on April 14, in an Anchorage Daily News article with the headline “Make. It. Stop.” wrote this about my research paper titled “Palin, the Press, and the Fake Pregnancy Rumor”: “I read Scharlott's piece. It contains lots of innuendo and some widely-circulated Photoshopped pictures. What is missing from his investigation: facts.”

Notice her use of “Photoshopped” – the implication is the photos are deceptive. But in the case of the above photo, what deception can she possibly be referring to? The picture comes from her own newspaper! If she wants, she can probably go straight to the photographer who took the picture and get a copy from his or her hard drive, just as it was downloaded from the photographer’s camera.

She wrote that my investigation lacks “facts.” (The paper has over 40 footnotes, so it’s brimming with verified, factual information.) But a photograph is also a “fact.” Can she look at the above picture and honestly say she thinks Palin might be seven months pregnant in it? In her article she wrote that Palin’s baby bump was obvious. What baby bump?

LN:  Allow me to interrupt here and say that “obvious” is the last word I would use about this photo. I don’t know what the truth is, but there is no “obvious” pregnancy here.

BS:  Exactly! In that same vein, I would like to invite Justin Elliot of Salon, who on April 22 wrote an article with the presumptuous headline “Trig Trutherism: The Definitive Debunker,” to exam the photographic evidence presented here. And after he examines it, I’d like to know if he still feels 100 percent sure Sarah Palin was in fact pregnant with Trig. If his answer is yes, then I’d like him to explain what he makes of this photograph.

I have a doctorate in mass communications from a top school in that field, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which means I’m a trained researcher. My research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed academic journals. I teach a senior-level college class on research methods. I’m an empiricist. I believe truth can be discovered and verified. And this picture that we have just examined objectively exists, and its truth value can be assessed. Here’s my bottom line from my examination of the photo: I am at least 95 percent confident that Sarah Palin is not seven months pregnant in that photo.

However, I am not 100 confident. I have no medical training. I do not work with pregnant women as a matter of course in my job. There are many people who can offer a much more authoritative reading of that photo than I can, including you, Laura, who have written so eloquently about your own high-risk pregnancy and the months your child lived in a NICU.  So I am making a request, or rather several requests, of your readers:

1. Would those of you with medical training, especially if it involves working with pregnant women, let me know if you believe Sarah Palin might be seven months pregnant in the above photo? Please let me know your credentials and if I may quote you by name in a follow-up article. If you possess relevant photographic evidence, please send it.

2. Would those of you who have been pregnant at least five times let me know if you, in the seventh month of your fifth pregnancy, looked approximately as slender as Palin does in the above photo. If you could verify your stage of pregnancy (for example, with the date of the photo plus the date that you gave birth), that would be great. Let me know if I may quote you by name and print your picture in a follow-up article. Likewise, if a close relative of yours (your wife, sister, etc.) looked that slender in the seventh month of her fifth pregnancy, let me know and send a picture.

3. If you are a professional photographer who has worked with pregnant women, please share any relevant observations or photographs you might have.

Feel free to post your comments below and I will certainly read them here, and respond, on Laura’s blog. Or if you wish for more privacy concerning your name, etc., you might want to post anonymously below or email Laura on her Contact page. But send your comments plus personal information and/or pictures to me at brad.scharlott@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance for your help.  And Laura, it’s always fun talking with you about this story, journalist-to-journalist.

LN:  Thank you, Brad. And I know that we are going to analyze two more critical photos here on my blog. And I can’t wait to see what you’ve got!  

 


Comments

05/04/2011 19:19

Thank you Brad and Laura,

This is excellent. I can't wait until the next photos are examined.

marieke02
05/04/2011 19:30

What an excellent analysis! This is a very thought-provoking, fact-based piece. It would be good if all discussion henceforth were equally fact-based: then this issue could be put to rest, one way or another. (Mrs. Palin, of course, could do so at any time by providing her insurance records of obstetrician and hospital visits. That would still be the simplest, easiest "answer" to all these questions.)

KatieAnnieOakley
05/04/2011 19:30

I was hoping this photo would be discussed. For me, this is the "nail in the coffin" photo. There is NO BABY in that abdomen. And don't forget, there is also the placenta, amniotic fluid and increased blood volume in the mother to support growth and development of the growing fetus; none of that appears in this image.

Now put the "Gusty Photo" next to it, and it's mind boggling to imagine THAT MUCH GROWTH in a 30 days period. In fact, it's medically impossible, due to round ligament pain ( http://palinpeytonplace.blogspot.com/ ).

Lilybart
05/04/2011 19:31

Thanks for doing this. This is an AP photo and the date is not in question. I don't know how anyone could look at that and say she is 7 months pregnant. I am just a few pounds overweight right now and I can't wear my pencil skirts.

IWantTheTruth
05/04/2011 19:35

I really appreciate reading this clear description of the difference between enhancing/improving a photo versus actually altering the truth of a photo. I use Photoshop and iPhoto on almost all my photos and it's wonderful to be able to reveal what your eye would have seen. Nothing nefarious about that. Thank you Laura and Brad, keep up the good work!!!

ginny
05/04/2011 19:38

Great post! Thanks for that careful explanation of what the verb "to photoshop" means, and why it is not always a bad and deceptive thing! I've never been pregnant, and am not a photographer, but I will still offer my opinion that (5 ft., ~3 in tall) Sarah Palin is NOT 7, 6, or even 5 months pregnant in the above photo! I do have sisters who've had more than one pregnancy, and they always "popped out" much earlier in their 2nd pregnancies.

KatieAnnieOakley
05/04/2011 19:40

Another post from the website I mentioned previously -

The blogger ran this story by her OB / GYN, using photographs and cover sheets over faces to prevent identification.

The OB / GYN was absolutely sure the woman was NOT PREGNANT (and was AGHAST to see who it was when the covering was removed).

http://www.palinpeytonplace.com/ob-gyn-shocked.html

sleuth
05/04/2011 20:08

I have more than 30 years experience in newspaper print & photo journalism. Brad is correct that changing contrast, balance, noise distortion, etc., is manipulation but not CHANGING. Every photo is manipulated: if old fashioned negatives, it's done in the darkroom, if digital it's done on the computer to get the best result. With digital photos almost none are perfect as originally shot. I published a book a few years ago that included more than 200 photos (some as old as Civil War era) and had to scan them. When I went into Photoshop & similar programs to get the best image possible, I was stunned at some of the details unseen in the original photographs pop up. Brad, I'll try to find one photo in particular from my book that illustrates that point perfectly.

KarenJ
05/04/2011 20:28

It's always been obvious to those of us who've been participating in this 2-1/2 year study that Sarah Palin chose the funereal black "maternity wear" because she knew (or someone advised her) that even to the naked eye the no-contrast of black clothing would hide a lot.

She didn't count on the wits of people familiar with simple non-altering photographic techniques like lightening and adjusting contrast, which are routinely done even with developing film negatives.

ProChoiceGrandma
05/04/2011 20:43

Excellent presentation, Brad and Laura! One factor that was not addressed, that the Palinbots ALWAYS claim, is how she "looks pregnant in the face", (eyeroll). By that logic, it looks like Sean Parnell is carrying twins in those cheeks.

The only baby that Sarah Palin is carrying is her Blackberry. And don't get me started about her Blackberries - she has devoted more tender loving care and attention to those Blackberries than she ever did for Trig.

The lightened version of this ADN picture has always been the most damning evidence in my opinion. She chose a scarf that was too short to conceal her lower abdomen and pelvic area. What was new information to me is that this photo was taken with a telephoto lens, meaning she may not have been aware the photo would be so revealing. Also, she may not have realized her jacket was opened as much as it was, exposing what her scarf did not cover.

Ivyfree
05/04/2011 21:16

Not sure if my credentials are helpful at all, Professor: I am a registered nurse, licensed in 1974. I have been in professional practice since that time, but I have not worked OB since graduation. I have also been pregnant twice, and being a woman working in a largely women's field, been around a lot of pregnant women!

There is NO seven month pregnancy there.

A tall woman? MAYBE, depending on how the baby is lying. A fat woman? MAYBE it could be hidden in already existing abdominal fat. A short, slender woman? Seven months? Not. Possible.

Incidentally, I have read in a couple of places, a woman posting an argument that Palin might have had "pregorexia"- starving oneself to keep the pregnancy small. It's obvious that Sarah is getting adequate calories. Again, she is a slim woman. If she was getting too few calories to support a pregnancy, her face would quickly grow gaunt, and so would her hands. I know she kept herself covered up, but she doesn't present the typical skull-like facies of anorexia or cachexia. I have never seen any picture of Palin where she looks undernourished, and I have never read of anybody commenting on how she must have been working really hard, she was losing weight and looking scrawny.

We have a woman who is a known liar telling an unbelievable story. The simplest explanation is that she is lying about the pregnancy, and this picture does not support her story.

krbmjb05
05/04/2011 21:44

The guy next to her looks more pregnant than SHE does!

hasslefree
05/04/2011 21:47

Sorry if this has already been addressed here or elsewhere, but could someone tell me:
what exactly is that thing sitting at her waist, just below the scarf? It seems to stick out a lot further than her abdomen.
I have never been the best fashion consultant, but I don't think I have ever seen a woman of any size wear a belt that would make her waist seem so much larger than it really is. Isn't the purpose of a belt to give a sleeker, more polished appearance?
It almost looks like some kind of contraption that she fashioned just for the purpose of making her appear larger in a very specific area of her body. Has this "belt" ever bothered anyone else?

krbmjb05
05/04/2011 21:54

Also, speaking of fat face, her face structure is similar to Bristol's (Pre-Face surgery). I have no doubt that quitty has had surgery on her face (after the 2008 elections) similar to Bristol. She always has had a pudgy face, look at pics of her in beauty pagents, etc.

VaughnIAM
05/04/2011 22:58

What really convinced me that Sarah wasn't pregnant was seeing the March 26 photo of Sarah at the Alaska museum.
When I realized that picture and the April 13 picture were 2 weeks and 4 days apart,I thought there was no way she got that big in a little over 2 weeks. No way,No how,Not a chance.

truthrocks
05/04/2011 23:42

hasslefree: there is no belt - you are seeing the bottom fold of the scarf, which is black

sleuth
05/04/2011 23:46

truthrocks is correct, it's the bottom of the scard, not a belt.

curiouser
05/05/2011 00:03

Excellent discussion, indeed! Thank you, Laura and Prof. Scharlott.

I especially appreciate the explanation of the distortion caused by the camera lens.

Playing Devil's Advocate, I will suggest that Palin is wearing a suit that is several sizes larger than her actual size. The skirt hangs straight because the waist fits the belly. The skirt might also be unbuttoned and unzipped. The extra large jacket and scarf add to the illusion of a flat stomach.

Ah...if only she hadn't been clutching her blackberry with her arms pressed against her ribs, it would be easier to accept my explanation. But her arms press against her ribs and the shadows show there's no thickness of a normal 7-month pregnancy. We’re told Trig weighed 6 lb. 2 oz. at 35 weeks which makes him larger than average, betraying the idea that she wouldn’t show.

I’m still not ready to accept the hoax as fact (I may be crazy or reasonably/unreasonably cautious) but I get closer to being 100% certain when I see the April 13 photo. Good job making sure that got out on the web, Sarah! It shut up a lot of people but, when considered with the earlier photos, it’s the nail in the coffin. I’m with KatieAnnieOakley. The visible pregnancy progression from the March 14 and March 26 photos to April 13 seems impossible. I’ll be convinced there’s a hoax when I’ve been assured there’s no possible medical explanation for the bizarre -- less than 18 day -- growth.

Has anyone ever heard of a 'sunrise' pregnancy? Someone I know insists they didn't show until almost the end because the fetus was not in fetal position but was stretched out. If this is so, it would be extremely uncomfortable -- actually, painful -- and make movement difficult. Sarah didn't show any signs of having a pregnancy slow her down so I'd rule this out.

Heidi3
05/05/2011 00:50

Laura and Brad, thank you so much for pursuing this on a facts-only basis. Every unphotoshopped piece of the puzzle is right in front of our eyes.

Brad, I would love to see you do an analysis of a side profile photo of "pregnant" Sarah, once again wearing black, presented in Blade Catz's 4-20-11 blogpost titled "The Lady in Black."

http://shesnohockeymom.blogspot.com/2011/04/lady-in-black.html#disqus_thread

It's about the fourth one down, showing a brown chair in the lower right foreground, and an American flag at the extreme right edge. Upon close examination of Sarah's upper shoulder area and "fat back", there is strong evidence that Sarah is wearing an empathy belly. Any number of sleuthers here can provide a link to the style of "pregnancy suit" I'm talking about, since I can't find it handily - it's recently been shown on many of the blogs. It gives the wearer a distinct "linebacker shoulders" look. At her shoulder blade area, you can tell from the fabric shadows & folds that a thick sleeveless "mystery garment" is underneath her oversized black suit jacket.

Heidi3
05/05/2011 01:17

Professor Brad - I found the fake pregnancy belly I mentioned above. $38.99 at Amazon (second one down on the list):
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_4_19?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=fake+pregnant+belly&sprefix=fake+pregnant+belly

Take note of the wide padded 'strap' that goes over the shoulders, and the 'edge dropoff' which shows in the photo of Sarah. Thank you and Laura for persevering with this!

FrostyAK
05/05/2011 01:28

Thank you for continuing this investigation, Brad and Laura.

As someone who has lived in the Wasilla area for nearly 30 years, I can say with certainty what most of you probably already know. EVERYthing about $arah on the political scene has been smoke and mirrors. Or in this case scarves, black suits, and empathy bellies.

That she would fake a pregnancy does not seem that out of the ordinary for her, though it would if we were talking about a sane person.

The fact that experts/knowledgeable people are now discussing this and getting professional and detailed information out to the public is still of great importance, even though $arah seems to be in self-destruct mode.

AKRNC
05/05/2011 04:03

Thanks, Laura, for doing a post on this photo. This was the nail in the coffin post for me when I saw it and found out the original date. Until that time I had been skeptical but after that, no way!

As to the theory from Curiouser that this suit could have been a couple sizes too big, yes, that could be possible. However, someone posted a photo of her in this same suit from fall of 2007. I will go back in my posts and find it. It was posted on Palingates and the best idea as to the date of the original post I can give you is within the last 6 to 12 mos. or so. I remarked on the photo because I always thought that there had to be another pic of her wearing that suit somewhere since the beginning of her term as Governor. I have about 1500 posts to go through on Disqus so I'll find it but it will take awhile. I'm finishing up my quarterly reports for my business now so won't be able to concentrate until the weekend but I'm more determined than ever to locate that pic again.

I've also done what some of you have done and covered her face, showing the pic of her to several OB's I know and asked them if she was pregnant and if so, how far along? None of them would even commit to her being pregnant from that pic, let alone 7 months. What bothers me the most about this entire hoax and I do believe it to be a hoax is that Palin was counting on the ignorance of those around her but that idea turns my stomach. She really thought everyone was so stupid that she could fool them all. No, Sarah, you didn't. You didn't fool the vast majority of this country with your pregnancy or your stupidity. Many people simply don't care because they don't believe there's a chance in hell you'd be elected to the office of dogcatcher, let alone leader of the free world. But, if you should decide to run, this will come back to bite you in the ass. After all, if you are so disrespectful as to refer to the President's cajones in public, we can certainly ask about your alleged amniotic fluid leaking prior to your getting on an 8 hour flight to Alaska. Any woman that would do that, IF she was pregnant, is far too stupid to be anywhere near the White House.

To get back to the topic of the photos, the other unusual aspect of all her photos is the jacket that she was always wearing inside. Was this to cover up any signs of straps to hold an empathy belly in place? Or to prevent people from getting too close, coming up next to you and patting your belly? I've never heard of a pregnant woman complain of being cold, ever, but you had that insatiable need to always wear a coat or jacket indoors, not a blazer, but regular outerwear. Why is that? The clothing wasn't the only oddity of this alleged pregnancy, there was the infamous pregnancy waddle which was completely lacking. Sarah was even to wear high heels and run up and down steps without holding onto anything, her center of gravity IMPROVED with pregnancy! This is a woman who should be studied by scientists to find out what it was that gave her this super ability, especially at the age of 44! Maybe it was all those Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supremes!!

05/05/2011 04:15

MOCK APPLE PIE

Candace O'Connor, quoted in the "Our Town" column of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on May 4, 2011: "Influenced, I think, by shortages during the Great Depression, my mother, Mavis O’Connor, had lots of recipes for tasty baked goods that used cheap, available ingredients. One that comes to mind is the recipe for 'mock apple pie' that used to be on every box of Ritz crackers, but it doesn’t seem to be there any more."

[However, one can find it on the internet. The rest of this post quotes J.J. Schnebel's article on mock apple pie.] ...[T]hat recipe -- or one very much like it -- was invented around 1852 by a group of pioneer women for their children who missed the apple pie they'd had "back east." In Helen Evans Brown's West Coast Cookbook, she quotes Mrs. B. C. Whiting's How We Cook In Los Angeles (1894), "The deception was most complete and readily accepted. Apples at this early date were a dollar a pound, and we young people all craved a piece of Mother's apple pie to appease our homesick feelings." The recipe was referred to as "California Pioneer Apple Pie, 1852", and the crackers used at that time were "soda crackers" which were mixed with brown sugar, water and citrus acid and cinnamon.

After Ritz crackers were created in the early 1930's a recipe for Mock Apple Pie began appearing on the box. Apples were once again expensive and homemakers in those years were once again able to use crackers in order to give their children a taste of apple pie.

MOCK APPLE PIE a la RITZ

Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie

30 to 36 Ritz crackers, coarsely broken up (about 1 3/4 cups)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

Grated rind of one lemon

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place sugar, cream of tartar and water in saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Add grated lemon rind and lemon juice. Allow to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9 inch pie plate. Place coarsely-broken cracker crumbs in pie crust. Pour cooled syrup over crackers. Dot with butter or margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon.

4. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425 F for 30-35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely before serving.

V
05/05/2011 04:51

Thanks so much for this piece. I very much appreciate the nuance and perspective on photoshopping.

And it was this photo, when lightened, which convinced me to look into the matter further. When you do, her story falls apart. Of course, most people don't because it is still such a bizarre thing to do.

To AKRNC: she did not count on just stupidity of those around her. She counted on a lack of curiosity, as well as her ability to blackmail, or to bully, or to cajole the press and the public. She counted on a position of privilege where she can do no wrong and she doesn't have to answer the questions if she doesn't want to. A perfect example of the attitude of the divine right of kings. Which is why she needs to be exposed.

BlueberryT
05/05/2011 05:24

Great analysis. My only comment -- which does not in any way negate your conclusions -- is that this appears to be a moderate wide angle lens to me, not a telephoto. That's why you have the distortion and the exaggerated perspective including the angle of the building's walls. That's my read, anyway. Regardless, it does NOT change the conclusion you came to.

ProChoiceGrandma
05/05/2011 06:51

Heidi3,
I know exactly what picture you speak of! I was so excited when "allascan" discovered the fake pregnancy belly on Amazon that you referenced above, I finally made myself learn how to set up a photobucket account.

http://tinyurl.com/3rnuku5

As noted under the pictures, this shows the 4-13-08 Gusty pic, the Amazon fake pregnancy belly for $38.99, and the 3-28-08 picture showing the padding in her shoulders and the backfat.

I never thought the Gutsy pic looked like Sarah was wearing the professional empathy belly that Audrey showed, because it looked huge & too many lines would show. But this Amazon belly would explain the shoulders and back.

To me, it was a BINGO moment!

Ottoline
05/05/2011 07:19

hasslefree -- I think the thing you are referring to as a belt is actually the grey bottom border of her scarf. If you look at some of the other lightened photos it seems more clear. (This point was discussed long ago on Audrey's blog.)

Ottoline
05/05/2011 07:33

A wonderfully clear recap of this photo. Thank you! Thank you!!

At this point, any "documentation" SP might present, or even any new eyewitnesses to the great event (beyond Chuck saying he was there and saw Trig "pop out" --ugh!) would still conflict with this photo. This photo, which I consider proof (to me, it is 100%, not 95%) has to be explained by anyone claiming SP was pregnant as stated.

To my knowledge, no one claiming SP is innocent of this hoax has ever addressed this photo (or any of the other too-flat photos just before "birth).

KarenJ
05/05/2011 07:46

ProChoiceGrandma, just a suggestion, re: the caption under the right side picture at http://tinyurl.com/3rnuku5

You might edit the caption to read "3-28-08 Notice shoulders and humpback" rather than referring to "backfat".

She wasn't fat, just padded.

B
05/05/2011 07:52

Excellent. Hope you send a link to O'Malley and her fellow Palin apologists.

Two points:
1. Evidence showing Palin could not be pregnant, i.e., that has no alternative explanation, is conclusive. On the other hand, pictures showing her with a protruding belly under clothing have an alternative explanation and are not conclusive.
2. Audrey and others had to dig during 2008 and 2009 for ANY photos of Palin from early 2008. Alaska had removed them from its website, probably because they contradict Palin's claim of pregnancy.

crystalwolfakacaligrl
05/05/2011 08:27

Love that a bot left a recipe for "mock" apple pie, like "mock"/"faux" pregnancy!
Thank you Brad & Laura for keeping on this! The bots will take one word such as O'Malley's "Photoshopped" pics and will use that to discredit your whole article (like she did) So I'm glad you are keeping on this.
I just googled 7 mos pregnant and got a Celeb wearing black...
http://bit.ly/lVfCPc

Thought it a good comparison or maybe NO comparison?

Ferry Fey
05/05/2011 09:35

"Looking pregnant in the face" could be normal water weight from her menstrual cycle if she was not actually pregnant.

If you are looking for other copies of a photo, tineye.com can be a useful resource. Someone might have shown both photos with this scarf together at some time. Just don't open the ones from domains in minor countries -- I have a feeling they might be virus bait.

hasslefree
05/05/2011 09:59

Thank you, everyone for your eyes that are better than mine. I see now that it is the scarf. This woman's wacky wardrobe sometimes gives me fits!

05/05/2011 11:24

Very interesting, Laura. If anyone is going to get to the bottom of this, you are.

Along with being a fantastic writer, you really are a kick ass reporter. I'm impressed.

curiouser
05/05/2011 12:32

Laura, I hope you'll consider including the link to the ADN photo. Apologies if it's there and I missed it.

http://www.adn.com/2008/03/14/v-gallery/345168/parnell-to-battle-young-in-republican.html

FrostyAK
05/05/2011 13:14

Brad, you might want to get a few of the "bin Laden death photos" for comparison and discuss how they WERE photoshopped.

05/05/2011 13:14

I wonder where this story will lead, or how it will turn out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/05/carla-bruni-pregnant-pictures_n_858094.html

Banyan
05/05/2011 13:52

Anyone wishing to simulate a "pregnancy" face, can do so with the a course of steroids.

Laura
05/05/2011 14:04

I think a better question to those who have had five pregnancies would be:
Have you ever been smaller in the subsequent pregnancy than you were in previous pregnancies.
If so, were there any unusual circumstances to account for the difference?

I think the important comparison is not Sarah's look vs. other's looks, but Sarah's 1st pregnancy (where she looked like a boat at the end of her first pregnancy) vs. 2d, 3d, 4th & 5th.

I suspect some obstetricians could give you an expert opinion on this.

DebinOH
05/05/2011 15:20

Another good post. I am still amazed that all of her journalist friends insist she was pregnant without ever discussing any of the obvious bizarre evidence. I don't know how they can call themselves journalists.

curiouser
05/05/2011 16:09

AKRNC - Thanks in advance for trying to find the 2007 photo of the suit. I'd love to see it.

Banyan
05/05/2011 16:10

I'd be interested (eventually) in some expert photographic/medical commentary on the pictures of the (allegedly) various babies presented as Trig - the "ruffled" ear Trig pics compared/contrasted with the other Trig ears, especially.

SLQ
05/05/2011 16:58

I really don't think her face looks fuller than normal. If you compare it to her "non-pregnant" pre-Trig face, there's no difference. If you compare it to now, she appears to be slimmer in general, and so her face now appears less full.

Sharon Lim
05/05/2011 18:54

First of all I am a recently retired
RN Diabestes Care Manager with 34 years nursing experience. I also have had approximately 6-7 years experience working in OB-Gyn. And yes, I worked and saw many, many pregnant women. I also floated into and worked Ob-Gyn advice phones for 4-5 years.

I also was married, am presently widowed. We had two children, who are now grown. I am 5' 5" and weigh 127 pounds. I weighed approximately 159 pounds at full term with my first child. I weighed approximately 138 pounds full term with my second child. I am more pear shaped, with flat abdomen. No,I could not hide my
pregnancy at 7 months in a fitted skirt. No my lower abdomen was not flat at seven months gestation.

I want to say I enjoyed this article tremendously. I respect and appreciate Brad Schallots explanation of digital photography and photoshopping. Since he also teaches this as a college course, I will assume he is somewhat of an expert. I also like the professional objective based arguments and explanations he presents.

I will attempt to give an objective unbiased professional medical opinion based on fact I have seen/cared for approximaately 18,000 pregnant woman while working in OB-Gyn. Please note this is very conservative estimate, as I only factored in 3 years to allow for routine GYN patients.

(1)Sarah Palin - 7 months pregnant?
(a)Both lightened pictures reveal
she would definitely not be 7
months. Sarah is not heavy, so
pregnancy is more difficult to
hide/conceal
(b)The abdomen is too flat. Even a
constrictive girdle/etc. would
not pull in abdomen to the extent
seen in picture. Why? She has
seven month fetus in her lower
abdomen. And skirt she is
wearing is too straight and
fitted, and too revealing of her
abdomen.
(c)7 month fetus is approximately 14
to 16 inches long. Weight is
about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds. And
additional abdomenal increase in
bulge seen due amniotic fluid.

I have also heard of the amniotic fluid leaking, wide ride back to Alaska, and the delivery of Trig at 8 months gestation, at a hospital that does not have the level of neonatal intensive care that a high risk down syndrome baby may need. I will not elaborate in this post, but I did find Sarah's story
highly questionable, and possibility of dangerous medical emergency incidents occurring high.

I realize we are only speculating. But since picture was taken by Anchorage Daily News reporter, picture validity is much higher. I still strongly stand by my professional medical analysis,
Sarah is not 7 months pregnant in this photo.

physicsmom
05/05/2011 20:53

physicsmom
05/05/2011 21:00

Thanks Laura and Brad for this informative discussion. One of the things I've always wondered about was the fact that Sarah told Elan Frank that she hid her pregnancy with strategically placed scarves. This was a few days after she announced the pregnancy. Once everyone knew, why did she still need the scarves? I know of only one picture of her wearing the scarf prior to her announcement (the group photo of all the governors in Washington about a week before spilling the beans). Of course, all the rest of the photos of $P from Jan-April were scrubbed from the Alaska website.

This photo is important because it appeared in the AK newspaper of record, but the "nail in the coffin" photo for me is still the one in the museum when she didn't wear the scarf. That one can be accurately dated by the event which took place that day (a girl scout thing? I don't remember, but the museum files would show it). I think that pic is worth your examination too Brad, since the date can be established. Keep working on this if you can.

05/06/2011 08:17

Great point, Physics Mom: why keep wearing the scarves once she was "out" about the pregnancy. And you ALL make great points. I too was willing to say that the suit might have just been a few sizes too big. But a pregnancy shape is so distinct, the pooch comes in such a specific place, that it makes no sense.

Good to see an experienced RN here, as well as people with photography experience. And of course those of you who have followed this story so closely.

I have a few ledes to work up on this. And Brad and I have more in store with photo analysis.

I would also like to get the "conversation" going with Alaskans in particular. A new post on that soon. Perhaps AKRNC and Frosty AK will take the lead on that one.

Many thanks to all. Brad's work was terrific on this. And I was able to put aside my own "Oh it was Photoshopped" bias.

Meantime, a mom of 4 just tweeted: that woman was not pregnant! about this photo. Onward!

B
05/06/2011 09:09

Sully linked to this post!

curiouser
05/06/2011 09:10

Laura - I wonder if you could get help from Dr. Meredith Nash, The Baby Bump Project.

"Dr. Meredith Nash’s current research focuses on pregnant body image, celebrity pregnancy and motherhood. Meredith has appeared on Today, 9am with David and Kim, Today Tonight, A Current Affair and Mornings with Kerri-Anne talking about pregnant/postpartum bodies."

Her blogger profile places her in Australia which might make her willing to go 'on the record'.

http://babybumpproject.blogspot.com/2007/09/kim-raver-just-bump-with-no-head.html

rubbernecking
05/06/2011 10:07

Thank you, Laura and Prof Scharlott for keeping the heat on this story.

I'm the guily party for introducing the theory of pregorxia. I'm not offended by pushback. But I want to explain again why I considered this angle. I was baffled by the strongly-held opposing views on this story. Like many people on these threads, I DON'T BELIEVE the tale of the Wild Ride and based on the photographic evidence I DON'T BELIEVE Palin was pregnant in March 2008. However, I also tried to consider the viewpoint of reasonable people who believe Palin's pregnancy is a proven fact. I concluded that the pregnancy believers must be giving some weight to Dr. CBJ's letter. I then asked myself "Is there any way for both CBJ's letter and the photos to be true?" (BTW, frog boiling is a myth. See http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp).

My pregorxia theory asks is it possible that Palin had a premature delivery in Jan or Feb in 2008? Is it possible that Palin had/has an eating disorder that allowed her to hide an unplanned, unwanted pregancy in this period when no one was looking for it? Could cosmetic treatments like facial fillers minimize the affect of an eating disorder on Palin's appearance? (BTW, in the book "Game Change", there is a story about McCain staffers freaking out about Palin's eating habits--e.g., that some days she consumed nothing but a small amount of diet soda.) When Palin realized her premature baby would live, she had to create a public narrative for her pregnancy--thus the Wild Ride and occasional padded belly for a photo-op.

Again, I only came to consider the pregorxia THEORY under the mindset that Dr CBJ's letter MIGHT be factually accurate and written in a way to protect CBJ when the truth is finally revealed. And CBJ may not even know the whole truth. The author of the pregorxia story on momlogic says she was able to hide her eating disorder from her OB/GYN. Maybe this OB/GYN could be contacted?

rubbernecking
05/06/2011 10:49

Last point, *if* pregorxia is a real disorder, there is a public health benefit to raising awareness of it.

People reluctant to discuss a faked pregnancy may be willing to discuss pressure on pregnant women to conform to new beauty standards. It's certainly creates another avenue for getting wider dissemination of the March photos (e.g., even career women feel the pressure!)

Simple inquiry into the type of diet/exercise needed to build Palin-like abs that hold a 7-month pregnancy could lead more people to speak about how incredible these photos really are.

AnecdotallySpeaking
05/06/2011 11:19

As much as I abhor Sarah Palin (and the doofus that thought the half-term failed governor would make a good VP), I have seen a young woman (in her 20s) 6-7 months pregnant who did not look pregnant.

At a college dorm party many years ago (early 80s), a couple of young ladies were there. Both were attractive Asians, but one had a slightly odd shape. Although a friend and I both noticed the odd shape, neither one of us ever thought it was because she was pregnant.

A month later the janitor of the dorm (an 11 story building) found a dead baby, nearly full-term, in the trash chute. The baby was traced back to one the young Asian lady's room. It seems she got pregnant from a young man in the Chinese Consulate in the city. Since she was unmarried it was a great embarrassment to be pregnant, so she either tried to hide it or tried to deny it to herself. When she had the baby, she threw it away.

So, not all woman will show equally. Of course, SP could squash all talk by simply releasing the related medical records (as Andrew Sullivan has stated many, many times).

John Q
05/06/2011 11:20

Just a small point: There doesn't seem to be that much pincushioning in the original, and the barrel correction added is overdone. Look at the doorframes under the number 2525: in the original the pincushioning is barely noticeable. After the barrel "correction", it is noticeably curved. Which means that Ms. Palin at the other end of the picture has also been similarly "curved" - i.e. overstraightened.

As I say - a minor point, and to my mind doesn't detract from the overall analysis of the photo.

John Q
05/06/2011 11:26

P.S. Also look at the vertical frame to Ms. Palin's left: it is almost straight in the original, but noticeably curved after the "correction".

rubbernecking
05/06/2011 12:23

Here's the exact quote from "Game Change" regarding Palin's eating habits that worried McCain staffers during the VP debate prep:

"She wasn't eating (a few small bites of steak a day, no more). She wasn't drinking (maybe half a can of Diet Doctor Pepper, no water, ever)."

Go to books.google.com and search for the exact phrase "a few small bites of steak a day, no more" to bring up the relevant page in "Game Change."

It doesn't prove an eating disorder but it does shows how she behaved under stress.

05/06/2011 12:59

Good catch, Rubbernecking. I have to wonder if there wasn't some sort of depression or self-sabotage going on with that campaign eating. But nevertheless, I agree that this is a good blog in which to vent theories and try out ideas. We're all adults and can agree or disagree maturely. I know little about the condition, but it resonated with you and I appreciate you approaching the subject.

And John Q (public?) tell me further what you mean by the photo distortion. Are you saying that she would be less bowed back?

Yes, it IS interesting that the three people middle of this (or 5!) could stop this embarrassing speculation.

I am hoping more Alaskans will weigh in on the topic. I know that I appreciate hearing from all of you. Thank you!

mumimor
05/06/2011 13:26

Another great interview - this is really a good blog.
The picture is really convincing - that can not be a 7 months pregnant woman, if that woman is small and slender (as a professional) above already noted.
Since you are asking for our personal experience, here is mine.
When I was young, I was very slender, as in size 0 or at most 2, often buying children's jeans for myself, because they were cheaper. I was so thin, people would often comment I looked pregnant when I had eaten a proper meal. (Fortunately, I kept eating even when the comments hurt. The shape came from sports-training, not starving).
During my two pregnancies, at 30 and 35, I never wore conventional maternal wear, and I kept on wearing heels. I put on a lot of weight, but lots of people said I looked slim and fit (I felt horrible, both times). I couldn't eat because everything tasted strange, so most of the weight was from water (and milk, bananas and Italien "Gelato")
During both pregnancies, from about week 20, I looked obviously pregnant. I couldn't have worn jeans or a pencil skirt if I'd wanted to. I believe being slim and in good shape enhanced the effect, rather than hid it.
I could (and sometimes did) dress in a way where I'd "look strange" or "look chubby" rather than pregnant. But I couldn't have appeared slender and not pregnant to anyone.
Looking around at my friends at the time, and family, I can't remember anyone looking not pregnant at all at seven months. Maybe one very large-framed and strong girl-friend looked less pregnant. But not un-pregnant, like Sarah Palin
Good luck with the research!

curiouser
05/06/2011 13:29

rubbernecking - Considering your pregorxia theory, I looked through the public photos of Sarah Sept. '07 through Feb. '08. There simply aren't any signs of weight loss in any area of her face or body. The use of fillers couldn't account for her very normal appearance. I just don't see how pregorxia could fit Palin's case.

B
05/06/2011 13:54

@physicsmom. The nail-in-coffin photo seemed to be persuasive only to people familiar with pregnancy, like you and me, whereas almost everyone understands that the ADN photo's totally flat belly can't be 7 1/2 months pregnant.

Brad Scharlott
05/06/2011 15:24

Hi John Q-

Right, the door is bent in the altered photo. I think that's because the pincushioning (or whatever the distortion was) vs. barreling were not exact mathematical mirror images of each other, in terms of effect. Of course, if I was wrong about the pincushioning, then a different adjustment might have been better. I do think I got Palin looking pretty much the way she should have looked.

05/06/2011 15:52

Someone just sent me this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1384143/Lauren-Peberdy-went-bathroom-gave-BIRTH-idea-pregnant.html

Ah, those British rags. Only they could print a story like this. Well, it's good for a Friday afternoon chuckle because it's simply impossible, isn't it????

Mumimor
05/06/2011 16:49

Hmm. The Daily Mail made me try an other angle to this. I imagined I was a pregnant woman not showing, and worried. So here is one of the things I found on the internets: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061108182015AA4wgAe
I have to say, this has made me think again that while Sarah Palin always lies, and the wild ride is a crazy story, she may have been pregnant.
I know, it seems strange, given that this is #5 child. But she may have been training a lot in their home fitness centre. Or something.

honestyingov
05/06/2011 18:14

One topic that is totally relevant to the discussion and 1 part of the equation is what happened BEFORE these pictures were taken. The months leading up to it.

Palin has placed small tidbits of info sprinkled throughout her "Going Rogue" book about the various ' tests ' she had done as a part of her pre-natal care. Mothers grandmothers and various medical personnel have said that doing the Tests at the weeks/time she claims would be either dangerous or would tell nothing and be inconclusive.These statements seemed to be added to make the story sound better in the book.

But what I am suggesting as questions to be raised to Mom's based on their experience is this. From the time you find out you are pregnant... how many Visits would you take to your Dr or OBGYN for checkups and at what intervals. What is typical, normal or average.What do OBGYN's recommend? Over a 7 month period ( up to the pic time frame )how many times would she have gone to see Dr. CBJ? Because it's not like your sitting Governor would be able to go unnoticed or unrecognized ( for 7 months )visiting her Dr.( she said CBJ was her only Dr.)There is no back-door like in a Bar where you can sneak in un-noticed during business hours. According to the ADN NO one knew until she told them March 6th.

And IF she had ANY Dr's visits it would show her being ' off ' or unavailable on her Daily Governors Scheduling, Right?
The upcoming emails to be released on May 31st may have some insights and hidden Facts.

Even if there were " ANY " Dr's visits, made up to the 7th month picture, that would also seem to show/prove her negatively as well.It would confirm how deceptive and manipulativly she can be as she was able to hide and keep it a secret. The conclusion then is that she is good at being deceptive and hiding things. In her own words and Her own statements she said she was trying to be deceptive..." I started wearing scarves, trying to hide it" She likes to Hide things... her own words.

So, up to that 7th month period of March 6th.... How many of these Dr's visits is typical or normal? And since she SAID she KNEW she was in the ' high-risk ' category with all those factors, common sense would say someone in her condition would require MORE than what is Average. Maybe one of the questions to Moms in the next post will be How many visits did You have,( up to 7 months) and they can weigh in.

Dual
05/06/2011 18:26

I think you should let go of the pincushioning idea: it's a red herring. John Q has it right: use the building's very helpful lines as your guide and you'll see there wasn't much distortion in this photo in the first place.

It doesn't matter. Your analysis is still valid in all other respects.

Steko
05/06/2011 19:39

Anecdotal evidence from your own pregnancy doesn't count for much. Frankly with Google it isn't hard to find many stories of women who didn't show at 7 months.

Posed photographs also aren't the best measure of a persons actual body. I have a decent sized gut but I can suck it in for a photo. Now a baby isn't the same thing but don't tell me a superficial woman you can't minimize the bump because again Google proves women can and do.

Reading too much into a single digit of precision is also questionable. "7 months" covers a range.

Brad Scharlott
05/06/2011 20:40

Dual - Right. I am no longer sure exactly what the lens distortion was. I wrote to the photographer and asked what lens he used so I can figure it out. No word back. But there was some distortion.

mistah charley, ph.d.
05/07/2011 06:51

If you focus on a single photo, there's room for reasonable doubt. "Could Sarah look like this and actually give birth x weeks later?" Well, maybe. But use all the data, including the very observable contrast between some dates and others. "Could she look like this on such and such a date and, weeks later, look like this?" Obviously not. "Could she look as pregnant as she looks in this picture and have flown by commercial airline?" Obviously not. One can doubt obsessively if one takes a particular photo in isolation. Put them all together, and there is only one conclusion. In my opinion.

Brad Scharlott
05/07/2011 10:40

Steko: "Reading too much into a single digit of precision is also questionable."

If you are referring to my saying "I am at least 95 percent confident" she was not pregnant, that's a short-hand way in the sciences of saying it's beyond a reasonable doubt - 95 percent confidence is a statistical threshold (where a statistical test is used) for accepting that your hypothesis is probably correct.

V
05/09/2011 05:00

Great piece - looking fotward to part 2!

Dangerous
05/09/2011 14:52

To honestyingov,

These are very good factual questions you raise, and we have investigated them. So far as I know, nobody has found ANY record in SP's calendar, emails, or other records, either before or after her "pregnancy" announcement of having any pre-natal care doctor visits or any at all. She's told stories about various tests, as you describe, but they are all hearsay without corroboration.

If we had found some entries in her schedule pre-dating her announcement, that may well have settled the issue, although a notation of a doctor's visit alone is hardly sufficient as proof of pregnancy. She might have just had a cold, as one possible reason for a visit. Even so, despite the shear volume of communications and the closely-followed schedule (and police protection), there's no independent confirmation that she ever visited any doctor about anything. Since such a high-risk pregnancy would leave a paper trail a mile long, the lack of this kind of evidence is crucial in supporting a conclusion that she made up the pregnancy story after the fact.

SP's and her defenders' argument is that she intentionally kept it a secret, and that's why we can't find any evidence of it. To wit, I guess they are arguing, without direct evidence, that she saw Dr. CBJ on the down-low. To that, I counterargue -- quite effectively, I think -- that all this does is admit to deception in the matter. And if she admits to carrying off a hoax of non-pregnancy for months and months, why should we think she would carry off a hoax of pregnancy for just a few weeks. The lack of a paper trail support that conclusion better.

But he's one more thing to consider. SP and family were living IN JUNEAU during most of the period involved. That's hundreds of miles and at flight from Dr. CBJ's office. So if she was SP's doctor, one or the other had to travel to arrange it. While SP travelled frequently to Anchorage and Wasilla, and could have had her pre-natal visits on the sly then, again there's no record of it.

Nor does it make any sense that Dr. CBJ, so far from her supposed patient with a high-risk pregnancy, would be her primary physician. She should recommend an appropriate doctor in Juneau who would at least be familiar with the circumstances and could provide care if necessary while SP was there. That could be confidential as well, and for all we know, it might have happened that way.

But if that's the case, why do we know nothing of any doctor but Dr. CBJ? Again the whole story falls apart under close scrutiny, with hole after hole after hole that SP refused to address and her defenders can't possibly answer except to speculate that there has to be an explanation that we don't know about.

To close the loop on this thought and your line of inquiry, our lack of affirmative evidence to show either an SP pregnancy or pre-natal care, combined with non-credible or missing explanations for the pre-natal circumstances, renders SP's testimony on the subject completely worthless vis-a-vis the truth. You can't just choose to "believe" her or give her the benefit of the doubt, as Andrew Sullivan does. Any witness lacking anything independent to back up their story would not be assigned much credibility in a court of law. If, on the other hand, there was ONE SHRED of evidence in her schedule or emails pointing to pre-natal visits -- such as an email to Todd in January 2008 reminding him that she has to go see Dr. CBJ for "you know what" -- her credibility to an impartial person would soar.

Instead, no shred.

Zyxomma
05/12/2011 22:01

To Dangerous: On what evidence do you base "SP and family were living IN JUNEAU during most of the period involved?" As far as I recall, people in Juneau were wearing "Where's Sarah?" buttons, because she was living in Wasilla, and charging the State of Alaska per diems for living in her own house. Were you in Juneau at the time? If so, please clarify.

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05/13/2011 15:29

Fascinating!
It's good that you are keeping the conversation going, Laura.

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Les
05/26/2011 13:46

To nitpicker, I agree.

I truly feel the only reason a small portion of America stalks her is due to lack of life. I mean personally stalk her, not politically. There's a difference. This is a family not unlike anyone else's. Actually, my family makes them look like the Cleavers. They're never going to split. Bristol made her frustration with "haters" clear last year through now. She and the rest are sick of people trying to destroy their family. Her words. There's seriously something wrong with a person when he/she feels the need to endlessly speculate on things they could not POSSIBLY know, even as a friend of one of the family. It's ridiculous how many horrid rumors and outright lies there are out there. It's sick and demented.

It sucks that celebs and public figures go through this, but if they couldn't take it, they'd go home. No one's stupid.

In the end, everyone's selfish and returns to paying attention to their own lives. Having the desire to know a specific part of someone's life (Trig's origins) isn't natural. He has nothing to do with you. He is a Palin. He is a brother and son of the Palins.

Now, the deception is another thing. But that has nothing to do with who Trig is. Let it be.

Concentrate on politics, not personal stuff. You will be more successful and look less evil yourself.

Lee
05/31/2011 21:21

I have never liked Sarah Palin. To me, it is unforgivable that she would get on a plane for an 8 hour trip after her water broke. I had my water break 6 weeks early, and my number one priority was getting to the hospital ASAP so that my child would get the best care.

Despite my feelings about her, but I am reluctant to question whether she is Trig's mother. I ran across this blog, and noticed that people were looking for pictures of Sarah from early 2008. I have used the Wayback Machine website many times. It is a site that archives websites, so I checked to see if the Alaska governor's site had been archived, and it had. So people might want to check there for photos. I saw one there from Feb 26, 2008. The URL for the Wayback Machine is http://web.archive.org/. The beta version is better. Just be forewarned that the site is slow.

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