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LN:  I was just reflecting the other day on how you and I met, Brad. Or rather, how we connected. You had written your paper on the spiral of silence surrounding the Sarah Palin birth hoax. And Gryphen posted some information about it. I read your paper and found it fascinating. So, I emailed you and asked if I could interview you for my blog. Next thing you know, here we are, going on five months later.

BS:  Some might say you and I have become the Stiller and Meara of all things Babygate, but I prefer Woodward and Bernstein. (I’m the one played by Robert Redford.)

LN:  That’s okay. I never wanted to be Robert Redford. I only wanted to date him. Anyway, I know that in this time since we’ve worked together, you’ve re-written your paper and pushed it out into the world a few more times. Tell us where you are with all of that.

BS:  I’ve rewritten it in magazine format. The original format was as an academic research paper, but it was in truth always more of a journalistic expose than a theoretical paper. The theory part, about the spiral of silence, was only the last five pages; the first 20 pages was an expose of Babygate. So in rewriting it, I have made its form true to its overriding original purpose: to expose the shortcomings of the press in covering Babygate, which necessitated exposing Babygate itself.

LN:  They go hand in hand don’t they? And I can say having read all the versions that you make an excellent case for both. Your writing is tight and sophisticated. And it’s also evolved as you’ve worked through the story. Explain what your goal was with that.

BS:  The rewrite is shorter, bolder, and much more forceful than the earlier paper. In the original paper, I avoided any mention of Gryphen’s “Tale of Two Trigs” theory. In the rewrite, I include that stuff. And I think the multiple Trigs idea has probably spooked some magazines from accepting the article. That does not surprise me. In April, I would not even mention in radio interviews the possibility of different babies being shown as Trig at different times. I did not have a strong sense then that that part of the story was almost certainly true and crucial to understanding what happened. But now I do feel that way.

LN:  And yet, the editors you’ve submitted to are still not biting. What kinds of things are they saying?

BS:  Here is part of a nice rejection note I got from a British publication: “Thank you for your interesting read. I am sorry but I am not sure that it is something we would take on as I would need to start from scratch to satisfy myself of all sources etc. and I am not 100% sure that even this would get to the bottom. What is needed is a whistleblower. Her daughter's doctor – or something.”

The online editor of a different publication, one in the U.S., indicated he definitely would use my article, in fact would feature it, based on seeing my original paper. After I sent the revision, he decided he’d better check with his publisher, who said no.

LN:  How did you react when you heard back from both these editors?

BS:  Their reactions did not surprise me. If you haven’t really familiarized yourself with the facts surrounding the hoax, it does sound a bit surreal.

LN:  In your paper you are very critical of the press for being timid and easily manipulated by Palin. Now you sound sympathetic to those who will not accept your revised article for publication. Aren’t you being inconsistent?

BS:  Well, I need to draw a distinction. It was the press corps covering Palin in 2008 that deserves the most criticism. There were red flags back then that a hoax had probably happened. When the McCain campaign responded to the fake-birth rumors by throwing Bristol under the bus and claiming she was five months pregnant – and thus could not be Trig’s mother – the journalists’ bullshit sirens should have been blaring. (As it turns out, since more than one baby has almost certainly been displayed as Trig at different times, there’s no telling what relation Bristol has to the current “normal ears” Trig with Down syndrome.) As for current editors who are encountering much of this Babygate stuff for the first time, I can understand how they might find my revised paper on the very edge of believability, despite all the evidence I present.

LN:  So isn’t this a Catch-22: Many editors find the Babygate saga unbelievable because no one in the mainstream press has written about it, but no one in the mainstream press will write about it for fear that people will find it unbelievable?

BS:  Yep. That sums it up nicely.

LN:  And what about their standard of proof? They talk about sources or whistleblowers. Can you appreciate that and/or understand where they are coming from?

BS:  Well, libel laws in the U.K. are much stricter than in the U.S., so the editor of the British publication presumably was worried about the possibility of a defamation suit, among other things. He wanted a whistleblower for legal protection.

In the U.S. there is great protection for publications against libel suits when dealing with public figures. But even so, an editor might have legitimate legal concerns: for example, would Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson be considered a public figure for libel purposes? Actually, I am so careful in dealing with Dr. CBJ in my article that there should be no concern along those lines, but editors are not lawyers – they don’t know where those legal lines are.

But I suspect that even more important to U.S. editors and publishers than legal concerns are worries related to being attacked and ridiculed. Make no mistake, not just Palin lovers will attack any publication that would publish my article, so would Republicans who see the danger to their party if the details of the hoax became known. After my original paper went viral in April, we saw some pretty grubby things: “recovered memories” of how pregnant Palin looked in 2008 by underemployed journalists, columnists at supposedly liberal publications flogging those recovered memories and other nonsense in journalistically abysmal pro-Palin pieces, and of course right-wing bloggers calling me an idiot and worse.

Anyone who would publish my revised paper has to be ready for an onslaugh – just as Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington post, needed steely resolve as Woodward and Bernstein uncovered Watergater. In corporate America today, I don’t think there are many Ben Bradlees left.

LN:  Does that mean the truth will never come out?

BS:  I don’t think so. In the first place, just because I’ve had no luck so far finding a more traditional publisher to publish my revised article does not mean I cannot get that out to the larger world. I could post it at Scribd.com, for example, and then try to publicize that fact. But far more important is that Joe McGinniss, “Fred” (as he/she is known at Gryphen’s), and Levi Johnston have books coming out soon, and the first two, at least, and maybe Levi’s as well, should focus attention on the hoax.

As someone who has published in history journals, I am confident that in time the story of the massive fraud concerning Trig’s birth will eventually emerge. The question for me is, How long will that take? Are you likewise confident the truth will out, Laura?

LN: You know I’m one of the most widely read women writers on Scribd. It’s an excellent place to promote one’s writing. In fact, your original spiral of silence paper is up there.  But I think you’re right in that the forthcoming books that will land in people’s hands might make a real difference - if nothing else, in telling a story that makes no sense. While we don’t know what kind of evidence these books will reveal, we can assume that they will describe a climate where enough people doubted the very odd official version of events. And how far people are willing to go to dig into Palin’s past will have much to do with how much she inflicts herself on our collective future.

Thank you, Brad, for once again joining me for a great discussion. And for sharing these past five months with me here on my blog. I've really enjoyed your company and your expertise. 


 


Comments

Freddy el Desfibradddor
08/15/2011 07:12

This sounds like "Happy Trails to You" - a farewell post on the topic.

Of the three forthcoming books Brad mentions, McGinniss has already stated he doesn't venture into Trig Truth territory, and I doubt that Levi Johnston, he of the intimate hand-on-the-back-in-front-of-everyone, will provide anything substantial. That leaves "Fred", whom one can hope will deliver. We'll see.

"Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again."

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08/15/2011 07:54

It's not at all, Freddy. It's an update.

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Viola-Alex
08/15/2011 08:25

Question for Brad: Couldn't a MS outlet cover the story IF it focused on the Trig Truthers instead of the hoax? A story on the blogs, their readers, the believers, the growth of the blogs and their readership, why believers believe? That's what the MSM did on the Birther story. They always tiptoed around it by covering the "movement" and in so doing, publicized the belief itself.

That said, what about Mother Jones, Utne Reader, Vanity Fair?

Lastly, my feeling is that now that Palin is down, the vultures are descending. On NPR this weekend ( my only news source) they and the BBC were disparaging about Palin's movements, which is a departure from their past coverage. The BBC reporter actually said that Palin appears to be more interested in reality TV than politics.

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Jane
08/15/2011 08:26

Any thoughts on the theory that the child is Todd's from a mistress or hooker?? Why else would they keep it a secret from the family (if it is true that they kept it a secret).

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WakeUpAmerica
08/15/2011 08:29

Interesting view into the world of journalism. Thank you for the update.

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08/15/2011 09:19

I have theorized that the two babies are twins. Part of my reasoning is you would have to find two babies boys with Down Syndrome born at approximately the same time. Those two mothers (both with son's born with Down Syndrome at very same time period) agree to give Sarah their babies to be used as needed. I don't believe that is feasible. I believe that there is only one mother.

One of the reasons I came to this conclusion was because I am the aunt to identical twin nieces. They had developed 'twin-to-twin' syndrome while in utero. One of my nieces was noticeably larger than the other one at birth. It took a couple of years for the smaller one to completely catch up to the larger one in size and weight.

I went into the post in more detail here:

http://www.palinpeytonplace.com/2-babies-1-mother.html

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Helloit'sME
08/15/2011 09:23

I know of somebody who might BITE.
Greg Palast Aug 1st
"We are in the midst of a full-blown investigation of the nuclear industry which, despite Fukushima, is rising from the crypt, resurrected by billions of dollars in government guarantees. You think the Fukushima disaster was just a Japanese affair? We have the stone-cold evidence that earthquake testing at US plants has been faked. There's more. We have four nervous whistleblowers ready to tell their horror stories."

Which STORY IS MORE IMPORTANT? The NRC of course. But he just might grab The Biggest Hoax Ever!
I used to follow Palin until 3/11 when Fukashima EXPLODED.
Then my priorities changed.

GOOD LUCK!

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B
08/15/2011 09:24

@Freddy. I thought Joe said in his book he does examine the topic. He just remains Trignostic.

Thanks for the update, Laura & Brad. We're approaching the 3rd anniversary of Audrey's blog. We're learning patience.

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LisanTx
08/15/2011 09:31

Thanks for the update; the response from the publications is interesting. Brad, could you post your email address? I've been working on something I want to share with you.

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Brad Scharlott
08/15/2011 09:52

Freddy, I think you misunderstood McGinniss. He said he does not take a definitive stand on the Trig question in the book, but since he comes close:

"Joe McGinniss, whose book on Palin will soon appear, recently suggested Palin is a pathologically narcissistic psychopath. He also wrote that, regarding Trig, 'anything is possible, but … it’s more possible than not that Sarah’s whole story is a lie,' effectively striking a blow to shatter the spiral of silence."

I'm quoting my revised paper there – he is being very careful, but may be waiting for publication of his book to definitively call Palin out on the hoax.

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Celia Harrison
08/15/2011 10:10

It is clear to me having followed this story for a very long time that a large part of the reason people don't have the light bulb come on over their heads is the complexity of the story. To really understand SP faked her pregnancy and especially some of the stranger twists like more than one Trig one has to absorb the details. Thank you for being willing to take a risk for the truth and to expose our dysfunctional media.

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Mhurka
08/15/2011 11:49

I have always felt that the bigger the hoax or deception the easier it is to pull off because few will believe it let alone investigate it (One good example is Bernie Madoff). But that is human nature, I guess, and won't change any time soon. (Being a stubborn optimist, though, I am still keeping my fingers crossed.)

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Ferry Fey
08/15/2011 11:54

"As it turns out, since more than one baby has almost certainly been displayed as Trig at different times, there’s no telling what relation Bristol has to the current 'normal ears' Trig with Down syndrome."

Well said. I think it's really important for all of us to recalibrate our statements to reflect that. So many of us have felt that Bristol is very intimately involved with this mystery. But as the complexity of this grows, it's vital that we don't stay stuck in some of the more simplistic theories that sufficed with our earlier, more incomplete information.

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Diz
08/15/2011 11:58

If the 'ends of the story' are so puzzling and unbelieveable to so many doubters, why haven't they dared to wonder why such a vehemently vocal prolifer would keep her pregnancy a secret. Something she admits in her own book. From some of the public, maybe; but members of her family????

That those who read her book and the telling of the 'wild ride' still couldn't raise one iota of hmmmm? is beyond frightening as concerns the blind acceptance and protection of $P. Not one male candidate in my long memory would ever have gotten this far with a such a bizarre and questionable tale without closer public scrutiny. The big question remains, who or what is behind the cover-up and the cone of silence because it's apparently still working. I think RollingStone would dare run Prof Scharlott's paper but feel their primary demographic likely doesn't have much interest in birthing babies. I do hardily applaud them for consistently printing nitty gritty down and dirty exposes' on many other important issues tho.

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pam
08/15/2011 13:21

Thanks again for the continuing research and rewrites on this very important story. I agree that it is not just for when SP was relevant, but it provides an insight into how easily the public can be duped. There must be many others that have heard the wild ride story, see the pictures from the VP days, and wondered. How can anyone read her version of the birth events and not question it? I really don't' care who gave birth to Trig, I just know who didn't and why isn't that being discussed in the larger context of exactly who else knew? Certainly Levi knows, Bristol knows, Mercede knows whose child she was holding.. I agree the RS magazine would be a good outlet. How about Bill Mayer, is there anyway that Brad could get on his show? I could see him as a guest before he breaks into small group. Or how about Jon Stewart.. this almost so absurd that it leaps into the comedy realm.
Great post and keep up the difficult task of bringing this story up for publication, in any of them, all of them, to use Palintalk..

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FrostyAK
08/15/2011 13:24

Best bet might be Mother Jones to run the article to begin with. Their audience would be able to follow the inconsistencies in her birth "story". And they seem to have the cahones to delve into things the LSM won't.

The fact that NONE of the blog owners, academics, or authors who suggest her story doesn't add up have been seriously threatened with lawsuit should be enough to get a publisher to put the story out there. If she sues, she has to endure discovery, and PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that her story adds up. Which it doesn't. And that's why she won't sue.

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Brad Scharlott
08/15/2011 13:44

Pam - I was contacted last spring by a producer for the Colbert Report -- they wanted to fly me out to NY to be interviewed -- but then the idea must have been nixed, because she did not recontact me as she said she would.

I did write Mother Jones, but heard nothing. I have a few more feelers out.

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Banyan
08/15/2011 14:00

This is a theory. This is ONLY a theory, but it would explain many otherwise inexplicable threads in this case.

And this theory also has the advantage of being possible -- it has happened (though not quite like this) -- among my own family members and friends.

I propose that IVF was carried out (using, perhaps, Sarah's eggs), and that Fundie surrogates, eager to carry Queen Esther's baby and promote the "pro-life" agenda, were the surrogates. Bristol may (or may not) have been one of them.

During the IVF process, Down Syndrome embryos can be easily identified -- and implanted, if that was what a mother -- or her political/religious handlers wished to accomplish. (Most parents I know have chosen against carrying genetically abnormal babies.)

One older friend of mine went through this process and only two of many IVF fertilizations that resulted did *NOT* have DS. I suspect this is often the situation among over-forty mothers.

It is VERY difficult, however, for a mother over 40 to conceive AND bring to term a DS/or otherwise genetically abnormal child. Most such natural fertilizations probably miscarry before the mother even knows she's pregnant.

If Sarah DID have a tubal ligation, as some in Alaska have suggested, she could still have eggs removed if her ovaries were intact. They would probably have been extracted trans-abdominally -- which might account for the abdominal soreness Sarah complained of when visiting Shailey Tripp for a massage.

Several young hearty surrogate moms would need to be implanted at roughly the same time to produce the multiple Trigs we've been presented, because even in young mothers. these pregnancies often do not "take."

The young women might have been motivated by the "Snowflake mothers" whom President Bush once lauded, inviting them to the White House for a reception-- women who wished to make an ideological right-to-life statement by having other couples' left over embryos defrosted and implanted in themselves, thereby saving these embryos from stem cell research or being discarded.

Perhaps a young Bristol could have been one of the "mother ducks" for such a baby -- but I doubt that she acted alone. I totally doubt that Bristol had her own baby who just miraculously turned out to have DS to serve as Sarah's most politically powerful prop. This is too much of a coincidence, and there is evidence that planning for this pregnancy went back to 2006 -- see Frank Bailey's book.
( just at the time that Bush and his Snowflake Mothers were being featured in the news.)

Palin's "pregnancy" and her "Queen Estherhood" were thought out long in advance by Religious and/or Right-Wing politicos to advance Dominionism and/or simply GOP dominance. ( A great deal of ludicrous and cynical pandering goes on at the highest levels to keep the GOP "Base" loyal.)

So, in some ways, the resulting Trigs may indeed have been twins, may indeed be related to Sarah, etc., she just didn't give birth to any of them.

The Lord and Medical Science work in mysterious ways.

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Jess Imagine
08/15/2011 14:04

@Diz

Your comment suggests a wonderful idea for a paper to be written by a college anthropology professor who's as brave as Dr. Scharlott:

"Why Can't/Won't the PUBLIC Face the Glaring Inconsistencies of Sarah Palin's Pregnancy ?"

Of course, the paper we're all REALLY looking forward to reading is :

" Oy! So Much WORK We Had To Go To Before America Finally Wised Up and Accepted the Fact That Sarah Palin's Last Pregnancy Was a Complete Hoax Perpetrated By a Total Crazy Woman ... But Thank God That We'll Never Have to Hear Another Peep Out of Her -- Even After She Gets Out Of Prison !"

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08/15/2011 14:17

It seems to me that the March 26th photo of her exiting the building, when placed next to the Gusty photo - and accompanied by the opinion of a doctor - should be enough to introduce "beyond reasonable doubt". Obviously Sarah's dr can't speak, but another dr can (block out the heads if need be).

But I agree with Pam. The wool was pulled too easily over the sheeple's eyes.

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Dangerous
08/15/2011 14:23

I'd like to echo Ferry Fey's comment and I'm please that Brad has incorporated the Ruffles evidence in his article. It is VERY compelling evidence that something is amiss, although we can only speculate on what it is. The pictures unquestionably show two different babies -- unless you don't want to see what's clearly there.

The Ruffles dilemma strongly points to Trig-seen-today being born much earlier than the official date of 4/18/08. The only reasonable explanation I can figure for presenting a different infant from the real Trig was that the real Trig would not present as a newborn, and a late-developed ruse involving Sarah would have to produce a newborn.

So the wild ride could have been to claim Ruffles as the substitute, and Ruffles arrived early leaving Sarah stuck in Dallas. Or maybe they planned it that way to avoid detection -- but that's a poor plan leaving so many questions unanswered.

While trying to fit the Ruffles evidence in the theory of the case, it definitely opens up a larger window for Bristol to have two babies, but it is still very small window and nobody should be wedded (no pun intended) to that theory having to be the only solution to the puzzle.

Questions remain, however, with "Where was the real Trig while the Palins presented Ruffles?" at the top of the list.

But as the recently released March 26 photos show, we aren't wrong about this. The "nail-in-the-coffin" photo as Audrey called it way back was very strong evidence of non-pregnancy; the more recent ones provide an ever BETTER look than the head-on shot. There's clearly no baby inside that woman, and certainly not one that could grow in the proportions based on the Gusty photo 18 days later.

These photos, plus the Ruffles-vs.-Trig ear photos, provides enough physical evidence to go along with the mountain of circumstantial evidence to prove a faked pregnancy beyond a reasonable doubt, unless a juror is biased or indifferent.

Just because we can't prove all the details, especially who actually gave birth to which baby when, doesn't invalidate the central conclusion: Sarah Palin did not give birth to that kid!!

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search4more
08/15/2011 14:23

the Obama birth certificate story became a major story because a lot of effort was put into it. People were putting money on the line trying to take the case to the courts, radio hosts were pushing it, politicians were pushing it. The movement who strongly believed in it were on marches all over the country. The marches weren't specifically about that, but you could find people at these events who strongly believed Obama wasn't born in the US.

With the Palin pregnancy conspiracy (or whatever you want to call it), I don't see the same kind of energy. ......And that is a good thing because the Tea party people were...what's the polite way to put this...crazy!

If you wanted to drive this story into the news, you could absolutely do it, but it would take huge commitment, money and people willing to do some quite out there things. I don't believe anyone here is going to sue Palin, or follow her around to shout questions at her when the media is around, or picket, or do a stunt like projecting images of her not looking pregnant onto a famous building. ...Your all too nice and polite. Quite right to.

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K.M.R
08/15/2011 15:00

I understand that publishers are quick to worry about being sued but I'd also think they'd want to launch something novel and original and to be the first in with it too-boot. I know I'm personally bored stiff with the ordinary boring same ol' same ol' crap that gets dished out to us. I think that's why people turn to the computer. It's always the same kind of stuff no matter if you are watching in New York, Chicago or Denver (generally speaking).
I just know that when the truth finally breaks, with all it's various tentacles reaching out into so many areas they'll all be fighting for a piece of the action.
I guess we just have to be patient and wait for the proper astronomical alignments (I'm half kidding) for this hoax to get legs.
Hey, typing that out just gave me another thought... maybe this will be the Dec. 12, 2012 change that has been predicted (only kidding again).

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Freddy el Desfibradddor
08/15/2011 15:14

I stand corrected - McGinnis will apparently deal to some extent with the Trig issue, and I guess we'll see when it is released exactly what facts he adduces and conclusions he reaches.

Among the zealots at conservatives4palin, it is an article of faith that Sarah will soon announce her candidacy, and immediately move into the lead. These events, were they to occur, would make Palin very newsworthy. Without them - not so much. In which case, relatively little attention may be given by the Lame Stream Media to the whole medium-temperature mess.

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lazrgrl
08/15/2011 16:41

@ Jess Imagine Don't be so sure. Our crooked ex-con governor came back to host a right wing talk radio show, right after Rush.

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AFM
08/15/2011 17:19

Well Palin has no pride. I keep saying she will run. She will look like a fool that she is but she will run for the sake of money.

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Leona
08/15/2011 17:19

Who would ever think that a community of about 5,000-7,000 people would be pretty much mute about the life of a celebrity living in their midst, but there they are, the citizens of Wasilla. They all seem incapable of speaking up about much of anything. The celebrity in question has a lot of power, and one has to ask why on earth would ordinary people say nothing about the celebrity unless they are afraid of reprisal.

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Banyan
08/15/2011 19:59

Interesting news story I just saw on Huffington Post:

Alaskan members of the US Congress (Lisa Murkowski, etc.) were just sent "suspicious" packages containing white powder.

The return address on at least one of the packages indicated that it was mailed from Arizona.

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FrostyAK
08/15/2011 20:36

@ Leona. Exactly, they are afraid of reprisal. Look at what mr and mrs TP have done to others who dared speak out...

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TF
08/15/2011 21:29

@ Celia Harrison: I agree that part of the difficulty in this story is its complexity, especially in the way it is generally presented. It's too much to take in if you try to present all the evidence at once. It sort of reminds me of trying to convince my family that Valerie Plame was outed by the Bush White House - or Cheney White House, depending on your view. It was too easy to lose them in all of the minutia.

I think part of the problem is that once you go beyond the conclusion that SP could not have been pregnant, the story splinters into mostly speculation - which is fine for us as we try to figure out the truth, but the speculation is distracting and not very persuasive to many.

I think Laura has done a wonderful job of breaking the story down, by presenting the evidence in discrete parts. But most people are not going to devote the time we do - even when the story is broken down - to poring over photos and blog posts or combing through different versions of the Palin myths looking for nuggets of truth.

It is very frustrating to realize all the print and air time the media devoted to Obama's birth certificate and yet the media continues to smother this story. If we are the crackpots they apparently think we are, you'd think that would be a huge story in and of itself.

FWIW, I do think in order for most people to grasp the story it has to be kept simple. I'd boil the story down to these elements, offered in three installments:

(1) The photo evidence from the last 18 days of her purported pregnancy show Palin could not be the birth: the photo from March 14 (flat belly), the two from March 18 (slightly thick belly), and the Gutsy photo(full ready-to-drop belly). These four photos, along with the explanation of the effect of the fetus’ growth on the mother’s body - are the most powerful evidence she is not Trig's birth mother.

(2) The Wild Ride story, according to Palin, with an analysis of the most salient points:
 the risk of a precipitous delivery given her previous history of pregnancies and miscarriages;
 the risk of infection to herself and the baby by flying 10 hours and waiting more than 18 hours after she began leaking amniotic fluid before seeking medical attention;
 the risk to a baby already diagnosed with Down Syndrome, which carried with it the likelihood of heart defects, in bypassing hospitals with NICU facilities in Texas, Seattle and Anchorage, to deliver at the community hospital in her home town

(3) A comparison and analysis of the photos of “Trig” as a baby: the April 18th presentation by the Heaths; the Ruffles baby; and the convention baby.


All the other intriguing details aside, these are the elements that we all keep coming back to and are, I think, the easiest to grasp. I’d be surprised if most people wouldn’t want to know more – lots more – if only to try to prove us wrong.

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Ivyfree
08/16/2011 04:44

"So many of us have felt that Bristol is very intimately involved with this mystery."

Because there is so much evidence that Bristol was pregnant in the fall of 2007.

I personally believe that one of the Trigs was Bristol's baby, but I'm not sure which one. And I believe that because Bristol is the kid who got her own condo, who got her own truck, who got DWTS, who got her own TV program. Sarah clearly owes Bristol for something, and Bristol isn't shy about using Sarah.

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Me
08/16/2011 06:00

Where can I find his paper? I typed the title into Google and clicked on the scribd link it led me to, but it says it's been deleted.

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GB
08/16/2011 07:18

@Brad, if there's one person in the country who would run this story in spite of the MSM refusal it is Larry Flynt. He's spent his life swimming against the current of conventional wisdom.

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Viola-Alex
08/16/2011 08:34

My comment wasn't addressed RE: positioning the hoax story on its believers. If that is the tactic -- vs. an attack on the media-- then there is a way to tell the complexities through the believers. In other words, I believe in the hoax based on my intuition. Others believe because of photo evidence. Others, because of the wild ride. I realize that you, Brad, see the story through your lens as a journalist and historian. But there are other ways to present it.

But we, the people who have been following this for three+ years, are a story too. I realize it's not your story, but it's a thought.

(forgive me. it's my advertising background. if one position doesn't work, you try another.)

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Viola-Alex
08/16/2011 08:37

Henry Blodget's recent post on Business Insider (citing Laura's blogpost) is the tightest summary of the Trig hoax I've read. It's simple, compelling, and to the point -- without dragging in all the angles.

http://www.businessinsider.com/new-sarah-palin-photos-trig-pregnant-2011-8

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mistah charley, ph.d.
08/16/2011 09:57

I applaud Banyan's theory of multiple IVF Trigs. It seems like an awful lot of trouble, and a great deal of planning ahead, but it's not completely impossible. As a plot, it's beautiful to contemplate. If we ever have the real story, it may be a bit less complicated.

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08/16/2011 10:12

Thank you everyone for a great discussion. TF, thank you in particular for pointing out how using discrete parts can help us focus more.

One of the things that I can't get away from is Doc and Allie RN pointing out with great certainty that the 10-hour old baby was not in fact 10 hours old. That that was not just an assumption many of us made.

Add to that the strange nature of CBJ's dropping her hospital privileges. That tells us, almost certainly that something was awry with that part of the story.

I keep thinking that the truth lay there somewhere.

But it's also interesting to note that as the British tabloid scandal grows worse, a British journal is pressing for facts and/or sources for Brad's paper. Perhaps we should be grateful for a shred of decent journalism left in the UK? Or anywhere for that matter?

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viola-alex
08/16/2011 11:02

@Laura - so can Brad counter the British journal's request for source with the Doc's opinion that the Trig newborn was not? Not a source but a professional opinion.

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08/16/2011 11:30

That's a good question. I think Brad would have to vouch for his sources or reveal them. I'm not sure.

But I do know that I'm the only one who knows Doc's identity. Brad doesn't even know it. So, I'm not sure that would work. I suspect they want someone on the record for this. But hopefully Brad will see your question here. It's a very good one.

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Brad Scharlott
08/16/2011 12:06

viola: I think the British editor meant more than just that one aspect of the hoax. I guess he was a newbie to the entire thing, and wanted to be reassured that the 40-odd sources I cited were good –- and even if he felt confident in all of those, he suggested, he still might not feel totally comfortable running the story -- there's still no smoking gun.

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Brad Scharlott
08/16/2011 12:11

me: go here

http://www.thenortherner.com/?p=9562

then scroll down

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search4more
08/16/2011 14:32

@TF ,

I think your post was spot on.

----------------------

I believe the photo evidence is the best and most powerful. On it's own it's not powerful enough though. This is self evident since the story hasn't broken into the national consciousness.

Here are some of the things I would be thinking about if I was looking at the photos for the first time and was sceptical of the pregnancy hoax idea:

-What does a pregnant woman look like? Her baby had Down Syndrome so couldn't this mean the pregnancy was different. The baby was premature, so couldn't this mean it was smaller than the average baby. ...Anyway how big is a bump at 7 months, or 5 months. I dunno. She does have a bump in a lot of these pictures...in fact most of them. Only a few she doesn't. What's up with that?

-When were these pictures taken? How do I know they are taken when these people say they are taken. If the dates aren't right then the whole thing falls apart. I don't trust these people because they are those weird conspiracy people who believe there was no moon landing.

-Couldn't this photo have been altered? They have changed the lighting for this one and the colors are all funny. These small numbers of photos don't match the other ones where I can see a lump.

-How fast does a baby bump grow? I dunno. Couldn't she just have had a growth spurt and couldn't some of these photos look funny because of the lens on the camera.


If your generally sceptical about the possibility (which most people will be), then really they are not going to give much time to looking at the evidence. In the 5-20 seconds they give it you have to interest them about the story such that they will continue to read about it. It's just so hard to do. There are so many news stories to read. I do have an idea of a possible way to do it though which I'm working on.

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Viola-Alex
08/16/2011 14:57

@Brad: me again. If a story were written, quoting Trig-Truthers, then doesn't that absolve the news source? If a few smart, intelligent blog readers (and writers) are quoted regarding their views, doesn't that constitute "proof" for the existence of the rumors?

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curiouser
08/16/2011 15:01

Laura - Given the absence of named sources regarding the apparent pregnancy hoax, I don't understand why the media doesn't bring in their own experts for comment to give them whatever confidence they need to run with the story.

Recently some pregnancy 'experts' weighed in on Britta's pregnant belly in the photo with the baby shower presents. I realize this was a fluff story and medical experts weren't consulted but perhaps similar comments on the March 14 and 26 Palin photos could possible get the hoax covered by Gawker-type sources and open it up to more serious news sources.

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-07-21/news/29818566_1_track-palin-palin-family-candie-s-foundation


Andrew Sullivan consulted several obstetricians about the wild ride. I wonder why hasn't he asked them about the photos.

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Brad Scharlott
08/16/2011 16:01

Viola: Sure - in fact, Politico did a story along those lines in April, I think - I was interviewed for that. Ken Vogel, maybe, was the reporter. It treated "Trig Truthers" as kind of wacky conspiracy theorists. So did a few other places. So arguably that is not very helpful. All of that happened in the wake of my paper being published. Now we need some other things to capture the media's fleeting attention, like those books coming out.

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Perplexed
08/16/2011 18:17

@Banyan: Your IVF theory is intriguing, but I don't see why you suggest that DS embryos were deliberately selected for implantation. Perhaps eggs were harvested and frozen at the time of a tubal ligation, at the request of an indecisive Sarah who had not considered the moral implications of storing eggs indefinitely. They could have been offered to a friend or relative, to a fellow believer through a church website, or to an infertile stranger through Sarah's doctor. Embryos created from the eggs might not have been tested for DS, either for religious reasons or because the testing was costly and not easily available. The diagnosis of DS in the baby (or babies) created from the eggs might have been an unwelcome surprise. Perhaps Sarah offered to resolve the dilemma of a distraught woman pregnant with two babies with DS by adopting one of them.

The alternative IVF scenario--the use of a surrogate mother--seems highly unlikely to me. Why would someone concerned about the effect of a pregnancy on her image as a competent female politician go to all of that trouble and expense early in her term as governor? Why not adopt an unwanted infant with DS, if there was a political motive?

Whatever the truth is (and I am trignostic), I believe that the DS was a surprise for any and all concerned.

Taking off my tinfoil hat now...

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08/16/2011 20:11

Given how much nonsense the media promotes, and how often they bring in experts to pundit on issues when speculation is required, I have to think that there are other reasons that the silence is spiraling.

And I agree with Perplexed. The IVF theory is unnecessarily complicated - and every complication increases the chance for exposure. As is the idea that there were twins. I mean, if there are twins, why hide the fact? It doesn't make sense. I can understand borrowing a baby at the beginning, when they needed to pretend that TriG was newborn, and then returning it.

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Banyan
08/16/2011 21:40

No, the DS was a deliberate choice (in this scenario).

Down Syndrome embryos were actively selected for implantation because this was, from the start (2006 or before), a politico/Dominionist conspiracy. (see Bailey's book about when Palin first talked of perhaps becoming pregnant in early 2006). Selecting for normal/abnormal fetuses is a usual part of IVF.

To make the conspiracy work, politically, only a DS baby (or babies) would work. It (they) would provide the ultimate Pro-Life Prop ('Baby Jesus" -- or "Baby Doe")-- street "cred" that would incite the Base. And it had to be SARAH'S baby (not an adopted one) because Palin had to have personally "made" the choice not to abort.

It all had a powerful mythic quality, and the GOP myth-makers (not Sarah alone) pulled it off, and, so far, have gotten away with it.

Remember, there was no announcement of anyone being pregnant until hours after it became clear that McCain had gained the GOP candidacy. And he desperately needed to rally the Base who strongly distrusted McCain, but could be rallied with a powerful Pro-Life Myth.

Immediately before the "announcement," Palin had been in DC with McCain, where no one, including her Alaskan security detail, who saw her in jeans, suspected that Sarah was "7 months" pregnant.

I don't know if you've ever been 7 months pregnant, "Perplexed," but I have been-- twice, and you can't hide it. You can't wear jeans unless they are maternity wear which is obvious.
(Read the books by Dunn and Bailey.)

I doubt that Sarah had her eggs removed right after tubal ligation. I suspect it came later (after she had been anointed as the new "Queen Esther" by her whack-job church and her religious/political handlers).

These people plan years/decades in advance -- read the many books now out there about the "C Street" Family organization which have been amply referenced in other blog entries at this site.

This was not, primarily, about Sarah's "projecting an image" only on her own behalf, as you suggest. It was, instead, part of a much larger political ploy in which Sarah was used (although willingly).

I doubt Sarah EVER did anything unselfishly simply to help a "distraught woman" or anyone else. I think she was, instead, offered a starring role in an "End of Days" scenario, and she accepted the role.

I think her eggs (if they were, indeed, her eggs) were extracted some time in 2007, resulting in the abdominal pain she complained of in early 2008. (The pain from hormonal inducement of ovulation and trans-abdominal extraction might be substantial for some women.)

The reason to use Sarah's own eggs was this: if the plot were ever suspected, then DNA testing would back her up. The reason to use surrogate mothers is that this sort of implantation, using genetically defective embryos, would likely end in miscarriage, especially with a woman as old as Sarah. You needed to be sure of one, or more, surviving babies who were presentable in public appearances (and that would argue for multiple surrogacies.)

The "Hail Mary" political moves behind Sarah's VP candidacy were clear from the beginning to those paying close attention. Right wing commentators declared, from the very outset, that the most important reason for voting for McCain/Palin was that Palin had been given a CHOICE and had chosen LIFE.

They knew to hammer on this issue because they had orchestrated it from the beginning.

Please, put your tinfoil hat back on and think about it.

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Rationalist
08/16/2011 22:12

Did any of you see the movie with Robert Downey Jr. about the Zodiac killer? Sometimes I feel like we're the detective in that story, who invested years of his career knowing who probably did it, only to watch the killer remain free. I find incredibly frustrating the aversion people have to engaging in a real investigation about this. Palin's version of events so obviously defies common sense.

On that note, some of you may remember that I contacted a private investigator about Levi & Bristol's possible marriage. She hasn't gotten back to me, and I'm not sure whether it's because the research is too much to do easily or because she thinks I'm nuts to worry about such a thing. Ah well.

I don't know whether to be optimistic about the upcoming book by "Fred" or not.

But here's what I think. Brad - you said the Colbert people were in touch but then never called back. What that tells me is that everyone - EVERYONE - in the media knows about this story and many of them likely do believe it. My guess is that they are just never going to run without some kind of hard evidence or confession. There is just no story, otherwise.

I remain convinced, though, that the story of the rumor that wouldn't die - a tale of an intrepid reporter sincerely trying to prove that Palin gave birth to Trig - would work, perhaps as a documentary. Anyone up for that???

Frustrated tonight. Thanks for bearing with me.

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Lidia17
08/17/2011 01:40

@search4more, the video presentations I made long ago have a whole succession of dated photos with carefully aligned side-by-side size comparisons of Mrs. Palin with an actual pregnant woman, for several weeks before the "birth".

So you might want to check those out on YouTube. The channel is Lidia17up, or you can search on "Perfidy" "Sarah Palin".


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lilly lily
08/17/2011 07:52

Palin will give interested people years of interesting research. That much I'll give her. It has been an interesting roller coaster ride.

But interesting has a load of connotations. Interesting, interesting? Interesting weirdness? Interesting, educational? You've learned something?

Learned something about pregnancies.

Learned something about pathologies.

Learned how stupid and spineless the press has become?

How incredably dense and willfully blind her cult followers are?

Thank god for the blogs, like Palins Deceptions, Bree Palin, Palingates, Politicalgates, Immoral Minority and the most recent Laura Novak.

I've moved on to other interesting interests.

LOL. I love my life, I enjoy life as we can live it, as free women with advantages of every kind in this the 21st century. I want to keep it that way for my granddaughter and grandsons.

Today is another fabulous summer day. Why waste it on someone as loathesome as Sarah Palin and Company?

I did waste time on her rise and fall as long as I thought she had the slimmest of chances. Now even that slim chance has diminished with her behavior.

Ghosts of all her issues hang around her scrawny frame, the miasma of corruption and lies. Lies past, lies present and lies future.

Someone has to keep her in check or like Lady Dracula she will rise.

Keep up this wonderful blog. Very thought provoking. I like the commentary as well.

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search4more
08/17/2011 07:53

@Lidia17

Yep I have seen them. You put a lot of work into them. They are good, but the number of people that have seen them (when you consider the number of people that live in the US) is relatively small. It could be that just the right influential people saw them, but we don't know that.

I'm really lazy so I don't know if I'll ever finish this, but I'm working on a kind of interactive thing where people can investigate 3 of the photos. I'm thinking that if people are able to adjust the size of Palin's belly in the pictures whilst comparing them to other pregnant women's bellies that maybe they will be able to see more clearly how weird the whole thing is. In 2045 when I finish it I'll probably post a link to it in this blog.

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viola-alex
08/17/2011 08:19

@Banyon: from everything I know about Sarah Palin, your theory requires too much planning. Palin's impulsive. Your theory would require a Rovian mastermind, something the Palin camp has not-- and even if they did, Palin won't listen to anyone else.

--

What if you show the "newborn" Trig to ten pediatricians and ask them the baby's age from the photo. IF they all say older than newborn, then wouldn't you have a smoking [[[cap]]]] gun?

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Brad Scharlott
08/17/2011 08:42

Lidia17: Your videos look so professional – do you have formal training in the arts?

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Conscious at last!
08/17/2011 08:55

RE: Banyan's IVF theory-

This seems very unlikely for many reasons.

First, the pain that SP complained about before her massage was in the days and weeks before she announced her pregnancy in March '08 and only about 6- 8 weeks before Trig was "presented." I'd assume that the real bun would have been in the oven far longer than that. ...and don't you think the pain would have eased by then?

Secondly, as many have surmised, Sarah Palin does not do anything to inconvenience herself unless it is absolutely necessary. There are surely many children available for "underground" adoption in the fundie world-- none of this other intrigue would be necessary.


Lastly, if this medically complex and intricate plan were truly behind Palin's "pregnancy"-- do you think it would have included such a lousy job of faking the pregnancy???? Don't you think the "planners" would have have her announce her "pregnancy" earlier and used more believable empathy belly devices?


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Melly
08/17/2011 09:01

Banyan, I like your basic premise of surrogacy, but selecting out DS eggs? From Sarah? Or any other woman (that is, a woman who would have to resemble the Palins)?? Way too far-fetched for me. The simplest point between a and b is still Bristol Palin, though I'm still not convinced she's Trig's mom and I get it that alternative theories beg to be explored.

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Lidia17
08/17/2011 09:21

@search4more, 2045… heh. Ok, well, when you put it together I hope it gets more exposure than my videos. They got a lot of placements on the anti-Palin blogs, and Brad cited them in his paper, but they never reached escape velocity. :-(

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Ottoline
08/17/2011 09:42

We haven't talked about humor as a way to get people to look at the data. Does anyone remember a little satire I put up in the heat of the Letterman/Palin spats? I claimed that L & P were spatting simply because they were jealous of each other's faked pregnancies. It was mildly amusing, with photos of Dave wearing scarves, on his wild ride, on the cover of VF at 7 mo (a photoshopped Demi), etc., but I took it down because I am not a good-enough humor writer.

And although I have zero sense of humor left for this effort, I thought maybe someone else could take a fresh look. Does anyone know Amy Sedaris? I bet she could do it so very well, if she wanted to.

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Brad Scharlott
08/17/2011 11:09

Otto: As I may have mentioned earlier, a producer for The Colbert Report contacted me in April about appearing on the show with Colbert for an interview. But after a few emails, she seemed to drop the idea. But they saw the comic possibilities. Let me give that some thought. I did a flier in a comedy vein and sent it to Gryphen, but he did not like the humor much, so I tossed it.

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Banyan
08/17/2011 11:56

@Viola-alex, Conscious at last, and Melly:

In my personal experience,involving several friends and family members over 40 who were using IVF and surrogacy, the problem is often in finding genetically normal embryos to implant. Many of the older eggs that are fertilized have DS or other genetical abnormalities. Finding DS embryos would be easy and straightforward.

Arranging the multiple surrogacy part would have been more difficult, because many (most) such abnormal embryos never make it to a "healthy" live birth, even when implanted in relatively young healthy women. But just go to one of the Quivefull websites, and you will find many women who would be delighted to take part in such a Right-to-Life act, especially with appropriate financial inducements.

Yes, it would all take "Rovian" planning, and there are indications that such planning was involved, although I doubt that Rove himself hatched the plot. Instead, (in this scenario) it was probably the work of very powerful C-Street-type Dominionists with US/international intelligence ties. They are out there and totally capable of such machinations.

Palin, herself, by contrast, is totally *incapable* of doing something like this successfully on her own, and, indeed, she managed to screw up her own role in the "Hail Mary" drama.

Clearly her religious/GOP handlers overestimated her abilities or she never would have been given the VP nomination in the first place (and they did have to scramble to erase all evidence of photographs showing Palin being variably pregnant and then non-pregnant -- remember the computer scrubbing by McCain operatives that happened throughout Alaska .)

But despite Sarah's screw-ups, the hoax still has not penetrated public awareness and is ignored by the press. So, in a way, the hoax has proved successful...so far.

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Banyan
08/17/2011 12:04

Another point: Sarah would have had eggs removed in 2007 (during the mysterious trip to NY with Bristol?) and would still have been tender at the time of her massage by Shailey Tripp. (Been there.)

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Original Lee
08/17/2011 12:39

I think the commenter who compared the Palin Pregnancy Hoax with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme hit it right on the head. Only a very small number of people (no more than 5) KNOWS the entire story. A larger number of people have a piece of the story, but even if everybody in this group puts their pieces together in a sworn affidavit, it would not be ironclad in a way that would induce a timid publisher to move forward. I think we need to aim for "everybody knows" territory, sort of like the OJ Simpson story. All these years later, "everybody knows" he's guilty.

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FrostyAK
08/17/2011 12:40

@Banyan

You are making some good points. We must never underestimate the desire of the C Street gang to fully take over the US government. Thugs of the highest order, the mafia pales by comparison.

I also think the $P would have willingly participated in such a 'prank' - especially if it meant she would be the VP nominee. I think we all realize that the candidates are hand picked long before We The People have a voice in the process?

What they didn't count on was the pathology of $P, and her inability to do ANYthing right. They effectively covered their tracks, though, didn't they? So far anyway...

I don't think your theory is very far fetched at all.

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rubbernecking
08/17/2011 12:55

Do most trignostics know when Palin learned of the rumors about Bristol? Do they know that Palin heard these rumors from her own inner circle in April 2008?

From her emails, we have absolute proof that Palin was very aware of widespread rumors about Bristol in April 2008. These rumors were discussed directly with Palin, with her family members, among her staff and church members, and even on a radio show.

4/02/08 - Lt Gov Sean Parnell sends sympathetic email regarding the "sick and vicious" rumors about Bristol. http://www.crivellawest.net/palinAll/pdf/13983.pdf

4/06/08 - An email exchange between Palin, Todd, and her staffers discuss how widespread the Bristol rumors are. Palin blames Lyda Green for the rumors.
http://www.crivellawest.net/palinAll/pdf/14098.pdf

4/22/08 - In this email exchange, Palin tells her staff that she is hearing about rumors directly from Bristol and Trig's doctor. Palin's staff tells her that a radio show is discussing and criticizing the rumors. http://www.crivellawest.net/palinAll/pdf/14098.pdf

Yet when the rumor went national in Sep 2008, a senior McCain staffer accused Obama, not Lyda Green, of spreading the rumor. See http://articles.cnn.com/2008-09-01/politics/obama.palin_1_bristol-palin-sarah-palin-illinois-senator?_s=PM:POLITICS

When you realize how many AK people warned Palin about the rumor in April, you see how cynical and brazen it was to blame Obama for the rumors in Sept.

I can't decide if Palin refuses to debunk the rumor because the truth is embarrassing or because the rumor is useful. She certainly enjoys unleashing her supporters to defend her kids in stoked up controversies. One of the kids needs to write a Mommie Dearest tell-all some day.

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Lidia17
08/17/2011 16:25

@rubbernecking:
Oh, you "can't decide"if Palin won't contrast an early Bristol pregnancy—because it might be 'embarrassing' or USEFUL!?!?! hunh??

Palin's fellow sociopaths mustn't be allowed to fake normality.

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comeonpeople
08/17/2011 17:23

I think the IVF theory is ridiculous and makes all of us who discuss the hoax look ridiculous, imho. If it was that kind of plan, i think she Palin would have been handled alot more closely and given a proper empathy belly sooner.

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Banyan
08/17/2011 18:28

@ commonpeople

As I said in my previous post: " this is a theory -- this is only a theory."

But it is a theory that ties up many loose ends of the discussion -- a "unified theory" of Trig(s), if you will. It meshes with the clues and odd hints dropped in both the Dunn and Bailey books -- have you read them?

I have seen each part of this scenario work out in real life in other families. It does seem complex, and it does argue a premeditated political-relligious conspiracy, and some do not want to think such things could happen. I'm not so sure.

Personally, the only part of the Palin hoax I *know* to be true is that Sarah Palin did not give birth to any baby on April 18, 2008.

I do suspect, however, that Sarah was used in a pregnancy hoax--hatched probably in 2005-2006 -- to further Pro-Life religious/political goals.

Whether IVF and surrogacy was part of the plot is only a theory, but, again, I've been there with others who were doing these procedures. They are becoming relatively common pregnancy options, and not that difficult to arrange.

Surrogacy with frozen embryos (Snow-Flake babies) was being widely encourage among Right-Wingers in early 2006 when Sarah first mentioned the possibility of becoming pregnant -- so Sarah and her handlers would have been acutely aware of these procedures.

Finally, I think all of us should feel free to offer whatever possible theories fit the known facts. This one does.

As for Palin being handled more carefully: her handlers had to learn this the hard way-- both with the pregnancy and the campaign. And the pregnancy hoax has, in fact, succeeded....so far.

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Ottoline
08/17/2011 18:40

I agree with comeonpeople. To retrieve the eggs of a 40+ woman for later use is not going to happen, because it is those very eggs, their oldness, that makes them unsuccessful in 99% of cases. This is a complex process that involves lots of professionals and an auditable trail. As someone v familiar with IVF, it is really not a fruitful avenue for us.

But my main reason, as always, is that for this already too-complicated story, the one thing we must remember is that Palin was NOT PREGNANT with Trig. Who was Trig's mother? We don't know, and it doesn't matter re the Hoax. It's not about Trig. The Hoax is Palin's alone. What were her motives? doesn't matter -- she still hoaxed us. Do we like her or dislike her? Doesn't matter. She still hoaxed and lied and continues to do so.

What matters is not even Palin, really, but the Repubs who knew or suspected, the MSM that didn't investigate it, the big-money guys who encouraged it, and the "energizing the base" role that supported the Tea Party and other ridiculous AND effective shenanigans by the Far Right.

We don't need to know every part of the story to be clear that it was a HOAX. Indeed, we cannot know every part of the story. Not do we need to, to call for accountability re the HOAX. So there's not more of the same type of deception, now that Palin seems to be getting away with it, after three years, still.

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Ottoline
08/17/2011 18:52

Banyan -- I do absolutely agree that we should all feel free to speak up as we see fit.

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Banyan
08/17/2011 20:05

@Ottoline

Retrieval of eggs from 40+ women happens all the time. The problem is that it is hard *not* getting a DS embryos. But if you *want* a DS baby, for political reasons, you *absolutely* want over-40 eggs.

I agree that we don't need to know every part of the story to be clear that this was a hoax and to call for accountability which extends well beyond Palin.

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Lou in London
08/18/2011 10:00

Brad,
I think it would have been better to keep away from the multiple Trigs angle in the first instance. The story is 'mad' enough - SP having faked a pregnancy and committed this fraud on the American people. Get that side of the story out first - and when that is properly in the mainstream then you (or others) can add all the other incredible details. And I think the fact that you've had difficulty placing this in the press is going for the whole story in one go. Could you rework it focusing on the main hoax and the media's spiral of silence?

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Brad Scharlott
08/18/2011 12:26

Lou: I think you might be right there. Yeah, I could edit out the two Trigs part fairly efficiently. I may do that.

Thanks,

Brad

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Banyan
08/18/2011 12:52

@ Ottoline

Yes, the IVF would involve some (not a lot) of professionals. So does childbirth in a hospital, yet we have none of these records for Palin either.

Not all IVF is on the up-and-up. There are many unscrupulous fertility docs out there, as well as Dominionist docs and other docs with other related extreme ideologies.

US docs need not even have been involved. Several women I know of had IVF/surrogacy services
abroad. Italy and Israel do a lot of IVF; Israeli fertility docs are said to be the best in the world. India does a lot of IVF surrogacy.

For enough money (think Murdoch, Paxson, or Koch Bros-type deep pockets) I'm sure some foreign fertility docs could have been lured here to conduct clandestine treatments.

And each of the deep pocket sources named above has been previously implicated in major clandestine GOP dirty work. Paxson's jet was used to secretly fly Saudi royality out of Las Vegas right after 9/11, for example. Paxson also played a critical role in forcing/blackmailing McCain into accepting Palin as a running mate.

I know the IVF hoax theory involves complexity, but so do numerous other conspiratorial hoaxes recently foisted upon the public. Do you remember WMD in Iraq (complex multi-national forgeries and other criminality involved) or the forged documents of GW Bush's less than stellar service in the Nat'lGaurd used to burn Dan Rather?

One reason I suspect IVF, is that if the hoax were ever to be publicly challenged, Palin could then call for a DNA test and would pass. However, so much other evidence indicates she was not pregnant.

I think that the MSM has avoided the Palin hoax story for fear they could be burned by it. They suspect a Rovian-stye trick. I do too.

@Brad

If there is compelling photographic evidence of multiple Trigs, I'd say use it.

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Lou in London
08/18/2011 12:57

Hi Brad,
I remember getting into this story via Sully (gosh was it nearly 3 years ago now?!), and then following as the story unfolded (via Gryphen, Bree & Audrey), and at each turn thinking...'No! That's too much, that's crazy, that's just conspiracy stuff...' But then reading more, and looking at the pictures, and the slow realization of how deep and strange the 'truth' of this story is. And for me that's the point - we none of us know the full actual truth - and it may take years to get there - because it is bonkers - because she is so shameless & bonkers. Telling people the story too fast makes us look bonkers too - and so the basic hoax is enough to start with. I think your paper was electrifying on so many levels and helped me (for one) articulate key aspects of this story so much better than I could before. But I think that proof/truth/believability is why Sully stays with the line that it's about the GOP & McCain's utter betrayal of America (but with all the necessary links to Gryph & co!) to get more people to look for themselves. You (and Laura) have been doing an amazing job - it's just worth looking back to your own initial 'she couldn't' reaction, and remember that many people just think she exaggerated her labor story and that's all. Bit at a time!! And thanks so much for all you've done. Personally, I think she is potentially one of the most dangerous people on the planet! So thank you again!

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Conscious at last!
08/18/2011 13:16

What would be the purpose of the IVF idea?.... to show that Trig has 50% of SP's genetic material? Wouldn't a birth certificate have been easier to produce? Wouldn't Palin have already volunteered to give a DNA sample from Trig if she knew he actually had half of her DNA?????? Moreover, when, ever in the history of U.S. politics has any candidate been required or asked to supply DNA evidence to prove familial ties?? The hoax is a show of contempt for the electorate, but it's not a crime!!!

No, seriously-- everyone has a right to suggest, propose and imagine anything that they like---- and we have a right to respond and discuss. I feel that this theory is waaaay off base.

@ Brad S.
From a strategic point of view, I think that Brad's article has a better chance of publication if it is SHARP and SIMPLE. There are many aspects to babygate that are valid, but will muddy the waters for newbies. Here I am thinking of: Many "Trigs", Tripp's questionable history, fires and accidents, ...you get the picture.
I do think photographic evidence is very helpful and so are SP's own words and actions.

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Ottoline
08/18/2011 14:01

Banyan -- I misspoke. You are right that the eggs of 40+yr old women ARE harvested all the time, but they have a very low % history of live baby at the end, so then the determined over-40 woman goes to egg donor, who is NOT old. In other words, at that age, you spend a lot of money to start with your own eggs, but you end up with a donor.

I'm not saying your theory is wrong, only that there is no proof for it.

Once we get past the "Palin was not pregnant with Trig" realization, the story could splinter off into many, many directions, especially if true-sounding (but bogus) new details emerge. Even with bona fide true new details (so hard to tell them apart in Palin-land), the story could go in many different directions. We cannot, nor do we need to, clarify all those details. It's only the hoax that must come first.

Once out in the mainstream, you can bet that Palin will supply a blizzard of details that have no hope of being any more credible than all her past statements. Then round two might be to start picking apart the next set of scenarios, by those who still care.

Brad: I had a thought about all the weird extra info: How about appendices, "things that Don't Add Up" like two kinds of ears (with photos); the medical letter; the witty multiple-choice questionnaire that LitBrit? prepared to review Palin's choices; the size/age preemie or fat newborn issue; which hospital issue; why an amnio issue; two contradictory responses in the press re reaction in the family to Bristol's pregancy(ies?); and the whole list of other items. Prefaced by saying "None of this affects the fact that photos prove Palin was not pregnant, but look at them if you wish to be further confused, as we have been over the 3 years..

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Brad Scharlott
08/18/2011 14:14

Lou, thank you so much for your kind words. I edited out the 2 Trigs stuff, but of course still have the longer version with that in it, too. So I might send both to prospective publishers and say, if the 2 Trigs version is too much of a leap, the other is workable.

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Banyan
08/18/2011 15:17

@ Ottoline

The determined 40+ women I know all wanted a genetic baby. They used their own eggs, in one case actually carried the baby, and did achieve live births (though a bit preterm.) Although this process can be expensive, the couples I know who've done it were not what I would call wealthy.

One can only imagine what could be done with the help of some very deep pockets.

The main problem for the mothers I know was finding an embryo that was *not* abnormal (DS was usual, and was easily detected before implantation).

Yes, there is poor % of live births in these circumstance. Even using young healthy surrogates, "normal" IVF embryos (which are genetically completely different from the birth mother) are more difficult to bring to term birth. DS compounds the risks that the embryo would not make it to term. That is why this theory would require multiple implantations using multiple women in order to get one or more useful term DS political props.

Do remember, this is a theory, this is *only* a theory, but if Sarah Palin is ever in a serious position where she is being seriously, publicly challenged on her "motherhood," a DNA test might back her up. She would totally triumph in that case. I think she has more cards to play and this may be one. We need to be aware of this possibility.

And we need to insist on multiple lines of evidence from Palin before believing that she actually gave birth to the child(ren) known as Trig on April 18, 2008.

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