A recurrent theme on many of the blogs we all frequent is "proof". What constitutes it and what doesn't when it comes to Babygate...and for whom? And who's to decide? Professor Brad Scharlott and I have been talking about this and share our discussion here. 

BS: Laura, an interesting question to me is, What standard of proof should a journalist use in deciding whether the Babygate hoax likely happened? And if you conclude that it probably did happen, how do you present the alleged hoax to the public in your writing?

LN: I notice that you use the word “alleged” in your own writing here, Brad. That’s what we’re trained to do. and rightly so. But let’s step back a minute. A journalist does not have to decide on their own, or on the merits of the information available on the blogs - because, let’s face it, that is where the best reporting on this subject resides - that the birth story is a hoax. A journalist only has to see a reason for doing a story. And they have to have the integrity, and perhaps the stamina, to pursue all sides fairly. To give voice to dissent. Is that what happened with the Anchorage Daily News? Did they simply run out of stamina? Where they overwhelmed by Palin's protestations? Because as the then governor continued to be reported on in the blogosphere, the baby hoax was the primary subject. It was still being investigated by a lot of really, really good bloggers who have not chickened out. The newspaper did.

BS: Let me note that one problem we as journalists face is the unwillingness of Palin herself to even respond to questions about the alleged hoax. In general terms she has denied there was a hoax, but sometimes in artful ways.

For example, in an email she asked Pat Dougherty, editor of the Anchorage Daily News, if his paper was “pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig’s mother.” Notice that she did not say “biological mother.” Did Sarah Palin adopt the Down syndrome child she calls Trig? If she did, then of course she is his mother, his adoptive mother. And even if there was no adoption, she could argue that simply holding herself out as the mother makes her the mother.

LN:  But note, also, too, that she says “sensational lie” right out of the gate. Not “the story” or “the allegation.”  But she planted the idea that the allegation was a lie, without even having to explain why it was a lie. And she never did. She put Dougherty on the defensive. And, well, you know how I feel about this. He whined until he gave in – but not until he reassured her that he was on her side. How’s that for an independent press?

BS:  And as you know, she stonewalled him after that, even after he published this line: “It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig's birth, that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies.” The fact that she never responded has always struck me as a tacit admission of guilt on her part.

LN:  People probably wonder why bloggers don’t go to Palin directly and pose their questions. And perhaps snorting, “Oh right, like she’d answer me” isn’t a good enough answer. Instead, I asked Rebecca Mansour many times on Twitter to respond to my blog posts. And I invited her, many times, to do an interview with me. It was only fair. And she was predictably mute.

You, on the other hand, went directly to Sarah. Tell us about that, Brad.

BS:  I’ve revised my original Babygate paper as a magazine article. A couple of weeks ago I sent that to Sarah Palin’s Wasilla address, and she received it on August 15, according to the USPS tracking service. In a cover letter I asked her to respond to the article, and I also asked six specific questions that stem from it, such as whether she was truly pregnant in 2008 and whether she wore a fake pregnancy belly when Andrea Gusty interviewed her. I told her I planned to publish the article within a month, and I promised her I would include her response with it.

Of course, she has not responded. So what can we concluded from that?

LN:  One, she’s too big for us. And I can honestly understand that (although word has it that she is afraid of me.) There are a lot of demands on her time. Why? I have no idea. But there are. Two, why add fuel to the fire? To respond to you and/or me, or any blogger, lends credence to what we are saying. She’s hoping we’ll go away. Three, like I said in an earlier comment. We use subjects and verbs. And we use them in agreement. I think Anon on Gryphen's blog is right: that scares her.

BS: Well, if she did NOT perpetrate a hoax, there would be an extremely important reason to respond to my letter and article. In that cover letter, I wrote:

“As you may recall from your journalism studies in college, you are considered a ‘public figure/official’ for First Amendment purposes, in light of NY Times v. Sullivan. By providing you this opportunity to respond to my paper, I trust I am demonstrating beyond any doubt that my article bears no ‘actual malice’ towards you.”

Since I was forewarning her that I plan to publish the article, by NOT responding she essentially forfeits any conceivable opportunity to sue for defamation. That is not the same as admitting she is guilty, of course, but could you imagine an innocent high-level politician ignoring an article that made such sensational allegations of wrongdoing? After all, I’m not just any crackpot. Palin knows my paper in April made news around the world.

LN: So then, let’s go back to standards of proof. Clarify the issue for us.

BS:  Two are commonly used in court. In civil trials, where one individual brings a lawsuit against another, the standard chiefly used is “a preponderance of evidence.” This might be interpreted to mean “more likely than unlikely.”

Joe McGinniss has seemingly reached that point in his blog concerning Babygate. Not long ago he wrote that, regarding Trig, “anything is possible, but … it’s more possible than not that Sarah’s whole story is a lie.” But does that mean he is ready to call Palin out on the hoax when he hits the talk show circuit after his book comes out? Not necessarily. In the same post (June 14, 2011), he also wrote:

“I’m still not convinced (i.e. persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt), but recent close readings of the newly-released Palin emails by Jesse Griffin at Immoral Minority and Andrew Sullivan at Daily Dish bring me closer to concluding that Sarah’s tale is an absolute and utter fraud and that Trig, in fact, was not her baby.”

We see in his parenthetical expression above the other chief standard of guilt: “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That’s a higher standard than “preponderance of guilt,” and it is used in criminal trials. A few months ago Joe suggested that this higher standard is the one that should be used by journalists concerning Babygate, because Palin’s crime against the American people, if she did perpetrate the birth hoax, would be tantamount to a capital offense.

When Joe writes above that he is still not “convinced” that Palin perpetrated Babygate, what I think he means is that he does not feel that he or any other journalist, at this time, can make the case beyond a reasonable doubt that Palin faked the birth. I suspect in his heart of hearts, he harbors little doubt about her guilt, but until he’s ready to publicly call her a hoaxer and back it up with a near air-tight case, he probably feels a need to carefully calibrate his public comments. And that strikes me as both responsible and pragmatic.

LN:  I agree. There is little margin of error for a well-known and highly regarded reporter/writer who is about to launch a book in which he must objectively report on many facets of this woman’s life and career. Babygate is just one subject. If he got sloppy and merely jumped on a bandwagon about this sensational subject, it could cast doubt on how thorough or objective he was while reporting on more mundane or drier aspects of her career.

Meantime, how about you, Brad? You’re a journalist and an academician. How do you phrase it to people who ask?

BS:  In my spiral-of-silence paper that was posted to the Internet in April, I wrote that it was “likely” that Palin had perpetrated a birth hoax – and I used that not-too-forceful phrasing when media interviewed me. So I was effectively arguing that merely a preponderance of evidence suggested she perpetrated a hoax. However, in my heart of hearts, I believed that it was a near certainty – beyond a reasonable doubt – that she had lied about Trig. But ethically and pragmatically, I felt it was prudent to be cautious in suggesting Palin had lied.

I felt it was ethically best to be cautious because, unlike in a courtroom situation, when you accuse someone in print of wrongdoing, the accused gets no immediate chance to rebut the accusations. And it was pragmatic to be cautious because the alleged wrongdoing in this case borders on the unbelievable – it’s breathtaking to think a woman capable of such a staggeringly devious hoax could have gotten within a heartbeat of the presidency. I was concerned last April that if I came across as too cocksure there was a hoax, I could be dismissed as a partisan or a lunatic.

I know that you also have wrestled with these issues, Laura. What works best for you in thinking about and writing about whether Palin is guilty of perpetrating a hoax?

LN: I wrote about this in my Watergate post a few weeks back. I called it the “Bradlee 1%.” It’s not intentional or legalistic, but I find that I employ the same phrase, and that is that Palin’s story “doesn’t add up.”  Furthermore, I say that there is more evidence to make someone question her version of events than there is evidence to suggest she is telling the truth.

But I really try to separate my own personal feelings about the woman, her politics of hate, and her obvious lack of education. And this allows me to easily say that her story about this birth simply does not add up.  It really warrants broader investigation and attention. And so we cycle back to why the mainstream media avoids it like the plague. 

But instead of holding up the MSM as all mighty and worthy, perhaps we need to establish new criteria. The bloggers are all doing great work with this in their own way. There are strengths in this community that simply don’t exist elsewhere. One might ask: who needs the MSM any longer? Who are they to us? What value do they hold for this particular story?

BS: Those are great questions, which we perhaps can address in a future post. Meantime, I’m hoping Joe McGinniss feels he can call Palin out on the hoax when he hits the talk show circuit. I hope he believes he can make the case – beyond a reasonable doubt – that Palin has tried to pull off one of the greatest hoaxes in American political history. Nobody can say Joe lacks guts. And I can say, without a doubt, that Joe is one of America’s greatest living journalists.

As for me, when my revised article does appear, I’ll be more forceful than before in suggesting that Sarah Palin very likely is a deeply disturbed pathological liar who possesses an inordinate fondness for foam undergarments.

LN:  Thanks so much Brad. You inform and educate. And you make me laugh. It’s always a pleasure working on these posts with you.  



09/01/2011 11:22

B&L: I am awed by your professional ethics and by your abilities to communicate them to readers like me. After my emotional post, your collective reasoning is a cool breeze.

When this case is cracked, I believe one day "Scharlott and Novak" will be in the curriculum of Journalism 101.

09/01/2011 11:25

Laura and Brad, I love the discussions. Keep asking the questions. However I think the answer as to why the stories on the Palins, especially those concerning Sarah Palin, is very straight forward. I think that news media wants to publish the story, I think the reporters think it is news worthy. However the new organizations are companies. These companies can be sured. Therefore the corporate execs want prrof that would hol dup in court before they print anything. Even eye witness accounts are good enough. Therefore these stories won't see the light of day. As long as that threat of suing stands over them, the news won't get printed.

mistah charley, ph.d.
09/01/2011 11:26

"Community of discourse" and "Bayesian probability"

Each group of people that talks among themselves (a "community of discourse") shares certain assumptions about the way the world works, how facts, and are established, and so on, although they don't talk about these so much, except to the extent that these are comforting and faith-enhancing. Mostly they talk about things that are in question - did this or that happen? Did so and so REALLY say that? What do you suppose they meant by that?

As we travel between communities of discourse - changing from one radio or tv station to another, one magazine to another, our workplace vs. our family of origin, lauranovakauthor vs. conservatives4palin, we notice how the bedrock assumptions can be different.

And this leads one to Bayes Theorem, which has a mathematical expression in statistics which I used to be able to work through, but which in ordinary language means "the weirder your assertion is compared to what I think I already know, the stronger your evidence has got to be."

To bring these two ideas together, within different communities of discourse, different amounts and kinds and strengths of evidence are needed to establish the believability of any given proposition.

If I say, for example, "Dick Cheney is responsible for mass murder" - it depends who I'm talking to how much evidence I've got to bring out to convince them, or if indeed it would be possible to convince them at all.

The same with Sarah blahblahblah Trig.

The "received truths" accepted in particular communities of discourse can and do change over time, and part of the process of human progress, if any, is changing these. The meaning and valence of "American exceptionalism" - which is desirable and positive at c4p, in the way they understand the term, I notice - would have to change if our country were progressing toward becoming a humane and reasonable nation in my own eyes.

09/01/2011 11:39

Love the discussion and the tone of your conversations always makes me smile.

I wonder if Brad would feel comfortable allowing you to post the certified letter he sent to Sarah Palin. I just think it would be a compelling read and might help in clarifying the arguments and address some of the doubters a la the "Bayes Theory" mentioned above.

09/01/2011 11:58

What an interesting conversation! I think you two have added intelligent dimensions to this. This is not to say that the other bloggers aren't intelligent, but the clarity :) and depth of some of your conversations increase the respectability of this investigation.

It is rather late for me (well, it's not that late, but I'm tired) but I want to bring up a particular point for Brad. You refer to a post of Joe McGinness as being recent, but give it a date of June 14, 2008 - or did I misread that?

Joie Vouet
09/01/2011 12:02

Are you disappointed with the MSM because they do not report the pregnancy hoax as fact or because they do not report it as mystery/conumdrum/controversy?

MSM would want an original birth certificate, a maternity DNA test, or Palin's statement that it was a hoax to report it as fact.

To report on mysteries/controversies would require something different from the MSM. We would always be getting stories like, "Did Jesus really die?" "Was the Lindberg baby really kidnapped?" "Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?" The MSM wouldn't be able to publish many stories about each of those subjects, without proof, unless they wanted to go in circles.

What is it that you refer to as the MSM?

Chicago Mom
09/01/2011 12:03

Thanks to both of you for keeping this investigation well-reasoned and dispassionate. You are making the strongest argument possible. I look forward to reading Brad's article -- in fact, I can hardly wait.

This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading here for awhile, and want to congratulate both Laura and Brad for getting under Sarah's skin, but in such a civilized way. I truly believe Sarah is in meltdown. She may set the record straight herself, in an effort to get some control over the story.

09/01/2011 12:04

Thanks for this post, especially since I had questioned your using a 1% Bradlee factor as opposed to using beyond a reasonable doubt.

The March 14 photo from the ADN of a totally flat bellied Palin with the Parnells, is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that she wasn't pregnant. No one has ever given even a 1% possible alternative explanation of that photo.

Even if the MSM won't assert the hoax as fact, if the hoax is merely probable, or more likely than not, they should present the evidence to their readers. To ignore the story is to deny it.

09/01/2011 12:18

To expand upon Viola's contention about news organizations being businesses which are concerned about lawsuits, if one were intrepid enough to take a chance and actually expose what evidence there is (the various blogs, pictures etc) and they were subsequently sued, Ms. Quittypants would the have to provide evidence that Trig is in fact her biological child. And that, as they say, would settle that. I'd bet there would be no suit.

lilly lily
09/01/2011 12:25

I wonder when the supermarket rags,(these are always at the checkout points) will run with the pictures of the Museum shot next to the Gusty big belly shot.

People always pick them up to leaf through while waiting to be checked out.

I don't think I have ever bought a copy of People, Us, much less the N.E. or the National Examiner , Star or the Globe.

Mercede prefers to leak to Star, and Palin prefers People.

Don't much care for the Mudflats, AKM, Ken Morris vs. McGinniss thingee, but they do have their point to get across. I don't think it matters, most people don't care about these interblog wars. Or interpersonal dustups.

The more books the better, though I'm not buying any of them, any more than any other book by or about any politician, living or dead.

Time passes but the rancour will remain for the participants. It is like POP goes the weasel. "All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel".

I am not interested in anything other than having Sarah exposed.

Surely N.E., the Globe would love to see the Museum shot late in March as a contrast to the posed empathy belly Gusti shot? The Photographer would love the money.

The back door might be the only door available.

lilly lily
09/01/2011 12:28

No one has to say anything about hoax.

Those two pictures speak for themselves...ergo, no lawsuit.

09/01/2011 12:34

"Two, why add fuel to the fire? To respond to you and/or me, or any blogger, lends credence to what we are saying. She’s hoping we’ll go away."

I think is safe to strike this one from the list. Sarah has never failed to add fuel to any fire when she can cast herself as a victim. This is a woman who made a late-night talk show host's joke a two week spectacle. This is a woman who---against very good advice---produced a seven minute video rather than admit to poor taste in hindsight.

If Sarah thought she could milk this for attention, she would. But she knows deep down, she either cannot or will not play the trump card: medical records documenting her pregnancy. I think she is sadistic enough to enjoy the constant speculation, but I think it's more likely she cannot prove she was pregnant with Trig, or providing that proof would reveal other things she doesn't want us to know.

09/01/2011 12:40

What a great and compelling post you two! I love it when you bounce ideas and thoughts off each other. Asking each other questions makes me think how I would answer them and questions I would like answered too.
Fascinating, Brad, that you posed six specific questions to her. Her mind must be racing! Her MO has been to answer any questions with sarcastic snark and imply a private girl-thing "ick" factor that most males are terrified of pursuing.
I imagine it was NOT a good day to be around Sarah when she got her mail August 15th! The cans of "Campbells" must have been flying. (poor fridge)
Nice work you guys and keep it up!
I am looking forward to your article Brad. Laura, your blog is one of the best!

09/01/2011 12:44

I don’t understand why the story isn’t discussed in the same manner the birther controversy was handled. Granted, these are two totally different situations as President Obama had shown proof of his Hawaiian birth during the campaign, but it was out there regardless. Seriously, for three years we watched CNN, Fox and MSNBC (etc) discuss the birth certificate – even if they thought it was debunked, they were still willing to air the story as an ongoing theory. To say the fake pregnancy is irrelevant because Sarah Palin isn’t running is just an excuse – if she wasn’t important her name and face wouldn’t be on almost every political website and mentioned on the news as “potential candidate Palin” .
It would be naive to think scores of journalists & reporters have never heard of Babygate – I am sure most of them have opinions on the matter, even if they aren’t even willing to admit it to their colleagues. Why is it so toxic? For me, it always comes back to protecting McCain and his campaign team. Because McCain and his top advisers know the truth.

09/01/2011 12:57

@V ictoria, cute suck up on the "clarity" :)

@mistah charley, thank you for that info. I think it answers B's question. The interpretation of the March 14 photo depends upon which community of discourse one is in.

Shailey, you've gotta lotta guts, girl. I fervently hope that you can continue tapping your internal font of courage as long as you need to do so. One thing about the fear of lawsuits: to sue you have to have truth on your side and our darling Sarah doesn't.

Brad, I am so glad to see you here today because I had a thought last night. At IM someone posted an article from Mediaite about the will she or won't she go to Iowa controversy. So Mediaite is on this story now. What about approaching them with your article? Even if what they focus on is why the media won't go all mainstream on the hoax, it gets your story out there. Have you thought about that?

Laura, I thought I would share this priceless piece from IM that some may have missed. You know the diva's three worries were 1) a program, 2) security and 3) COD. Check this out:

"Gryphen, I have not had time to read the comments yet so I don't know if this rumor has leaked already.

I heard from the wife of one of the event staff that SP is using COD as a patsy, what she is really scared of is "being confronted by some new revelations on some blog". That has to be anon, right? I know everyone is giving all glory and honor to mudflats right now, but that stuff is mostly just re-hash of what FB already said, she has a bad temper, is stupid, etc.

She said the "security concerns" were that SP wanted it in writing no signs would be allowed and anyone overheard "attacking my handicapped son" be escorted out at once. What that translates to me is.....she is scared to death someone really will bring signs saying "you called Trig a little shit" and so on.

Bottom line, it's going to be really interesting seeing how this weekend turns out."

If true, that is a measure of just how scared sh*tless scarah is of a certain anonymous poster, which of course lends credence to a certain anonymous poster.

Now I must throw out a word of caution
to this community of discourse. One of the beautiful things about this blog and its participants is how freeing it is and how freely Laura allows us to put out our "pet theories." I have had the privilege of posting my ideas and opening them up to discussion and critique. I believe that is a strength for our efforts to get to the truth. However, we must remember that eventually we need to sift through the theories and arrive at a tight, unified theory of the pregnancy hoax, plausible enough that the Palin family denials ring hollow even to communities outside of our own.

09/01/2011 13:15

Thank you for this enlightening and thoughtful discussion, Laura and Brad.

While we often focus on the failure of SP's statements about the birth of this baby to be scrutinized or investigated, i am also disturbed by the opposite--the denounciation of so-called Trig Truthers as just the political opposite of the so-called Birthers.

Question--would this story have received more traction had it not unfolded during the same period the Birth certificate conspiracy was being pushed?

Question 2: Would this story have been examined by the MSM, who are aware that Palin has serious credibility issues, if it didnt' involve female body parts, and leaking fluids?

While this conversation focuses on journalistic ethics that constrain the way this story might be framed, even by journalists who believe the hoax took place, i am even more disturbed by the shutting down / dismissal of questions about it--the "Make.It.Stop" syndrome. Why would journalists be so quick to denounce rather than just give it the silent treatment if they didn't know much about it?

09/01/2011 13:17

@mitch, I hadn't seen your post when I was writing mine. Agreed.

JR, you inspire me to revise and extend my remarks :)

However, we must remember that eventually we need to sift through the theories and arrive at a tight, unified theory of the pregnancy hoax, plausible enough that the Palin family AND THE McCAIN CAMPAIGN denials ring hollow even to communities outside of our own.

09/01/2011 13:22

@Allie. Actually mistah charley's point doesn't answer mine. I understand that Palin's base, for example, would require a higher level of proof. I'm saying that photo is plenty high, and no one--in any community of discourse--has even tried to offer an alternative explanation. The March 14 photo should cure Trignosticosis.

09/01/2011 13:29

@Allie Thanks for bringing that Im comment over.

At some point in time somebody's going to get a comment through in one of these events and I hope to god there is a photographer there to capture the look on her face. We need a mole.

It has always been my belief that the thing that would open everything up with the MSM is her running. The moment she announced it would be open season and I'd be willing to bet that a lot of them have a stockpile of crap they could dump on her. I think that's why things are so heated right now - she's coming to a point were she has to announce or get off the pot.

She can't run,,,,she can't not run. They gotcha' cornered Sarah.

09/01/2011 13:36

Just so you all know, four commas instead of for periods in a comment are a secret dog whistle for the bots....and a sign that the commenter should be wearing glasses :+)

Brad Scharlott
09/01/2011 13:37

My bad - that should say June 14, 2011, not 2008, re the McGinniss blog

Allie: great idea about going to Mediaite!

09/01/2011 13:37

B, I was thinking of the MSM.

09/01/2011 13:39

Sarah Palin is "a deeply disturbed pathological liar who possesses an inordinate fondness for foam undergarments."

LOL. That is great. I'd add, though: gel, also, too.

09/01/2011 14:01

How is Dick Cheney responsible for mass murder? Cheney is a good man. Btw, all of Congress fully supported Bush's actions and decisions. The only people who didn't had already decided to run for President next and played everyone.

justsayin. He was the CEO of Halliburton. Hes a smart man.

sara jane
09/01/2011 14:04

In looking at the pictures that supposedly prove that she was never pregnant with Trig, I see a pregnant woman desperately trying to hide her pregnancy. The museum photo appears to me to be of a woman who is constricting her belly to avoid appearing pregnant (or fat), otherwise what the heck is that "cumberbund" for? The bigger issue for me all along is not she might have faked a pregnancy (I think not), but that she had so little concern for the developing baby with Down syndrome that she put his health at risk all along the way. Defining herself as pro-life but showing such disdain for her unborn child is the bigger crime here for me.

09/01/2011 14:05

These two comments caught my eye (used 3 dots, not a troll, but new to LN)

from Allie: "...unified theory of the pregnancy hoax, plausible enough that the Palin family AND THE McCAIN CAMPAIGN denials ring hollow even to communities outside of our own."

"...because Palin’s crime against the American people, if she did perpetrate the birth hoax, would be tantamount to a capital offense."

Question: Is this the reason why the MSM is mute on this point because of the possible implication/connection to John McCain and the Trig cover-up birth hoax = capital offense.

lilly lily
09/01/2011 14:07

Maybe the term Babygate is wrong. Perhaps something else, though nothing comes to me off the top of my head.

The Wild Ride to the White House didn't work out after all. It was all for naught.

Sarah Palin is stuck with a little boy she is said to call "The little Shit" who she doesn't care about for the rest of his life.

She can't shuck him off though she can warehouse him. To keep him out of her hair, $7500 a week adds up. Or does she siphon off government funds in some way. I wouldn't be at all suprised if she did.

lilly lily
09/01/2011 14:20

LOL. Chip Feikel in South Carolina said of her routine.

"She is like the girl who doesn't want to date you, but doesn't want you to date anyone else." and that the republicans have found another girl to take her place.

I will, no I won't, yep ya betcha I will, nope I won't. Sure, nah I have time. I'm a babe, of course you still want me, look at me, look at me, look at me.

But don't allow anyone with signs in the audience.(huh, this is a ballooning festival kiddo.) Too thin skinned to take any direct heat.

Maybe someone should have a hotair balloon saying something she won't like.

09/01/2011 14:28

Thanks to both Brad and Laura for advancing the discussion to the level I would have liked to see at the outset of their arrival on the scene. (I told you I'm a tough critic!)

This does stake out some ground, and I'm "tickled" that Brad thought to serve Mrs. Palin with notice that her shenanigans were not going to be swept under the rug forever.

Best of luck with your article, Brad. I hope it will be in a prominent venue. If you need any help editing awkward references to herpes, let me know. ;-)

lilly lily
09/01/2011 14:32


Palin continues waffling and jerking them around. And the stupid jackasses are taking it.

The woman is a nutcake. Get over her fella. I'm sure you are sweating it out.

You have been left at the altar, she is a runaway bride. (she says that the currevent is not the one she was offered. blah, blah, blah.)

09/01/2011 14:32

"an inordinate fondness for foam undergarments" Brad, that one is priceless!

09/01/2011 14:52

@B, just to restate the position I have always held, I agree with you about the 3/14/08 photo. It’s incontrovertible.

@Allie, I agree that Sarah does need to be more afraid of Anon238 on Gryphen’s blog than she needs be of the Bailey lapdog crew. She is apparently obsessed with Gryphen, probably in part because he is physically “close” to her, with local contacts like Mercede Johnston, plus she can identify him.

@bob, I have asked myself the same question (about the “fluids” and so forth) and my answer would be “I don’t know…”. The media certainly has the capacity to deceive itself over many other issues (the war on Iraq, the killing of Pat Tillman, the illegal wiretapping of citizens). They will utterly disengage when the buy-in to the whole apparatus of “state” is threatened.

@Bob, I don’t know if you are the same as small-b bob, but no matter. Cheney is not a “good man”. He is an evil sociopath. He shot a man in the face while drunk, and the victim ended up apologizing to HIM. (Cheney never apologized to the man he shot and nearly killed.)

His being CEO of Halliburton, in fact, tells you the entire story of the war profiteering in Iraq, stemming from the time of Bush the First. It tells you why, as head of the VP “search” committee, he chose himself, putting him in a position to skim off BILLIONS on the blood, not only of the Iraqis, but of our own US troops, of course. So to call him a mass murderer is almost too lenient of a description. He’s a mass murderer for hire. As an architect of the “Project for a New American Century”, he fought to enforce American global hegemony as a toxic kind of “Manifest Destiny”, which has not only been lethal in the Middle East, but which has gravely impoverished our own precious “homeland”, making it a slave to military debt, at the same time it has enriched Mr.Cheney’s mercenary echelons beyond their wildest possible expectations..

09/01/2011 15:02

@Allie & sara jane. The March 14 photo should be good enough for the MSM and you.

What am I missing? She is totally flat.

09/01/2011 15:07

This story totally fascinates me.It won't go away and the truth will come out.If she runs for Pres the scrutiny will reveal the hoax. I think J.D. aka mudflats is sitting on the truth...just a thought.

09/01/2011 15:27

has anyone ever tried getting a statement from the people at the museum event?

09/01/2011 15:27

In the last few days, there has been some discussion on "Mudflats" about the pregnancy hoax and I've noticed that just about everyone who thinks Sarah Palin is Trig's biological mother says that it would be just too crazy or that she has said she is his mother. For me, that's avoiding all of the evidence to the contrary: those photos and any comparison to actual pregnant women speak volumes and raise enormous questions. Questions that deserve answers, especially in light of the fact that it seems that Trig is not getting optimal treatment and therapy at this time.

09/01/2011 15:29

Brad and Laura, this is a great post! We all wonder what it will take to break this story in a meaningful way. Thanks for all both of you do to keep it alive.

Can someone please clarify something for me? I have heard a few people on different blogs mention that the 9/3 speech is in conjunction with a balloon festival, i.e. Sarah is going where there will already be a crowd. My understanding is that the event is being held on the grounds where the balloon festival is held. I just looked, and it appears that the balloon event was held July 29th - August 6th.

I'm only interested because I suspect the turnout for the 9/3 event will be very low. But if it's in conjunction with a preexisting event, there's really no way to tell.

Anyone else have information about that? Is the 9/3 event a standalone event?

09/01/2011 15:36

Sara Jane, you said, "I see a pregnant woman desperately trying to hide her pregnancy. The museum photo appears to me to be of a woman who is constricting her belly to avoid appearing pregnant (or fat), otherwise what the heck is that "cumberbund" for?"

I might agree, if I were only looking at the March 14 photo. But the March 14 photo combined with the Gusty photo is a clincher. There is absolutely no way a woman could cinch anything enough to hide the belly that appears just 18 days later. Absolutely no way.

BTW, there has been some discussion that the "cummerbund" effect is from bandages in the recovery phase of injections to dissolve fat. This came from Blade's blog, and the information revealed there.

09/01/2011 15:36

The Birth Hoax if revealed would shatter the Republican Party, because whoever knows, knows who knows-- and I think that includes McCain and the Party.

They may not know everything, but they know SP did not give birth.

Couple that possibility with a bombshell that still divides feminists and progressives (as witnessed by litbrit's comments yesterday) and the Trig Hoax would be the biggest scandal in decades.

Someone who is squeamish might hold back evidence-- ie someone who has too tight a view of propriety and who worries about the collateral damage to CBJ, Bristol etc. A squeamish person like that might hold out on the Trig Hoax hoping something else will scoot Palin off the stage.

But it won't. Anyone who knows the truth and withholds it is AN ENABLER. He or she is complicit in Palin's damage to the country, to Alaska, to her own family, to people she's hoodwinked or hurt.


Thanks. I just had to get that off my chest.


Back to the Post. Brad, the unspoken elephant in all this, or at least this particular go around, is that to most men, that photo is what they are told it is. And powerful women are uncomfortable bringing down another woman on "looks."

The photo just doesn't work as evidence, unless it is seen in light of other photos or along with medical testimony.

The reason this hoax has gone on so long is because nothing like it has ever been broached. It's new territory, and that's why I wasn't kidding that you two may well make history because of the argument you keep alive. It won't be who leaks the information, it will be how it's leaked and WHO makes something of it. Think about it. Woodward and Bernstein had to have the Post and Bradlee and K. Graham and Deep Throat. Any of them alone would have had nothing.

09/01/2011 15:39

sara Jane - that picture was taken after Palin announced her "pregnancy." There was no reason to hide it.

09/01/2011 15:40

Oh, and for the record, I don't think she looks pregnant in the March 14 photo. I think she looks odd, with whatever it is strapped to her upper abdomen and the big coat and what appears to be too-big elastic waist pants. But I don't think she looks pregnant. But that is irrelevant. The change from March 14 to the Gusty photo 18 days later is the kicker.

09/01/2011 15:40

SLQ, I believe you are right, this is the site of the balloon festival but is a stand-alone event. Hoping there is at least one hot-air balloon around though to take aerial photos of the attendance, because I'm sure they will claim that there were 10s of thousands and there will likely be a couple hundred or so.

09/01/2011 15:41

Palin would never sue anyway, because she'd have to come up with T's birth certificate.

B...here's how the holdouts see it, including the MSM. The March 14 photo could be photoshopped. Palin js leaning over. She had a belly a few days before (or after, pick one), and definitely on April 13 (Gusty--hey, it fooled me). She had good abs so didn't show. She was starving herself (maybe to lose Trig or maybe bec she enjoyed it)so didn't show. She had 'one of those pregnancies' where the baby doesn't start to grow till after 7.5 mos. Trig was growing in an area of Palin's uterus that just doesn't show much! She was keeping him warm under all that business around her waist. It's not Palin in the picture...she wasn't at the museum that day. Trig looks like her!!! She wouldn't say she was pregnant if she wasn't pregnant!!!

09/01/2011 15:43

Off topic and please excuse me for interrupting. I' m waiting for my son to finish his music lesson and i just read that Palin has been scheduled to speak at yhe World Knowledge Forum?! I'm having one of those"slapped in the face" moments with this information and need my internet friends' support. Can we all write letters to inquire what the f qualifies Palin to speak at this forum? Yeegads. Twilight Zone. I am sure she will be toast by then, but just the offer is offensive to us all. Back to the topic at hand. Thanks

09/01/2011 15:43

Laura and Brad - I doubly appreciate you guys. Firstly, I appreciate your professionalism vis a vis the way the information is presented to the world at large. But I also appreciate the way you encourage respectful speculation. It's a very good mix, and just what's needed at this seemingly critical time.

09/01/2011 15:44

Karen -- thanks. I do hope there is some way to refute what will surely be inflated (ha!) figures.

09/01/2011 15:45

B...sorry, were your referring to the Mar 14 museum photo? I don't know the Parnell one.

09/01/2011 15:56

Southpaw: YES! And welcome to our humble abode...

09/01/2011 16:10

@SLQ and Melly…
The March 14 photo is neither a photo where Sarah is bending over NOR is it the newly-published "Museum" photo (the bending-forward photo with the young girl was also taken at the museum event, to be precise). The latter photos are dated MARCH 26, 2008.

The MARCH 14 photo is the one with the pink scarf and narrow skirt, with Sean Parnell, shown here:

09/01/2011 16:12

@Comeonpeople Re: Palin speaking at the World Knowledge Forum (call that an oxymoron with Sarah there).

Enter the ugly wold of Dominionism again. mgardener over at Palingates shed some needed light on that event. Turns out that the President of SK is a Dominionist apostle.

Here is mgardeners enlightening comment:

I think she is going to mix religion with politics. Going after that Evangelical vote.

Think about how this will play to the Evangelicals, ONE OF US at this Conference!

Che Ahn, the new chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute stated in an interview,

"I just had the privilege of meeting with the president of South Korea who is an apostle on the government mountain.
... Then he became mayor of Seoul and when he became mayor of Seoul he dedicated the city to Jesus Christ and he got a lot of criticism by the
Buddhists and he said, 'You know, this is my faith and I did what I did and I'm not going to take it back.' When you get to the top you can do some radical things for the Lord and unfortunately many of us are not at the top. And so, Deuteronomy 28:13 says we are to be the head and not
the tail."

09/01/2011 16:16

Oh. Thanks, Lidia17. I KNOW better. But actually, the same set of comments applies to any of the pictures that show without question a flat bellied, non-pregnant looking Palin. There's always an excuse to believe she was pregnant is that's what you want to believe.

09/01/2011 16:22

Thanks, Lidia. I was going by the "cummerbund" issue that was mentioned, and not thinking about dates. The March 14 photo is the Parnell photo.

But the same idea applies (even though the new abdomen-wrap-walking-through-the-door-on-March 26 photo shows it more clearly). No way, no how to get from A to B in either 4 weeks or 18 days.

09/01/2011 16:40

@ Sara Jane
Pregnant abdomens are not compressible. No amount of binding will make them flat. The photo can not be explained away.

09/01/2011 16:41

@ Sara Jane
Pregnant abdomens are not compressible. No amount of binding will make them flat. The photo can not be explained away.

09/01/2011 16:52

Pile it on. Another Alaskan blogger just decided to get back in the game.

WE'RE NOT THAT STUPID http://werenotthatstupid.blogspot.com/2011/09/anonymous-insider-comes-forth-blind.html

(Also at the top of IMs' blogroll).

What she has to say fits right in with this discussion:

"As of late though, I feel compelled to add my voice and aid in pointing everyone towards some of the new revelations that have come to light. I have long been on the fence about Babygate....crazy-info overload and my own naive inability to believe that something this OUTRAGEOUS could actually happen...that this "woman" could actually get away with this bizarre charade and go on to gain the power, influence, and opportunity that she has. "

Keep it coming ....

09/01/2011 16:56

I am wondering if there might be conflation of two different photos, the March 14 (Parnell) and the Museum March photo two weeks later because some people are saying there were 18 days between the March 14 photo and the Gusty photo and that simply isn't true. It is the Museum photo and the Gusty photo that were taken 18 days apart. (3/26 and 4/13)

The 3/14 photo has a scarf which partially obscures the abdomen, thus, by definition it is not "incontrovertible" BY ITSELF. My apologies to those who disagree. In contrast, the 3/26 photo could very easily pass the, "Hey, do you think this woman is 32 weeks pregnant?" test. We HAVE the 3/26 photos; let's hook our wagon to the stronger of the two. To put it bluntly, why give a rat's ass about the 3/14 photo except as supporting documentation when we have the 3/26 photos? That mystifies me!

If anyone wonders where I am on the pregnancy hoax continuum, I occupy the space that believes that Sarah Palin is sterile and her chance of becoming pregnant is somewhere between a failed tubal and zilch and when combined with all of the other evidence I have accumulated, the likelihood that she is the biological mother of Trig adds up to a big fat goose egg.

My focus here is where are we on the proving the pregnancy hoax to the average person continuum? That is a different question, one that Brad and Laura are trying to answer, and I am in complete support of their efforts.

Personally, I am hopeful that a certain anonymous commenter is going to break that goose egg wide open!

09/01/2011 16:57

Amazing comments, and just amazing facts disclosed even in the past several days. My hat is off to each and every contributor, and to the blog hosts for their tireless efforts and exceptional standards.

A recent thought: if Palin finally deconstructs to the point where she implodes completely, as seems highly likely once all the facts become widely publicized and her physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate (and perhaps as new legal issues emerge), we are talking about a full-scale implosion in a home where several loaded firearms are kept, and that is frequented by toddlers (including an uncontrollable toddler), drinking teens, and adult(s) who have anger issues and who may be using substances, a potentially horrible scenario.

09/01/2011 17:05

OT but did anyone else notice that Joe took down the "Here’s a serious question: is Bristol Palin guilty of child abuse?" post? Does anyone know why? Was he threatened with legal action or something? Just curious! I've still got the page up with the post, and I am going to save it, but if you try to find it on his blog now, it's gone.

09/01/2011 17:06


Your making the assumption that she is going to receive the letter. I think in the BBC Newsnight interview of Palin and her parents they mentioned that the fan mail went to the parents and they sorted through it. I might be wrong about this. Until they open the letter it may as well be fan mail. ;-)

The point though is that she is not a regular person. she is a celebrity that no doubt gets hundreds of letters a day. I'm not sure she is very diligent either so I wouldn't bank on her reading it. It might be better to send it to her lawyer. It's his job to read stuff even when he doesn't want to.

Good luck with it.

09/01/2011 17:10

O/T - haven't read your post yet, but will immediately after this...)

Joe removed the Bri$tol Palin post! What gives? Is he worried because of the Truthout article?

Brad Scharlott
09/01/2011 17:15

search4more: Does anyone know who her lawyer is?

My letter was fat because it contained a 20-page paper. Plus it was in a special USPS envelope because of the tracking number. Of course I can't prove she looked at it.

I'll send another tomorrow to her lawyer if someone can help me with that.

09/01/2011 17:24

@Allie. The 3/14 picture is sourced to the ADN, and the small coverage of her waist by the scarf cannot hide a 7.5 month pregnancy that does not show on the totally flat abdomen below the scarf.

I'll take whatever photo can do the job. Good luck with the 3/26. But if I were in court, I'd use the 3/14 one.

Some people look at the pictures where she sort of tried to look pregnant and say, well, she certainly doesn't look flat so maybe she just didn't show much. It is harder to make the case when it is a matter of "degree of showing."

You can't do that with the 3/14 photo. She did not enhance her belly at all, not even a square pad's worth. Dr. Scharlott's work lightening the photo emphasizes this even more.

More people will admit that no woman, especially one who carried four previous pregnancies to term, can have a totally flat abdomen and merely a month later deliver a 6+ baby. (Or the larger baby held by the Heaths in the hospital.)

And that is why I give a rat's ass about the 3/14 picture.

09/01/2011 17:30

Brad -- Per Malia's interaction with APD, it appears her lawyer is John Timessen. I couldn't remember the name for sure, but remembered the post, and just dug it up. http://malialitman.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/clarification-by-anchorage-police-officer/

That was from February, but I doubt it's changed. He's with the same firm as Van Flein.

Google his name and Fairbanks to get his contact info. They also have an Anchorage office.

09/01/2011 17:32

John Tiemessen


He is the attorney that has the restraining order against the Christys.

09/01/2011 17:35

lilly lily Thu, 01 Sep 2011 14:20:32

"...Maybe someone should have a hotair balloon saying something she won't like."

You hit the nail on the head: At that convention this weekend, someone should either fly one of those advertisement planes above, or a hot air balloon, with questions for the Bitter Quitter Queen!

09/01/2011 17:36

Super discussion!

My two cents: During the 2008 campaign Sarah was on a talk-radio show. The discussion turned to then-Senator Obama perhaps not being a U.S. citizen. Sarah made the comment that it was (this is my wording not a direct quote) silly of Obama to not just produce a birth certificate - like she ended up having to do with Trig, yes she made Trig's birth certificate public - because if Obama had a U.S. birth certificate, showing it would put all the public questioning to rest.

The point of this is simply that the press has always had a 'fact' to follow. Sarah has never produced Trig's birth certificate, yet on a public talk-show (recorded and still played on youtube) that she had. Her statement was a bold-faced lie and yet the journos all look the other way. No one called her on it. NO ONE.

Also during her campaign she publicly claimed to have been found innocent of any wrong-doing in Troopergate, even after the board determined she'd in fact abused her power as governor to settle a personal score with her former brother-in-law. Both the board's results and her claim are recorded in TV interviews and newspapers. NO ONE called her on it.

After the campaign Sarah publicly claimed vindication from 'all ethics complaints filed against her' even though at least one had her repaying the state thousands of dollars for travel expenses she'd wrongly charged to the state. Again, facts and her conflicting statements are all recorded in interviews and newspapers. NO ONE called her on it.

The shame of this is these are three easily checked statements made by Sarah herself in which all are lies. Not just misquotes, misinterpretations or theories, but flat-out lies - and I can bring them all to the front of my brain with no effort at all - so imagine how many more are out there still to be dug up were a bit of elbow grease applied...

Sarah Palin is about to go to South Korea to speak on behalf of our country. Her opinions will be misconstrued as 'America's' opinion. She will be seen as the face of America. And if her past 'foreign speeches' are any indication she will stand at a mic and blast our elected president as if he stole the office rather than having won it in a landslide election. She will chastize and criticize our educated leaders handling of the economy and our scientists for scaring the people with tall-tales of global warming as if the rest of us don't believe in our responsibility toward the planet.

I am beyond appalled at her being allowed to represent me on foreign soil. she represents not one of my moral values and

When she came back from India a British journo wrote that he thought she should have been arrested for treason because she spoke treasonously of her president onj foreign soil while America was engaged in war.

PLEASE - all you journalists out there - stop dancing around her as if you're all on the same stage and she's the star attraction - she's about to do our country great harm. IMHO she's done enough of that already.

09/01/2011 17:45

(oops! hit a hotkey in mid-sentence! Sorry!)

Started to say:
I am beyond appalled at her being allowed to represent me on foreign soil. She represents not one of my moral values and WE DIDN'T ELECT HER! WE ELECTED OBAMA!

So for me while this is a great head-scratching discussion, at this point I pretty much don't care how you guys sort what a journo should print or not -I just want her not representing me to the world any more and the facts that are already out there should provide enough evidence of incompetency to accomplish that.

Ok that was more like a buck fifty - Oz

Brad Scharlott
09/01/2011 17:48

Super - I've been given two law firms (one by email) - so I will fax the article and cover letter tomorrow to both. Thanks!

09/01/2011 17:57

I believe van Flein (Snidley Whiplash) may still be doing legal work for her as well.

But send it to the Tiemessen office - certified, return receipt. Once you have that receipt it is documented as delivered. We KNOW he was supposed to be her lawyer, since he filed the charges against the Christys. Make sure it is obviously labeled to make them aware it is about $P.

09/01/2011 18:04

"A recent thought: if Palin finally deconstructs to the point where she implodes completely, as seems highly likely once all the facts become widely publicized and her physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate (and perhaps as new legal issues emerge), we are talking about a full-scale implosion in a home where several loaded firearms are kept, and that is frequented by toddlers (including an uncontrollable toddler), drinking teens, and adult(s) who have anger issues and who may be using substances, a potentially horrible scenario. "

The Palin home is not a dangerous place. Yes, it's frequented by many people.
Where do you get the drinking teens from? and uncontrollable toddler? All toddler's are the same. I"m sure Sarah is fine considering she has kept the babies by herself in recent history.

09/01/2011 18:27

OT again, but I just saw the Truthout article that AKM, Jeanne Devon, has been so happily publicizing as her vindication against Joe McGinniss.
And I don't think she should be celebrating.
After reading the emails TO published that show that Jeanne flat-out BETRAYED Joe by continuing to have privileged conversations about Palin and his book, while she was secretly signed on to co-write Bailey's book....well, quite frankly, she is not coming out smelling like a rose here.
Wow. I mean, maybe we can still say Joe shouldn't have leaked the manuscript. But he sure didn't do it without provocation!
I have lost all respect for her. Whatever Joe is, he is, and he doesn't pretend to be anything different. Like him, don't like him, whatever.
But she pretended to be a saint in all of this. Maybe she still thinks she is.

09/01/2011 18:28

Another excellent post, Laura and Brad -- thanks for continuing to explore this subject that has been taboo for the MSM for all too long. I certainly feel that the preponderance of credible evidence indicates the hoax, and the strong photographic evidence moves into "beyond a reasonable doubt" terrain, IMO. I want to also note that several of the people who have been most involved in exposing this case are lawyers or otherwise familiar with presenting evidence in legal cases. Given the evidence that has been uncovered using the internet as the primary investigative tool, it is interesting to imagine what could be uncovered with actual investigative powers.

09/01/2011 18:51

I agree that Jeanne Devon does not come out smiling like a rose. I actually support Joe over her now.

09/01/2011 18:51

@ginny11, I can't agree with you regarding the truthout article. All I can say is, everyone who gets near Palin - physically or theoretically - is poisoned. She turns everything to shit in some way, shape or form.

09/01/2011 19:09

I'd add to the "preponderance of evidence" category, the film clip which Floyd Orr has reintroduced at his blogsite. It's the trot-around-Juneau footage when Palin was supposedly six months along. I first saw it at the now silent Barb Dwyer blogsite. It's just as damning (maybe more so) as the photos we've all discussed and the tales told over and over about the wonder-woman's miracle birth. Not sure if live links work here, so I'll try <a href=http://niafs.blogspot.com/2011/06/hooker-boots-on-ice.html"> both </a>.

Also http://niafs.blogspot.com/2011/06/hooker-boots-on-ice.html

And Litbrit is right. The feminist critics were incredibly counterproductive. Naomi Wolff is still at it, claiming that there is a "new" feminism at work which needs to applaud the likes of Bachmann and Palin because they are there on the national stage. No thanks. imho as usual. Feminism isn't about taking women backward and being allowed to do it because of one's gender. These women need to be called out for the retro-forces they are. By us women especially.

09/01/2011 19:13

I agree with ginny11, AND with Mary. No one is clean on the book issue.

The blogs and books have turned most of those who once seemed to in this for the TRUTH, into a shark tank where the sharks are biting each other. Sharks out for their own glorification. I will wait for the outcome of any lawsuit filed by the Bailey book authors against Joe. IF they choose to file such. Then I will come to a conclusion about the facts.

I applaud Laura and Brad for their professional approach to the issues. Neither are in it to be 'the best', the first, or the ultimate.

Imagine the dirty feeling of living near Wasilla as the palin poison seeps out into Lake Lucille. Shudder...

09/01/2011 19:14

@nancydrewed, is Naomi Wolff saying that women should support women who are crazy assholes just because they're women? Jesus Christ.

BTW, I am currently re-re-reading The Leaning Chimney (I think that's the title - it's up in my bedroom). No joke. Nancy Drew will always be on my reading list!

09/01/2011 19:34

B, obviously I pushed a sensitive button. I understand completely that the photograph has convinced you. You believe in it.

What I was trying to say and obviously I was a big fat failure is that the scarf obscures where the fundus of the uterus would be. Regardless of its other positive attributes, that makes it unreliable in my judgment for use as evidence of a pregnancy hoax. Therefore, I do not believe it would convince a non-believer. Finding evidence to convince the non-believers is MY mission. Perhaps it is just the case that YMMV. Okay?

09/01/2011 19:35

Oz Mud,
Amen, and true d'at!

09/01/2011 19:46

Gryph says he thinks Anon238 is the real deal:

Tonight in the new Nick Broomfield post:

"Okay let me address the Anon poster that everybody is STILL talking about.

No I am NOT going to put all of her comments in one big post. At least not yet.

While reading through them the other day, I noticed that she made it very clear that she was pretty concerned with people trying to out her.

Putting them all front and center will clearly invite that kind of attack much more than keeping them where they are for now.

So when she returns around September 3, I will ASK her if she would not mind having her comments made the subject of a post.

If she agrees, well there you go.

If not, that will be that.

BTW, I DID do some checking and it appears she may indeed be the real thing." -- Gryphen, IM

6:39 PM

09/01/2011 19:52

Woohoo! From Gryphen and note the last sentence:

Okay let me address the Anon poster that everybody is STILL talking about.

No I am NOT going to put all of her comments in one big post. At least not yet.

While reading through them the other day, I noticed that she made it very clear that she was pretty concerned with people trying to out her.

Putting them all front and center will clearly invite that kind of attack much more than keeping them where they are for now.

So when she returns around September 3, I will ASK her if she would not mind having her comments made the subject of a post.

If she agrees, well there you go.

If not, that will be that.

BTW, I DID do some checking and it appears she may indeed be the real thing.

6:39 PM

09/01/2011 19:54

Okay, I posted many comments over at Mudflats trying to get people to at least acknowledge Jeanne's role and her own sins in the whole leaked-manuscript mess. But I have a feeling they will be "moderated out". So I am posting my main comment here:

You know what? I’m not a regular here, because quite awhile back, I was put-off when Jeanne and Shannon ridiculed and insulted many of their readers and fellow bloggers on Nicole Sandler’s radio show, called them “tin foil hat wearers” etc.
But here I am, because I saw the link to this post about the truthout article over on Jesse’s blogroll, and I wanted to see what the article had to say, to see if Jeanne was right to feel wronged by Joe.
And what I read that was most interesting was that Jeanne had betrayed Joe McGinniss by signing on to the Bailey book and working on it at the same time she continued her “friendship” with Joe, which (as she indicates in her email to Joe) include confidential conversations about privileged information concerning HIS book. He didn’t find out until his editor showed him the widely circulated manuscript. Can you imagine what an absolute slap in the face that must have felt like? Think about it: we have no idea what sort of information Joe shared with Jeanne that, though she may not have disclosed or used directly in her book, HAD to have had SOME influence on her thinking and decision-making while researching and writing her book.
If what Joe did was wrong and unethical and a betrayal, then what Jeanne did to Joe first CERTAINLY was all of those things as well. Jeanne’s excuse is that she signed a confidentiality agreement. Well, yeah. But she still could have cut off the conversations with Joe from that point on, at the very least. Or better yet, she could have put her foot down and not agreed to keep Joe out of the loop, and insisted on being able to at least let him, if no one else, know since she had likey already had many conversations with him about his book by that point. Don’t you all think maybe she at least owed Joe that much? As a “friend”?
I’m not a Joe bot. I think Joe made a huge mistake when he forwarded the manuscript to news outlets. But after learning the circumstances leading up to his actions, and Jeanne’s own “sins”, I believe he did so in a moment of anger and hurt, rather than in cold-hearted selfishness as everyone here seems to want to believe.
You reap what you sow.

09/01/2011 19:54

V-A -- is it great minds in a single track or all fools think alike??? :)

09/01/2011 19:54

comeonpeople -- I got the impression you are an MD: couldn't you do an informal poll among your ob/gyn pals: Show them this graphic (or any photos you prefer) and ask them if this woman could have delivered Trig as stated, and how sure are they of their answer: 70%? 90%? 100%

YOU could be in charge of keeping their IDs secret; I would hope each of us could ask any OB/gyn we know.

An anonymous poll like this could well lead to on-the-record comments. (Or, maybe ob/gyns can tell us why some do not find this graphic proof positive.)

I'd like to send THAT and a copy of Brad's paper to that Knowledge conference!


09/01/2011 19:55

@Allie. We agree on finding evidence to convince non-believers. The hot button was "why give a rat's ass about the 3/14 . . . when we have the 3/26 photos? That mystifies me!"

I was trying to remove that mystery. And when a month away from delivering a 6+ pound baby, your body isn't flat below the fundus. The bump sticks out and is rounded down to the public bone.

However our mileage may vary, sadly neither photo has done the job so far. Maybe anon-anon will do it tomorrow.

09/01/2011 20:04

Nice article, Laura and Brad!

Btw, interesting to hear from Gryphen that he thinks Anon is on the level!

09/01/2011 20:05

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Jeanne won't let my comments through moderation. I just looked back at one I posted on Aug. 23, and it's still "awaiting moderation". So I'm glad I copy and pasted here.
I'm just so sick and sad at all the hypocrisy. I see it at mudflats with those who are blind to what Jeanne did wrong with Joe. I see it in the past dust-ups between IM and Polgates. I see it in the aggressive reactions of those who are called out for their extremist and exclusionist behavior on the blog commenting sections. I see it with some "far-lefies" that are as ideologically rigid and self-destructive as those on the far-right (they should team up, both groups are intent on taking President Obama down at all costs!). I see it with people I work with, and people who act like my "friends" but pretend to not see the nasty treatment I receive from another of their friends. Everyone is just A-OK with anything that helps to support their worldview, right or wrong, and helps protect their fragile egos.
This world is just making me sick today. :-(
Thanks to Laura and Brad for sticking with this and being the "adults" in this whole Palin mess.

09/01/2011 20:15

@B, oh, I get it now.

@Ottoline, I am glad you fixed your link. I forgot that the hands and the ever-present blackberry are right there at the fundal level, too. :(

09/01/2011 20:15

Thanks, Ginny. And thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. It's really important to remain civil and open-minded, even if someone else doesn't support our world view. And I think it's entirely possible to do that. I also think that all of the blogs and their hosts/writers have great strengths and talents. Everyone brings something different to the table. And these differences are to be supported and celebrated, in my "la la California mind." But truly, everyone does great work and solid research. And no blogger would be blogging without the enormous talent and efforts of the commenters and readers who are a critical part of the "team." So, thank you all again. And of course to Brad for chatting with me. I always learn from him and it's always great to discuss these issues together.

09/01/2011 20:44

The March 26 photo is all a reasonable person would need to see. I live in Anchorage and sent that photo to two friends here, a man and his wife, and a female friend in NoVA. The photo I sent was the closeup of Palin's belly that IM has posted several times. Next to the link I asked each of them, "What's that wrapped around this woman's stomach?"

Well, my buddy response was funny. He asked, "A money belt?" I responded, "In a sense." His wife asked me what it was. I told her. Now these people are long time AKers so they're familiar with the original hoax story, just uninterested.

The woman in NoVA had no idea. There's is no way a person cannot distinguish the top and bottom edges of something wrapped around Palin's belly. The edges are indisputable even without lightening.

Juxtaposed with the Gusty photo a couple weeks or so later and there's just no way. Then, as another poster somewhere mentioned, there's the photo of a supremely healthy 10 hr. old Trig in the arms of his grandparents (as if), to somehow have been hravested from that March 26 money belt. There's no discussion. It's inconceivable.

Laura, I first arrived in AK in April of 2008. Thought the governor was a pretty woman but had no interest otherwise. Then, McCain entered the picture and chose Palin. The Anchorage Daily News headline story the following day described a talk Palin had given to her former congregation. That is when she said somehting to the effect that the Iraq War was part of God's Plan. That's when I started paying attention and have been stuck on it since. She and those like her (and there's plenty as we know) are loathesome.

09/01/2011 20:53

I'm a frequent lurker on this and other blogs addressing Babygate, but an infrequent commenter. Just wanted to express how much I enjoy these shared discussions between Laura and Brad. Thank you both for your well-written and well-reasoned posts, and your persistence and determination as you deconstruct this *cough* alleged hoax.

@Brad, I appreciated your original Babygate/Spiral of Silence paper and am looking forward to reading the revised and updated version.

If I lived in the same corner of the country as Brad and/or Laura, I would so have you guys over for dinner!

09/01/2011 21:08

Tom, that's it exactly. I showed the Parnell photos and the 3/26 photos to a family member (who coincidentally used to live in Wasilla), with the face covered. She's a labor & delivery nurse. I asked her how far along the woman was. She looked up at me, confused. She said, "she doesn't look pregnant at all, so if she's pregnant, it can't be more than 2 or 3 months." Then I asked her opinion if this was the woman's fifth delivery. She immediately said, "she's not pregnant, then."

Then I showed her the Gusty photo, again with the face covered. I asked her how far along that woman is. She said it's hard to gauge by a photo, but "pretty far along, at least 7 months, maybe even 8 or 9."

Then I asked her what she would think if the photos were taken less than a month apart, and gave her the dates of the photos, saying it was 18 days from the museum photo to the Gusty photo. She said "that can't be -- it's "simply not possible."

Then I uncovered the faces. She looked up at me, stunned. She said she'd heard rumors about the hoax, but assumed they were nonsense. She said that, without a doubt, if the dates of the photos are correct (I showed her the proof), Sarah Palin faked the pregnancy.

So, I think presentation does matter. If I had started by telling her I wanted to prove to her that Sarah Palin had faked the pregnancy, it might have been a different discussion.

09/01/2011 21:40

For SLQ who asks if the Sept. 3 tea party event is a "stand-alone" event. NO.
The cult members that have already arrived in Iowa said that there are hordes of people in town for a triathlon.

09/01/2011 21:56

Amidst the blasting of Palin from all sides of the blogosphere right now (and it couldn't be happening to a better person), this discourse is rational, reasonable, and so carefully presented. Good on you both. Your back-and-forth here has demonstrated how tentatively this very serious subject must be approached in order to be taken seriously.
Even that is a story in itself. God, this thing is like an onion.
I'm loving the comments on this thread, all peeling away the layers.

Thanks for having Brad back, Laura.

I consider the media's complicity by silence in this to be a dangerous sign of the power the media has to enable someone like her, to silently support a lie of this magnitude, orchestrated for votes. In my experience, the Average Person believes there's no story worth pursuing, because the media hasn't pursued it.

When I first heard about the Trig business, it was the Average Person's seemingly gullible view on the hoax having been debunked as a result of the "Bristol = 5 mos. pg, Trig = 4 mos. old = DUH" math, that shocked me and got me interested. How willing people were to dismiss Sarah faking the pg., because it made no sense that she'd say Bristol was pregnant, if she was trying to cover up a previous Bristol pregnancy.
I said to people, she was trying to hide her own lack of a pregnancy earlier with the Bristol announcement later.
They said to me, we'd know if she faked it. No way she'd get away with it. Someone would have said something.

Around election time when I brought it up again, the Average Person's seeming gullibility suddenly made it easier for them to believe that I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist, rather than believe the hoax.
No matter how I try to put it, most people I talk to are convinced that if Palin faked the pregnancy, The Media would have gotten to the bottom of things.

And they didn't, so there was no bottom.

What's happening to the world?

Palin effectively perpetrated lie within lie within lie about two pregnancies. Both spoken about and used for profit. Who knows where it ends?

I try to present the hoax as if it's plain fact, based on SP's own wild ride recollection. Of course the pregnancy was fake, listen to what she said she did, her own words. Two hospitals. Labour, not labour. Induced, was easy. Six pounds, so tiny. Hid it, didn't try to hide it. Tight abs. McCain announces March 4th, SP trumpets pregnancy March 5th.
They think it's all weird, but Palin's weird. People still want to believe they'd know if she faked it, because it would have been reported. They don't want to know how badly they've been duped.
Brad, I can't wait to hear the legal response - I'm sure you'll keep us posted.

A tip of the hat to everyone here.

In other ramblings - SP probably thinks the switch to the balloon event was set up somehow by her 'haterz' to mock her uninflated belly. The heat is on, folks. She is scared, with good reason.

09/01/2011 22:07

Thanks, Ella. That's kinda funny. Somehow, I don't think triathalon participants would be her base? But it will look good in those crowd shots for the media.

myrna nichols
09/01/2011 23:06

What an interesting discussion! The legal standards that you discussed sound like the kinds of standards that we would hear in either civil or criminal court. Are they the same standards that the legal department of a newspaper, magazine or publisher uses when submitting the material to their legal department?

They obviously want to avoid any kind of a laws suit. Despite everything that has been written about Palin, I haven't seen her lawyers threaten to sue over the issue of Sarah not giving birth to Trig. (If they did, it would call too much attention to the story, and as it is, the MSM doesn't seem interested in the topic).

After all this time, what would be acceptable proof of Sarah either giving birth to Trig or not? Birth certificates, medical records and other documents can be forged and photoshopped by now. The only test that I would accept as valid would be a court supervised DNA test. It couldn't be performed in Alaska where Palin does have influence. It would have to be sent to an unnamed facility, known only to a neutral party, such as a judge. (Even judges can be political, look at the Supreme Court.)

I'm surprised that when Sarah dragged Trig around the country during the 2008 campaign or her book tour, no one thought to collect diapers, hair from a hair brush, drinking cups and glasses, anything that could provide a DNA sample. From the moment that Palin appeared on the scene, the story was out there. Daily Kos printed the long version soon after she was selected, and just as quickly, took the story down. Yet, no one thought that what the Palins left behind in hotel rooms was worth anything to the National Enquirer.

09/01/2011 23:39

Thank you, Laura and Brad, for a great post.

09/02/2011 00:18

The pictures are proof. Anyone with any expertise with pregnancy will look at them and say, impossible. As did the nurse up there.

So, all we need is some brave pundit/talk show host to have the guts to bring on an expert (I guess we need a brave expert) and then show the pictures and explain how impossible it is. As well as make a few comments about the absurdity of the Wild Ride.

Who's gonna go first? Keith? Rachel? Perhaps David Gregory wants to rehabilitate himself? Or perhaps the View? Women dealing with a woman's issue?

And then we can start asking the questions about the rest of the "evidence" which was obviously faked - the Gusty picture, the CBJ letter. All the lies. Who are the real parents. And the McCain cover up. And how Sarah PAC has ripped off her gullible followers and Bristol is a complete fraud (abstinence, my a$$).

Ferry Fey
09/02/2011 02:51

"When you accuse someone in print of wrongdoing, the accused gets no immediate chance to rebut the accusations."

That may have been true pre-internet, or might apply to an ordinary person compared to a well-known one. But in a world where Sarah Palin's tweets are immediately transmitted and discussed world-wide, you can't say she has no chance to rebut the accusations.

If she actually had a case to make to explain her bizarre actions, she'd have no trouble getting an interview with a sympathetic/sycophantic interviewer to rebut the accusations in excruciating detail. She just refuses to, which is very different from not getting a fair chance.

Lou in London
09/02/2011 04:52

Brilliant post and great comments.

B, The photo that for you (me, us) is the nail in the coffin doesn’t constitute ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ in a journalistic sense, because every body is different. Just because no other woman has seemingly had a magical pregnancy like Sarah – doesn’t actually mean that someone couldn’t. And going back to the Bayes Theorem, many (including an editor/publisher) would need more than that picture, I’m afraid. It does it for me but I’m already convinced.

What I would love to see is a re-staging of some of the key Sarah pictures/films (especially the cross-legged leaning forward interview), with a slight-framed genuinely 7 months pregnant lady. When we see some of the comparison images – like in Lidia17’s brilliant films – the poses/positions are not the same. Does anyone know anyone who is currently pregnant who’d be willing to try? Come to think of it, I’d love to know at what stage of pregnancy it becomes hard or impossible to sit cross-legged and leaning forward. Perhaps everyone here who knows a currently pregnant lady (at 4, 5 months etc) could pose leaning forward like that and give us a short description (how comfortable, how long they could hold the pose)? It wouldn’t necessarily be a nail in the coffin but it would be bloody interesting. And maybe the wonderful Brad, or Lydia17 could put the images together for us?

I think I may have to give up my job so I can stay on top of all this!!

09/02/2011 06:17

@ Tom,
A "money belt"--how ironic.

Brad, Would you consider scanning and posting the letter to Sarah Heath and putting it as a link or as an update to this post? I think if people see you preface the article and its allegations in precise detail with a clear request/offer of a statement disputing your findings, a lot of people would see things differently.

Brad Scharlott
09/02/2011 06:22

Ferry Fey: Excellent point about Palin having the ability to garner media attention any time she wants. If she was truly innocent of a hoax, she could instantly stop all the accusations by just tweeting the truth.

To everyone: Thank you so much for all the kind comments directed to Laura and me. Laura deserves the credit for making this blog such a hospitable place to have conversations, and then to have conversations about the conversations here in the comments.

09/02/2011 06:53

Lou in London,

Good idea. I've had that thought before. It's a great idea and for 2 reasons. firstly it's good incontrovertible proof of what a pregnant woman can and can't do. something most people just don't know. Secondly it gives the media a set of people to interview and makes the story visual. The media likes that. It could start a craze where many pregnant women pose in the positions that appear in the famous pictures. There would have to be a dedicated website you send the pictures to. I think if that happened it would be a big story.

09/02/2011 07:20

Lou in London ~

Funny -
Instead of Planking... we would have Palinking

09/02/2011 07:42

Anyone here live in Juneau?

I'm trying to make a 3D model of 4 of the famous pregnancy pictures so that I can superimpose onto the pictures a model of a pregnant woman at certain points in pregnancy. I want to have a slider so that the user can make the model more or less pregnant. It's a way of letting people analyse the pictures. There are a number of time lapse videos of women during their pregnancies on Youtube. I'm going to base the model of the pregnant women on these videos.

I have been successful in modelling the 14th March picture. I know the position of the objects in the photo, the position of the camera and it's focal length. The reason though I could do that is because I found pictures of the entrance of the RAM building in anchorage from multiple angles. There are some road signs in the pictures. These road signs are of a standard size. Knowing some measurement in the pictures meant that the software I was using could then extrapolate from that and work out the distances between other things in the pictures. ...It's complicated. Not sure how well I'm explaining it.

...Anyway. Sorry I'm long winded. What I wanted to say is that I'm stuck now and need some help. I don't know if this is possible, but I need to link up with someone who can go to the Alaska State museum and take some pictures and measure a few things. Is there anyone here that can and would be willing to do that? Please only people who live near the museum. This whole thing may not work out and I don't want to put anyone out.

I need to know a measurement from the 26th March (surdaf) picture. Anything that's in the 2 photo's surdaf took.

The 26th March (Brian Wallace) picture is the difficult one. I need measurements of the door in the picture. I might need 3 pictures of those doors from different angles. I preferably need the EXIF data that goes with Brian Wallace's photos. I want to know the camera make and model and the focal length he took the picture at (either the 35mm equiv or the actual focal length).

Laura, Do you have the EXIF data from the pictures you purchased taken on the 26th March? Do you have a right to have that information from the stock photo people?

As an aside people might be interested to know that the doors visible in those pictures are actually several meters behind where Palin is standing. I found a PDF document on the internet which talks about the architectural history of the building. It has a pic of the foyer in it. The lens is telephoto. There are stairs that go down from the entrance. That's why the photographer is actually taking the picture from below. Probably at about level with Palin's knees or thighs.

If anyone wanted to volunteer for this mission they would need to do some stuff to calibrate their camera and I would need to have an email conversation with you to give you more specific instructions.

I also want to work on the gusty picture. Again I would need measurements from that picture. The carpet is the perfect thing to measure in that photo because it's has a regular pattern and takes up quite a lot of the picture. I again would need about 3 photos from slightly different angles.

...So anyone want to accept the mission?

Sorry for the long post.

09/02/2011 07:54

@Lou in London. Beyond a reasonable doubt is not the same as beyond any doubt whatsoever. It is totally unreasonable for a totally flat belly on 3/14 to contain what will be a 6+ pound baby in a month. It is also totally unreasonable for a totally flat belly to become a Gusty belly in a month. Nobody's body is that different.

Now I'll stop defending what I say about the 3/14 photo. Obviously at least Allie and Lou in London disagree with me. And the MSM seems to disagree with all of us!

09/02/2011 08:05

B: I'm with you on the validity of the 3/14 photo. And all the other photos that supplement the conclusion. And all the circumstantial data that point in the same direction.

Including the Gusty photo, which by overstating the size of the (fake) belly, also points in the direction of a hoax.

And not one photo or piece of data to lead us in the other direction (proving SP was pregnant). Not one person saying so. Not one person offering an explanation for the 3/14 photo or any of the other data.

Except: SP would not lie to us. The MSM would have told us if there's a hoax. McCain would never tolerate anything this dishonest.

09/02/2011 08:18


Wish I could help out, but I am not in AK. Perhaps Gryphen and his photog friend Zaki would do this - sounds like a perfect assignment for them.

09/02/2011 09:09

Writing from Alaska.... have a friend whose retired-military husband works for the State. He is acquainted with someone who claims to know for a fact that the pregnancy was a hoax. I believe there are certainly people in Alaska who know what they know but knowing it and stating knowledge of this hoax is understandable. Bayes Theorem kind of explains this for me.

molly malone
09/02/2011 09:16

@ Laura and Brad

Okay, what if a journalist were to flip to a positive approach and present Sarah's pregnancy as a true medical outlier? I realize it would be a challenge to not wander off into Onion land, although it would probably be within bounds to jab the MSM for failing to acknowledge just how unique Sarah Palin actually is.

Okay, okay, it was just a thought.

09/02/2011 09:26

Wonderful conversation, Laura and Brad...and community.

When did reporters stop reporting and become stenographers, PR people, and/or manipulators of public opinion? If only they'd simply report the facts, ask the right questions, report when things don't add up...(((sigh)))

I may have a house guest this weekend--a pediatrician. I have a strange feeling we might spend some time looking at photos. And now, I must get busy with cleaning and errands. It looks like Sarah Palin has been in charge of housekeeping.

09/02/2011 09:28

Holy crap. Heres some levity for the day. This is old but I've never seen it.

09/02/2011 09:29

@Ginny - "adults in the room" indeed. just witness Laura's comment following. From my experience, lies have a far-reaching toxicity, even to those on the other side!

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, men (and some women) have to be led by the nose on this one. I have lectured my husband several times on the relationship between the Sq. Pillow photo and the Gusty one. He "gets" it because I want him to-- but otherwise, I can tell he doesn't. I'm not sure of what would constitute "proof," for someone like him. Trig's birth parents coming forward? Enough AKers speaking up about the rumors? A birth certificate or DNA?

Frankly, I feel like G's new post showing Palin after Piper's birth vs after "Trig's birth" is a total eyeopener.

molly malone
09/02/2011 09:31

Oops, didn't make it clear that I believe Palin's pregnancy was as real as the tooth fairy.

09/02/2011 09:32

@akvoter - could you send a msg to your friend's husband's friend re: brad and laura and anonymity?

09/02/2011 09:51

It seems to me that there is plenty of evidence already. Is there any way we can organize a campaign to badger the MSM to report on the story? And to show more than just the Gusty photo?

BTW I showed the Lidia videos to a friend today. She was shocked.

lilly lily
09/02/2011 10:07

I can't hear much on the new film on sarah, but the Reverend talking about how charming Sarah is, and then saying "She would kill you in a minute" is perfect.

We see the Sarah would kill you in a minute Sarah very clearly. But her crazy cult kool aid drinking bots see the Charming Sarah.

We know she is an evil woman. And a pathological self serving liar.

They think she is a goddess.

We know she faked the birth.

They would say she did it for a (insert something sanctimonious) reason, if they would see it. So they refuse to see.

Her appearance in Iowa and the reception she will receive should be interesting.

The adoring bots will carry the day since no one carrying a sign will be permitted anywhere near her.

Too bad there won't be an airplane flying back and forth with an appropriate sign. After all they can't shoot a plane down, and the airspace is free territory.

09/02/2011 10:12

Viola-Alex: Unforunately the identify of that person hasn't been revealed to me and, as you know, it seems like all things Palin present a "sticky wicket".

09/02/2011 10:21

Ugh. I need to stay away from the whole Jeanne-Joe mess, it just gets my blood boiling. Hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance abound in the echo chambers where no dissenting comments are left unpunished. Some of these people actually resort to 7th grade level taunting, and can't even see how similar they are to their #1 nemesis, the Queen of juvenile ad hominem attacks.
I'm done with it. Thank goodness for the calm, respectful, thoughtful, and reasoned blog posts and comment/discussions here. I'm sick of being accused of being a paid troll every time I disagree with one of the comment queens.
Back to the subject at hand: the vast, vast lies of Sarah Palin.

Ferry Fey
09/02/2011 10:39

A thought for trying photo reconstructions or analogues.

I remember before the birth of my first child, I was worried about what it would be like to be carrying a baby all the time in my left arm. So for a couple of weeks I (don't laugh!) carried an 8 pound frozen chicken around for a couple of hours a day, to strengthen that arm.

A roaster the size of Trig's claimed birth weight might be a useful visual aid to a reconstruction with a non-pregnant model of Palin's exact height and build. Include a picture of the label to establish an equivalence, keep it light and humorous.

While the chicken might be lighter for its volume because of its hollow interior, it might make up for that by being a more compact shape than a baby. Might be good to run it by a neo-natologist to make sure it's a sufficiently accurate analogue to make the point.

A lot more people might understand that a short, slight woman who is trying to pass for pregnant would have to have
a volume of that size under her clothing, same as the chicken that she's holding in front of her.

lilly lily
09/02/2011 10:41

I bet a plane flying back and forth with a banner overhead, saying something like "you little sh*t" would rattle Sarahs cage. And a plane can't be escorted away from a venue like Nick was when Palin couldn't even think of a good retort to his question, but swigged away at water.

She deserves scorn and should be shunned by the media, but as she is good coy copy with her "will I, won't I run" routine they will do nothing.

A plane with a nifty banner would get their attention.

Air space is free though they might have to have clearance to fly there.

09/02/2011 11:04

Keep up the good work all. Thank you Laura for creating this blog and for nurturing this blog community--this very civil and thoughtful blog community! I am very heartened by all of the new information that has been coming out and that hopefully will continue to come out. As an analogy, I see the rise of Sarah Palin as the symptom of an illness, but the illness itself is the system that allowed her to happen. While Sarah Palin needs to be exposed completely, the illness still needs to be cured. That is, those that enabled her, protected her, and allowed this very sick, incompetent woman to become one 72-year old cancer survivors heartbeat away from the presidency, need to be exposed as well.

09/02/2011 11:09

A plane flying around, if not over, the immediate area, with a banner that read "Show us the birth certificate Sarah," would raise both questions and responses. At least I would think so.

09/02/2011 12:07

Even Dick Cheney thinks Palin is-- hmmm-- subject to questionable actions.


09/02/2011 12:29

Search4Truth: Just heard from someone who lives in Juneau and he/she will take the measurements for you. So, if you both can contact me at:

LaNovakAuthor@yahoo.com Then I will put you in touch with one another.

How does that sound (Sarah)? Thank you both.

09/02/2011 12:32


You made my day: The Prince of Darkness thinks the Queen of Evil is up to no good. My god, the whole underworld is about to explode!

09/02/2011 12:35

Prof. Brad Scharlott - Talking on the Peter Collins Show about Sarah Palin's pregnancy hoax.


Lou in London
09/02/2011 12:45

B, I didn’t mean to have a go – the picture *should* be enough evidence (it certainly is for me), I just try and look at this from different perspectives. Basically to try and understand why the MSM won’t touch this, and as has been stated in this thread, not even the way Obama’s birth certificate story was covered. Not that it’s helping – I still don’t understand.

Search4more & JJ – I think you’re on to something there – could be extremely funny – and there’s nothing a bully hates more than being mocked.
Laura, if people email you re-staged photos – would you publish the first few?
Palin-Planking - it could take off!

09/02/2011 12:48

@Ferry Fey,

Interesting, excellent concept. I once tried to explain to a man about birthing a child, especially a large baby. He just couldn't get it. I told him to try and pass a 8 to 10 pound frozen turkey through ANY orifice on his body. He got it then.

To add to the concept, how about a picture of the chicken in a roasting pan that just fit it, then another picture of that pan in front of the body.

Brad Scharlott
09/02/2011 13:22

Search4Truth: Sorry, but Laura's museum pic does not have metadata -- I was able to check.

Mrs Gunka
09/02/2011 14:00

While reading about someone trying to do 3-D simulations of Sarah and someone carrying around a frozen chicken to simulate carrying a baby around and the ever present guessing why Sarah didn't look pregnant, I was trying to think how to visualize that outside of the uterus so everyone could compare it to something, not in a photgragh.

First of all, inside a woman's pelvic region is embedded several feet of intestine, both large and small that changes size with the amount of feces and gas it contains. Intestines fill the pelvic region and up under the liver, pancreas,kidneys and is bottomed out with the bladder that constantly fills and empties. It is quite full in that cavity without a growing baby. The lungs cover the cavity and it too expands and contracts with each breath.

Inside a uterus that is normally the size of a pear is contecting tissues/organs... the fallopian tubes and small almond sized ovaries. When one becomes pregnant this pear-sized organ grows to the size of medicine ball sized organ that contains a fetus AND amniotic fluid that I'm guessing to be in the range of 1/2 to 1 gallon in volume. Now lets take that 6-8 pound chicken, add a head about the size of a large grapefruit, and four extremities that are in constant motion, and about 8 feet of cord and a placenta about the size of a calves liver.

Now let us visualize taking all before us and stuffing it into a medicine ball,and pushing all the intestines and organs to the side to fit that ball inside and zipping up the skin over all those tight abs that are stretched and not working as normal.

If Trig was actually the size of that baby pictured in Grandma Sally's arms in the hospital, I would guess it was between 7 1/2 pounds to 8+ pounds, Sarah would have found it very difficult to sit with her knees together let alone crossed. Anyone on that plane would have noticed she was very pregnant coming and going to Texas. At this point of labor the baby would have dropped, causing more pressure on the pelvis/bladder and no woman could have sat upright on take-off and landings with a seat belt across her lower abdomen. In those narrow plane seats she would probably not even be able to see her knees with that package on her lap.

If this helps to explain to the men in the audience or MSM or anyone who has never been pregnant the volume of the human abdominal cavity when a woman is "with child" maybe the possiblity of her ever being pregnant in 07-08 is the biggest hoax ever pulled on our electorate. At 7 months that fetus, placenta and all the organs ARE very visual. The pictures have not shown a pregnant woman! No pregnant woman can walk on ice, in heeled boots, get out of chair with ease and walk up-right without a swayed back or she would fall on her face. AND it takes several weeks for that expanded uterus to shrink back to a small pear sized organ and all the organs (intestines) to get back to their comfort zone. The hormones that produce milk also cause contraction of the uterus, but it is obvious she wasn't nursing a baby as the first 1-2 weeks the breast engorge and are very uncomfortable and leak every time the baby cries. It isn't until several weeks later that they fill and contract so that the mother is not engorged between feedings. Nature adjusts to the amount of milk needed to feed the baby. The consumption of coffee with caffeine also enlarges the breasts. Sarah was often seen consuming highly caffeinated drinks yet she was not big busted.

Her body simply was not that of a pregnant woman pre or postpartum!

Mrs Gunka
09/02/2011 14:11

Correction, it should read "Outside the uterus are connected the Fallopian tubes and almond sized ovaries". Sorry about the other spelling errors.

09/02/2011 14:19

Thank you, Mrs. Ghunka, for that. When you outline it just so, it makes perfect sense how much Sarah's tall tale makes NO SENSE at all! Sorry for shouting.

I also, too, want to thank some new AKers for joining the conversation. Always nice to see a new Alaskan reader and commenter.

We value Frosty AK, Blue Dog AK and a few other locals like Juneauite and Lake Lucille Loon (love that name) who help bring your world a little closer to all of us.

If you have more to spill, spill away. We're all ears, as they say. And everyone is safe here.

09/02/2011 14:22

I'm not quite sure I know what you mean by

As an aside people might be interested to know that the doors visible in those pictures are actually several meters behind where Palin is standing.

What doors are you talking about? One of the photos shows Sarah with her hand on the door.
You can find all the pics on Gryphen's blog here.


09/02/2011 14:24

When I read Lou in London's posts, I just feel profoundly sad. Sad for all of humanity that we have renounced our capacity for critical thinking and independent assessment and comprehension.

I bet if you showed our photos of Sarah to any tribesman in some remote part of the world they would laugh in your face at the idea that Sarah was pregnant.

All our pseudo-sophistication has bought us is alienation from the real world, in which we are apparently no longer "savvy" enough to comprehend that beings the size of turkeys (that is, babies…) do indeed pass through the orifices of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND women PER DAY.

09/02/2011 14:30

P.S. Ferry Fey, that's a great story, thanks!

09/02/2011 14:35

Thanks, Mrs. Gunka for that refresher on what we SHOULD ALL KNOW. And Laura? DON'T BE AFRAID TO SHOuT!!!!

09/02/2011 14:44

akvoter -- If I knew of such a person with good info, I would send a letter to him/her (via whatever mutual friends that requires) suggesting that an email from a FedEx storefront's computer would be v hard to trace. Or from some other business computer that has a lot of traffic, like the computer at a local library. Give the person the email address of this or any other fine blog, and suggest that person email anonymously to the blog owner, like Laura, Jesse, or Regina. Then the blog owner could post the anon info with just no way to trace the origin, esp in view of the trustworthyness of those blog owners. I mean not even the IP of the computer would be revealed.

Or of course a note mailed via snail mail to a trusted friend in another city, who opens and re-mails the message within to a blog owner.

That's a first step to figuring out other options with a blog owner to reveal whatever the source might choose to reveal.

You've prob thought of this or some better idea, but I wanted send in my 2 cents' worth.

09/02/2011 14:48

Ditto, Ottoline. AK Voter and others from AK., there are ways to mail me hard copies by USPS. Contact my email and I can explain how.

09/02/2011 15:11


I just wanted to remind everyone going to INDIANOLA, IOWA tomorrow to wear your "FREE TRIG!" and "YOU LITTLE SH*T!" MESSAGE camisole / muscle shirts UNDER a T-shirt, as hand-held signs will not be allowed.

Thank you!!

09/02/2011 18:00


Thanks for responding.

I'm going to have to apologise to you and the person who said they would help. I think I jumped the gun a bit in my message asking for help. I was looking again at the photographs and I think it maybe fruitless to take measurements. Much of what I want to measure is actually behind glass as part of the museum exhibit. The exhibits could well have changed this many years along and it would be terribly difficult to measure stuff you can't touch. It's possible, but difficult.

I really don't want to waste someone's time. Especially if they live outside Juneau.

I'll keep on working on this, but use a bit of guestimation instead. I was kind of hoping I could actually prove something. I think instead I'll settle for something a bit less accurate, but that still helps people explore the pictures.

Again I'm sorry for slightly messing you around. I hope you don't mind.



Here are some images of what the doors and foyer look like.



09/02/2011 18:21

latest from the anon!:

Hello friends, foes, and Palins. It's "me again", again.

I just wanted to let everyone know I will be posting late in the day tomorrow as the wifi on my laptop is very spotty right now and I'm loathe to type a long post on my phone, lest it be compromised by an incoming call or pressing the wrong button. I've made some notes and am trying to strike a good balance between funny/embarrassing (to Sarah) things and serious, detailed information. When I check into my hotel tomorrow evening, I will post from there.

I have been having a good laugh hearing about Sarah's antics this week. Between her severe apprehension over what I will choose to reveal here and the absolutely humiliating catastrophe this weekend event will surely be, Sarah has apparently not been pleasant to be around this week.
She is livid that she was portrayed as such a brat over the whole "well if SHE'S going then I'M not" chaos. Also, too! Todd sent an email this week to Sarah's "people", cautioning them she is manic beyond belief and will cause everyone to "think she's crazy" if not carefully controlled this weekend. Todd? Moose has already left the barn on that one, man.

Before I sign off, I have to address a couple of the naysaying geniuses who have commented recently.

4:38 PM

09/02/2011 18:33

Alert!!!! Anon 238, "me again", just posted on IM's old blog! The post was cut off in the middle... (more juicy Palin's loosing her damn mind tidbits before the cutoff...)

09/02/2011 18:46

Search4More, not to worry. Don't ever worry. If you figure out another way to ponder this, then great. But no apologies needed.

Thanks JJ and TABJ for letting me know about Anon. Now I'm going to have to keep checking.

If anyone wants to post "her" comments here, PLEASE do so each time you see them so that we/I don't miss them.

I canNOT wait for the next installments!!!

09/02/2011 18:55

Don't you find it weird that "me again" wanted to address some things and was just shut down?

"Before I sign off, I have to address a couple of the naysaying geniuses who have commented recently."

Hopefully, it was a family member wanting to chat in the hot tub....

09/02/2011 18:59

TABJ, She is a guest somewhere and I believe and accept that she is having wifi access difficulty. Will hope that we get the second installment yet tonight. My interpretation is that she was closing out the first comment and planned to pen a second. That is her method for most comments.

09/02/2011 19:46

As a lawyer and refugee from a big firm, I just get a chuckle out of the fact that now Sarah's law firm will be billing her for reading Brad's letter. You see we lawyers bill in 6 minutes increments. We don't do anything for free (not that there is anything wrong with that). If we look at something related to a client, we bill the client for it. So Brad keep sending her law firm missives! Just think of this way -- you're a job creator! The busier the law firm, the more they need to hire junior associates, and paralegals and legal secretaries and file clerks.

09/02/2011 20:24


Thanks for the pictures.
The photographer probably was standing just below the first 3 steps when he took his first 2 shots.
No telling how many pictures he took that day.

09/02/2011 21:01

Excellent discussion. I especially want to thank Mistah Charley phd for his contributions, which were extremely helpful to me, providing the language to describe the difficulties in communication I have not been able to explain.

Also loved the idea someone suggested to have the media cover the miraculous $arah's body for producing a baby in, what, 22 days (from complete flat 3/26 to Gusty 4/13 to birth 4/18). It's a medical record and should be place in Guiness!

09/02/2011 23:58

We have to keep up the pressure. Rove and Cheney have come out criticizing her based on her quitter status - and it's a fair criticism - but we don't want her made irrelevant until the truth comes out. The MSM and the GOP were incompetent and/or engaged in a massive cover up.

I don't know why, if we can view Weiner's crotch shots, why we can't also look at pictures of Palin.

09/03/2011 02:01

@Lawyer - I share your humor!

@physicsmom - Exactly.

The number one question/complaint in the babygate blogosphere is why the mainstream media "ignores" babygate. There are many reasons and one of them is that it is in a different community of discourse than babygaters are and thus will have a different threshold for evidence and proof. We can laugh at the media, criticize it, ridicule it, etc., but we also have to accept the obstacle that it is for what it is and figure out a solution. It's a different community than the babygate community. Brad's efforts define that fact.

For each of us who believes in the pregnancy hoax, we all have our own ah-ha moment and as more and more evidence appears there is a layering effect on the depth of our belief. Also, if a piece of stronger information is revealed then that might replace something else on which you were reliant. That is what happened to me and I know I am not alone. When Laura posted the coming out of the museum with the coat flapping in the wind photo, that photo supplanted every other photo purporting to show a non-pregnant abdomen. That doesn't mean other photos aren't germane to the hoax; they continue to support the hoax. However, I believe, and this is MY belief, that in reaching out to other as of yet non-believing communities of discourse, these four photos plus the time frame of 23 days tell the story simply and convincingly:
1) Museum photo with open coat
2) Gusty photo
3) Empathy belly photo
4) Sally Heath "6 pound" newborn photo.

Every other babygater might have other information upon which he or she relies and believes. Bravo. I would simply suggest to you that our mission is not to preach to the choir, but to find new converts, is it not?

09/03/2011 06:04

More photos worth a look


I don't see how they prove our case, but perhaps if someone lightens them they'll notice something.

Lou in London
09/03/2011 06:04

I worked on a national (UK) newspaper many, many moons ago (very junior role), and it’s easy to forget what a small and closed world the media can be. And none of them wants to make a pratfall in front of their sneering peers. The media world is highly competitive and not a very friendly place – or at least that’s the case over here. And it is a possible reason to explain their timidity on approaching this story.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’ve always felt there was something deliberate in the Obama birther story – how convenient to tarnish us with the birth certificate brush. How like the GOP – swift boating a real war hero who is running against a draft dodger. And then to turn the simple resolution to the question of Trig’s parentage – show us the birth certificate – into a loaded and toxic brew making most journalists frightened to go near it. Shameless, devious and cynical, and that just about sums up the Republican Party to me.

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, was plotted against by MI5 (the UK’s internal security service), saying he was in the pay of the Soviet Union, amongst other things. In the mid 80s an ex Home Secretary (senior cabinet minister responsible for homeland security) had gathered a group of ex Home Secretaries (so all very senior politicians either still in Parliament or in the Lords) to press for a full and proper public enquiry. They were working quietly behind the scenes but slowly getting there, when in 1987 ‘Red Ken’ Livingstone (ex leader of London County Council) had just become an MP and used his maiden speech to denounce this plot (and other nefarious MI5 shenanigans). The highly respected group melted away, and the MI5 plot has never been openly and officially investigated to this day. They didn’t want to be seen to be on the same side as Red Ken. The reason for this ramble is an example of how hard it can be to break a ‘conspiracy theory’ and how quickly and easily for establishment people to back off. They all believed that MI5 had acted illegally, and just because Ken said something didn’t alter that fact – but perception and reputation was all.

But how to get round this profound cynicism, or turn it to our advantage? Perhaps a well known, but outsider type journalist could be enticed to get involved? Here in the UK there is a writer and humorist called Jon Ronson, he specialises in ‘quirky’ stories (he wrote the book The Men Who Stare at Goats). He likes to put himself in the story and discover a strange truth or reveal the inner workings of a group of conspiracy theorists. He’s a bit like Nick Broomfield in that respect – and that is one reason why Ronson might not want to cover the story what with Nick’s film coming out so soon. But he does do many features for the Guardian’s Saturday magazine – always the cover story, lots of pages, lots of pics. I feel so strongly that this is a hoax that we as community should risk being made fun of in order to expose the truth (although it’s easy for me to say that as I’m not a public figure). There is a great magazine feature here – and all the images to back up the story – interviews with Laura, Brad, Gryph and Sully, and the faux-naive journalist expecting to tease cranks & misfits, but ends up converted and reveals the truth. Is there someone similar in the States who could do it for Rolling Stone or the New Yorker? Or Brad – you could get in touch with Jon Ronson and see if he’d be interested in doing it? Just a thought.

Lydia, sorry I depressed you, and I take your point. I was just throwing out an idea to see if the group could further illustrate how mad her story is, but the images that exist should be enough.

lilly lily
09/03/2011 07:33

The first person to put the Obama birth certificate hoopla into the court house was a Philadelphia type lawyer, Philip Berg Esq. A politician and a 9-11 conspiracy buff. I considered driving down to Philly that day when I heard of it, and another lawyer in Philly went down and interviewed the man. Someone with a blog called Americas right. So I was pleased I didn't waste my day. He was knocked down and out, but others followed his lead. He was very involved high level in politics, but I think he did this on his own steam.

I hope someone had the nerve to wear their "Free Trig" T shirts. Have to go and read up on what is what.

I also do hope that Palin goes paranoid in public in front of the cameras and her cult following.

At this point it isn't paranoia, we are all out to get her dead to rights.

And "we", (everyone squabbling though they do) will expose her completly.

Palin Tea Party Rally in Iowa C-SPAN
09/03/2011 07:33

Saturday September 3 Live 12 noon - 3 PM Eastern time

Palin scheduled at 2:15 Eastern time (1:15 local time)

A video of a meeting in a restaurant last night, which she attended, although did not speak at:


Her hair is a rat's nest.

lilly lily
09/03/2011 08:07

As it was about 3 years ago, I don't recall if Berg was a Dem or Rep. He did hold a high level position in Pa.state politics at one point, and if I recall may have filed as a bankrupt around this time. I do think it was his sincere belief that Barack Obama was not qualified and he had his day in court.

I love the snapping turtle photo of Palin at IM on the newest thread. Most turtles are rather endearing, except for the snappers, and Palin sure looks like on with that wrinkling neck. Enlarged she looks dreadful.

Her skeletal hands are also on display in that Restaurant clip. I hope the thunderstorms arrive just in time her speaking and the crowds disperse and run for cover, leaving her stranded alone on stage.

Mere humiliation is too good for this fraud. Perhaps the gods of whom she speaks so fervantly will throw a thunderbolt her way.

09/03/2011 08:44

09/03/2011 09:00

(Apologies for the blank post above--my computer is being very weird today.)

RE: Photos as acceptable evidence

I've never understood why people criticize photo-analysis in this instance, saying "all you've got are some ambiguous photos, no real proof". First, the photos are hardly ambiguous, as countless people--as well as our blog host Laura--have testified, having shown them to obstetricians and neonatologists and all come away with the same take: "That is not a pregnant woman. THAT woman looks pregnant, but there is no way it is the same woman in the previous photo plus a couple of weeks--NO WAY."

Second, I am puzzled as to why even a journalist--who works for an outlet, let's say, that requires its reporters to be certain beyond a "reasonable doubt"--could not or would not consider the numerous, obvious, conclusive photographs to be acceptable evidence that Palin's reported pregnancy was a hoax. The shot of her with Parnell (in the pencil skirt with the horrid pink and black scarf) ALONE was conclusive enough for *my* OB to say, "Not pregnant, certainly not past the first trimester". Photographs are accepted as evidence in courts of law across the country. All the time. To wit:

"A photograph continues to "testify" from the moment it is put into evidence until the verdict is rendered. Jurors who may not have listened closely to all the verbal testimony--due to distractions or witnesses lowering their voices--have a second chance to review the case when photographic evidence is available.

Visual material is superior to the spoken word for communicating ideas, information, or descriptions. As early as about 400 B.C., the warping effect of time upon human memory was noted by Greek historian, Thucydides. Confusion and uncertainty, he noted, arise "... from the want of coincidence between accounts of the same occurrences by different eyewitnesses; arising sometimes from imperfect memory, and sometimes from undue partiality for one side or the other."

Using legal photography, it's possible to bring whole accounts of historical facts into the courtroom. <b>It could be fairly said that the photograph has been the most significant contribution to the fact-finding process since the emergence of the testimonial witness.</b>

Today's ubiquitous television and video productions have made Americans a truly visually oriented people. Regardless of language differences or degree of literacy, most persons can understand a picture or drawing; hence, visuals can be regarded as a "universal language."

<b>The paramount value of pictures lies in their ability to offer graphic credibility and convincing proof of facts in search of truth, which should be the ultimate goal of all litigation.</b>"

(From this link: http://expertpages.com/news/photographic_evidence.htm )

09/03/2011 09:21

In the clip from yesterday, she looks ill and fragile. Something's going on with her. Even if she gets thru this weekend, i don't see this "career" of hers continuing much longer. She never even addressed her supporters there.

09/03/2011 09:40

@litbrit - thanks for the confirmation that the evidence is already sufficient.

So, the question is: Why won't the media touch this? Why won't they call her out on her lies?

Apart from nefarious influence, I think it comes down to a few pieces of "evidence" and influence. People assume that Trig was born on 4/18, because that's what Sarah announced, and Bristol could not have given birth on that day. People have also seen the Gusty photo, and they assume it has to be true. They hate the Birthers, and so they think they should be just as repelled by us. And some of them don't dig very deep - her influence is waning, so why worry?

I don't think these attitudes are confined just to the repeaters but also to the population as a whole. They don't scratch beneath the surface.

But we're so close, folks. Surely a few doctors are willing to go on the record and say that the woman could not have been pregnant?

Or is that too much to ask? Does Hippa apply when it's not your patient?

lilly lily
09/03/2011 09:53

Might be they don't want to offend any patients. All doctors get a mixed bag of patients of all political stripes.

Anyone coming out against Palin by speaking the truth seems to get threatened. And taking their scrawny palinbot bodies (they are all just like her they say) elsewhere does cut into anyones bottom line.

Palin does look increasingly ragged physically. Skeletal fingers reappearing, ratty hair, an almost frightened and haunted look even while she is beaming at her very avid and loving support system in that restaurant.

I hope she breaks completly and soon.

I'm sick of the spectacle. For their own sake RNA should dump whatever they have on the woman and finish her political career off.

We do need a two party system.

09/03/2011 09:55

Here's a thought: if you have a stat for increase in traffic at IM and here, over the last few months-- or even longer-- then you have a measure of the increase in belief that there was a hoax.

A fact like that in the first sentence of a PR/press proposal is irrefutable.

SO if the believers in the hoax are increasing, mightn't there be something THERE?

Brad could ask PoGates, Pgates, IM for such a statistic -- a percentage increase in traffic.

09/03/2011 10:15

lilly lily
09/03/2011 10:33

Type in Laura Novak Blog and on google it shows 3,400,000 results.

Type in Immoral Minority and it shows 4,520,000 results.

Certainly looks like someone is paying attention.

09/03/2011 10:35

Since April of 2008 I've spent about 21 months in Anchorage. Not once has anyone brought up the subject of Sarah Palin to me. I've brought her name up tens of times, always hoping for a negative reaction or maybe some information. And I really don't get much of a reaction either way.

Recently I spent a couple of weeks working with four women from the Valley. Three of them live in Wasilla. Each time I tried to provoke some sort of comment about SP there was not much of a response though the one young lady told me, in no uncertain terms I promise you, that she hated the Palins but didn't elaborate.

In my experience AKers just seem to want her to go away. They don't want to be reminded with each foray 'outside' (lower 48) that SP is the face of AK. It used to be that AK stirred interest because it seemed foreign, isolated, grand and questions were related to that sort of thing. Now it's SP all the time. AKers are weary of her is my impression.

I have spoken to college kids who attend school outside and they are typically embarrassed by SP's appent ignorance as that is a unfair reflection on them.

As much as we want Palin exposed there doesn't seem to be enthusiasm for that within the general population. The same people who were so adamant about seeing Obama's long form birth certificate are the ones lining up behind Palin, Perry, Santorum, Bachmann and the rest of the white Christian charlatans. Who are we to burst their blessed bubble.

Brad Scharlott
09/03/2011 11:27

I think one of the "problems" of the 3/14 pencil-skirt picture is that it has always been available. ArcXIX included that in his/her 8/28/08 indictment of Palin in the Daily Kos. To give it credence now, journalists who were on the story then would have to admit they blew it – strong evidence of the hoax was right there, and the press collectively chose to avert their eyes. They don't want to be told they were chumps.

09/03/2011 12:10

Lilly, thanks for that. Fun, impressive Google figures.

Tom, thanks for your great explanation of people's feelings in AK. I've heard that from other people as well. I can't blame people for being embarrassed by her. And for her being responsible for changing the aura and allure of that state and reducing it to her hillbilly clan existence.

Lawyer, you made me laugh. And how true!

And a belated thanks to Mistah Charley for that brilliant and insightful comment. I learned a lot about that and you made me think in ways I hadn't before.

And thank you for buying my book in Rochester, dear reader. Only I think I'm on the wrong thread for that!!! I'll find you where you posted.

09/03/2011 12:13

@Brad Scharlott said:

"They don't want to be told they were chumps."

While reading movie reviews I come across this one from Roger Ebert on a new documentary about Bernie Madoff .... and I'm stuck by the similarities to our current dilemma of getting the truth out. Imagine just a couple of minor substitutions while reading this and there's the story in a nutshell.

"No one could believe it. In theory, it was impossible. Market professionals knew in their guts his returns were impossible. And they all knew about Bernie. No matter where you went in the world of hedge funds, no matter who you spoke to, Bernie was the man everyone knew. They would be asked, "What do you know about Bernie?" They would reply, "What do YOU know about Bernie?" What they all knew was that nobody, but nobody, could get returns like that."

.... "They were blinded by greed. They knew the numbers were impossible. But since Madoff stayed in business year after year, they might have told themselves: It can't last, but I'm willing to clean up on other people's losses. Then there were the professional managers who bought into Madoff's funds for competitive reasons. For them, it was a way to raise the rate of return on their investments. Many rich people had no idea they were invested in Madoff via "feeder funds." The function of such funds was to provide outside capital to keep the Ponzi afloat."

..... " What about the Wall Street Journal? What about the New York Times? Bloomberg News? Didn't they know? Harry Markopolos told them. He was a respected professional. Year after year, he supplied them all with carefully documented evidence of what the scheme was and how it worked. The problem was, they didn't want to know. Its scope was so vast, Madoff's webs were so complex, that if it were true, that would make it the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Which it was."

.... "There's precious little, indeed, that we find out here but didn't already know from the news coverage at the time. The only smoking gun is that Madoff's guilt was exposed clearly and repeatedly by Markopolos in the decade before his fall. Not only did the system fail, but it failed because of the willful ignorance of those with the responsibility to make it work."

And here's how Roger sums it up: "What do we learn at the end of it all? There is no free lunch. Never put all your eggs in one basket. One of the many people who forgot those helpful rules was Bernie Madoff."

Can't keep taking the suckers lunch money forever, Sarah.

lilly lily
09/03/2011 12:47

Type in Laura Novak blog an hour later and it has increased by 10,000. Now that IS impressive.

Brad Scharlott
09/03/2011 13:20

Sharon Too Also: Brilliant analogy. Yes, it's just like Madoff in that there's a lot of willful ignorance out there.

09/03/2011 14:51

@Lou in London, thanks for your assessment from a point of view which, I think, is novel to us. I agree with a great part of what you say.

What depressed me in particular, however, was this phrase: "Just because no other woman has seemingly had a magical pregnancy like Sarah – doesn’t actually mean that someone couldn’t."

Well, yes it DOES "actually mean that someone couldn't". I don't know if that eccentric idea was intended to be your personal estimation, or whether you meant to be channeling a supposed average consumer/audience-member.

A woman physically cannot grow a basketball belly with a 6+pound baby inside within the course of a month. This is a very basic form of science.

Tragically, humanity's biggest problem is that the majority of humans believe in things that aren't real, and that tends to render people far less capable of addressing concrete issues than they might otherwise be. That's what I find depressing.

@Brad, that is the biggest stumbling block. I fear it is insurmountable. Anyone coming out with the story within the first, say, even 6 months or so after Palin hit the scene could have feigned previous ignorance, even past the election, while scooping the other outlets and making them look foolish. Why conscious choices were made NOT to do that means that there is some other formal or, as you argue, informal mechanism for shutting down investigation and debate on sensitive topics.

09/03/2011 17:09

@Brad. You said, "[O]ne of the 'problems' of the 3/14 pencil-skirt picture is that . . . ArcXIX included that in his/her 8/28/08 indictment of Palin in the Daily Kos. To give it credence now, journalists . . . would have to admit they blew it."

If only ArcXIX had not included the green sweater picture of Bristol as evidence!

As soon as the date of the green sweater picture was set (whether right or wrong) as way before Trig would have been conceived, then the one piece of "bad" evidence was used as an excuse to dismiss the whole matter as untrue.

What if ArcXIX had posted only the 3/14 and 4/13 photos and journalists, assuming both pics were accurate, said that a pregnancy just can't get from here to there in a month? And then said that since a 7 month pregnant woman can't make herself look totally flat, but a nonpregnant woman can make herself look pregnant, therefore the first picture controls and Sarah wasn't pregnant?

One bad evidence apple spoiled the whole bunch. If only ArcXIX had been more careful.

09/03/2011 17:12

p.s.-I realize ArcXIX didn't post the Gusty photo, but when Erick(?) did, the two photos would have been compared.

Lou in London
09/04/2011 01:56

Lidia: Apologies for the confusion - I was trying to channel a supposed person not really tuned in to this story. I absolutely believe it’s impossible to have a pregnancy like that ghastly woman pretends to have done. The comments from Anon238 over at IM last night show she was just too damn lazy to do a good job of it.

Brad Scharlott
09/04/2011 04:33

B: I think no journalist wanted to go out on a limb in the fall of 2008. I'd like to think that if I had been a national political reporter back then I would have said, "This stinks, something's rotten" when the McCain team threw Bristol under the bus, and that I would looked at that 3/14 picture and said, "No way is she pregnant." and kept going. But that assumes I would have had the independence to do that - my editors might have told me to get back on the bus. Remember: Woodward and Bernstein were small potatoes reporters when they got the Watergate story.

lilly lily
09/04/2011 09:49

Andrew Sullivan said in essence that this stinks and he got quite a backlash from Republicans.

All Mr Sullivan asked for was easy enough to provide. And she never has provided proof. To this day.

MO Inkslinger
09/05/2011 10:09

After reading this post, I can understand why Sarah Palin is scared to death of the two of you. Keep up the good work. There is bound to be a break and we can put this bad chapter away for good.

09/06/2011 13:28

Hi everyone and I'm just reviewing this post and comments after the weekend.

I'm glad this topic re: standard of proof is on the agenda as it's been a primary issue for me for nearly 3 years. Brad & Laura discuss two levels -- preponderence of the evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt -- but there are others and I think they are applicable here.

Please refer to this WIKI post:


For the media to investigate an issue, I think the lowest standard applies: "reasonable suspicion". The wild ride story's bald-faced inconsistencies is enough to reach that standard. Adding in Palin's admission to having hid the "pregnancy" prior to the announcement gets it to the next higher standard: "probable cause". Once there's probably cause, the media has NO EXCUSE not to investigate thoroughly to determine the truth of the matter. The police would.

Since then, however, the huge collection of evidence, physical and circumstantial, lets us achieve a "clear and convincing" standard, at minimum, which is significally higher than preponderence of the evidence. How can someone holding to the conclusion that Sarah Palin told the truth account for Ruffles? And, with the newly released photo of Sarah outside the museum, how do they account for the practically impossible pregnant-belly growth in two weeks? They are left with highly unlikely (and completely unproven) speculation to explain AWAY the evidence, rather than contradict what any reasonable person would conclude.

In a court of law for a criminal case, the ENTIRE jury must convict beyond a reasonable doubt. AND the judge has to agree or he could dismiss the case.

At this point, the weight of the evidence for an impartial jury would certainly reach a clear and convincing standard, and a majority would decide that they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. But today's media is hardly impartial at this point. They don't WANT the story to be true because it would make them look bad.

Hence, they demand a burden that can never be reached without a Palin admission. I dare say that now even documentary evidence would not be enough. A Trig birth certificate indicating April 17 would be dismissed as a mistake, or Palin would get to change her story to account for it. Or the media would just dismiss the entire thing as moot since she's not a candidate any more.

Eventually, someone's going to prove to the world's satisfaction that she lied and perpetrated a hoax. But I think it will come by investigating the media's being complicit in the cover-up. Until then, our best bet is to take up a collection to buy the Anchorage Daily News and assign reporters who know the turf to get to the bottom of this tale.

Brad Scharlott
09/07/2011 14:21

Dangerous: Superb analysis.

Comments are closed.