As is clear from the body of the email, the writer was a 14-year-old boy who expressed his enthusiasm for the governor, her policies, presidential potential, and pregnancy. The body of the email is, as follows:
I put down "Mr." as the prefix of my name, even though I'm fourteen years old. Nevermind that. This night, I heard from my parents that when you gave birth in Wasilla to your third son, you delivered on Monday, and on Tuesday you were back in the office. I recognize that as a major sign of ultimate integrity. Which makes me want to say, "YOU ROCK!" And so I think you ought to run for president. I think that you would do a great job at stopping inflation, and even reversing it, and get our American Dollar back its
value. I think that you will help get our slowing economy back on its feet and running again. SO. That's what I think. Sincerely,
I’ve pasted the body of the email here, rather than upload the PDF for reasons that will become apparent. But first, a bit of dissection and sleuthing.
What struck me, and my reader, as odd was the mention of three sons. Palin supposedly was pregnant with her second boy, although I was quick to note that she did have three daughters. Perhaps that was an innocent slip-up.
Second, the date. March 6th was obviously early enough to make me question who might know something about the governor’s pregnancy. Did this family know something others might not? We know from my interviews with Doc, the neonatologist, that the baby presented as Trig on April 18th was, in fact, most likely much older than a 12-hour-old newborn. So, was there a suggestion here that the baby was born before March 6th?
(Lord knows, as Gryphen recently pointed out, in this fabulously brilliant post, a lot of inexplicable things happened early in Palin’s pregnancy world.)
But before I could sort out these details, I had emailed the boy’s address, and phoned the family at home.
His mother, rightly so, replied to me, seemingly horrified that I had somehow accessed their email. She wanted to know how I “got it” and was prepared to report me to their Internet Service Provider for offensive action.
That is, until I explained what she didn’t seem to already know: That the State of Alaska, her State of Alaska, had released her teenage son’s email to the entire world. That a series of lawyers for both Mrs. Palin, and the State, had deemed it fit, kosher, okay, and downright grizzly, to have a minor’s email address, home address and telephone number available to any well-meaning reporter, nutty nut job, or astute reader, who took the time to sift through the morass.
In my response, I assured the mother that I didn’t “get” anything on her. That this email was now in the public domain, easily searchable and available to anyone - and that her government saw fit to do that to her, her son, and her family.
Meantime, some of the boy’s comments bore further inquiry: Was her son confused about some of the details, or was there anything she might shed light on? Was there a birth in March? Or was he referencing Piper’s birth years before? I would be happy to read another email from her if she could tell me more.
The mom had no intention of discussing the Palins with me, she said. I was told not to contact the son – which, let me be very clear, was never my intention. His email address was merely a conduit and it was a relief when the mother replied. In fact, I would have asked to speak to a parent had he written himself, even though he is now presumably 17 years old.
But the mom’s final words to me were these: If I were truly a journalist, I would work on stories, not rumor mongering.
So, allow me, in the spirit of Sarah Palin, to have the final word. Journalists don’t have to “monger” in order to chase rumors. They don’t wallow in mud when pursuing leads. They can be commended for trying to find clarity in a story that simply does not add up, no matter whose side you’re on, no matter which version of events you chose to believe.
If I really, really, wanted to muck about in the mud, I’d print the PDF of the email and remind the mom that Palin, Parnell, and their collective attorneys didn’t give a shit about her son’s privacy.
But in place of redacting sentences here and there, I chose instead to print the body of the boy’s message, as low tech as that might seem.
And for what it’s worth, here’s what I would have said to me, had I been this mother: “Please don’t print my son’s personal information. He’s just a kid and doesn’t deserve it. In fact, I am horrified and saddened that my own State government has chosen to do that. I vaguely recall discussing the newspaper story with my son and, in his enthusiasm, he wrote to the governor that night, simply confusing the idea that she had three sons instead of daughters. There’s really nothing more to it than that.”
But instead, the mom told me she had no intention of discussing anything regarding an email from 2008 with me. Sarah Palin held no interest for her. The mom’s further suggestion, in fact, was that I find topics of interest “that may be of more importance than a private family matter.” To follow any leads meant I was a rumor mongerer, lower than life, badder than bad. At least that’s my take-away. In other words, shoot the messenger, but preserve the peace where Palin is concerned. At all times, at all costs.
So here’s my question: Is there anything at all connected to Sarah Palin that is above board, mature, clear-cut, and without question. Anything? At all? Just name it, because there seems to be no action, no event, no story or announcement that is not questionably strange or oddly framed. A private family matter? I don’t think so. I’d say this is a very public debacle. What do you think?
(H/T Big Fan. Thank you!)