Remember all those liberals and lefties huffily denouncing this blog's attempts to make sense of Sarah Palin's bizarre stories about the pregnancy and birth of her alleged fifth child? I was nuts, crazy, vile, disgusting, etc etc to indulge in what Dave Weigel, with no working knowledge of the story, calls "nonsense." You may also recall that the liberal media didn't touch this with a barge-pole - and still hasn't (apart from a NYT puff-piece that I found utterly credulous at the time). Newsweek has even put its entire reputation behind the details of the story as outlined in Going Rogue, without doing any independent reporting on the subject.
Well, we now know, that, for some at least, I wasn't crazy. I was just not disciplined enough to curtail what this blog airs in order to conform with what many Journo-listers believed were the interests of the Obama campaign. Any delusions that Journo-List was not, in part, a collusory venture to shape the media narrative in ways to benefit Obama, above and beyond ferreting out the truth about any and all candidates, must now be abandoned. Ezra Klein has already been caught in a bald-faced lie about his discretion in picking members; and the notion that this was simply a water-cooler collection of journalistic thoughts is also belied by the emails now published by the Daily Caller.
One should say this, however: I have no way of knowing what the DC has omitted, and how it has shaped this information. The thread stops rather abruptly. Maybe there is context that adds to what we know. I do not trust in any way the ethics of the Daily Caller. Nonetheless, I was obviously not alone in those August days, when I was pilloried for saying out loud what the entire chattering class was saying in private. Check these quotes out. First Ezra, setting down the line:
Seriously, folks? Best case scenario, what’s your outcome here: Her daughter, hounded by the tabloids, breaks down that it was her child, and her mother heroically took on the burden and welcomed the disabled boy as one of her own? Palin’s relationship with her children however they may have come to her strikes me as pretty far out of bounds. By all accounts she’s a wonderful mother, and devoted to her fifth son. Leave this be.
If you want to know why the allegedly liberal media didn't touch - and still won't touch - this story, look no further. It has nothing to do with the facts, and everything to do with their politics. Notice the core modus operandi of the political operative, not the journalist. When dealing with a story: first ask yourself not if it is true but whether the outcome benefits your side. Second, write things in defense of this that you cannot possibly know. Palin a "wonderful mother"? How on earth did Klein know that?
Here's Katha Pollitt, untroubled by the possible truth:
I like what you said about this possibly being a dirty trick, intended to blow up in our faces. so let’s just leave it alone…
“We” don’t have to do any digging. There’s enough reason for suspicion that the entire GOP research team is probably off the Obama-Biden job for the weekend to figure out what they don’t know, but should have, about Sarah Palin.
Actually, we know that the McCain team never asked her about this at all - and still don't know. They just played the simple denial game, demanded deference, worked out an agreement with the liberal media not to inquire into the story, and never, ever asked about it. But they sure felt that there was something fishy here. Laura Rozen:
seriously, if her water broke and the baby was what two months premature, it doesn’t seem normal to have not gone straight to the nearest hospital. again, if the official story is true. but that just doesn’t make any sense.
Er, yes - but if a story doesn't make sense and inquiring into it might backfire, the liberal journalists won't inquire. "Leave this be" comes the instructions from Ezra, and leave this be they dutifully did. Lamar Robertson:
all right. this is getting way fishy now. 1) getting onto the plane TO ALASKA after your water breaks? i’m sorry. that does not happen. i live 2 minutes from the hospital. my wife went to the hospital immediately after her water broke w/ my second child and it was almost too late to get the epidural. 2) the baby was 6 lbs, 2 oz? That’s a healthy sized baby for a preemie. it’s also incongruous w/ the notion that she a thin person wasn’t showing at 7 months.
If the date on this photo from the Anchorage Daily News web site is correct, she is absolutely, positively, not seven months pregnant.
When I first heard this story, I thought it was preposterous. (And btw, a scenario similar to this lurid tale occurred last season on Desperate Housewives). And maybe I really am losing it, driven over the edge at last by my hatred of all things Republican, but at this point I’m starting to believe it.
All great points. Especially the latter. But nothing was to be aired in public, for fear of backlash from the right.
This is your liberal media, ladies and gentlemen: totally partisan, interested in the truth only if it advances their agenda, and devoid of any balls whatsoever. And people wonder how this farce of a candidate now controls one major political party and could well be our next president. One reason is that we do not have a functioning adversarial media uncorrupted by partisan loyalty and tactics.
(See my update here.)