Palin And Trig: There She Goes Again

Trigsarah

And you thought I was the one with the unhealthy obsession. From an interview with Sarah Palin by the BBC on her relationship with the US media:

"SP: Let's take a couple of examples - and I don't really want to have to talk politics on one of the best days of our life here in Alaska - but I'll give you one more answer. Things like, that are misconstrued regarding rumours out there that are still in the media because reporters don't do their homework, too often, and they don't set the record straight - though I think it's their job to set the record straight - rumors like I didn't know that Africa was a continent, that's still out there, that's a lie.

Things like I censored books when I was a mayor up here in Alaska, that's a lie... [Governor Palin begins to walk away] ... So again if I decide to run we know that we have to put up with a lot of the BS that comes from the media but ...

It's not all of you guys but some of you still claim that Trig isn't my kid. I think that's an indication of screwed-up media.

JL: You were saying, your favourite from the media? Which one is that?

SP: Is that Trig is not my child, which is still out there in the media.

JL: How offensive is that? How do you deal with that?

SP: Would you be offended if someone said your child wasn't your child? It's offensive. OK, you know what, I'm really really trying to enjoy one of the best days of our lives." 

But this, of course, is untrue. On the censorship question, the MSM never claimed she had banned books as Wasilla mayor, even though she complained about some. It didn't help that her response was about Harry Potter, claiming, erroneously, that the books had not yet been published when she was mayor. They had been published and she did not ban them. But notice the defensive, irrelevant untruth. And here's USA Today clearly debunking the rumor in October 2008, with the following headline:

Palin did not ban books in Wasilla as mayor

So "reporters don't do their homework" and have not debunked this yet? As for the Africa issue, the MSM reporter who relayed this was Fox News's Carl Cameron. Talk about liberal media bias. Besides, the notion of her confusion about Africa came directly from first-hand witnesses.

Now to the other charge.

I know of no one in the MSM who has claimed that Trig is not biologically Palin's child. I certainly haven't. The NYT ran a front-page story based on the premise that the rumors were nuts. Other MSM reporters made a decision to slime other journalists for even asking the question. To the best of my knowledge, no reporter (outside the ADN) has ever directly asked her to provide easily available evidence, which is odd given the many bizarre parts of the story. This the Dish has - of the McCain campaign. It is my quixotic belief that it is the duty of elected officials to clear up genuine, empirically resolvable questions about their past. Obama rightly produced his birth certificate - however offensive the insinuation that he was ineligible to be be president. Palin refuses to produce any medical records - however offensive the question understandably is.

Frank Bailey, an estranged former close aide who totally believes Palin's account(s) of her fifth pregnancy, makes this point in his manuscript about the rumors that swirled in Alaska in March and April 2008, long before anyone outside asked the obvious questions:

We did our best to bombard both friendly and non-friendly media outlets with our outrage, blasting critics by suggesting their evil had no limit. In doing so, we stupidly ensured that everyone in the state now knew of the rumor, no matter how remote their village.

Now Palin has informed the BBC. That'll help, won't it? Bailey asks the obvious question:

Why didn‘t we just ignore the asinine rumor, thereby giving it the non-respect it was due? For the same reason we never ignored anything: we came to share Sarah‘s translucent skin.

And still she brings it up. And still she refuses to provide what Bailey called "a more simple solution," the easily available medical records. Maybe she is so offended she refuses to concede the premise that she even has to address the issue. But Bailey's manuscript also reveals her early attempts to engage the Alaska media to rebut the rumor. So she once tried to get past this, and then relapsed if it required doing anything more than show stretch marks. Now she brings it up unprovoked to attack the media again - without ever engaging in what we might call empiricism.

Surprise! She wants it both ways. Both victim and aggressor; an "open book" with several pages redacted. Yes, it's tough running for national office. You have to address stuff regular folks never have to. But she was the one who demanded physical evidence of a marriage license from her first political opponent, because his wife kept her maiden name. And that was a race for Wasilla mayor, not president of the US.

And the beat goes on.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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