Hanson writes:

The once revered Atlantic Monthly now hosts blogger Andrew Sullivan trafficking in rumors that Gov. Palin's daughter really delivered her Down Syndrome child, and then hires an unhinged photographer (best known previously for making children cry to make political statements) who brags post facto that she tried to subvert her own cover photos of McCain, before posting creepy photo-shopped out-takes of him on her website.

This is absurd. On the first point, it is nuts to blame a magazine for photographs they did not publish. Magazines hire photographers on the basis of their skills, not their politics. If Hanson wants to criticize something in the Atlantic, go ahead. But criticizing the Atlantic for something that was not in the Atlantic is as absurd as the Palin candidacy itself.

On the second point, two weeks ago, I did not traffic in rumors. I stated nothing. I asked several obvious factual questions about the largely incredible and certainly bizarre stories Palin has told about her own pregnancy with Trig Palin. The first hint of an answer to these questions I posted mere hours later. Go re-read the post and make up your own mind. My first question to which Hanson alludes was:

Where has Bristol Palin (far right, holding Trig, with a ring on her wedding finger) been for the past year? Has she been attending high school? Or was she absent because of infectious mononucleosis for between five and eight months, as is now being reported on the Internet?

The only person who asked directly whether Bristol had actually delivered Trig was Reason's Tim Cavanaugh, who asked Michael Goldfarb directly in public, to which Goldfarb, McCain's bloggy spokesman replied:

"I don't ... think so."

Was Goldfarb trafficking in rumors? Why couldn't he simply respond on the record: "Are you nuts? Of course, Trig is Sarah Palin's biological child." I still don't have any objective medical records to answer that question and the obstetrician declined to return the New York Times' calls in what might be superfically regarded as a puff-piece (until you read it very, very carefully). All I asked was whether Bristol Palin had indeed been withdrawn from high school last year with mononucleosis or what had happened to her. According to the paper that accurately investigated John Edwards' secret love affair, the National Enquirer, Bristol Palin was indeed withdrawn from high school last year:

After finding out that Bristol was pregnant, Sarah "moved Bristol to another school out of town and moved her in with her sister Heather," said the source. "Word at Wasilla High was that Bristol was out with mononucleosis, but in fact she was at West Anchorage High, 25 miles away."

So there is now an answer to my simple factual question. Gee: a journalist asking questions and discovering the truth. What a concept. I should add that the McCain campaign has refused to provide any factual answers to my other factual questions in the past two and a half weeks. I will not be intimidated. My job is to get as much information out there about someone who has been revealed as a compulsive and congenital liar. And I will not stop until we have all the facts on the table. This person could be president of the United States next January. Bloggers and reporters and citizens and citizens of the world have every reason to ask questions; and every reason not to be intimidated out of them.

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