In one part of her work of magical realism, Palin goes off on the press's alleged recklessness and bias in wondering whether her extraordinary stories about her fifth pregnancy were, er, accurate. Here's the passage from Going Rogue:

Formerly reputable outlets like the Atlantic ran with the loony conspiracy theory that I was not Trig's mother - perhaps it was Bristol or Willow, they suggested. Even the Anchorage Daily News reporters, who knew better, couldn't get enough of the story.

I'm not going to go over all this again, but suffice it to say that Palin is right that I certainly thought that the stories in the public record were fantastic and merited probing further and asked the campaign itself to issue some medical records to nip the crazy - but not quite impossible - rumor in the bud. They reacted with outrage that the question was even askable. Alas, the only objective evidence we ever got in the end was a one-page, general statement from her doctor, issued a few hours before polling opened last November. So I'm guilty for treating this as a genuine factual question - rather than as a self-evident absurdity to be dismissed. I'll take my lumps for that (and have). But I haven't "run with" any alternative to the most likely fact that Trig is indeed Sarah's biological child. I just refuse to lie about my own skepticism of everything Palin says without proof. As for Willow being Trig's mother, I have to say that has never occurred to me for an instant and the Dish has no such reference. Maybe Palin is thinking of some other outlet.

But the attack on the Anchorage Daily News is much more unfair. 

The ADN's editor, Pat Dougherty, did not run a single story on this in the campaign. It was only after the campaign that the ADN attempted to do a follow-up to destroy for ever what editor Pat Dougherty believed was a nutty but weirdly resilient rumor. The ADN did not "know better," in other words, or else they wouldn't have tried to do a story (which never ran) at all. All they wanted was to dispel the rumors - long after the campaign was over - as a matter of house-keeping. But instead of Palin offering an easily found medical record or birth certificate or some such, she went off the wall with an email exchange with the editor that remains a high point of Palin drama and defensiveness:

[I]s your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who's already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

Read the whole email exchange between Palin and Dougherty and make your own mind up.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.