Newsweek's story about the cult of Saint Sarah grasps the key import of the Trig pregnancy for Palin's political appeal:
Let’s face it: the Trig story is a women’s story, the kind girlfriends share over coffee or in church. It has all the familiar elements of evangelical testimony: tribulation and dread; trust in God; and, finally, great blessings. Many Christian women loathe Palin, of course, and many men love her, but a certain kind of conservative, Bible-believing woman worships her. And it is these women Palin has been actively courting as she crisscrosses the country talking about Trig to women’s and pro-life organizations.
My question is: if this story really is a "women’s story, the kind girlfriends share over coffee or in church", why has no one ever asked Palin about it on national television? Especially women interviewers? Why has Oprah never asked about it? Why did Katie Couric never ask about it? Why is it taboo to ask about it, except on Palin's own employer, Fox News, with her own personal publicist, Greta van Susteren, where Palin's account is simply assumed to be true?
Later, Miller calls the story "discomfiting" but doesn't say why. Newsweek, moreover, reprints the essentials of the story from Palin's, un-fact-checked auto-biography, "Going Rogue". I've emailed Lisa Miller to find out if she has discovered any other sources to back it up, or whether Newsweek's editors believe that a politician's own account of his or her life is always factually true, and does not need further reporting out.
Update: Lisa Miller has confirmed that her only source for the story of Trig's parentage and birth is Palin's own un-fact-checked biography and Palin's various statements. There was no attempt to verify these claims independently of the person whose political interest it is to tell this story. Hey, the MSM's job is to reprint politicians' statements, not to fact-check them.
Miller's email in full after the jump:
Palin’s book and public remarks are my sources for the details about the birth of Trig. Despite your persistent interest in the matter, we have never found any reason to doubt Palin’s truthfulness regarding the circumstances of Trig’s birth. Further, I’d argue that obsessing over Trig’s parentage obscures the bigger and more important story. In some quarters, the left so loves to loathe Palin that it can’t or won’t acknowledge the real power she has among millions of people. With midterms coming up and a presidential election just two years away, understanding that power is crucial to understanding our political context.
I use the word “discomfiting” near the end of the story, then, because Palin seems to be telling the story over and over for personal or political gain. Thus, a sympathetic, human moment becomes a billboard; that makes me squeamish because a real child is involved.
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