Sullivan v. Palin

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The Atlantic's own superblogger Andrew Sullivan has been one of Sarah Palin's most forceful critics, taking her to task on a host of issues, perhaps none more controversial than asking for proof that Palin is the mother of Trig. Here's a recap from a post in September 2008:

I find the account of her pregnancy and labor provided by Palin to be perplexing, to put it mildly, and I have every right to ask questions about it, especially since we have discovered that this woman lies more compulsively and less intelligently than the Clintons. If a story does not makes sense or raises serious questions about the sincerity of a candidate's embrace of a core political message, it is not rumor-mongering to ask about it. It is journalism. And in the absence of any information from the Palin campaign, I have aired every possible view trying to explain it. What else am I supposed to do? Pretend these questions don't exist? Pretend her story makes sense to me? I owe my readers my honest opinion. That's not rumor-mongering, it's fulfilling my core commitment to my readers.

Now Sarah Palin is hitting back at Sullivan, albeit indirectly, in her new book. As Michael Calderone reports for Politco:

Although Palin doesn’t mention Sullivan by name, she writes of the early days for her in the campaign when rumors swirled online about whether she's Trig’s mother.

She writes on page 238: “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.”

Calderone goes on to air Sullivan's rebuttal of the charge, sent to him via email:

In fact, my blog never stated anything about Palin's pregnancy and took her at her word. That's why she decided not to sue me. She had no basis for any kind of suit....If she hadn't used the baby as a central political argument in favor of voting for her, I would not have cared. But it seems to me fair to ask factual questions about a story that the candidate uses on the stump and that has aspects of it that are simply bewildering.

I ask her again: please provide evidence to confirm a core story of your political message and campaign. I will happily publish any such evidence on my blog to clear the air for good and all.

Will we have to wait for Palin's next book to hear a response?

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