Saturday, September 8, 2012

Did Sarah Palin Hoax the Country About Trig's Birth?

By Brad Scharlott, PhD


            While living in Washington, DC, in February 2010, the now-deceased British intellectual Christopher Hitchens wrote in The Spectator: “An astonishing number of well-informed people tell me that Sarah Palin is not in fact the mother of baby Trig, but that she is ‘covering up’ for another family member whose child he really is.” It took an Englishman writing in a British newspaper to openly say what many knowledgeable Americans have shared on the sly but never publicly: that Sarah Palin faked the birth of Trig, her purported fifth biological child.
            If so many Americans with whom Hitchens rubbed shoulders  including many of America’s top-tier journalists  think Palin faked Trig’s birth, then why has the hoax rumor been virtually taboo in the nation’s media the last four-plus years? (It’s true that Andrew Sullivan, a lone voice among nationally prominent bloggers, repeatedly questioned Palin’s birth story, and was flayed for it; but even a popular blog like Sullivan’s The Dish reaches only a tiny portion of the public.) The mainstream media blackout has likely been due to various factors, but perhaps the No. 1 reason is that the hoax rumor seems so crazy on its face  it’s stunning to think Palin, the sitting governor of Alaska at the time, might do such a thing. Journalists perhaps have felt they could not question her birth story without ironclad proof of a hoax.
         This article raises questions about Sarah Palin’s incredible birth story that the nation’s mainstream press have largely ignored. The questions are important because if she lied about Trig's birth, then a claim central to her political identity and popularity  that she personally "choose life" for a Down syndrome baby  was a sham. And if that was true, then a person of astonishing dishonesty had a chance of ending up a heartbeat from the presidency.

The Hoax Rumor Hits the Fan
            On August 29, 2008, the day John McCain named Sarah Palin his running mate, someone named ArcXIX wrote at the Daily Kos blog site: “Well, Sarah, I'm calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson.” [i] The author quoted an Anchorage Daily News article by Welsey Loy from March 6:

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sarah Palin shocked and awed just about everybody around the Capitol on Wednesday when she announced she's expecting her fifth child.…
       Palin said she's already about seven months along, with the baby due to arrive in mid-May.
      That the pregnancy is so advanced astonished all who heard the news. The governor … simply doesn't look pregnant. [Italics added]
      Even close members of her staff said they only learned this week their boss was expecting.

Nearly six months later, on August 31, a Daily News columnist wrote:

OK - the Palin baby speculation is inescapable at this point. The left-leaning Daily Kos posted an item Friday … a version of a rumor – long simmering in Alaska – that Palin's daughter Bristol was pregnant and the governor somehow covered it up by pretending to have the baby (Trig) herself.

The columnist quoted a Democratic strategist as saying, "Guys, it’s a loser. Can we not do this?"  the point being even if the rumor was true, Democrats might hurt themselves by pursuing it.
            In late August, journalists must have heard the rumors and wondered where the truth lay. If any of them had read the ArcXIX post at the Daily Kos site a few days earlier, they would have seen this AP photo, which originally appeared on the Anchorage Daily News on March 14, 2008:

On the left is the picture as it appeared on the newspaper’s web site and also in the ArcXIX post. On the right is the same photo lightened.[ii] The original makes Palin look remarkably trim for a woman in her seventh month. The lightened one, in which details are clearer, shows an unbelievably flat stomach for 44-year-old mother of four who supposedly will give birth in 35 days to a 6 pound, 2 ounce baby. 
         But then, on August 31, a different photo appeared that showed Palin looking quite pregnant: Someone who has never been positively identified, but most likely was Dan Carpenter, an Anchorage TV cameraman, posted the following photo at Flickr:

The photo shows Palin with a large, round belly being interviewed by Andrea Gusty of KTVA on April 13, five days before the alleged birth. The McCain campaign advisors undoubtedly showed this photo to reporters as proof that Palin had been pregnant. (More on this photo shortly.)
         Then the McCain team aimed to put the hoax rumor to rest on Sept. 1 with a stunning announcement: Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol was (they claimed) five months pregnant, and she was engaged to marry the father, Levi Johnston.[iii] Reporters were left to do the math: if Bristol was five months along in early September, then she apparently could not be the mother of Trig, who reportedly was born on April 18. Thus, the logic ran, Sarah must be the mother.
       Throwing Bristol under the bus like that to quell the rumors seemed odd and needless since supplying Trig’s birth certificate could have settled the matter. Moreover, the logic that Bristol could not be Trig’s mother depended on the unsupported assertion that Trig was born in April. Still, the revelation of Bristol’s pregnancy plus the Gusty-interview photo clearly had an effect. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America would later write that in 2008, “99 percent of people in ‘the media’ did the right thing and ignored the Trig nonsense.” [iv]

Improbable Claims about Trig's Birth
         On April 15, 2008, Sarah Palin flew to Texas for a Republican governors conference. Gary Wheeler, a 26-year Alaska state trooper veteran, formerly had accompanied Palin, plus several of her predecessors, on such trips. At the last minute, without explanation, he was told he would not be needed; Sarah’s husband, Todd, would take his place.
          In her 2009 bestselling autobiography, Going Rogue, Sarah Palin wrote that shortly after 4 in the morning on April 17, 2008, in a hotel room in Dallas, she was awakened by a strange sensation low in her belly – she would later say it was leaking amniotic fluid. She claimed she called her personal physician, Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who allegedly did not insist that she seek medical attention immediately. Rather, Palin stuck to her schedule, which called for her to give the keynote midmorning speech at the governors’ conference.
            Palin claimed that, as she gave the speech, she felt strong labor contractions. Upon finishing, she and her husband Todd took off before the conference ended to catch a flight back to Alaska. Todd emailed three of Palin’s top aides and said her speech “kicked ass” but said nothing about her alleged labor nor mentioned that the two of them were returning earlier than expected.[v]
            As to how Palin was able to board a flight while purportedly on the verge of giving birth, a representative of Alaska Air would later tell a reporter, "The stage of her pregnancy was not apparent by observation.”[vi] The flight back to Alaska took more than 10 hours and included a layover in Seattle. After arriving in Anchorage, the Palins got in their car and allegedly drove for nearly an hour to the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center not far from their Wasilla home. Palin reportedly gave birth around 6:30 the next morning. The hospital will not confirm that Palin was a patient that day, citing privacy laws. [viii]
            Palin’s office sent out a press release that day announcing the birth of Trig, saying: “The Palins were thankful that the Governor’s labor began yesterday while she was in Texas … but let up enough for her to travel on Alaska Airlines back to Alaska in time to deliver her second son.…”[vii]
          The press release did not mention where the birth took place. But a crew from KTUU-TV, alone among local media, showed up at the Mat-Su hospital. (Bill McAllister of KTUU would become her press secretary in July.) The hospital did not list Trig among the babies born that day.
            The TV crew videotaped Palin’s parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, in a hospital room with Sally holding an infant the Heaths said was their month-premature new grandson, Trig. (Sarah was not present.) Experts have said the baby lacked characteristics of a newborn preemie.[ix] For example, a neonatologist told former New York Times and ABC News reporter Laura Novak that Trig in the hospital video lacked characteristics of a newborn preemie, such as a plethoric complexion. Novak, at her blog, illustrated that point by contrasting a screenshot of the pale Trig with photos of her own red-faced premature newborn.
         The Mat-Su medical facility lacks a neonatal intensive-care unit, which would make it a poor choice for the delivery of a premature special-needs baby to a 44-year-old woman with a history of miscarriages like Palin. (Palin later claimed she had known from testing that the baby had Down syndrome.) The Palins in their return trip passed several large hospitals equipped with neonatal ICUs, including Providence hospital in Anchorage. Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who allegedly delivered Trig, has full privileges there.
         Preemies often need to stay in a neonatal ICU for days or weeks because of jaundice and other issues. Palin’s suggestion that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson agreed to deliver a premature baby at a small regional facility rather than Providence, Alaska’s largest hospital, with a top-rated neonatal ICU – which the Palins had to drive by to get to Mat-Su Regional – seems bizarre. It would suggest neither Palin nor Baldwin-Johnson cared whether they would have adequate facilities on hand to meet a premature newborn’s potential needs. (Notably, in 2005, Palin served on the board of the Valley Hospital Association, which at the time oversaw the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.[x]
        Palin returned to work two days later, taking Trig with her, and held a press conference. A reporter there asked if her water broke in Texas. She replied:

“So that was again, if, if I must get personal, technical about this at the same time, um, it was one, uh, it was a sign that I knew, um, could lead to, uh, labor being, uh, kind of kicked in there, was any kind of, um, amniotic leaking, amniotic fluid leaking, so when, when that happened we decided let’s call her [Dr. Baldwin-Johnson].”[xi]
        
If Palin’s water indeed broke in Texas, as she seemingly confirmed, and she waited some 20 hours and took a trans-continental flight after contractions started before going to a medical facility, her actions would have been “reckless beyond measure,” according to obstetricians interviewed by Andrew Sullivan, whose blog was then attached to The Atlantic.[xii]

The Press Accepts Palin’s Claims – and her Doctor’s
         The oddness of the McCain team's response to the fake birth rumors – outing Bristol’s pregnancy instead of producing evidence of Sarah’s motherhood – arguably should have prompted reporters to wonder if something misleading had happened and kept them from accepting Palin’s birth claims as established fact. But reporters at top news organizations did not question the birth story.
         For example, on Sept. 8, a flattering article in the New York Times said: “She traveled to Texas a month before her due date to give an important speech, delivering it even though her amniotic fluid was leaking.” Then, continued the article, after giving birth and returning to work, “with Trig in her arms, Ms. Palin has risen higher than ever.” And the Washington Post, on September 7, 2008, in a flattering piece wrote: “The April birth of Trig, Norse for ‘brave victory,’ turned out to be a powerful credential for the national Republican base, delighted that Palin delivered a child who tests foretold had Down syndrome."
         During the campaign, Palin had promised the press she would release her medical records. At 11 p.m. Nov. 3, one hour before Election Day, the McCain campaign released a two-page letter from Dr. Baldwin-Johnson regarding Palin’s health. [xiii] A section on Trig’s birth read:

… She followed the normal and recommended schedule for prenatal care, including follow-up perinatology evaluations to ensure there was no significant congenital heart disease or other condition of the baby that would preclude delivery at her home community hospital. This child, Trig, was born at 35 weeks in good health.…

 Three things stand out about this statement:
1.            While suggesting that the birth might have taken place at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center (Palin’s “home community hospital”), by using roundabout wording the doctor avoided saying where, or when, the baby was born.
2.            Palin had claimed in a press conference that Dr. Baldwin-Johnson had delivered Trig; but the doctor used the passive voice above, thus not saying who delivered the baby.
3.            Nothing in the statement suggests the doctor had firsthand knowledge of Palin’s alleged pregnancy; Baldwin-Johnson may simply have repeated what Palin had told her.
One more thing about Baldwin-Johnson’s statement deserves mention. In it she writes she was on active status at the Mat-Su medical center from 1985 to June 1, 2008 – 23 years – meaning she relinquished her privileges to treat patients there just six weeks after Trig’s alleged birth. She said she stepped down so she could focus more on her private practice, which includes serving as medical director of The Children’s Place in Anchorage, a facility she founded that helps victims of sexual assault and molestation, especially teenagers in trouble.[xiv]
            After the election, Anchorage Daily News executive editor Pat Dougherty assigned reporter Lisa Demer the task of putting the baby hoax story to rest by obtaining proof of the birth. But Demer hit a brick wall – Palin’s office and doctor refused to cooperate. Then Palin fired off an email to Dougherty on January 12, 2009, asking if the paper was “pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig's mother?” Dougherty published her email and his response. He wrote:

… the Daily News has, from the beginning, dismissed the conspiracy theories about Trig's birth as nonsense. … In fact, my integrity and the integrity of the newspaper have been repeatedly attacked in national forums for our complicity in the "coverup.”

He said his only purpose in assigning Demer the story was “to kill the nonsense once and for all.” Noting that Demer had received no cooperation, he wrote:

It strikes me that if there is never a clear, contemporaneous public record of what transpired with Trig's birth, that may actually ensure that the conspiracy theory never dies.

Dougherty wrote that Palin never responded to his email. Since that time, all reporters and editors at the paper have given what seems like a scripted answer to questions about Palin’s remarkable birth story: they see no reason to doubt it.[xv]

The Birth of Bristol’s (Second?) Baby
         Bristol gave birth to her son, Tripp, allegedly on Dec. 27, 2008. However, that birth date was not confirmed by any source outside of the Palin or Johnston families. (In an unsettling coincidence, state undercover police slapped Sherry Johnston, Levi’s mother, with multiple felony counts of selling OxyContin just nine days earlier.[xvi])
         The birth announcement was effectively made, via People magazine, by a great-aunt living outside of Alaska who had not seen the baby. Palin family members in Wasilla refused to confirm the birth when contacted by the Associated Press, even though they presumably had been the great-aunt's source. And Sarah Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, also  refused to comment on the birth, changing tack only after People came out with the great-aunt's comments, thus perhaps shielding Palin from being the source if the date was later proved wrong. The presumed hospital, Mat-Su Regional again, also would not comment. About seven weeks passed before Tripp was shown to the media.[xvii]
        Why did the Palin clan refuse to confirm the date of birth? Perhaps Bristol was less than five months pregnant at the Republican National Convention, meaning Tripp would have been born later than December.        
        It’s useful to note that Bristol transferred from Wasilla High School to Anchorage West High School in the middle of the 2007-08 academic year, moving in with Sarah’s sister Heather Bruce in Anchorage. Her interrupted schooling suggests something disruptive may have taken place in her life, such as a pregnancy. If she did birth Trig, then she seemingly did so no later than mid-January 2008, because she reportedly was seen, clearly not pregnant, at that time.[xviii] If the baby the Heaths showed the KTUU reporter on April 18 was in fact Trig, then Bristol may have given birth to him quite prematurely.

Was the Gusty Interview Photo Staged?
As noted, the appearance of the Gusty-interview photo must have helped quash the birth hoax rumors. It was one of two photos posted to Flickr by "erik99559" just before the start of the Republican National Convention. The other photo, below, shows, in addition to Palin, both Dan Carpenter, a KTUU cameraman, and (in the glasses) Bill McAllister, chief political reporter of KTUU.


The caption to the picture read, "Myself, Governor Palin and Press Secretary McAllister," suggesting Carpenter posted the picture.[xix] Moreover, he grew up in Bethel, Alaska, whose zip code is 99559.
            Gusty, the KTVA interviewer, has said she took that photo minutes before Carpenter took the interview photo. All three individuals have declined to explain why the photos were taken.[xx] But the placement of Palin in the interview photo – where one hallway ends at another – suggests the point may have been to get a still photo from the side showing Palin's belly in profile, while the video cameraman shot her from the front, mainly from the shoulders up, as the newscast would show. Perhaps it was important that the video cameraman not shoot her from the side, because showing her large belly in profile might have raised questions about her sudden change in appearance, which in turn possibly helps explain why the still shots were not posted till late August: so people might forget how unusually thin she looked during her seeming "six-week pregnancy" – from the date she announced it to the alleged birth.
            Palin promoted the idea that she was unusually trim during the pregnancy. In Going Rogue (page 191), she wrote: “Before we knew it, I was seven months along. I hadn’t put on a lot of weight and ... no one saw my girth or suspected I was pregnant.” Her assertion that she was unusually trim at seven months is incompatible with her appearance in the Gusty-interview photo, unless her stomach ballooned in just over month.
            In the same vein, Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News wrote on April 22, 2008: “Palin never got big with this pregnancy” – a statement also at odds with the Gusty interview photo. (Demer suggested in the sources she contacted and the questions she raised that there might have been a hoax.) It is useful to note that Palin did “get big” in an earlier pregnancy, as the below photo of her (in the red shirt) shows. 
           
            Perhaps by design, very few people likely saw the live Gusty interview in-person. It was scheduled for early evening on a Sunday after the legislature had wrapped up its business. (Palin had met with the press corps in the afternoon, according to her official calendar.) So McAllister and Carpenter were probably the only individuals on hand to witness the interview. While McAllister still technically worked for KTUU, he had given notice that he was leaving the station earlier that month, and some evidence suggests he had already lined up the job with Palin.[xxi] 
            One might ask: Why would Palin give an exclusive live interview that evening to the young reporter Andrea Gusty? – meaning the veteran Bill McAllister and the competing TV station he worked for would be left out. (Palin’s calendar indicated she was meeting only with Gusty.) If what Palin had to say merited a live interview, it would have made far better sense to allow all TV stations to participate. And since McAllister and his cameraman were clearly on hand, the fact that they took no part in the interview seems especially odd, unless they were there for a non-journalistic purpose, such as getting staged still shots of Palin. 
         The Gusty interview and the still shots from it were possibly a ploy. The stills fulfilled a crucial need for Palin: linked as they were to a newscast that aired the week before the alleged birth, they provided proof that Palin looked very pregnant on April 13 – at least for a while. They thus were perfectly suited to kill the hoax rumors that were sure to reappear after McCain selected Palin for VP. Of course, if the point of the interview was to stage such pictures, then some of the participants seemingly conspired to deceive the American people.[xxii]

Where Does the Truth Lie?
         An example of an earlier photo depicting a less-pregnant-looking Palin shows her leaving the Alaska State Museum on March 26.[xxiii] It is the middle picture below, flanked by cropped versions of the March 14 photo and April 13 interview photo (all adjusted to show detail).


           Palin in the museum picture does seem to have a bulge in her midsection, but it looks unusually high for a baby bump, plus it seems quite small for a woman who will give birth in 23 days. The picture also seems to show, under her shirt, some sort of wrap around her midsection. Taken together, the three photos show that Palin’s belly went from flat to somewhat round to hugely round in just under a month. 
           It's worth noting that news photographs of Palin from the April 17 governors meeting in Dallas showed her with the same very round belly, and even the same outfit, that she displayed in the April 13 interview photo. Which raises this question: If Palin's belly was that large, how could airline personnel have said the stage of her pregnancy "was not apparent by observation" during her flights to and from Dallas? The likely explanation, it seems to me, is that a prosthetic maternity belly was stashed in her luggage during the flights.
           In the end, the sheer number of improbable things that surround Palin's alleged pregnancy – from the seemingly too-thin photographs to the lack of confirmation that she was even a patient of Mat-Su Regional hospital on April 18, 2008 – strain believability. Still, it is up to the reader to decide if the above evidence makes the case, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Palin in fact faked Trig's birth.

Notes

[i] “Questions Raised: Does Sarah Palin Really Have a 5th Child? [Photos + Video] UPDATED,” posted by ArcXIX at Daily Kos on August 31, 2008. This update of August 31 includes the post of August 29. [The post is no longer online.] In the update the author backed away from the accusation, perhaps tacitly agreeing that Democrats were likely to hurt themselves by pursuing it. Barack Obama himself, in reaction to the rumors, asked that reporters leave alone questions relating to the candidates’ families. For the quotation at the start, see Christopher Hitchens, “writing from Washington [...],” Daily Mail, Feb. 4, 2010 p. 19.

[ii] Let me note that I personally copied this photo from the Anchorage Daily News web site and then lightened it. The photo’s authenticity is beyond question.

[iii] Samuel Goldsmith and Clemente Lisi,Palin Admits her 17-year-old Daughter Is Pregnant,” New York Post (Sept. 1, 2008).

[iv] Boehlert, “Palin's now scolding journalists who didn't write about Trig in 2008?” http://alturl.com/c8d3n (July 27, 2010), Media Matters for America; also, about two weeks after McCain named Palin as his running mate, Boehlert wrote, “We haven't seen the name of one reporter who pressured the McCain campaign about Palin's pregnancy,” in “We wish The National Enquirer editor would stop lecturing journalists,”  http://mediamatters.org/blog/200809110019 (Sept. 11, 2008).

[v] MSNBC Palin Mail Collection, http://crivellawest.net/palin/pdf/1085.pdf (April 17, 2008); the email is shown also in the YouTube video “The Perfidy of Sarah Palin; Chapter 2. The Wild Ride,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZSVMzeR5jU (Sept. 17, 2010). As to Wooten being left behind, see Joe McGinnis’s The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin (Crown, 2011), pages 277-78; in chapter 19, McGinnis lays out much of the same evidence concerning a possible birth hoax that is presented in this article.

[vi] See Lisa Demer, “Palins' child diagnosed with Down syndrome,” Anchorage Daily News (April 22, 2008).

[vii] Governor Palin has new baby boy – Trig Paxon Van Palin, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2071657/post (April 18, 2008).

[viii] Sullivan, “Births At Mat-Su Medical Center In April 2008,” The Atlantic Online http://alturl.com/f5k3y (Oct. 8, 2008).

[x] See http://www.matsuregional.com/Services/Pages/Maternity%20Services.aspx, which does not show any prenatal ICU at the hospital. On Palin being a board member, see "Palin vs. Obama: Line by Line Resume Comparison," http://rootswire.org/conventionblog/palin-vs-obama-line-line-resume-comparison (Sept. 5, 2008). I have personally written to the hospital, its board and its parent corporation seeking information about the alleged birth; those groups have all ignored me – there has never been a single reply, not even a “no comment.” Those entities, however, did send to Palin’s personal lawyer copies of my letters to them; he later sent copies of those letters to my university in an effort to get me to stop my research and writing about Palin.

[ix] Lori Tipton, “Welcome to Alaska, Trig Paxson Van Palin,” KTUU-TV,  http://alturl.com/2ue6n (April 18, 2008). As to the likely age of the baby, see “Sarah Palin and The Neonatologist - Part Two - POW!” Laura Novak Author, http://alturl.com/9avjs (May 19, 2011). Novak later wrote that three other physicians independently agreed with the assessment of the neonatologist concerning Trig’s age: see Novak, “The Neonatologist: Ear, Nose, and Upper Lip,” http://alturl.com/f4xbt (June 6, 2011).

[xi] Audio of the press conference http://tindeck.com/listen/zcnk (April 21, 2008).

[xii] Sullivan, “A Fourth Picture,” The Atlantic Online, http://alturl.com/dzf44 (Dec. 5, 2008).

[xiii] Andrew Malcolm, “Sarah Palin's physician says she's in 'excellent health',” L.A. Times, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/11/polling-places.html (Nov. 3, 2008).


[xv] Pat Dougherty, “Full text of the Palin-ADN email exchange,” Anchorage Daily News, http://community.adn.com/adn/node/136523 (Jan. 12, 2009). The newspaper’s timidity may stem from the fact that it derives significant income from the state, and Palin’s appointees are still in office. See “The ADN Again,” Laura Novak Author, http://alturl.com/h6kvn (June 22, 2011).

[xvi] See “Mother of Bristol Palin's Fiance Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charges” ABC News online,  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/MindMoodNews/story?id=6577965&page=1#.UEI4fY4iO0I.

[xvii]    The announcement was effectively made via People by a Coleen Jones, Sallie Heath's sister in Seattle; see Lorenzo Benet, “Bristol Palin Welcomes a Son,” People (Dec. 29, 2008): http://tinyurl.com/6vd482; this article ends with McAllister refusing to confirm the birth: "This office will not be issuing any statements on that [Bristol's baby]." See Fox News (Dec. 29, 2008): "Palin family members, hospital employees and representatives of former presidential candidate John McCain would not confirm the birth or did not return messages from The Associated Press": http://tinyurl.com/7424s9wAs to the first time the media were allowed to see the baby, see: “Exclusive: A visit with the Palins,” Fox News, http://alturl.com/jhqub (Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009).

[xviii]  “Bristol Palin: Homeschooler?” May 29, 2009, PalinDeception.com, http://alturl.com/sppzr. Some have argued that Sarah is more likely to be Trig’s mother than Bristol because women over forty experience a higher incidence of Down syndrome babies. But balancing the odds is that a 44-year-old woman (as Palin was) is much less likely to bear children at all. Stated otherwise, Bristol and Sarah were about equally likely to bear a DS child, if you factor in their relative fertility and miscarriage rates. See, for example, http://www.socalfertility.com/age-and-fertility/.

[xix] See http://alturl.com/jamn7, where a screenshot of the original Flickr post has been preserved.

[xx] See “McAllister et al.,” Laura Novak Author, http://alturl.com/ru2cr (June 9, 2011), where Novak tries to get McAllister, Gusty or Carpenter to comment on the photos, but with no luck. See also “Andrea Gusty Addresses Controversial Palin Photos,” YouTube, http://alturl.com/qp2q7 (Jan. 31, 2009). Gusty alleges in this video that she asked Carpenter take the interview photo as a favor. If what she wanted was a memento of her interview with Palin, why did Carpenter frame the photo so oddly, shooting Palin from the side and making the video cameraman the dominant person in the shot? Gusty earlier had told Factcheck.org that she thought she possessed the only copy of the interview photo and claimed to believe that Palin gave birth to Trig about a week after the photo was taken; see http://www.factcheck.org/2008/09/muting-the-mommy-melodrama/ (Sept. 16, 2008).

[xxi] The Anchorage Daily News had reported on April 6 that McAllister was leaving KTUU; released government emails later showed he likely negotiated his contract with the state in early April; see “Government emails and credibility,” AndrewHalcro.com, http://alturl.com/uku68 (July 25, 2008). I sent an earlier version of this article to McAllister seeking comments; in an April 5, 2011, email he denied involvement in any hoax without denying one took place; he also called me an “agent of evil” and threatened to slap me if he ever saw me.


[xxiii] See Laura Novak, “Three weeks before Sarah Palin reportedly gave birth to her fifth child, a six pound boy, Juneau photographer Brian Wallace captured a series of photos of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Palin exiting the Alaska State Museum. Nota bene: Palin is said to be eight months pregnant here - 3 weeks shy of giving birth.” (August 1, 20011), http://alturl.com/sgn4u.

30 comments:

  1. You mean there are no comments yet on this post? Where is everybody? Yes, it's the same old material, but this is probably the best summary of the pregnancy hoax I have read.

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    1. Thanks, Floyd. That was exactly my aim - to write the story as tightly and comprehensively as possible. I wanted an irrefutable narrative that packs the force of a hammer. Your comment gives me hope I have succeeded. I have plans for this....

      It's been about two months since I posted anything, so people have stopped dropping by.

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    2. I too agree with Floyd (and Jilly G and Anon, below): beautifully concise; so well written. Well footnoted. I'm glad you have plans for this! (Can't wait to learn what they are, so we can help, if possible!)

      I'd also like to add that the reason we care about this is not because it's a stray pregnancy or the innocuous cover-up of a private family matter but because it's a deliberate abd repeated lie, foisted upon the electorate in 2008 to demonstrate the "family values" of the GOP (proving only how bankrupt the GOP version of those values is), taking advantage of a disabled child to do so, aiming to sway an election via deceit. And the cover-up of this disgusting hoax implicates McCain, Schmidt, and other GOP VIPs in their silence that continues to this day about this unprecedented hoax.

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    3. Thanks, Brad. And she continues with this obvious lie.She's irrelevant except to Fox viewers but the lie needs to be exposed to shut her hate down once and for all.

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  2. I agree, Floyd, this is a GREAT summary! I was sure that Brad had given up, and then I saw this and I am filled with new hope that this hoax will really be uncovered one of these days (soon, I hope!)

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  3. It's excellent, as are the appropriate photos. I just saw your sight on my bookmark bar and decided to check in. The best thing about the truth coming out is it may mean Trig will get the care he deserves. He's still not wearing glasses or hearing aids in the latest photos.

    I'll be checking back more often to see what you are able to do to increase the exposure. Thanks so much Brad.

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  4. Bravo, Brad. Thanks for posting this. I've missed you.

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  5. Something that turns people away, other than the fact that most Americans have lives too full to care about whether or not a beloved baby is the biological son of someone, is the odd and reaching argument that the child, who was obviously tiny when presented, is Bristol's.

    To people who do follow this, think about all the people who saw little "tiny" Trig from the beginning. Some might secretly question things, but youll be hardpressed to find people who actually care in Alaska. The only people who express strong feelings are the people who day in and day out fabricate these weird stories and tales regarding activities and anecdotes about this family. YOU'RE all the reason there are so many lies an confusion.

    Just step back and start looking at things objectively without emotion. You'll be happier and will think more clearly because of it.

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    1. You write: "The only people who express strong feelings are the people who day in and day out fabricate these weird stories and tales regarding activities and anecdotes about this family."

      I've written 4,000+ words, plus footnotes above documenting the hoax. My research is scrupulous. Yet you don't challenge a single assertion with evidence or logic. You don't really believe I've fabricated anything -- if you did, you'd call me out on it with facts. All you have is empty words. Why bother?

      Delete
    2. I agree with Blake that (1) most people are too busy to care, esp at this point; and (2) limiting the story to Sarah Palin is a plus.

      Re Point 2: SP is the only one whose arrangements legitimately concern us. She is the one who ran for office; although she dragged her family into it, that doesn't mean we need to. I say leave out Bristol, leave out speculation of Trig's bio-parents. The key thing for me is the unethical behaviors of Sarah Palin and those who enabled her hoax among the GOP VIPs and the RW fundie VIPs.

      Getting that uncovered is plenty enough for me, esp because all the rest will follow. But weighing down the basic story with all the details at the outset is overwhelming to a newby.

      Delete
  6. Brad, no, I cannot refute anything just like you cannot prove anything. Why? No outsider knows anything of real substance. And considering some blogs' sources and their propensity to lie, I see nothing new as ever being discovered. My point wasn't to attack YOU personally and your blogs. I was referencing the closed-minded ones who refuse to believe anything other than what they believe. I find this silly considering how, as I've said, there are no hard facts. Too many people love to pick and choose information to feed their personal theories. That is a dangerous mode of operation in general. You have one lady who seems to change her beliefs with every new comment she reads, a couple people who blatantly ignore specific things just because they want to believe something is true.


    Looking at things as objectively as humanly possible, what GOOD will this do if publicly revealed, even by Sarah? How will this ONE thing change things? Politicians will continue lying as that is how they ALL operate. Trig will still be apart of his loving family, as he is Sarah and Todd's son. Sure, more people than I expect MIGHT react for 2 seconds, but honestly, I really don't see much changing.

    Stuff like this happens daily in politics. Sure, a plus for many people who support (ed) Sarah Palin was her DS son. But how does finding out that she didn't birth him change that? Sure she referenced choosing life, but she's always chosen life in her biological kids. How does that change the fact that Trig's mother CHOSE life?

    I just don't see your side I guess.Trig will always be a cherished, happy little boy whom his family adores and values as a human. They will always see all human life as valued beings.

    Amy - not one political candidate leaves their families home. In local politics and national. Democrats awed at Obama's daughters on stage, in 08 and days ago. That is no different from Sarah Palin, 2006 or 2008. What her ADULT child chose to do publicly after the election is her choice, though notice she lived quite privately for almost a year before pursuing opportunities. The point is, these people have full lives away from the spotlight. Only 1 of her children chose to engage in some public events, though it was the one child who's been the most slandered and ridiculed out of double standard and hate.

    I am not a newby. I know how politics work. Some of my close friends have worked with the Obama campaign, the Clinton campaign and one was Michelle O's nanny. I would never ask them to betray confidence of their colleagues but just keep in mind that NO politician is how they appear on camera. I understand the forces behind both major parties and some of the motives. A lot is distorted. A lot is game-playing. There's LITTLE selflessness in politics at the national level and there's NO ONE who enters the field without a body of people offering them up as their front.

    What I know would probably overwhelm you so I will leave it at this: do not EVER take a candidate's words at face value and there will come a day where both parties will undergo needed transformations to accomodate all the people smartly rising up in resistance to both. We're at war with each other because a lot is at stake. There are grave ideological differences that need to be sorted out before any progress can be made. If that takes bloodshed, it will happen. Prepare ye selves.

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    1. "If that takes bloodshed, it will happen. Prepare ye selves."

      Your last statement invalidates everything that precedes it because it's the statement of a traitor to his or her country.

      Accepting the eventuality of, and even preparing for, "bloodshed" as a way to sort out our "grave ideological differences" is proof you have no faith in America or its government and are, therefore, demonstrably NOT a patriot. Violence by an angry -- and, if you're any example, completely misguided -- mob as a way to gain political power constitutes treason.

      Among those directly responsible for the increase in the number of dimwits like yourself who think armed insurrection is a viable option is Sarah Palin who fans your flaming idiocy with lies and misinformation.

      She's never ONCE proposed a workable, detailed solution to ANY of our country's problems, she's made not ONE positive contribution to the public discourse, and she's an expert ONLY in spewing inaccurate yet inflammatory word salad.

      When you say "Stuff like this happens daily in politics," are you including those speeches of hers which helped to INCREASE the risk to our elected officials' lives ?

      FACT: following her vile "palin' around with terrorists" campaign rhetoric, in November of 2008 the Secret Service issued a rare public statement announcing that her attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism were directly responsible for a spike in death threats made against him.

      And while we'll never know for certain just how much her "target" graphics and violent rhetoric contributed to Gabby Gifford's shooting, an ethical person's response would have been to ease up on such low tactics, not claim victimhood and "blood libel."

      It's unbelievable to me that you would come here and not only try to rationalize and obfuscate her unethical behavior, but also attempt to defend her against the mountain of documented evidence Dr. Scharlott has amassed and so clearly laid out above with nothing but mealy-mouthed, nonsensical drivel.

      You're as contemptuously serpent-tongued as Palin herself. If, as you claim, you are "not a newby" and "know how politics work," then you know that Palin's faked pregnancy had NOTHING whatsoever to do with saving the life of a DS kid and was merely a HOAX perpetrated SOLELY to burnish her political image and thereby win power.

      And if, as you say, a great many politicians are NOT as they portray themselves when in front of the cameras, that's reason to EXPOSE rather than justify their misdeeds.

      Todd Palin only pimped women.

      Congratulations on pimping his wife's divisive and destructive immorality.

      Delete
    2. Grrr: Wow! Nice rebuttal of Blake's bizarre ramblings.

      Delete
    3. Oh go away. You sound like Krazy Kristy who is all over the blogs defending the indefensible. Kristy, you are wasting your time here and embarrasseing yourself. You make no sense and your endorsement of the hoax demonstrates that quite possibly that you're mentally ill.

      Delete
  7. In footage of the interior of the Heath home, there is a picture hanging of Todd, Sarah and Trig with the words "Life...is a beautiful choice" printed besides them. How does that message change? A woman DID choose life, Sarah chose to support her by caring for her child. Why embarrass an unknown person who probably doesn't even know 'trig' is hers?

    And before you attack Bristol, until you discover of way of reading minds, you have no basis for comment on her as a person and her actions. use common decency.

    Look at it this way. If a person is willing to lie about a woman's son and his paternity, there's really no way of trusting anyone regarding any other information. Also notice that politicalgates purposefully avoids posting pictures showing T's uncanny resemblance as an infant to not only his oldest sister, but to her father, Todd Palin.

    Just things to consider when you're being fed blog hogwash.

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  8. Blake -- no need to ask you to explain the Mar 14 flat-profile photo of SP, because you acknowledge TWICE that Palin DID hoax us -- was not the birth mother of Trig, as she claimed. The too-flat-profile Mar 14 photo is PROOF that Trig's birth was not as stated.

    But what makes YOU so certain SP did not give birth to Trig, hmmmmm?

    Sure, it's not a perfect world, and politicians lie all too often. Yes, the GOP/MSM cover-up (way more than the act) of this hoax is all too typical, and thus deserves to be uncovered if one cares about ethics and prefers to call candidates on blatant lies.

    Are you really saying that the Lion King presentation of a sedated, disabled, often sockless, child at every oppty, at all hours, is the same in the case of other candidates?

    Re your citing the "Life is a beautiful choice" quote, please note that Palin is ANTI-choice. She and her RW fundie colleagues seek to deny women choice, even for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.


    ReplyDelete
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    1. "She and her RW fundie colleagues seek to deny women choice, even for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest."

      Or even from an "accident" as the result of prostitution, a situation Todd Palin may have faced based on Shailey Tripp's documented account of him serving as her pimp.

      Delete
  9. Blake, you state that there are "no hard facts." Well, I consider an e-mail from the State of Alaska, Benefits Div., addressed to..."Gov. Sarah Palin"...asking for her newborn's birth certificate, to be a hard fact. The e-mail is dated May 21, 2008. Let me print it below for you in case you haven't seen it and, perhaps, you can give us your interpretation of it:

    "Governor Palin~

    This is a reminder from the Benefits Section to let you know that, to date, we have not received the dependent verification documents for your new child.

    To ensure continued coverage for your newborn, please submit a copy of the child's Birth Certificate to us within 60 days of the date of birth. Claims submitted for your dependent child after this time period will be pended until this documentation has been received by the Benefits Section."

    Here are some of "my" thoughts I know you will be anxious to read:

    1) Since the e-mail was dated May 21, 2008, and they needed the b/c within 60 days, I think it was likely that 30 days had passed and they were giving her another 30 days to send it in. That ties in with Trig's announced birth date of around April 17/18, 2008.

    2) The e-mail is addressed to Sarah, and since it is from the Benefits Div., it looks like the claims/medical documents were in her name so she could use her insurance to pay for Trig's birth. How else could this be explained?

    3) Another significant point was the statement..."To ensure continued coverage for your newborn." That told me they had already been paying claims. In Alaska, pregnant state employee's newborns are covered for 72 hours after birth. Claims after that time period are not paid until they receive the newborn's b/c.

    4) Some have written this off by saying, "there is no evidence she sent in a b/c." That point is moot. They are sending her an e-mail for a reason and that reason is because they received claims for the birth of a newborn and his continued care. Period.

    I think the reason this e-mail has never received any traction, is because of the wide-spread rumor Bristol had a preemie in Jan./Feb., 2008. I've never found one shred of evidence she ever did but that's the consensus of everyone whose blogs I read. Maybe that's why it is ignored.

    So, Blake, tell us what you think of this e-mail and why it isn't a "hard fact."

    Thanks!









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  10. Ginger: Blake is not going to answer because s/he seems to believe that SP was NOT Trig's birth mother and it doesn't matter:

    -- "Sure, a plus for many people who support (ed) Sarah Palin was her DS son. But how does finding out that she didn't birth him change that? Sure she referenced choosing life, but she's always chosen life in her biological kids. How does that change the fact that Trig's mother CHOSE life? (Blake, 10:24)"

    -- "A woman DID choose life, Sarah chose to support her by caring for her child. Why embarrass an unknown person who probably doesn't even know 'trig' is hers? (Blake, 10:31)"

    I'd sure like to know WHY Blake thinks SP is not the birth mother, esp since s/he doesn't acknowledge the facts that lead us to that conclusion (the letter you cite re insurance; the Mar 14 and other photos).

    I see Blake as saying it's common knowledge among his/her acquaintances that SP hoaxed us, but he thinks no one will much care if that is revealed in the MSM.

    I fear that Blake may be right -- that no one will care. Few will care to acknowledge the larger implications, like Blake. Others will choose to deny/ignore them to conceal their enabling of this national political hoax.

    That's how it's gone for the last 4+ years, anyway.

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  11. Brad,

    I know that you were trying "to write the story as tightly and comprehensively as possible" and I appreciate your efforts. But I found the "voice of God" email to be yet another fairly compelling piece of evidence, particularly the references to the "easy" pregnancy and "cutting it short" (w.r.t. the duration of the pregnancy) written six weeks before the due date. Might want to include that too?

    Thanks!

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  12. This just gets mioe nauseating to read as time goes on. The stated actions of the doctor and hospital never happened, otherwise they would be out of a job and shut down. We were hoaxed. My hope is that as time goes on and Palin is no longer relevent, the blackout will drop and more people will be free to write about the hoax. It is plain as day and insulting to thinking people. The statute of limitations is up for the hospital and the doctor, so maybe soon there can be talk without fear of reprisal. It is very sad that the dcotr or hospital out at the onset of the hoax, as that was the time to break it open. The hoax was a perfect strom. happeneing in a far off land. If this was tried in the lower 48 I don't think it would have been blacked out.

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  13. Meant to add that I am very happy to hear that you have plans Brad.
    You da man! I'm glad I decided to stop by here on my day off. You were silent for a while, but that perhaps means you are working working working on a "project"?

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. It's great to see this recent post, Brad. When even a Palin apologist ("Blake") is acknowledging the Trig hoax, we can continue to hope that the truth will ultimately be revealed and Palin will be publicly shamed and shunned.

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  16. I am reading a 9/11 book by David Ray Griffen and have learned about the many pilots and architects and physicists who have written into their professional journals questioning the anomalies of the official story. Also, these groups have started their own journals that question the anomalies. Too bad that more doctors and nurses who know the truth have not written into their professional journals questioning the miracle pregnancy and birth. My personal experience writing to governing bodies and AAFFP have been fruitless.
    Also, had to change browser to use the new format, but can now read commetns.

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  17. Hello Brad

    This is a great comprehensive and well written summary. I really am sorry that I didn't read it earlier than now.

    Will be in touch.

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  18. As am I. Very tight, simple, lots of visual imaging, links and footnotes. Superb, Brad!

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  19. It's mind-boggling to think about the number of people involved in the hoax (not to mention the number of $$$ and favors might have been paid out). The people mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg.

    I can't help but - also too - think about the weight that would be lifted from the shoulders of the some of the "hoaxters" when this comes out.

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  20. Just recently, Brad, I've been able to once again read the comments. I come here frequently to see if you have a new post up. Some of your theories I do not agree with (ears, etc.?), but that's o.k. I'm just glad you are still here and hoping you will keep this story alive.

    You know, there is that possibility (read the e-mail in my comment above) Sarah does have a birth certificate for Trig with her and Todd's names on it. If I'm right about this, it could be the reason no one will come forward. There's just no way to prove it. Not without a DNA test.

    Some commenters have said, "if she had a b/c, she'd show it." Maybe she did. She said she did but didn't say to whom. How can she show it now after so many of us know she faked her pregnancy. I'd sure like to know who signed the b/c. Was it Dr. CBJ? By the way, she did tell the ADN in a meeting with her attorney, that she delivered Trig. Just didn't say who from.

    Recently, I saw where someone filed an FOI to have access to Suri Cruz's b/c. That's Tom's (?) daughter. Strangely, it was signed by a nurse who wasn't even present at the delivery.

    Well, Brad, everybody..."Have a Happy, Healthy New Year."

    ReplyDelete
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