Salon's Justin Elliott says he has definitively resolved all conceivable doubts about Sarah Palin's biological maternity of Trig. I have to say my first instinct is to thank and congratulate him for doing what should have been done a long, long time ago. Before I go into the details, let me first, however, address the following canard:
Sullivan's refrain on this issue is that he does not endorse any conspiracy theory, he is merely asking questions. He simply wants Palin "to debunk this for once and for all, with simple, readily available medical records." He has proposed, for example, the release of "amniocentesis results with Sarah Palin's name on them."
It's worth noting that this posture is identical to the rhetoric used by Obama birthers (for instance, WorldNetDaily Birther czar Joseph Farah employs the "just asking for definitive piece of proof x" line here).
This is absurd. Obama has produced the most relevant, clear, unimpeachable, if humiliating, piece of empirical evidence that he is indeed a native-born US citizen. In fact, he produced it a long time ago. (I think he was right to do so, and the press was easily within bounds to ask. That's how these things should work.)
And there is a huge difference between someone asking for exactly that kind of proof, however distasteful, and someone continuing to ask for it after that proof has already been produced.
To equate my simple request for proof – a request first made in September 2008 – with a request for evidence even after it has been produced is not "worth noting." It's a smear.
And I have not shifted this position since the very beginning. In my view, a journalist doesn't have to engage in any consipracy theories in order to ask a public figure to verify a story that they tell as a core plank of their political candidacy – especially when verifying it should be easy. When the figure has publicly said she has already released the birth certificate – and she hasn't – and when she demands further digging into the Obama birth certificate after it has been produced, and when she once demanded that her opponent for the mayoralty of Wasilla provide his actual marriage license to prove his wife was his wife (and he did), I see no reason whatever to apologize or regret asking her to put her medical records where her mouth is. She still hasn't.
Did Elliott ask Palin to do so himself? If you want an end to this, that is what you would do. It appears he hasn't. He has asked fellow journalists what they saw and believed. I'm not sure why a reporter decides to ask fellow reporters for eye-witness accounts when he could simply ask Palin for proof. Well, I do see why – which I'll tackle in a forthcoming post.
(Photo: Sarah Palin on March 26, 2008, three weeks before giving birth to a six-pound baby).