Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shaving Babygate Theories With Occam's Razor - Megan Carpentier, please take note

By Ennealogic

Thanks to a rather vitriolic post by Megan Carpentier of the Guardian, in which she asserts that "Trig Truthers" are bitter, misogynistic and ill-informed to boot, I got to thinking about one of her more outrageous statements: "In the stubbly nether regions of the internet untouched by Occam's razor, a dedicated group of (mostly) men seeks to prove that the Palin family drama is more soap operatic than the family has already acknowledged."

Apparently Ms. Carpentier is unaware that I, and many co-researchers, fellow bloggers and commenters who contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge about the fraud that is Sarah Palin, are mothers and grandmothers. We "Trig Truthers" are hardly misogynistic. We seem to be considerably more aware than she is about the bizarre soap opera phenomenon that is Wasilla's Palin family. That Ms. Carpentier brags having used the word, "vagina," three times in her story does not comfort me into accepting she understands the babygate dilemma at all. Razors and vaginas and nether regions oh my!—this is not about shaving pubic hair, this is about a pregnancy hoax, and if Ms. Carpentier had spent any time at all learning about the details of the story instead of dashing off a "cracking piece," she just might have been able to add something to the discussion instead of serving to spiral the question further into silence.

A very old razor

Let's examine two theories of how Trig Palin came to be Sarah's "son" and see what we can most reasonably infer when taking Occam's Razor into account. Perhaps Occam's Razor doesn't apply to babygate at all but if it does, the essence of how that principle might be stated goes like this: In cases where two alternate theories produce the same outcome, the simpler one is to be preferred until additional facts emerge.

Sir Isaac Newton restated the rule as, "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances." I think this is a good formulation because it maintains that explanations need be both true and sufficient. Yet! Are the observations for Theory #1, below, even present, much less true and sufficient?

Another formulation states, ""If you have two theories that both explain the observed facts, then you should use the simplest until more evidence comes along." The validity of any theory depends on "observed facts." So which of the two is actually the better theory?

Theory #1 - According to Sarah's versions of the story, she gave birth on a Friday morning to a 5-week (or 7-week) premature Down syndrome baby, at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center (or maybe in Anchorage), after taking two flights from Texas to Alaska and driving in the snow for another hour, and after leaking amniotic fluid (or not) since early the previous morning. She subsequently brought the preemie to work with her on the following Monday for show and tell.

Documentation of Live Birth (missing from evidence)

A certified Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (not available at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center)

Theory #2 - Sarah Palin was not pregnant in at all in 2008, but perpetrated a birth-story hoax which she initiated publicly on March 5, 2008 and carries through to this day. The Down syndrome child has been adopted by the Palins.

Trig Palin on 18th April, 2008: "A 5-7 week premature infant"

For Theory #1 we should expect to observe:

a birth certificate
an announcement entered by the hospital
pictures of a 5-7 week premature infant taken within a day or two of birth
an explanation of how the attending Family Practice doctor (CBJ) came to the conclusion that it was okay for Sarah Palin to travel by air and car for 11 hours without getting checked out along the way
an honest explanation of why and how the hospital - its directors, staff and doctors - agreed to induce this multipara, 44 yr-old with a high risk pregnancy in a facility that doesn't even have a level 1 NICU instead of stabilizing and transporting her to a facility in Anchorage equipped to handle such deliveries
a further honest explanation of how such an infant was permitted to be handled by her son's military buddies and the elder Heaths within a day of his birthing, and then brought into a public office environment just three days later
entries in the then governor's daily schedule dating what should have been frequent pre-natal visits
medical records evidencing pre-natal visits and tests
empirical evidence in the form of statements, e-mails, images and video from media, colleagues, friends and other community members supporting the fact of Sarah's 7-8 month pregnancy
and a consistent story of how, when and where the birth happened

    For Theory #2 we should expect to observe:

    photographic and video evidence of a lack of a pregnant belly both before and after Sarah Palin's pregnancy announcement
    empirical evidence in the form of statements from media, colleagues, casual bystanders, community members and airline personnel that she did not appear pregnant even just before the announced birth date
    an unexplained reluctance to allow questions or provide documentation regarding the birth
    occasional hostility and a flippant attitude toward anyone questioning the story
    confusion, hesitation, and inconsistencies in her telling of the birth and pregnancy stories
    a less-than-motherly caring demonstrated toward the Down syndrome child she claimed she was desperate for

    In my opinion, there is currently, and quite simply, insufficient evidence to warrant accepting Theory #1. Remember, a theory must be explained by observed facts. But there was no birth certificate released. There was no hospital announcement, nor any explanation explaining the high risk delivery in a sub-par medical facility. Nor has there been an explanation for the presentation of (and public showing-off of) a chubby-cheeked baby who was supposed to be 5-7 weeks premature, jaundiced, with a hole in his heart. No contemporaneous governor's calendar entries have been unearthed, nor has there been any confirmation of pre-natal testing and visits. The documentary trail with any suggestion at all that Sarah Palin was pregnant consists only of:
    1. the mysteriously appearing and disappearing "Gusty" photos,
    2. a video shot by Elan Frank wherein Sarah Palin drums on an apparently jelly-filled square-shaped pillow of a belly for a few seconds but also is shown jauntily going up and down stairs and easily bending over, and
    3. the very recent recollections by an unnamed friend of an unnamed source who saw Sarah with a pregnant belly at a gym when the location, date and time are not given.
    After taking a look at Theory #2 and the evidence on file for each observation (see links below), we should also remember that Sarah Palin is a skilled liar. If the soon-to-be-released book by Frank Bailey, et al, is anything like the leaked manuscript, we learn over and over again how facile a liar Sarah Palin is, and how she proceeds from one lie to another without a hint of remorse. We also learn how secretive she is, and how she compartmentalizes various lies, never bringing everyone fully into the loop. Her lies are not only normal lies, they are odd lies—lies that don't need to be told.

    So, in spite of Ms. Carpentier's clever phrase-turning, Occam's Razor apparently works to shave away the fatuous assertions in her article, at least for anyone who has taken the time to actually look at the facts:
    Sarah Palin, apparently, couldn't have just gotten pregnant the way the rest of the world does and she couldn't have delivered a baby the way the rest of the women of the world do. She couldn't have had and recognised a few Braxton Hicks contractions after bearing four children, and gotten on a plane to have the birth of her fifth, special-needs child in her hometown, and had it all be perfectly above board.
    No, she couldn't. And the body of evidence that says she couldn't has nothing to do with misogynistic men trying to peer into her "mysterious lady parts."

    To review the evidence on file for Theory #2, please see Politicalgates' collection. For an honest appraisal of both theories, read Brad Scharlott's research paper. Or just Google, "Palin pregnancy hoax." And then with an open mind, read.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Posted in "The Guardian": Sarah Palin, unreliable narrator - By Kathleen Baker, editor of Politicalgates

    It's wrong to cast those who question Trig's birth story as crazed conspiracy theorists when the media have not done their job

    By Kathleen Baker, editor of Politicalgates

    Originally published at "The Guardian"

    Then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin with Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, and Sandy Parnell, as Palin announced her endorsement of Parnell in his run for a congressional seat, on 14 March 2008, at the state elections office in Anchorage, Alaska. Palin's son Trig was born just over a month later on 18 April. Photograph: Michael Dinneen/AP Photo


    +++UPDATE: Very sorry guys - the Guardian has pulled the article AGAIN, now for the second time even with the reworded version which you can read below (the rewording was done because the Guardian had requested it). We will see what happens next...keep the fingers crossed that everything will turn out to be fine. The communication with the Guardian is very friendly and open. +++ UPDATE APRIL 29: The Guardian is still checking with their lawyers whether they can put the article back up again. +++ UPDATE 2, APRIL 29: Matt Seaton, editor at the Guardian, just told us: "Got legal clearance; no further changes called for. Article is back on site."


    The rumours surrounding Sarah Palin's pregnancy with Trig have been an issue that found little attention in the media until two weeks ago, when a research paper by Bradford Scharlott, associate professor of journalism at Northern Kentucky University, hit the mainstream. Professor Scharlott asserted in his paper that there exists a "spiral of silence" in the media regarding the circumstances surrounding Trig Palin's birth.

    Scharlott was not the first person to make this observation. Since August 2008, the influential blogger Andrew Sullivan, editor at the "The Dish", has repeatedly and harshly criticised the media for its unwillingness to report on Sarah Palin's pregnancy in a long series of posts on his blog. In addition, Sullivan published an article in the Sunday Times (of London) on 22 November 2009, in which he gave a summary of Sarah Palin's incredible birth story and astutely observed that her account makes "Xena, the warrior princess, seem fragile" in comparison.

    But what is Sarah Palin's birth story, and why is it relevant?

    A short look at the available documentation reveals that a coherent birth story is hard to determine, as several versions exist – all told by Sarah Palin herself. The first version, audiotaped during a press conference on 21 April 2008, is the one where Sarah Palin went on the record right after Trig's birth. During the press conference, the following exchange happened:

    Reporter: So did your water break?

    Palin: Well, if you must know more of those type of details, but, um …

    Reporter: Well, your dad said that and I saw him say it so that's why I asked.

    Palin: Well that was again if, if I must get personal, technical about this at the same time, um, it was one, it was a sign that I knew, um, could lead to uh, labour being uh kind of kicked in there was any kind of, um, amniotic leaking, amniotic fluid leaking, so when, when that happened we decided OK let's call her.

    This exchange established that Palin's waters broke during the early hours of the morning on 17 April 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Lisa Demer quoted in the Anchorage Daily News an obstetrician, who confirmed: "To us, leaking and broken, we are talking the same thing. We are talking doctor-speak."

    This statement by Sarah Palin was the "trigger" for deep scepticism on part of some journalists regarding the veracity of Palin's birth story, as well as the start of investigations by bloggers and citizens. I have played a role in these investigations since November 2008. Since then, a lot of new material has been discovered – and Sarah Palin has herself changed the details of Trig's birth story several times. In her autobiography, Going Rogue, there is no mention of her "amniotic fluid leaking", but Palin changes her account on page 193 by claiming that she was woken at 4am on 17 April 2008 by a "strange sensation low in my belly".

    This change to the general storyline came as no surprise to the bloggers. By her own account, Sarah Palin's pregnancy was a "high-risk" one: she was 44 years old, and it was her seventh pregnancy (she had two previous miscarriages); the baby had Down's Syndrome, and was about to be born prematurely. The fact that Palin, despite the obvious complications, embarked on a ten-hour plane journey from Dallas to Anchorage with a stopover in Seattle, bypassing the first-rate Baylor Regional Medical Centre in Dallas with an NICU situated ten minutes away from the conference she was attending, is mystifying – even more so since Palin also bypassed Providence hospital in Anchorage, which is also equipped with excellent NICU facilities which would have ensured a safe delivery for her premature son.

    Sarah Palin officially gave birth at Mat-Su Regional Medical Centre on 18 April 2008, a local hospital with no NICU, to 6lb 2oz Trig, who was presented by his grandparents to the journalists just a few hours after his birth. Oddly, in a memorable appearance in Waco, Texas, on 14 September 2010, Palin, after bragging that she holds the "world record" in hiding her pregnancy and joking about the "Trig truthers", told the audience that she "had the baby in Anchorage", when official accounts have her giving birth 45 minutes away in Palmer.

    Why are there so many apparent contradictions in Palin's account of Trig's birth story? Many blogs have addressed this question: for example, on the blogs Politicalgates, Palingates and Palin's Deceptions, as well as Andrew Sullivan on the Daily Dish. The controversy was known at the time of Sarah Palin's nomination for vice-presidential candidate, with Michael Carey, an editor for the Anchorage Daily News, making explicit reference to rumours, at the Republican convention. Despite the considerable attention that Professor Scharlott's paper has received since it was released, Sarah Palin and her fans have been strangely silent on the issue. Palin could end the public discussion immediately by presenting hard evidence, such as hospital or insurance records. She once claimed to have shown Trig's birth certificate, but to this day, no journalist has seen it.

    This issue is not about misogyny, as Megan Carpentier claimed in her recent commentary in the Guardian. We are not misogynist and we have no interest in examining Sarah Palin's "vagina". The majority of our readers, supporters and researchers are female, and they are usually women with experience in giving birth. There are also many readers who have medical backgrounds who strongly question Palin's account of Trig's birth. I also would like to point out that we are also not fixated on the pregnancy, as Carpentier asserts, but have written about many different issues regarding Sarah Palin.

    The questions about Sarah Palin's pregnancy are relevant, because they raise issues of trust about a woman who almost became the vice-president of the US and who still has a large following and political influence. Journalists who now quickly declare this matter "closed" without having examined the evidence should be reminded that former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt is on the record saying that Palin's book Going Rogue comprises "not 70%, but 100% fiction". Journalists should take this statement more seriously before putting their reputation on the line for Sarah Palin. Instead, they should ask her some tough questions.


    "Babygate" has been covered in much more detail in previous and later posts. Far more pictures and other documentation exists. You can find all this information here:

    Read all posts at Politicalgates about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig - FOR THE COLLECTION, CLICK HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE AND HERE.

    Read the old post at Palingates about the faked pregnancy with the pictures still intact HERE.

    We break the "Spiral of Silence" - Read the details about the "biggest hoax in American political history!"

    In addition, please don't hesitate to watch the excellent video-documentaries about "babygate" which our reader Lidia17 created - HERE, HERE and HERE.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    UK Guardian publishes fact-free article about the "hate" and the "misogyny" of the "Trig Truthers", who are "a group of (mostly) men"

    By Patrick

    +++UPDATE April 29, 2011: Please note that we have now been given the opportunity to publish a response to Megan Carpentier at "The Guardian" and to explain our position regarding the investigation of Sarah Palin's pregnancy. My statements below which expressed disappointment about "The Guardian" are therefore not up-to-date any more, as we have afterwards been treated in a very decent and fair way by the editors+++


    A new day, a new disappointment: In a fact-free, nonsensical hitpiece, another liberal media outlet underperforms and smears the "Trig Truthers", just for the sake of it. In the "Comment is free" section of The Guardian, hothead Megan Carpentier (American citizen), executive editor at Raw Story, claims to have discovered what really drives the "Trig Truthers": The are "a dedicated group of (mostly) men", and they are driven by "creepy misogyny."

    Trig birthers? In the stubbly nether regions of the internet untouched by Occam's razor, a dedicated group of (mostly) men seeks to prove that the Palin family drama is more soap operatic than the family has already acknowledged. That is, they seek to convince the rest of the world that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Sarah Palin wasn't really pregnant in 2007 and 2008, and did not give birth to her son Trig three years ago. Many of them believe Palin's pregnancy was a ruse designed to shield her teenage daughter, Bristol, from the consequences of a teenage pregnancy – conveniently ignoring the fact that Bristol's actual teenage pregnancy culminated in a live full-term birth a mere eight months after her brother Trig was born. Oh, those mysterious lady parts! How do they ever work?

    A "group of (mostly) men?" No, Megan, nothing could be further from the truth! What about doing a little bit of research before publishing such false claims? Is this too much to ask? Within the core "Trig Truther movement", especially what started as the Palin Deception research team and still exists as an even larger research team for Politicalgates today, I am the only male among about ten members. In the "history" of the investigations into Palin's pregnancy, there were only very, very few men who showed interest in the subject matter. About 90% of the readers, supporter and donors are women. It's the women who understand best that Sarah Palin's pregnancy story is a load of bullcrap and I have often deferred to their wider experience in the matter.

    It's actually pure coincidence that it's now mostly male bloggers who write about the pregnancy. But hey, why do a bit of research, if it's so easy to shoot out "opinion pieces" in this wonderful pundit media culture, where anyone can shout at each other, fact free? I am always disgusted when outlets like Fox News attack the "enemy" with made up claims. But the left now proves that they can do it just as well, which is a huge disappointment, but when it comes to politics should not be a real surprise.

    Megan Carpentier mindlessly rants on in her Guardian piece:

    No one is asking for the results of President Obama's prostate exams or his urological records, even if a bunch of nutjobs don't feel that they've seen enough of his birth certificate. No one ran around in 1984 asking to see Geraldine Ferraro's gynaecological records, and it definitely didn't come up during then Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency, even if there were plenty of jabs about her supposed cankles and gossip about the supposed state of her marriage. No, somehow, Sarah Palin has inspired a bunch of nominally liberal men to spend a heck of a lot of time speculating about her female organs, and now they want the records – and let's not kid ourselves about the headlines they'd write if they got them. Gynaecological records aren't just an account of what one's uterus has done, after all – they're also a regular look into one's vagina.

    Yes, Palin's most vociferous opponents want to look into her vagina – with a guide, of course, because it's all mysterious and scary. Sarah Palin, apparently, couldn't have just gotten pregnant the way the rest of the world does and she couldn't have delivered a baby the way the rest of the women of the world do. She couldn't have had and recognised a few Braxton Hicks contractions after bearing four children, and gotten on a plane to have the birth of her fifth, special-needs child in her hometown, and had it all be perfectly above board. Nope, it has to be something more mysterious, more nefarious, more … gross. What she's done with her vagina just has to disqualify her from office.

    And that's really what Trig birtherism comes down to: misogyny. They can't just oppose her positions or personally dislike her (not that any of the Trig birthers apparently know her personally). No, her very femaleness and what they consider her subversion of it must disqualify her from office. And no firsthand accounts or doctor's statements are going to change their minds that the highly improbable fantasy is more compelling than the mundane truth – not without being able to put their grubby little hands on her private gynaecological records. Though, like Obama birthers, they probably wouldn't be satisfied with those alone, either – unless they found something else in them with which to demonise her.

    Why do these "critics" (you could actually call them what they now call us, "haters") always think that we will never be satisfied with any kind of proof? Where do they get this from? Yes, a birth certificate and some general medical documentation would be enough for me, thank you very much. No "private gynaecological records" are needed. There are a huge amount of records to choose from such as hospital records and insurance documents for instance.

    Fortunately, some other liberal websites support us against such misdirected claims. Jason Easley of Politicususa today published a post titled "Debunking The Myth That The Trig Truthers Are Misogynists" . He writes:

    This website has extensively covered Sarah Palin’s political movements for years, and in my experience the Trig Truthers are not all men. In fact, most of the people who have expressed doubts about Palin’s pregnancy story to us over the years have been women. I am not sure where the author of Guardian UK piece was getting her information. If one spends any time talking to the people who follow Sarah Palin closely, you will see that women make up a sizable part of this group.

    It follows then that if the people who are interested in Babygate aren’t a bunch of men, the cries of misogyny fall apart. I believe it is unfair to paint with such a broad brush a label a group of people as misogynistic because they have questions about the most implausible birth story since Jesus was born. The story surrounding Sarah Palin’s fifth pregnancy captures so many imaginations because it is weird, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    On April 14, Sarah Jones recently referenced Babygate in her article, “Is Sarah Palin Finally Over?” Sarah made reference to the Business Insider piece on the Babygate story.

    From the Business Insider piece to The New Yorker, the mainstream media is starting to ask questions about Trig’s birth and unless Amy Davidson of The New Yorker is a misogynist, I don’t think misogyny is the reason why these questions are being asked.

    Davidson wrote that she believes that Trig is Palin’s son, but the story surrounding the birth shows a level of “reckless narcissism,” that is important because it reveals a great deal about Sarah Palin’s character. I think the story of Trig’s birth is relevant not because of any conspiracy, but because the story itself and the way that Palin has handled it reveal just as much about Sarah Palin as whether or not she actually gave birth to the child.

    The reason why this doesn’t compare to the right’s Obama birtherism is that Obama has not behaved oddly. We have seen the birth certificate. We have seen the birth notices in the newspapers. Obama hasn’t told conflicting or inconsistent stories about where he was born.

    Unlike Obama, through her erratic behavior Sarah Palin herself has raised questions. The Babygaters are infatuated with a conspiracy theory for the same reason people are still talking about the JFK assassination today. Babygate is a conspiracy theory, but Sarah Palin’s own behavior has kept the theory alive.

    The Babygaters aren’t a part of a misogynistic plot to destroy Sarah Palin.

    In February, Sarah Jones published an article that asked whether Babygate was a conspiracy or an act of child endangerment by Sarah Palin.

    Politically the story is relevant, because if we accept Trig Palin’s birth story as true then Sarah Palin reckless endangered the life of her unborn child. This possibility is more damaging to the myth of Sarah Palin as adoring mother of the year material than any conspiracy theory ever could be.

    Megan Carpentier is very proud of her article, according to her tweets - here and here:

    She also insulted Kim Chatman, who has a hundred times more guts than Megan Carpentier could ever muster, as a troll, after Kim Chatman had tweeted her:

    Kim Chatman, Air Force veteran with fifteen years of service, who Kathleen and I met last year in Ramstein, Germany, filed the successful ethics complaint against Sarah Palin's first legal defense fund, the "Alaska Fund Trust", which caused Sarah Palin huge embarrassment and cost her more than $300,000 in illegal fundraising. Kim Chatman saw Sarah Palin in person in Alaska in March 2008 at an event, after Sarah Palin had announced her pregnancy. Kim immediately realized that Sarah Palin wasn't pregnant - and she isn't silent about it. Is she guilty of misogyny as well? Or is she just guilty of saying what it is that she saw? Does that make her a troll?

    By the way, one of the things that Kim Chatman has never mentioned so far in public is that she drove around in Alaska with a "NO2PALIN" license plate. At Easter, last year, somebody shot a bullet at the driver's side sliding door window of the car while she was driving. Her children were in the car. There is a trooper report backing this information up. The trooper concerned was shocked that such an incident happened. Talk about guts. Kim Chatman knows what it means to take on Sarah Palin. Megan Carpentier? Well she knows how to use the word "vagina" with great effect, that's at least something:

    The person Megan Carpentier is talking about is Matt Seaton, who is the editor of the "Comment is free" page at the Guardian. And now I would like to talk about an area of particular personal disappointment, although I realize that this should all be considered to be "business", and "personal feelings" should better be put aside.

    So here is my little "personal story." After I published the leaked excerpts of "America by Heart" at Palingates at the end of 2010, Matt Seaton contacted me, because he was interested in our work, and we had a very polite and instructive phone conversation over skype, as well as a brief email exchange. Matt Seaton was genuinely interested in our work and in our conversation even suggested that I could write a piece for the "comment is free" page at the Guardian.

    I sent him detailed information about what we are actually doing, for example in an email from November 23, 2010 after I had the conversation with him:

    Hi Matt,

    many thanks for the very pleasant conversation!

    As I explained, we regard Palingates as a new type of blog - a
    political blog, but also an investigative blog, in which the readers
    take part and are strongly encouraged to take the initiative. For
    example, we published several investigative guest posts (for example
    about SarahPAC) which received great attention:

    Our readers have lots of room to comment as well (ALWAYS unmoderated
    comments), and are encouraged to do so. We have no strict commenting
    rules. We had several posts which received 2000-3000 comments, also
    very recently, which is not surprising, as people feel the need not
    just to comment on certain posts, but also to connect and communicate
    with other readers. Palingates is not just a blog, but a community of
    like-minded people.

    I promised that I would give you examples for interesting posts, and here we go:

    One of our most important topics is "babygate", Sarah Palin's faked
    pregnancy - and in public also the most controversial topic, as it's
    considered to be a "taboo" subject in the media:

    Here is our collection of posts about "Troopergate", and especially
    the first post in the list about Palin's "vindictive streak" is very

    Here is our most recent post about the SarahPAC filings, a brilliant
    post by a guest poster:

    Here are our posts about the connection of the Morlock family to the
    Palin family:

    Here are our posts about the crimes of Todd Palin's half-sister Diana
    Palin, VERY interesting, but largely ignored in the media:

    One of our recent posts - Todd Palin as a bully:

    Todd – „airport incident“ in Valdez, Alaska:

    Sarah Palin's "motor home road trip lie" - Andrew Sullivan picked this
    up in several posts, but it was also largely ignored in the media:

    Sarah Palin and Curtis Menard Jr.:

    One of the political scandals which raises many unanswered questions,
    and which was never discussed outside Palingates, as far as I can see
    (which is NOT justified!): Sarah Palin and her close connection to oil
    and gas explorers in Giddings, Texas.

    Another political scandal about which we have written extensively:
    "Dairygate", a local AK scandal, but very significant:

    Sarah Palin and her extreme religious background - two posts I would
    to highlight:

    All posts regarding religion:

    Another political scandal: Sarah Palin's legal defense fund:

    Oh yes, one more thing: Palingates is dedicated to FACTUAL research
    and reporting. We do NOT report "rumors" or other facts which are not
    100% confirmed by reliable sources. This is the main reason why we
    have never contacted by a lawyer - apart from the Christopher Goff
    from Harper Collins (in 2009 and 2010) for putting up pages of Palin's
    unpublished books. However, we reacted to these letters both times and
    took several pages down, leaving only "non-substantial" excerpts on
    the site. This seemed to satisfy Harper Collins.

    I will think about good topics for commentaries and will contact you again soon!

    Kind Regards

    Matt Seaton replied to my email on the same day and said:

    wow, that's very helpful -- thanks for taking so much trouble (and for your nice mention of the Guardian in your post today)

    enjoyed talking to you too; will do my homework and we'll speak again soon

    regards, Matt

    Well, why is this relevant now? Because it proves that Matt Seaton was extremely well informed about the fact that the following claim by Megan Carpentier in the Guardian article was just a pure invention and deliberate smear, as we "Trig Truthers" have always covered a HUGE variety of issues regarding Sarah Palin:

    For Trig birthers don't believe that Palin's minimal governing experience, divisive political persona or her array of deeply conservative policy positions on everything from drilling to abortion to equal pay to healthcare should inspire their opposition to her. Rather, they believe that what did – or, in their ill-informed opinion, did not – once emerge from her mysterious and hidden womb should make the rest of us nervous enough to disavow her.

    Matt Seaton knew that this claim was wrong. Moreover if he had done his "homework" as he said, theny his section of the Guardian wouldn't have resorted to publishing such "cracking" pieces. It seems that things really are going downhill in the liberal media. Perhaps it takes the meaning of the word "liberal" too literally?

    I wrote an email to Matt Seaton today and expressed my disappointment. I reminded him that McCain's former campaign manager Steve Schmidt is on the record saying that Palin's book "Going Rogue" contains "not 70%, but 100% fiction."

    Matt Seaton, Megan Carpentier, Jason Linkins, Justin Elliott and other liberal journalists have put their reputation on the line for a proven serial liar, who refuses to show any evidence for her pregnancy (and also once lied about having provided the birth certificate). They can now only hope that they are not proven wrong. That's not a situation I would choose to be in as a professional journalist.

    Here is a screenshot of the beautiful thing, please click to enlarge (download the PDF here):

    So, Sarah Palin - now is the best moment to release Trig's birth certificate and some records to back it up! Come on, don't be shy! After all, weren't you yesterday, on Greta Van Susteren's On the Record show, fully supporting Donald Trump's birther efforts to "expose" Obama?

    Henry Blodget from "Business Insider" thinks the same:

    The second theory is that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin staged an elaborate hoax in which she lied to the country and pretended to be the biological mother of her son, Trig.

    President Obama, we are happy to report, has now complied with our document request, releasing the original document on which his Hawaii birth certificate is based. (Thank you! The country appreciates this commitment to transparency.)

    So now we renew our request to Sarah Palin: Please release medical records that show the circumstances of Trig's birth, including his parentage.

    Joe McGinniss expresses the same thought in a new cleverFett little post.

    In the interview with Greta Van Susteren, Sarah Palin backs Trump's birther efforts again and says that the "birthers" are just people who are "curious about the background of the President and his associations." So why doesn't the same apply to the "Babygaters?"

    Sarah Palin said in the interview:

    I think the media is loving this, because they want to make to make birthers, as they call people who are just curious about the president of the United States and his background and his associations and his consistency with what he says today versus what he said in both the memoirs that he wrote or Bill Ayers or whomever wrote.

    The media is loving the fact that some curious Americans are actually asking the questions, and they're trying to make those curious Americans sound kind of crazy.

    So the media is loving this issue, and they're perpetuating the issue and trying to make it sound really worse than it is.

    We "Babygaters" are just curious Americans (and a handful of Europeans) who are actually asking questions, and parts of the media are now trying to make those curious Americans sound kind of crazy.

    It is good to know that Sarah Palin is now actually on "our side", and large parts of the liberal media are against us.

    It's a crazy world these days. ;-)


    "Babygate" has been covered in more detail in previous posts. You can find all this information here:

    Read all posts at Politicalgates about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig - FOR THE COLLECTION, CLICK HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE,HERE AND HERE.

    Download the research paper regarding Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy and the role of the media, written by Brad Scharlott, Associate Professor for Journalism at Northern Kentucky University - CLICK HERE.

    Brad Scharlott's revised version of the paper has also been published by "Business Insider."

    Read the old post at Palingates about the faked pregnancy with the pictures still intact in hardcopy HERE.

    Read the old posts at Palingates online HERE (useful also for watching the video clips which were published with the posts).

    In addition, please don't hesitate to watch the excellent video-documentaries about "babygate" which our reader Lidia17 created - HERE, HERE and HERE.

    We break the "Spiral of Silence" - Read the details about the "biggest hoax in American political history!"

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Prof. Brad Scharlott on the Peter Collins Show, talking in detail about Sarah Palin's pregnancy hoax and the "spiral of silence" in the media

    By Patrick

    The "information cold war" about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy continues, and those parts of the liberal media who have recently branded the doubters as "conspiracy theorists" are now quick to declare victory. Responding to Andrew Sullivan's recent reaction to his first article in Salon, the "definite debunking" of the pregnancy hoax, Justin Elliott now takes aim again at Andrew Sullivan and others who continue to ask questions about Sarah Palin's pregnancy:

    But the real difference between the case of Obama and the case of Trig is not the level of evidence -- there was never reason to doubt the basic facts in either case.
    And, again: there is no reason to suspect that Palin faked the pregnancy, let alone evidence that it was a hoax.

    The websites of the Palin's cultists are currently very, very silent regarding this issue and don't even dare to mention the discussion about Sarah Palin's pregnancy - and it's quite obvious why this is the case, as Sarah Palin has no evidence to prove her pregnancy. But who needs Palinbots when there is for example Justin Elliott at Salon, boldly doing their job when he writes:

    Sarah Palin, we'd be happy to see and publish your medical records. But the point of our package is that Palin simply doesn't need to do this -- there is no credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than Sarah Palin is the mother of Trig.

    Fortunately, not everybody is fooled so easily by Sarah Palin. Prof. Brad Scharlott, whose research paper started the recent public discussion, has already given several interviews, and yesterday he gave an interview which in my view is his best one yet: He was a guest on the Peter Collins Show and had a long and detailed conversation with Peter B. Collins, who is a highly intelligent, experienced and courageous radio talk show host. Peter B. Collins has not been fooled by Sarah Palin, as it's apparent that he is highly sceptical with regard to Sarah Palin's pregnancy story.

    I uploaded large parts of the excellent podcast to youtube for easier access:

    This fascinating and entertaining conversation between Prof. Scharlott and Peter Collins covered large parts of the subject matter, including the "spiral of silence" in the media.

    What seems amazing to me is the sheer arrogance with which parts of the liberal media now start to treat anyone who will not "follow the line" and shut up. We are now really branded as "heretics", as I mentioned in a recent post. If you always wondered how dissenters are being silenced and "consent is manufactured", now you can watch it in real-time!

    Take for example Jason Linkins:
    He is a highly respected journalist for Huffington Post, whom I always held in the highest regard. But now, something strange is happening: In the article from April 22 on Huffington Post, Jason Linkins openly expressed that anyone who doubts Sarah Palin's pregnancy story is basically a nutcase:

    The fact is that Trig Trutherism, like Birtherism, and also classic 9/11 Trutherism, are different offshoots of the same conspiratorial tradition, where you begin with a zany premise and work backwards, selecting "evidence" that can be shoehorned into your premise, while omitting or ignoring the details that shoot it down. Pretty soon, you're attempting to draw spectral meaning from photographs you didn't take and pondering the significance of the pilot episodes of "X-Files" spin-offs.

    How long should anyone tolerate this astral projection? Let it cease forever, with the publication of Justin Elliott and Steve Kornacki's multipart takedown of the entire mythos -- which shows great restraint in that it's not all titled, "Where's Your Messiah Now, Andrew Sullivan?"

    It's a strange phenomenon that perfectly intelligent people are now willing to shut down any critical thought - just because they apparently believe that they have all the information, when in reality, they have nothing and even resort to lying about the evidence, like Julia O'Malley in the Anchorage Daily News.

    So they have now accepted a belief as fact, and hell yeah, they are sticking to it like only real believers could.

    For example, at the article by Jason Linkins, I left the following long comment, which received a lot of responses (and "likes"), and I added some additions afterwards as well. The main comment read:

    It saddens me to no end that the liberal media has put their reputation on the line here, in a battle which is a lost cause, and which ultimately will come to haunt them.

    Jason, hear me out:

    I am not a profession­al journalist­, but just an anonymous investigat­ive blogger. If this is not good enough for you, than stop reading right there. I have been deeply involved in the investigat­ion of Sarah Palin's pregnancy with Trig since November 2008, together in a team of highly dedicated and capable researcher­s, which still exists today. Then, from autumn 2009 to January 2011, I was a blogger at Palingates­, and afterwards founded Politicalg­ates, together with others.

    Over time, we received some excellent bits of inside informatio­n from Alaska. It's not true that nobody talked. People DID talk, but only in private, off the record, as many people are still afraid of Sarah Palin's influence, with good reason. These sources were people from the "higher echelons of society." We do know for example that a top-Republ­ican AK politician said in a private, confidenti­al conversati­on in January 2008 as a fact that Bristol was pregnant. In JANUARY 2008. There ARE people who do know the truth, and ultimately­, they will talk. Huffpost, Salon etc. then will have a lot of explaining to do. It will be very embarrassi­ng, and with diligent research, this outcome could have been avoided.

    Today, I tweeted the comment to Jason Linkins...

    ... and although I didn't expect a "substantial" reply, I was still taken a bit aback by his response:

    ...but unfortunately he had nothing better to do than to declare me a mental case:

    ...but Jason Linkins apparently thinks that people who ask questions are a bit weird:

    Yep, it's much easier to follow marching orders and to ignore evidence. Critical thinking is overrated anyway, isn't it?

    Wow, we are all outlaws now! It feels good to be a gangsta! ;-)

    Maybe Jason Linkins should ask himself why about 90% of the comments to his "reasonable reporters" piece are negative.

    But then, these people are just unbelievers, pour souls, aren't they, may God have mercy with them - worthy a response, they are apparently not.

    Even more direct than Jason Linkins was Dave Weigel yesterday in "Slate", when he explained that the "Trig Truthers" are apparently part of a notorious "conspiracy underground", and it's impossible that their assertions are correct. It's not necessary to look at any evidence, because the Trig Truthers are "nuts", just like any other conspiracy theorists - so no further investigations are needed.

    That's the situation we have right now, but if the defenders of Sarah Palin think that the last word has already been spoken yet in respect to her pregnancy, than they are very, very mistaken.

    Andrew Sullivan, meanwhile is undaunted and published today a new post, sharply criticising the position of Salon, Slate and others:

    Has Salon ever aired the countless questions so many have had about this bizarre pregnancy? Or the persistent disbelief around it? About the wild ride? By not even acknowledging the natural skepticism of people toward these strange narratives, by arguing there is nothing fishy here at all without even going into what people have found fishy, is also a cop-out. It's basically an insult to the many people who remain genuinely puzzled by all this.

    This blog, moreover, has diligently offered up evidence on both sides. Salon will not publish anything that might counter their a priori position. I mean: how many politicians in history have claimed that they gave a political speech while experiencing contractions? If that isn't de facto curious and remarkable enough to be worth asking about, what is? And yet no one - even those supportive of her - will go near that question.
    There is also the matter of consistency. When a politician has publicly claimed she has produced a birth certificate and hasn't, is it illegitimate for the press to ask why she simply lied about this? Can any sane person misremember such a thing? And if she's claimed she has released it, what on earth is the ethical reason for not asking her to do it along with medical records? When she publicly derides skeptics in speech after speech, is it not the press's duty to see if her derision has empirical validity? Or are we skeptics supposed to just sit back and be mocked by a pathological liar putting her own credibility against ours?

    We all have cognitive biases. I have one - profound skepticism of anything Palin says - and may be judging evidence in ways that others wouldn't. But so do Justin and Ben and Weigel who have an interest in dismissing the possibility that they may have missed uncovering the biggest hoax in American political history. That same cognitive bias question applies to Loy and Quinn. It does not mean they they may not be right. It just means that their cognitive bias is as real as my own.

    It seems to me that when some simple, readily available medical records could end this excruciating debate in one easy swoop - and could have more than two years ago - it is professional negligence that the MSM won't even ask for such proof, and devote far more energy to defending their own past than the facts at hand.

    Read all posts at Politicalgates about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy with Trig - FOR THE COLLECTION, CLICK HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE AND HERE.

    All old posts at Palingates about "babygate" with the pictures still intact can be accessed HERE.


    Monday, April 25, 2011

    "Politico" reports about the anti-Palin bloggers, mentions "Politicalgates" - The "mission to expose Sarah Palin" continues

    By Patrick

    In a detailed article which has already angered the Palin-fans, Ken Vogel from "Politico" takes a close look at the anti-Palin movement and the anti-Palin bloggers in particular. Ken Vogel did not rely on "second hand information" for this article, but conducted several interviews, including with myself, which shows that Vogel takes his journalism seriously. This might sound funny, but in a world where even established and fact-orientated journalists and bloggers like Joe McGinniss, Geoffrey Dunn and Andrew Sullivan are quickly branded "conspiracy theorists" by parts of the liberal media, because they continue to ask very inconvenient questions about Sarah Palin, traces of "real" journalism are indeed hard to find. The heated political climate and the well-known fanaticism of the Palin-fans also makes the presentation of simple facts a real challenge for mainstream journalists these days.

    At the beginning of the article, Vogel repeats the false "mainstream media mantra" that the faked pregnancy rumors have been "thoroughly discredited", linking to a flawed item about Sarah Palin's pregnancy which was published by in 2008 - an item in which declared the case of Sarah Palin's pregnancy as closed without having reviewed ANY documentary evidence. But Ken Vogel also explains that this might not be the end of the story yet:

    A number of forthcoming books promise to delve deeply into – and, they believe, give mainstream credibility to – some of the more salacious Palin rumors and conspiracy theories that have sprouted in the anti-Palin blogosphere and on supermarket tabloid stands, but have mostly been rejected by the mainstream media.

    “We’re at a tipping point, where her character and her lack of ethics will be revealed on the national stage,” asserted Sherry Whitstine, a 49-year-old grandmother who lives in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, and has infuriated her famous neighbors with blog posts and online comments accusing Palin of being unfaithful in her marriage and corrupt in her political career.

    “Some things are just going to come light that they just won’t be able to shake and I have faith in that. It has already started, but these books will add to it,” she said.

    Ken Vogel indicates that more inconvenient revelations about Sarah Palin are bound to be published during the next months:

    St. Martin’s Press has scheduled a May 10 release of “The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power,” by Santa Cruz, Calf.-based author and documentarian Geoffrey Dunn, who has joked that he might need three or four volumes to adequately cover the subject matter suggested in the title.

    He told POLITICO he decided to write the book after hearing stories from Alaskans about Palin’s “childhood through her governorship that were troubling to me.” He said his goal is to frame Palin’s career in the contexts of both an Alaska political scene “plagued by a culture of corruption” and also in “the larger tradition of American political populism and demagoguery.”

    A couple of weeks later, a Simon & Schuster imprint is set to offer a tell-all memoir by Frank Bailey, a disgruntled former top aide to Palin, using her personal emails to paint an ugly portrait of her as a vindictive and vain dilettante obsessed with her public image, who allegedly broke election laws and targeted a state trooper by leaking damaging information.

    Then, in September, Crown will release “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” by journalist and author Joe McGinniss, whose decision to rent the house next door in Wasilla last summer prompted Palin to warn him to “leave my kids alone.”

    Ken Vogel then reports in greater detail about Geoffrey Dunn's recent article regarding Palin's pregnancy, which was rejected by Huffington Post as a "conspiracy theory", but was published by "Business Insider" instead. The quotes by Geoffrey Dunn barely hide Dunn's disappointment about this controversial and almost inexplicable decision taken by Huffington Post:

    Dunn insisted in an email to POLITICO that he has never actually advocated the “Trig Truth” theory and is merely asking questions — a stance similar to that taken by influential Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, a hero among Trig Truthers and the broader anti-Palin movement.

    Though Dunn said his book barely addresses Trig’s birth, other books are reportedly in the works that deal with the rumor. It also is the subject of an academic paper by a professor at Northern Kentucky University that was released this month that sparked debate about whether the maternity of Palin’s children is an appropriate topic for political discourse.

    It's interesting that the article mentions that there are other books in the works "which deal with the rumor", because we have heard about similar rumours ourselves. This does not include the books that will be published soon by Dunn, Bailey and McGinniss.

    What is important about this article is that the anti-Palin blogging movement is described in greater detail by a mainstream journalist:

    Many of the rumors about the Palin family can be traced back to a coterie of bloggers in Alaska, including Whitstine, a self-identified Christian conservative who alleges Palin’s gubernatorial administration pursued a “socialistic redistribution of wealth,” and liberal anti-Palin bloggers Jeanne Devon, Jesse Griffin and Shannyn Moore.

    Their posts have been linked, amplified and complemented by a broader network of blogs around the world, from the France-based blog Palingates (which lists its mission as “examining the many lies and deceptions of Sarah Palin” and whose devoted readers helped it win a 2010 Bloggers Choice award as “Best Political Blog”) and its Germany-based offshoot, Politicalgates, to Sullivan’s widely read Washington-based The Dish, which recently moved from the Atlantic to the Daily Beast/Newsweek.

    The 30-something Frankfurt, Germany-based lawyer behind Politicalgates, who goes by the pseudonym “Patrick” because he fears retribution from Palin and her allies, sounds a more ominous tone in describing his motivation for originally joining Palingates as an investigative blogger.

    “There are quite a lot of reasons to compare her to someone like Hitler, but of course, you have to look at Sarah Palin’s life really closely, investigate her really closely to find these details,” said Patrick.

    Those investigations have run the gamut from Trig Truth to posting pre-publication copies of both of Palin’s books to revealing that Palin had flown on a private jet between stops during the much-hyped bus tour to promote her first book, “Going Rogue,” to revealing that her political action committee had hired leading independent Palin attack dog Rebecca Mansour.

    The members of this loose network have had their spats and rifts. Moore and Devon, for instance, reject Trig Trutherism, while the founder of Palingates asked Patrick and his partner to leave the blog after he posted an item about a massage therapist who had been implicated in a prostitution sting and with whom the National Enquirer tabloid alleged Palin’s husband, Todd, had a dalliance — a report the Anchorage police pushed back against.

    Of course I strongly reject Ken Vogel's conclusion that the bloggers "have miserably failed to expose" Sarah Palin, but we also have to remember that the mainstream is only beginning to discover the work and the influence of the bloggers. At least some parts of the mainstream have apparently realized by now that the investigative bloggers cannot be ignored any more, and Ken Vogel does mention that the bloggers on several occasions scored what he calls "mini-scoops."

    If you want to call them "mini-scoops" or "major-scoops" doesn't matter - they are scoops nonetheless, and Ken Vogel only mentions some of them. He included scoops by Jeanne Devon, Jesse Griffin, Regina at Palingates and also scoops which I published at Palingates like the exposure of Rebecca Mansour as an employee of SarahPAC and the revelation that Sarah Palin's highly publicised "bus tour" for the presentation of "Going Rogue" was in fact a "private jet tour" (see also the subsequent article by Joe McGinniss in the "Daily Beast"). But much is missing.

    Other "scoops" that I worked on during my time at Palingates were for example:

    - the revelation that Sarah Palin received a speaking fee of $ 75,000 for her atrocious appearance at CSU Stanislaus, four days before any other media outlet reported this figure (the LA Times in this instance)

    - the revelation that the Palin family received a six-figure sum for a "family cover story" in In-Touch magazine (which was later confirmed by the New York Post)

    - the publication of leaked excerpts from "America by Heart" at the end of 2010 (see for example here and here), the contents of which were then reported by many mainstream media outlets, including major TV-stations like ABC.

    In addition, the contributor "micmac" revealed exclusively at Palingates that the influential NOW-member Elaine Lafferty secretly received $ 12,000 from SarahPAC (in addition to other large amounts that she openly received from the McCain campaign), while writing positive stories about Sarah Palin at the Daily Beast at the same time.

    There were other scoops which I reported at Palingates that are not being acknowledged by the mainstream yet, for example

    - the exclusive revelation that Todd Palin is not the biological father of Track Palin (wait for Frank Bailey's book who quotes email by Sarah Palin which deal with this issue...)

    - the extremely close, long-established relationship of the Palin family to the family of convicted murderer Jeremy Morlock (link to the original posts HERE, and link to the posts with the photos still intact HERE)

    In addition, there is of course Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy, which in my opinion is the most dangerous scandal for Sarah Palin. It's also a revelation which is still being rejected by the mainstream media - but this is going to change.

    Ken Vogel points out at the end that the Palin camp is thin-skinned:

    Patrick asserts that the cumulative effect of all the efforts of the anti-Palin movement has helped cut into Palin’s support.

    “It’s not me alone, of course,” he said. “It’s a group of people who are working on this, and I think we definitely got under the skin of the Palin clan.”

    Indeed, the reactions of Palin and her allies have arguably drawn more attention to the attacks themselves.

    The paper by Northern Kentucky University professor Brad Scharlott — which argues that Palin “likely … staged a hoax concerning the birth of her son Trig” and that the media “failed to show appropriate skepticism about Palin’s unproven claim that she is the birth mother of Trig” — only got attention after an outburst by Palin’s fiercely loyal former spokesman Bill McAllister. He sent Scharlott an email — which wound up in the student paper, eventually making its way to the anti-Palin blogs — calling his study “reprehensible” and threatening to “slap” him, then forwarded the missive to five other members of the faculty, with the subject line “Brad Scharlott disgraces your university.”

    Yes, Sarah Palin is thin-skinned indeed.

    Already in December 2009, her ultra thin skin started to show, when she published a short, but very telling facebook post titled "Stupid Conspiracies":

    Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I’ve pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point – not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews – have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.

    - Sarah Palin

    Already back then, Sarah Palin complained about the faked pregnancy allegations, but had no intention to show evidence in order to debunk them. Apparently this didn't strike the mainstream media as strange behavior. Now we have a situation in which parts of the mainstream, especially liberal media outlets, have started to do Sarah Palin's job and declare the faked pregnancy rumors as "debunked" - relying only on deeply flawed witnesses, the misrepesentation of facts without any subsequent corrections and viciously branding everybody who continues to ask questions about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy as loony "conspiracy theorists."

    The first chapter about "Sarah Palin and the bloggers" has been written, many more chapters will follow. It will continue to be an exciting and revealing ride.