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.


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