Here's Sullivan today, hitting back against Ben Smith and Justin Elliot in his essay's conclusion:
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.
Here's Palin claiming she had produced TriG's birth certificate on the Rusty Humphries Show, on December 4, 2009:
Here's my post on the December 4, 2009 show, from that same day, reprinted:
Thursday, on the Rusty Humphries radio show, Sarah Palin lied. She insinuated President Obama has never shown his birth certificate, and that she had shown her son Trig's. Both statements are lies.Here's part of the post I wrote the following Saturday (December 5, 2009):
About President Obama's birth certificate, here's the exchange:
HUMPHRIES: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?
PALIN: Um, I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think enough members of the electorate still want answers.
HUMPHRIES: Do you think it's a fair question to be looking at?
PALIN: I think it's a fair question...
About her youngest son Trig's birth certificate, here's the exchange:
HUMPHRIES: I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama's past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?
PALIN: Hey, you know, that's a great point. That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son, a lot of people say, "Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid," which we have done, but yeah, so maybe we should reverse that and use the same type of thinking on the other one.[ emphasis added]
Sarah and Todd Palin have never produced a birth certificate for Trig Palin.
The only document they have produced regarding the boy's birth is a letter from Palin's personal doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, that was issued the day before the 2008 national election. At some blogs, the Baldwin-Johnson letter has brought forth as many questions (PDF) as the documents or purported documents related to George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service raised.
As part of the messy cleanup on aisle CW caused by Palin's statement on the Rusty Humphries show, Palin's ghost facebook writer has issued the following clarification:
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.
Whooh! That cleared everything up, didn't it? No, it didn't.
I live in Wasilla and will have known Sarah Palin for 19 years, come February 2010. The doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, who wrote the letter Palin alludes to in the latter's statement, "you need to prove that he's your kid, which we have done" was one of my wife's doctors for both of our kids, and was both kids' pediatrician.
CBJ, as she was often called locally, was a very public fixture around Wasilla up to the time of Trig's birth. Our daughter attended ballet with one of CBJ's kids for years, and I often saw CBJ somewhere or another around Wasilla or Anchorage at least once a week for well over a decade. Between the time of Trig's birth - early 2008 - and the issuance of the election eve letter purported to be from her, CBJ was far less evident. Since the letter was issued, CBJ has been unavailable to comment on it or on any other matter related to Trig and Sarah Palin:
Cathy Baldwin Johnson has never given a simple statement that Trig Palin was born at Mat-Su Hospital on April 18th, that Sarah Palin is his biological mother, and that she - Dr. Baldwin-Johnson - was physically present at the delivery. She would not do this at the following junctures:
1. Back in April, when Trig Palin was allegedly born. She gave ambiguous statements to the press about the circumstances of the birth (several of which contradicted explicitly statements Gov. Palin made) and then she clammed up.
2. On August 31st (when announcing it would have scotched the necessity of announcing – the next day – seventeen year old Bristol's pregnancy);
3. In the letter released before the election
4. To the ADN [Anchorage Daily News] in December when they asked AGAIN [PDF].
I've written about Sarah Palin a fair number of times, but have avoided taking up the"birther" subject unless it became germane to something Palin herself had said. I've written about the four most common birth scenarios involving Palin and Trig elsewhere, but not here - I'm not a "birther." But many questions have arisen, none of which have been answered by the Palins.
Regarding Palin's statement on the Humphries show, memeorandum now lists 49 articles and blog posts. Of them, only one seems to address the falsity of Palin's claim to have released a birth certificate for Trig:
So Palin is saying that he should show his because she has shown hers. Except she hasn't! And he did! And Palin-logic hurts. Where is the birth certificate, Sarah?
Is Palin going to get a pass on this?
Where's Dan Rather when you need him?
A tribute to what Gryph calls "Sarah Palin's Least Favorite Blogs."
Last Thursday, Sarah Palin, as she often does, reverted to her Crazy Woman persona, when, during a radio appearance on the Rusty Humphries talk show, she stated, "That weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about, that Trig isn't my real son, a lot of people say, "Well, you need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid," which we have done..."
The first part of Palin's exchange with Humphries, which was about the possibility that President Obama's birth certificate might not be genuine and that the issue deserves further scrutiny, garnered a lot of attention. Within a few hours, the news aggregator site memeorandum cited 47 articles about the first part of Palin's birth certificate exchange with the talk show host, but only one link to an article that noted the falsity of the second part of the statement. Now, 36 hours later, national attention, as tracked at memeorandum, is becoming focused on Andrew Sullivan's post on this, which uses information that wouldn't be in the public domain without Sarah Palin's least favorite blogs. Sullivan's curiosity about Palin's most recent pregnancy has been long-known nationally, but the mainstream Alaska press, since the Anchorage Daily News forays in this direction ended in a stone wall, has kept well away.Sullivan's post has elicited responses from out-of-state blogs:Robert Stacy McCain, dissing Sullivan, fails to mention Palin's Thursday lie.
David Horowitx, excoriating Sullivan, fails to mention Palin's lie.
Mark Milian, in the Los Angeles Times, while more critical of Palin over the first part of her Humphries statement, neglects to question the varacity of her own birth certificate claim.
Gottalaff, at the Political Carnival, while quoting Sullivan on his Palin birth certificate question, fails to really get into questioning Palin's veracity.
Riehl World View and the blog's commenters wander off to the tea party, blithely predicting Palin as next president, while dissing Sullivan.
Maria Newman, writing an abridged summation of blog posts for the New York Times, on Palin's Humphries appearance, totally neglects quoting Palin's lie.
Rick Moran, blogging for Pajamas Media, writes:And no, not “a lot of people say” that we need to see Trig’s birth certificate. What planet is she on? Who, besides Andrew Sullivan and the same kind of fringe kooks on the left who mirror the righty loons wondering if Obama is eligible to be president, is concerned one whit about Trig’s parentage?but neglects to observe that Palin's claim is false.
and so on......
Will Alaska's mainstream and non-progressive online mediaaddress Palin's most recent, most national lie? Checking the Saturday morning editions of all of them, the only sign of anyone noting Palin's radio appearance is a snarky, shallow post at the Alaska Dispatch by Scott Woodham:According to comments former Gov. Palin made on conservative talk radio recently, she thinks it's fair for people to ask President Obama to provide proof that he was indeed born in the United States. While discussing the issue of what is "fair game" for press inquiry, she mentioned that some people have repeatedly asked her to provide proof that she gave birth to her youngest child. "Which we have done," she said (Andrew Sullivan must've not been invited to that press conference). She also said that ANWR is "frozen year-round," and thanked God for the leaked correspondence of climate scientists. Politico has an excerpt from the interview's transcript, as well as an embedded recording of the complete interview, here, (the birth certificate stuff happens around 9 minutes in).Like many posts at the Dispatch, Woodham's statement has elicited no comments.