To his credit, UCLA professor Mark Kleiman argues that "chasing this story, even if it’s true, is morally dubious and politically misguided."
Katha Pollitt, feminist writer and columnist for The Nation, even went so far as to concede, "Unfortunately, palin is kind of cool. she’s not a brittle pastel-suited nut, like some of the eagle forum types. if she weren’t in politics, we would probably really like her."
Several others, sadly, showed no such ethical concerns.
Michael Cohen, who writes for The New Republic and is with the leftist New America Foundation, dared to dream big: "The upside is that if this is true she is done and so is McCain. It will be like McGovern in 72. The GOP won’t be able to survive this."
Huffington Post contributor and former communications director for the Democrat staff of the House Homeland Security Committee Moira Whelan thought the conspiracy theory was plausible because "The woman is from the sticks and didn’t even go to Juneau–let alone anywhere else–until she was in high school. Having lived in the sticks, I can attest to the fact that people make wacky decisions like this... I’d rather not talk about this crap in an election, but I am suspiscious (sic)."
Lindsay Beyerstein, who was covering the election for Firedoglake, said if she had evidence to support the story, she would not only report it, but would do so proudly: "So far, there’s not enough evidence for any responsible commentator to discuss this... However, if some reporter thinks this rumor is worth investigating further, and he or she absolutely nails this story, that would be great. If I had the smoking gun, I’d proudly publish the evidence." In a another posting, Beyerstein warned that the rumors could be part of a trap: "It wouldn’t surprise me if the McCain campaign were to leak doctored evidence for the sole purpose of discrediting it and destroying the journalist who published it."
Talking Points Memo blogger Kathleen Geier was also suspicious, and spewed a shot of venom in the direction of the GOP: "When I first heard this story, I thought it was preposterous... And maybe I really am losing it, driven over the edge at last by my hatred of all things Republican, but at this point I’m starting to believe it." In another email, Geier wrote, "I am really hoping Palin will self-immolate and bring down the ticket with her. Because if she proves to be a popular choice who doesn’t screw up too badly, she could be really, really dangerous in the years to come."
Blogger Dylan Matthews, took it as a personal affront that Gov. Palin got on a plane in Dallas to fly home so that Trig would be delivered by her trusted personal obstetrician and even opined that a government intervention was in order: "Her conduct on the plane... is so grossly irresponsible that it suggests that the baby couldn’t possibly be hers... That offends me. That sort of thing warrants a social services call."
Rick Perlstein, a senior fellow at the left wing and Soros-funded Campaign for America's Future suggested that "an enterprising reporter" visit the hospital in Wasilla and find an "indiscreet hospital employee" who might be willing to divulge details of an imagined cover up.
Shannon Brownlee of the New America Foundation, ignoring Obama's lack of experience and his extremist views, proposed that the lefty listers do some fear-mongering: "This woman has almost no experience and extremist views on many fronts. Americans should be afraid of a McCain-Palin White House and the possibility of her having to step in as president. So we should be sowing fear."
Read the complete document here. Then take a shower. You'll need it.
Update: At Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, William Jacobson agrees with us that the Journolistas, whether they thought the meme should be pursued or not, were obsessed with Baby Trig (whom some on the list referred to as "it"). And, according to Prof. Jacobson:
Of all the banter, perhaps the most important big picture item is that the discussion frequently centered on whether the story was worth running. This is the type of coordination and groupthink which has generated the criticism of the Journolist.- JP
The emerging picture of the Journolist is that it served as a place where like-minded people who had great influence on how the media portrayed events were able to coordinate their story lines for the benefit of the Obama campaign.
We saw the media bias on the surface; the Journolistas helped frame that bias below the surface.