The last person we would have expected to step forward to debunk the conspiracy theory which has been trumpeted for years now, mainly by pothead Andrew Sullivan and a number of Palin-deranged Alaska bloggers, that Trig is not Sarah Palin's son, but actually her grandchild, is a reporter for the online left-wing magazine Salon. But stranger things have happened, and Justin Elliott is one of those few progressive journalists who seem to have maintained his intellectual and honesty and journalist integrity. Make no mistake, Elliot has a consistent record of criticizing Gov. Palin, but he's investigated the Trig conspiracy theory and found compelling evidence that there is no truth to it. Here are some excerpts from the report of his investigation, which was published Friday at Salon's War Room blog:
In light of the recent attention this subject has received and the considerable passion it has stirred, Salon embarked last week on an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Trig's birth. The exhaustive review of available evidence that we conducted, along with new interviews with multiple eyewitnesses who interacted with a pregnant Sarah Palin up-close in early 2008 -- most of whom had never spoken publicly about the matter before -- has produced one clear conclusion: Sarah Palin is, indeed, Trig's mother and there is no reason to suspect any kind of a coverup.Will the evidence detailed by Elliot in the course of his investigation convince Sullivan and the deranged Alaskans that they have been barking up the wrong tree lo these many months? We doubt it. Their all-consuming hatred of Sarah Palin is a berserker bullet train which long ago left the station. Not even logic and reason can bring it back, because it has gone well off the tracks.
We've learned, for instance, that an Associated Press reporter in Alaska who was covering Palin during her pregnancy in early 2008 (before she became a national figure) thoroughly investigated rumors that the pregnancy was a hoax. The reporter directly questioned Palin about the matter in a private meeting in her Juneau office before she gave birth. Gov. Palin responded by voluntarily lifting her outer layer of clothing, offering a clear look at her round belly. The reporter quickly concluded that there was no truth to the rumors and never wrote about them.
So why dive into this old conspiracy theory now?
After all, there's a strong argument to be made that politicians' private lives should not be subject to investigation unless there is suspicion of hypocrisy (e.g., Larry Craig) or some public policy implication (e.g., Mark Sanford). As Atrios put it, "if Trig was sired by Lucifer and birthed from a hippopotamus it's really none of our business." Sullivan has claimed that the birth of Trig, a baby with Down syndrome, played a key role in Palin being chosen for the GOP's 2008 ticket, because it solidified her pro-life credentials. But the idea that this had anything to do with John McCain's decision to tap Palin is easily debunked.
You can believe that Palin was wearing a pregnancy suit and Hollywood-quality makeup for weeks, all before she had a national profile. You can believe that she fooled all of those journalists with her pregnancy costume, including the AP reporter who literally inspected Palin's belly in her office. You can believe that Palin, and her entire family, and her doctor, and her disgruntled former aide Frank Bailey, have been lying to the press in a tightly organized and mind-bogglingly elaborate conspiracy. You can believe that the medical workers who were involved in Trig's delivery were paid off or have simply kept inexplicably quiet about the hoax. You can believe that Bristol Palin gave birth to Trig and then had another child just eight months later.
Or you can believe that Trig is Sarah Palin's son.