Monday, 26 July 2010

Major revelation: "Off-the-record" emails of journalists from 2008 released, discussing Sarah Palin's possible pregnancy hoax ("JournoList") - UPDATE!

"The Daily Caller" currently releases on an almost daily basis the leaked email correspondence from the "JournoList" email conversations, which happened during the last Presidential election. "JournoList" was a network of liberal journalists and academics in which they discussed policies "off-the-record" and, more controversially, sometimes agreed on certain "lines". Andrew Sullivan for example recently harshly criticized this (now defunct) network and accused them of "organizing a media narrative." He gives an example how this network tried to fix certain "lines" in their reporting.

Now we have real sensation: From August 30 to September 1, 2008, members of this network discussed in detail Sarah Palin's "mysterious" pregnancy with Trig. The general public in the USA has never ever heard before that journalists in the MSM ever had any kind of suspicions about the pregnancy. Even with the very limited information that was available on August 31 to September 1, 2008, several participants in the discussion express serious doubts whether the pregnancy really happened or whether Sarah Palin was telling the truth about the pregnancy. In the end the journalists decided "not to go there" for several reasons, some of them nonsensical, such as:

"On a plane you stand an excellent chance that one or more woman who have had several children can be a big help–not to mention the possibility of a doctor or a midwife"


"If you think about it, going into labor on a plane is not the worst thing–much preferable, say, to going into labor in a subway (too dirty) or a cab (only one person too help you.) or a car (with your husband in a total panic.)"


"The fact that her water broke does Not mean that she was in labor."


"None of this tells us what was going on with Palin. Nor is it any of our business."

...which are all direct quotes by Maggie Mayar, who is a "health care expert" at Politico.

Regarding these astonishing statements by Maggie Mayar I would also like to point out that the RGA convention on April 16 & 17, 2008 took place in the luxurious Gaylord Texan Hotel in Dallas, as we know for example from Sarah Palin's official schedule.

The award-winning, top-notch and very posh Baylor Regional Medical Center in Dallas, which has a NICU, was just an eight-minute drive away from the hotel!

From Google Maps:

Google Maps

Google Maps 2

Extremely interesting are for example the remarks in the emails by the investigative reporter Lindsay Beyerstein (please note that through an editorial mistake by the Daily Caller, these comments were first attributed to Harold Pollack - below you will now find the correct version. Originally the Daily Caller left out a part of the conversation by mistake and mixed two email messages together):

The fact that the governor is a public figure cuts both ways, ethically. On the one hand, it’s more embarrassing to have your unplanned pregnancy make headlines in the Alaska papers. But the alternative seems far worse. By sparing her daughter the short-lived embarrassment of a scandal, the governor would be committing her to a lifetime of complicity in a high stakes deception that, if revealed, could destroy her mother’s career and possibly much more besides. The stress of living that lie would be almost unthinkable–given how fragile any conspiracy of silence would have to be. Private citizens can abandon fictions when they are no longer necessary, or break the silence to the people closest to them. Whereas, a public family would commit itself to lying to everyone indefinitely. Imagine the damage this could do to relationships. Suppose the daughter comes to regret giving up her child. She can’t tell the truth now without destroying her mother’s career.

Claiming your daughter’s baby as your own isn’t just a one-off verbal denial at a press conference. A maternity hoax would require various kinds of fraud which would probably include suborning medical misconduct, falsification of medical and legal records, etc. Teen pregnancy, however awkward, just isn’t a good enough excuse in this day and age.

Holly Yeager from the American Prospect also has sharp observations:

I agree that it would be astonishing. But I think it’s quite possible – on this, or some other drama or two – that Palin got away with something in Alaska and so didn’t bother to mention it to the McCain gang. She has spent virtually her entire life in Alaska, and surely underestimates the scrutiny she is now under.

The investigative reporter Lindsay Beyerstein remarks again:

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. (I don’t think the story is plausible enough to bother looking, but that’s a separate question.)
Anyone who decided to raise her granddaughter as her daughter is a liar and a hypocrite, not to mention an abuser of two generations of children. What kind of parent would force her family to live that kind of lie?

Kathleen Geier from Talking Points Memo thinks that the story could be a "huge freaking deal" but shouldn't be touched without "compelling evidence":

Obviously, neither Obama nor any other Democrat should touch this story. At all.
But — and that’s a big but — if it’s true, *of course* it would be an issue. And should be! Forget the issue of whether or not she denied her daughter the choice of ending her pregnancy — that’s not the issue. The issue would be if Palin is lying to the McCain’s people, and voters, and basically the world, by trying to pass off a child as hers, if it really wasn’t. Your kids are as much a part of your basic life story as when and where you were born, who you married, and where you went to school. If she’s trying to pass off a child as her own, when that child is actually her granddaughter — that is a huge freaking deal.

Now, that said, this does sound like a pretty wacky conspiracy theory. If there’s no evidence to it other than the fact that Palin allegedly did not look pregnant, and her daughter was allegedly absent from school, that’s an extremely slim reed to hang a story on.

However, if a reporter investigated this story and came up with compelling evidence that it’s true — such as documents or eyewitness testimony from medical professionals and the like — the media should have no compunctions about running with it.

Will these new revelations be a breakthrough? I have doubts, but I am still hopeful. Because the media refused to touch the subject, it was up to the incredible brave Andrew Sullivan to put his reputation on the line and up to citizen journalists to spend much of their free time for years investigating the pregnancy. We are faced with an uphill struggle.

I really hope that Andrew Sullivan will in the end receive the Pulitzer Prize for being the ONLY ONE in the media who was willing to push the subject.

Litbrit has also examined the emails in yet another brilliantly written post.


Sarah Palin has responded on facebook, accusing these journalists of taking part in "a dark and demented conspiracy regarding my son, Trig."

But although Sarah Palin now has the chance to strike hard against the "liberal media", she still doesn't show the birth certificate and/or other documentation. The simple reason for this is: She can't, because there is no evidence!

I really hope that the complacent liberal journalists will now FINALLY wake up and strike hard against Sarah Palin, one of the biggest liars and frauds in US history.


These are the participants in the email conversation - I have also collected links to their profiles and website:

Ryan Donmoyer
Government Legislation Reporter at Bloomberg L.P., Washington, DC

Adam Serwer, writing fellow at The American Prospect
Sara Mead, writer

Harold Pollack, Professor for Social Services at the University of Chicago

Brad DeLong, Professor Of Economy at University of Berkely

Laura Rozen – Politico

Mark Kleiman – Professor for Public Policy at University of California at Los Angeles

Adele Stan – Washington Bureau Chief of Alternet

Katha Pollitt – Columnist for “The Nation”

Maggie Mahar, Politico

Lamar Robertson, speechwriter, Partnership for Public Service

Kathleen Geier, Talking Points Memo

Todd Gitlin - Academic, Intellectual, Writer

Ezra Klein - Washington Post – Inventor of “Journolist”

Lindsay Beyerstein, Investigative Journalist, Feminist

Holly Yeager - The American Prospect

John Blevins, Professor of Law, South Texas College

Avi Zenilman, Reporter, Politico

Mark Schmitt, Executive Editor of the American Prospect

Michael Tomasky, The Guardian

Michael Cohen, New America Foundation

Shannon Brownlee, New America Foundation

Moira Wheelan, National Security Network

Rick Perlstein, Journalist, Author

Rodger Payne, Blogger

Mark Thoma, Professor of Economics, University of Orgeon

Eve Fairbanks, The New Republic


You can read the complete leaked JournoList correspondence regarding Sarah Palin's pregnancy which has been published so far also on the Daily Caller. It's possible that there are other parts which exist and have not yet been made public.

In order to make this email discussion (which the Daily Caller has published on 15 web pages) easier to read I have put all the emails together in one document for download:


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