Friday, 2 July 2010

Questions about Sarah Palin's pregnancy - The need for a "big push" in the blogsphere - PLUS: Narrative summary of babygate

+++Please read all our posts about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy HERE+++

Sarah Palin non-pregnant comparison

Bristol comparison

Sarah Palin early pregnancies

ADN-columnist Michael Carey about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy:

Sarah Palin's "pregnancy" with Trig currently is in the center of attention. Andrew Sullivan successfully started this new round when he once again threw down the gauntlet on June 28 in a major post called "Why Does Trig Matter?". This was followed by a number of other posts by Andrew Sullivan on the same theme, but not only that: Several other bloggers picked the story up, and the mainstream outlet "The Week" wrote about Andrew Sullivan's "obsession" with Trig and received many comments which support Andrew's stance.

See also Andrew Sullivan's long comments regarding babygate in a post from July 1 HERE.

To recap the events of the last days: Progressive radio show host Nicole Sandler contacted me on June 28, primarily regarding the CSU Stanislaus events. But when I later that day spoke to her on the air, the discussion very quickly moved to babygate - and Nicole gave me the opportunity to explain some of the facts in greater detail. The timing proved to be very lucky, as Andrew Sullivan's Trig-post had been published earlier that day and was already generating some buzz.

Other bloggers who followed Andrew Sullivan's wave were for example litbrit, who posted two incredibly powerful and well written articles (here and here), of which the first one titled "Sarah Palin's biggest lie and most shocking ethics violation" promptly received a link by Andrew Sullivan, together with my interview with Nicole Sandler.

Our friend Phil Munger on Progressive Alaska published a babygate-related post on June 29 about the "Courage of Shannyn Moore", and our friend Ennealogic examined the thoughts of Phil Munger in her post "Critical Mass - Reaching for it" on her blog "Hypocrites and Heffalump Traps" on July 1.

Even a surgeon in Ohio was brave enough to write about the babygate topic on his blog on June 30 and received lots of comments.

What is now needed in my opinion is a concerted effort in the blogsphere. When they are united in seeking the truth, bloggers are strong, and babygate is not an illusion, but a reality. Palingates will continue to cover the subject, and in doing so, our brilliant reader "Blueberry Tart", who week for week writes the weekly round-up posts on Palingates has now written for us a narrative description of "babygate".

Following the publication of our summary document, which has been downloaded more than 6000 times so far (!), many readers suggested that a narrative summary would be very helpful as well. Below you will find some excerpts of the new additional summary. The complete document (the first summary and the new narrative description now combined) with lots of more information and pictures about Sarah Palin's faked pregnancy can be downloaded HERE.


Just the Facts, Ma'am...

By Blueberry Tart

Do you know the story that Sarah tells of the birth of her son, Trig? In brief summary: knowing that she had been pregnant 6 times previously, with 2 reported miscarriages, and that Trig had Down Syndrome and a heart defect, she says that 5 weeks before his due date, while in Texas, she woke up at 4 a.m. experiencing contractions and leaking amniotic fluid. Yet she did not go to Baylor Medical Center (5 minutes from her hotel, with a NICU) to be checked out. Instead, she claims that she gave a lunchtime speech while experiencing “big” contractions, then flew from Dallas to Seattle (bypassing hospitals with NICU), later flew from Seattle to Anchorage (bypassing hospital with NICU), and drove an hour to a small hospital that did not have a NICU to give birth to Trig. She says that she prayed to God that nothing should happen to this dear baby whom she loved, apparently absolving herself of any responsibility for her own recklessness. Do you believe this implausible tale? Does anyone?

Here is a summary of the reasons why many people do not believe the stories Sarah has told of this pregnancy and birth. You be the judge of whether you believe her or not.

Do you believe Sarah or your own lyin’ eyes?

Here are photos taken of Sarah when she was reportedly 7-8 months pregnant. These are but a few photos showing her with no “baby bump” whatsoever, within 1-5 weeks of reportedly giving birth to a 6 lb. 2 oz. baby on April 18th. You be the judge; was she or wasn’t she?

(click on all pictures to enlarge)

Very few photos have ever surfaced where Sarah looked pregnant with Trig; here are two. You be the judge if it is possible to have morphed, within a few days of (or in the first case, on the same day as) photos shown above. Or, is it an “empathy belly”/pregnancy disguise?

Finally, it is worth noting that Sarah did look very pregnant with her first pregnancies – both early in the pregnancy and at late stages. It is typical for women to show more and quicker with subsequent pregnancies than with their first – not the other way around.

Other facts for your consideration:

1) No one knew Sarah was pregnant before she announced she was 7 months pregnant on March 5th, 2008; it came as a total surprise even to those who worked with her everyday. Without exception, her staff, legislators and others who had close contact with her expressed complete surprise at the announcement. As many people have pointed out, this might be plausible for someone who is in their first trimester, but for the third trimester of a petite, slim woman’s pregnancy, this is simply not credible.

2) Sarah announced her “pregnancy” the day after McCain clinched the nomination…knowing she was on the list of possible VP candidates, Sarah Palin announced her pregnancy on March 5, 2008, the day after John McCain clinched the Republican nomination for President. Sarah was aware that she was under consideration as a possible vice-presidential candidate as early as summer 2007, and some of her associates wished her good-luck with the VP nomination just after she announced that she was pregnant. Sarah does not believe in coincidences; do you?

3) She lied when she said she had provided Trig’s birth certificate. No documentation that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig, or that he was born on April 18th 2008 at Mat-Su Regional Health Center, has ever been publicly released. Not ever. Not by anyone. In fact, Sarah Palin did not even show evidence that she is Trig’s biological mother to the McCain campaign, as was revealed in the book "Game Change". Even the letter purportedly from her doctor, released on election eve, does not say that she gave birth to Trig.

But since Sarah claims she did release the birth certificate, then presumably she is not opposed to doing so on principle. Therefore, she should have no objection to providing it to the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) or another reputable media outlet, so that they can verify its authenticity to the public. Right? Except she did not do so, even when ADN requested it to put an end to the questions about Trig’s birth.

4. Sarah Palin’s story of labor and birth is not credible and is not consistent. Palingates and other websites (notably Palins Deceptions) have posted several times previously on the numerous problems and discrepancies with Sarah’s account of labor and Trig’s birth. We do not intend to belabor this (sorry!), but only to review key facts.

To briefly review her story:
  • In her first account of the birth, Sarah claimed that amniotic fluid began leaking early in the morning of April 17th, 2008, when she was in Grapevine, TX for a conference. (She makes no mention of this in Going Rogue.)
  • She said she was experiencing contractions that were unlike the Braxton Hicks contractions she was having for several months.
  • She said that she called her doctor (but in Going Rogue she said that Todd called, over her objections), and they decided that it would be okay for her to go ahead with the speech and then fly back to Alaska.
  • Baylor Regional Medical Center, which has a NICU, is within 5 minutes of her hotel. Sarah did not go there to be checked out, even though (if there were indeed no problem) she would have had time to do so and still give her speech.
  • She said she was “not in active labor” (this aspect of her story is the most credible, assuming she was not pregnant). However, in Going Rogue said she was having “big contractions” while giving her speech.
  • Todd and she flew back, changing planes in Seattle. In some accounts, she said they changed their plans and left the conference early (missing an evening reception). However, in another statement she said they flew back as scheduled. Sarah was observed in the lounge at Sea-Tac, showing no signs of being in labor.
  • Seattle and Anchorage also have NICUs; however, the Palins bypassed these facilities to go to Mat-Su for the “delivery.”
  • They reportedly arrived at Anchorage around 11 p.m., then drove to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Note that Mat-Su does not have an NICU and does not do high-risk deliveries (not even the delivery of twins); these are done in Anchorage, even in cases where the mother has to be transported by ambulance. According to her story, Mat-Su induced labor and baby Trig was “delivered” at 6:30 a.m. on April 18th.
5. Mat-Su Regional Medical Center has never confirmed of any detail of this story, and did not list the birth on their on-line birth register. This omission could not be due to the Palins’ wish for privacy, as Trig’s “delivery” was widely publicized.

6. The pregnancy and birth story ignore multiple risk factors: If Sarah had been pregnant with Trig, this would have been a high-risk pregnancy and delivery even without the leakage of amniotic fluid and onset of contractions, due to 1) Sarah’s advanced age; 2) the fact that she had given birth 4 times previously; 3) her claims of having two prior miscarriages; 4) the fetus being 5 weeks premature; and 5) prior knowledge that the fetus had Down Syndrome and a hole in the heart. If amniotic fluid had been leaking since 4 a.m. Texas time, this means there was a heightened risk of infection and of prolapse of the umbilical cord, threatening both mother and child. Generally, flying is not advised for women in late pregnancy because of the risk to baby and mother (to say nothing of the inconvenience to all on-board) of an inflight delivery with no medical personnel nor facilities. Also, changes in air pressure can cause or accelerate dilation of the cervix. However, by the only accounts available, the flight attendants were not aware of her condition.

7. The credible evidence indicates that Sarah’s birth story is not true; but if it were true, the only logical conclusions are that 1) Sarah acted recklessly, endangering her baby because 2) the speech was more important than the baby’s well-being. Corollary: either Dr. Baldwin-Johnson (Sarah’s physician) assisted Palin in perpetrating a hoax or she gave medical advice over the phone that constitutes medical malpractice. As we shall see, the preponderance of credible evidence is that Sarah faked the pregnancy to cover up the fact that Bristol became pregnant when she was only 16.

8. The Anchorage Daily News tried to put the rumors to rest, but couldn’t… Pat Dougherty, ADN Editor, said that he assigned reporter Lisa Demer to try to put an end to the rumors that Sarah Palin did not give birth to Trig. However, he was unable to do so. Here is the exchange.

9. Sarah’s doctor refused to confirm the story… In the course of this attempt by ADN to refute the rumors, Lisa Demer interviewed Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, Sarah Palin’s personal physician. The doctor attended the interview in the company of her personal lawyer. When Ms. Demer asked the doctor whether she was present at Trig’s birth, Dr. Baldwin-Johnson refused to confirm that she had been there and, on advice of counsel, refused to answer any more questions. She has not spoken again on this subject, and in fact has maintained a low profile even in her own community since that time. The election-eve letter, purportedly from Dr. CBJ (but released by the McCain-Palin Campaign) was never authenticated by her or anyone else. Numerous problems with the letter cast doubt on its authenticity; none of these problems were ever addressed by anyone.

10. You can fake a pregnancy… Actresses often fake a pregnant appearance for roles that they play. For example, Desperate Housewives aired episodes during the fall of 2007, in which Bree faked a pregnancy to cover for her pregnant daughter. We know (from the emails released by MSNBC) that Sarah Palin also went to see the movie Juno in early March 2008, the same week as her pregnancy announcement. (There’s that darn coincidence thing again!) In this film, actress Ellen Page played a pregnant teenager, using a fake pregnancy belly during filming. Many maternity stores have these bellies so that customers can try on clothes to see how they will look when they are in later stages of pregnancy. Please take another look at the pregnancy photo with Andrea Gusty, above. (Perhaps the pregnancy belly did not arrive in time for the Elan Frank filming; thus the square pillow was needed.)

11. You can’t fake being “not pregnant” when you are 7-8 months along… While you can fake a pregnant appearance, if you are 7-8 months pregnant, you can’t fake looking non-pregnant, no matter how tight your abs are. The fittest athletes and actresses can’t do it; in fact, the slimmer and fitter you are, the less you would be able to conceal an additional 10-20 pounds of weight in your abdomen.

(View the full set of comparison pictures HERE)

It is physically impossible that a 6 lb. 2 oz. fetus, plus placenta, amniotic sac, fluid and other tissue does not take up any space at all, especially on a petite, slender woman. Sarah Palin did not show any physical signs of pregnancy, even as late as a week before her supposed “delivery.” Yet she was very visibly pregnant in her prior pregnancies. Nor did she appear post-partum 3 days later, despite having appeared very post-partum after Piper’s birth.

Despite some claims that other women were the same size as Sarah and never showed, no one has ever produced a single, verified photo of anyone, let alone someone of Sarah Palin’s build, who was 7-8 months pregnant with a fetus of similar size, without any visible baby bump. No one. Of course, many photos of actresses and others at the same stage of pregnancy belie Sarah’s claim.

12. The baby presented to the world on April 18th and April 21st does not appear to be a newborn premie. Many people believe that the baby presented in early May appears smaller and thinner. Others with experience in neonatal care have said that it is not plausible that a premature newborn with a hole in his heart would be released from the nursery for a photo op hours after birth and would be brought to a public place at 3 days of age. Judge for yourself.

13. Sarah’s daughter, Bristol, was pregnant in 2007 (and again in 2008). It was an open secret in Alaska that Bristol was pregnant in late-2007. Acquaintances of both Bristol and Sarah were aware of Bristol’s pregnancy by late 2007. Sarah herself acknowledged rumors that Bristol was pregnant in late February or early March 2008, but she denied they were true. These stories surfaced prior to the time Bristol could have been pregnant with Tripp.

Bristol was sexually active at least by the spring of 2007. Based on the information Palingates has received from various sources, she was involved in relationships with several teenage boys during high school. We also know that she was also abusing both alcohol and drugs.

Bristol’s slender figure changed markedly from June to September 2007, and her appearance in September and October is consistent with second-trimester pregnancy. She disappeared from view in late October and did not reappear until several months later.

Bristol's pregnancy was not an internet rumor; it was discussed among her acquaintances at least by December 2007 and January 2008. Others, including state legislators, were aware of rumors of Bristol’s pregnancy no later than December 2007, far before the pregnancy with Tripp.

Bristol’s remarkably buxom appearance at the RNC suggested that she may have been nursing, especially since she appeared nowhere near as large when she arrived at the airport (her bustline changed as quickly and dramatically as Sarah’s midsection did between April 8th and April 13th). Her maternal behavior toward Trig fed the rumor, reported during the convention by the PBS News Hour and CBC, that Bristol was Trig’s mother and Sarah Palin had faked the pregnancy.

14. Sarah lied when she said she didn’t know Bristol was having sex. Sarah knew that Bristol was having sex, because she suspected that she was pregnant in spring 2007. According to Bristol’s MySpace message to her sometimes boyfriend Johnny Chandler: “ha ha, my mom was asking me who I was on the phone with last night, and she said she heard everything I was saying…now she thinks im pregnant…ahaha call me later if you'd like” (heart symbol)

Yet Sarah denied knowing Bristol was sexually active when asked by Barbara Walters – a blatant lie.

15. Bristol lived with her Aunt Heather Bruce during her (first) pregnancy, not her pregnancy with Tripp. Rumors of Bristol’s pregnancy preceded the earliest timeframe when Tripp could have been conceived (April 2008). Bristol’s friends were aware of the pregnancy rumors in late 2007, as was an Alaska State Senator, Lyda Green. Sarah herself tried to dispel the rumors in February 2008, in a conversation with Bill McAllister. A blogger on reported on the Bristol pregnancy rumor and said she was going to high school in Anchorage.

Heather Bruce confirmed (in the book Trailblazer by Lorenzo Benet) that Bristol lived with her while pregnant and while going to Anchorage West HS. This extended stay with Aunt Heather had to be during the 2007-08 school year, because it was reported at the beginning of the 08-09 school year. Inside Edition aired a report on 9/2/08 stating that “Halfway through the school year, about the time Bristol discovered she was pregnant, she transferred to another high school.” The Washington Post reported that Bristol went mid-school-year to live with her aunt in Anchorage, finishing at the city's West High School.

The principal of the Wasilla High School also confirmed that Bristol transferred from there halfway through the 2007-2008 school year. The National Enquirer reported this as well, with some additional details: “When Sarah found out the teen was pregnant by high schooler Levi Johnston, she was actually banished from the house. As part of the cover-up, Palin quickly transferred Bristol to another high school and made her move in with Sarah’s sister Heather 25 miles away!”

While many people apparently assumed this referred to the pregnancy with Tripp, that cannot be true. It can only refer to the winter 2007-2008 period, which coincides with the Trig pregnancy, not Tripp. Adding support to this conclusion, Bristol herself reported that they told Sarah and Todd about her pregnancy with Tripp “after school was out.” The logical conclusion is that Bristol’s banishment to Anchorage was not for the Tripp pregnancy, but for Trig.

(Read our new post about the revelations in the National Enquirer HERE)

16. A risky but brilliant solution (turning lemons to lemonade). Bristol’s first pregnancy threatened to derail Sarah’s political ambitions, especially in light of her ultra-conservative, religion-laden politics. She knew in 2007 that she was a possible running mate if Senator McCain won the nomination. But Bristol’s pregnancy was more than an embarrassment for an über-Christian, family values candidate; it could derail her chances for the VP nomination. So Sarah concocted a daring scheme – if McCain won the nomination, she would fake the pregnancy. She would plow ahead and disdainfully put down anyone who dared to question something so blatantly untrue. Once it became clear that Trig had Down Syndrome, this plan offered an even more dramatic opportunity to cast herself as someone who “walks the walk” by having a DS baby rather than an abortion. Thus “The Story of Trig” allowed Sarah to recast her daughter’s pregnancy from a huge problem into a major asset, and at the same time forged a new identity for herself.

Since that time, she has deftly deflected any real scrutiny of the many discrepancies in her story by characterizing those who dare raise such questions as the lunatic fringe. Recently, she has thrown this comment out very cleverly, making it appear that there is a long laundry list of off-the-wall accusations about her – in fact, almost all of them are true! And it has worked quite well for her, as she is generally given a pass by the MSM and the public at large, on the assumption that no one in her position could pull off such an outrageous hoax. Except she did – so far, anyway.

Some other oddities:

17. Sarah did not buy any maternity clothing; she wore the same clothes during the “pregnancy” as before and after, but “camouflaged” herself with scarves. While there were a few instances when she wore scarves before the pregnancy announcement, this occurred almost without exception in photos of her after the pregnancy announcement (with the notable exception of the April 13th big-belly photos). Why would she conceal the pregnancy after announcing it? What would she be trying to hide? Why would she have to conceal anything, since she claims she didn’t show? It is much more logical to recognize that the scarves were helpful camouflage of her non-pregnancy.

18. Todd Palin never made any mention whatsoever that Sarah was in labor, nor even any hint regarding this, in emails he sent during the day on April 17th. Mr. Palin was in email communication with Palin’s staff in Alaska during the day on April 17th, but he made no mention of the signs of impending birth, nor that there was any need to leave the conference early. He focused only on her speech and how it was received. These emails went to close associates, so the lack of any hint of the labor is curious.

19. One of the arguments used to refute “babygate” is that the hoax is too brazen to believe. However, successful hoaxes are often breathtakingly brazen. Think “Catch Me If You Can.” Think Bernie Madoff. Remember how several people realized that the investment returns that he was reporting could not be correct, and tried to alert authorities about him? No one believed them, apparently because they could not imagine someone of his stature, undertaking such an incredibly risky hoax on such a grand scale. But, paraphrasing one of the would-be whistleblowers, “there was no smoking gun but too many things just didn’t add up.” I ask you to suspend your disbelief for a moment, and ask yourself how many things in the “Story of Trig” don’t add up. There are a lot of coincidences here – that is a hallmark of a hoax.

20. Adding to this is the strong possibility that Sarah already had experience living at least one huge lie, regarding the biological father of her son, Track, and perhaps another regarding the “wite-out abortion.” She had covered up her prior indiscretions, successfully, for years. She knew that she had already gotten away with a birth hoax, and, especially given her new position of authority in Alaska and the ways in which secrets could be hidden from the public, she had no doubt that she could do it again. Of course, she did not expect that a tireless and determined cyber-posse would be on her trail!

In closing:

There are many more pieces of this puzzle than can realistically be put in a short synopsis. Keep in mind that Palingates and others have found all this out through dogged and creative use of the internet, as well as seeking and receiving information from some sources with specific knowledge. The level of investigation here is careful, well-documented and remarkable. At the same time, Sarah has done everything within her power to thwart revelation of the truth, including having photos scrubbed from the government website and (apparently) forging or tampering with a letter from her doctor.

The facts show that Sarah’s story does not add up and suggest that she is a con artist and that babygate is a grand, fraudulent scheme, further her own ambition and burnish her right-wing credentials. We at Palingates hope that you will use your own eyes and your own critical thinking to draw your own conclusions.


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