The Andrew Sullivan, Sarah Palin, Birther Love Triangle Continues


palinsullivanThere has been no love lost between Andrew Sullivan and Sarah Palin, to put it mildly. I have noted number of times on this site that over the last year or so, Sullivan has appeared to lead the so-called Trig-birther charge, calling numerous times for Palin to produce evidence that Trig is actually her son: some people feel the circumstances surrounding his birth suggest Palin couldn’t possibly have been his biological mother. This particular conspiracy theory has gained enough of a following that when I published ten questions Oprah might ask Sarah Palin (she hit on about five of them, by the way) the one that received the most attention by far was the one about Trig Palin’s parentage.

While it was not something Oprah got around to addressing yesterday, it is something that Palin herself touches upon in her memoir Going Rogue. Via Michael Calderone at Politico:

She writes on page 238: “Formerly reputable outlets like the Atlantic ran with the loony conspiracy theory that I was not Trig’s mother—perhaps it was Bristol or Willow, they suggested.”

“Formerly reputable outlets like the Atlantic” is otherwise known as Andrew Sullivan, who has continued to beat the Palin-birther drum with sometimes questionable (I enjoy Andrew Sullivan and have for some time, but much like his Hillary Clinton coverage during early ’08, this got very old, very quickly) and entirely unapologetic relentlessness. Here’s his similarly unapologetic response to Palin’s complaint (via Politico):

“In fact, my blog never stated anything about Palin’s pregnancy and took her at her word. That’s why she decided not to sue me. She had no basis for any kind of suit. I simply asked her and the campaign to provide easily available proof that she indeed was the biological mother of Trig after her bizarre and incredible stories about her pregnancy and labor. She has failed to produce any such evidence. And she clearly never will. If she hadn’t used the baby as a central political argument in favor of voting for her, I would not have cared. But it seems to me fair to ask factual questions about a story that the candidate uses on the stump and that has aspects of it that are simply bewildering.

Of course, when Sullivan says “simply asked her,” he really means relentlessly blogged about it for twelve months on end.

I am torn on this. Yes, Sullivan has a point, she is a very public figure who has in turn made her family public figures. But I have never loved Sullivan’s coverage of women in positions of power, and at this point there are so many other things to criticize Palin on that the Trig birther conspiracy seems somehow excessive and unnecessary. Also, he is a baby, which sometimes seems to get lost in the mix.

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