on March 14, 2008. On the left is the picture as it appeared on the newspaper’s web site and alsoin the ArcXIX post. On the right is the same photo lightened.
The original makes Palin look remarkably trim for a woman in her seventh month. The lightened one, in which details areclearer, shows an unbelievably flat stomach for 44-year-old mother of four who supposedly willgive birth in 35 days to a 6 pound, 2 ounce baby.But then, on August 31, a different photo appeared that showed Palin looking quitepregnant. Someone who has never been positively identified, but most likely was Dan Carpenter,an Anchorage TV cameraman, posted this photo at Flickr:The photo shows Palin with a large,round belly being interviewed by AndreaGusty of KTVA on April 13, five days beforethe alleged birth. The McCain campaignadvisors undoubtedly showed this photo toreporters as proof that Palin had beenpregnant. (More on this photo presently.)Then the McCain team aimed to put thehoax rumor to rest on Sept. 1 with a stunningannouncement: Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol was (they claimed) five months pregnant,and she was engaged to marry the father, Levi Johnston.
Reporters were left to do the math: if Bristol was five months along in early September, then she apparently could not be the mother of Trig, who reportedly was born on April 18. Thus, the logic ran, Sarah must be the mother.Throwing Bristol under the bus like that to quell the rumors seemed odd and needless sincesupplying Trig’s birth certificate could have settled the matter. Moreover, the logic that Bristolcould not be Trig’s mother depended on the unsupported assertion that Trig was born in April.Still, the revelation of Bristol’s pregnancy plus the Gusty-interview photo must have done thetrick. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America would later write that in 2008, “99 percent of people in ‘the media’ did the right thing and ignored the Trig nonsense.”
But was the rumor of ahoax truly nonsense? Hardly.
Since this is a nail-in-the-coffin photo – if it’s legitimate, then Palin must have lied about the pregnancy –let me note that I personally copied it from the Anchorage Daily News web site and then lightened it. Thephoto’s authenticity is beyond question.
Samuel Goldsmith and Clemente Lisi, “Palin Admits her 17-year-old Daughter Is Pregnant,” New YorkPost (Sept. 1, 2008).
Boehlert, “Palin's now scolding journalists who didn't write about Trig in 2008?” http://alturl.com/c8d3n(July 27, 2010), Media Matters for America; also, about two weeks after McCain named Palin as his runningmate, Boehlert wrote, “We haven't seen the name of one reporter who pressured the McCain campaign