On August 29, John McCain announced the election of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate. Within hours, the country was riding a roller-coaster as rumors swept the Internet that she had faked a pregnancy, just five months earlier, to cover up her seventeen-year-old daughter Bristol. Then just one day later, the story was abruptly stopped with the announcement that the same daughter Bristol was five months pregnant, thus ruling her to give birth in mid-April.
Make no mistake here. What McCain’s campaign did was nothing short of genius. Faced with some very sensible questions about the circumstances surrounding Sarah Palin giving birth in April 2008, they managed to spread the entire controversy without ever releasing a single piece of information about Sarah Palin or the birth. Instead, the story is reframed to be about a seventeen year old girl, and then, soon becomes off-limits because, conveniently, the candidate’s family and children are off limits. That they can get away with this switcheroo is amazing. It seems almost nothing that it was McCain’s campaign that threw Bristol “under the bus” to start.
Many Internet sites have provided story space pulling web pages right down to the bottom. Some of the major media that were starting to see the situation retreated. But is it the right choice? Despite the fact that some pieces of evidence that initially received so much attention prove to be false (notably some of Bristol’s photos that allegedly show a “baby bump” – to be clear, they don’t) this about-face ignores the fact that many of the points raised are valid and some are quite unsettling. They backed off, frankly, based on one evidence, and one for which no evidence was given. The baby was literally thrown away with bath water.
I’ve been investigating this for almost a month now, and I can’t say I know for sure what happened in Palmer Alaska on April 18, 2008. But as a medical professional who has spent most of my life around women bearing children, I can state this confidently: The story of his birth is utterly absurd, a tale of a series of ridiculous choices that don’t make sense. If you call it a “lie,” be my guest.