Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin recently made waves again by criticizing the media in a nine-minute long interview. One of her beefs was with rumors about the true origins of her youngest son, Trig Palin. "When did we start accepting as hard news sources bloggers, anonymous bloggers, especially," she asked.
Palin goes further in an interview with Esquire, referring to the bloggers as not only anonymous but "bored" and "pathetic."
"Bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie annoy me....I'll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask -- double-, triple-, quadruple-check -- who is Trig's real mom. And I said, Come on, are you kidding me? We're gonna answer this? Do you not believe me or my doctor? And they said, No, it's been quite cryptic the way that my son's birth has been discussed. And I thought, Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism."
At the time of the first interview, it wasn't clear what "hard news" organizations Palin was referring to, since the mainstream media has largely avoided the whole Trig conspiracy. Now she offers up the local Anchorage Daily News. And a reporter for the paper did publish a blog post of his own on the subject, saying he hoped to put the rumor to rest once and for all by getting some solid proof:
So, time for some rumor patrol. It'd be nice to put this to bed.
The answer here should be pretty simple. It happened or it didn't. For months, we have been getting anonymous people telling us they "know" it's true, or people we do know telling us they've heard it fifth-hand. We haven't seen anything resembling proof. We asked the governor's office, and the governor, multiple times about it.
And an editor blogs on Tuesday that the paper "never took seriously the conspiracy theory that the governor did not give birth to her son Trig, but that recently we had made an effort to document his birth in pursuit of a story about why the Trig rumors, while baseless, are apparently so widespread and persistent." The editor also reproduced emails from Gov. Palin, in response to her claim that she has pointed out errors in coverage that they paper has refused to correct.
So on this issue, at least, Palin seems to have the facts on her side -- although its not clear than any other news organizations have been investigating this rumor aggressively, and the ADN says their only goal was to debunk it.
Another story that still irks the former VP candidate is the skepticism about her ability to gaze at Russia from her home state. "You have to let it go. Even hard news sources, credible news sources -- the comment about, you can see Russia from Alaska," Palin tells Esquire. "You can! You can see Russia from Alaska. Something like that -- a factual statement that was taken out of context and mocked -- what you have to do is let that go."
Of course, Palin was mocked not so much for suggesting she could see Russia as for using that visibility as some kind of foreign policy credential. And the person who did the most to make Palin's comment into a source of ridicule was Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live," a show Palin goes on to praise in the same interview. For what it's worth, it is possible to see Russia from some parts of Alaska, but not very well.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Esquire, Mike Huckabee refutes the idea that Palin was the victim of bad press. "Now I must say I did not think that either the Charlie Gibson interview or the Katie Couric interviews were unfair. In fact, if anything, Katie Couric was extraordinarily gentle, even helpful. [Palin] just... I don't know what happened. I can't explain it. It was not a good interview. I'm being charitable."