It has been interesting to watch the brouhaha since professor Brad Scharlott published his paper blasting the American media for being so wimpy and gullible with respect to confirming the parentage of Sarah Palin’s son Trig.
Almost universally, the reaction has been outrage–on every side.
Folks who love Sarah Palin are outraged.
Folks in the conservative media are outraged.
Folks in the “liberal media” are outraged (that other folks in the “liberal media” dare raise the question).
Folks in Alaska are saying it’s all just a conspiracy theory. Lots of people are dismissing Brad Scharlott as a hack. And everyone’s blasting Andrew Sullivan, who has long made the perfectly reasonable request that Sarah Palin just provide some medical documentation to put the issue to rest (which she has refused to do).
Finally, though, some level-headedness is emerging.
Amy Davidson in the New Yorker said that she personally thinks Trig is Sarah Palin’s son, but she defended the media’s right to ask the question. Joe McGinniss, who is up in Alaska writing an unauthorised book about Sarah Palin called The Rogue, applauded Davidson (and suggests that he has some key new information he’ll be publishing in his book).
And of course the media is right to ask the question. There are enough bizarre statements, behaviour, and facts in the story to cause any reasonable person to wonder whether Palin is telling the truth. And in cases like that, it’s the media’s job to seek the truth–especially when it comes to the possibility that a potential presidential candidate might have staged an elaborate hoax and lied to the whole country.
(Even if the possibility is very small, it bears investigating. And we’re not picking on Palin when we say that. We think it’s worth having the media analyse the hand-written notes supporting President Obama’s birth certificate, too, in order to finally put that question to rest. A writer at Salon, Justin Elliot, asked the Palin question of many eyewitnesses last week and produced a good body of evidence suggesting that Trig is indeed Sarah Palin’s son.)
In any event…
We’re relatively new to “babygate.” We think Trig is probably Sarah Palin’s son, especially after Justin Elliot’s story last week. But we still have enough doubt that we’d like the question answered once and for all. One part of the “conspiracy theory” that has never made sense to us, though, is the theory that Trig is actually Bristol Palin’s son (The timing with respect to Bristol’s other pregnancy seems suspect.)
A reader floated another intriguing theory, and we’d like to know whether it has already been debunked.
The theory is that Trig Palin is not Bristol’s son, but Track‘s son. Track Palin, you’ll recall, is Sarah Palin’s older son, who is in the military in Iraq. The theory is that Trig is Track’s son via Track’s former girlfriend, Britta Hanson, who reportedly graduated from Wasilla High School in 2007.
The reader doesn’t have much to back up this theory–other than a story about a photograph that apparently appeared on a Facebook page and then disappeared, as well as the following about Britta Hanson:
1. She got a job as a page in the state capitol building in Juneau – supposedly she lived at the Gov.’s mansion with the Palins.
2. She was appointed as a commissioner for “Serve Alaska.”
3. She reportedly “spent a semester” in Spain.
4. She was hired to travel with the Palins during the campaign as a babysitter for Trig.
So has this theory already been debunked?
Again, we have nothing against Sarah Palin, and we think she’s probably Trig’s mother. We just want to put the question to rest once and for all.
If you have any new facts (or, better, documents) we should consider, please send them along.