Opinion Brief

Palin's baby 'hoax': Another birther conspiracy?

A liberal theory dismissed as fantasy when Sarah Palin was the GOP's 2008 VP nominee gets a second look, thanks to an academic's controversial investigation

A Kentucky journalism professor is trying to revive one of the fringe Left's favorite conspiracy theories: Trig Trutherism. The idea is that Sarah Palin is the grandmother, not the mother, of her son Trig, and that she staged an elaborate hoax to hide the identity of his real mom — Palin's daughter, Bristol. In a 29-page academic-style paper, Professor Brad Scharlott of Northern Kentucky University says the mainstream media squelched the story in 2008 to avoid angering Republicans, ignoring plenty of evidence including photos showing Palin with an oddly flat stomach well into the pregnancy. Does the new academic spin bolster this far-out claim?

No, this is still a baseless accusation: Sorry, but tacking a professor's name onto this nutty theory doesn't remove "the stench of crack-pottery that emanates foully off of it," says New York's Metro. Scharlott's best evidence seems to be a couple of photos, but "this is the internet," where doctored images abound. Beyond that, "the rumor seems to be nothing but a whole bunch of hot air."
"Sarah Palin's 'Trig Hoax': Liberals have a birther conspiracy of their very own"

Hey, it's more realistic than what right-wing birthers believe: Scharlott's evidence is "by no means conclusive," says Henry Blodget at Business Insider. In addition to the photos, there was Palin's "leisurely 20-hour trip home" after she "supposedly went into labor in Texas," and the hospital's refusal to even confirm Trig was born there, let alone who the mother was. Given all the publicity Donald Trump is getting with his "Obama-wasn't-born-here mantra," the media's silence on Palin's "possible hoax" is certainly curious.
"Professor: Sarah Palin probably staged a gigantic hoax about being Trig's mother"

Palin could clear this up in an instant: Look, Palin's explanation of her fifth pregnancy really does seem "incredible," says Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast. Palin herself has joined the "birther nonsense" about President Obama, even though he has provided ample evidence that he was, in fact, born in the U.S. "Would it be too much to ask for former half-term governor Palin to provide some medical records — as she promised?"
"Wimpy and gullible"

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