Saturday, July 31, 2010

Then and Now: Two sets of journalists who did investigate Sarah Palin's biggest lie

It's worth noting that during the 2008 presidential election season, not everyone in the media shied away, ran away, or otherwise backed down from reporting on the uncomfortable stories surrounding John McCain's vice-presidential pick, then-governor Sarah Palin. It's impossible to say for certain why virtually all American journalists and bloggers refused to touch the issue. It may have been due to a combination of (1) everyone being gun-shy after so many smear campaigns had already taken flight that year and (2) a pervasive squeamishness among young, childless, and mostly male reporters when it came to asking admittedly personal questions about Palin's oddly inconsistent birth stories and a personal interpretation of Family Values that seemed unconventional, to say the least, coming as it did from a purported Conservative Christian. The Don't Go There attitude was certainly given a shot in the arm of esprit de corps when the Journolist members brought up the strange rumors and were told "Seriously guys...leave it be", which directive was, to their palpable relief, exactly the out most of them seemed to be looking for anyway.

However, a few journalists did think the story was newsworthy and were obviously troubled by the gaping holes and inconsistencies in the vice-presidential nominee's background stories; so much so, in fact, they set about reporting on them: those journalists worked for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Here's a video of their report.

(If anyone knows of the existence of any followup stories run by the CBC, please let me know.)

Between then and now, several blogs did yeoman's investigative work; as we know, one such writer, Audrey, was forced to quit when she was threatened and blackmailed by conservative bloggers. Interestingly, while Palin's attorneys have threatened Alaska blogger Gryphen with defamation suits for publishing rumors about things like an impending Palin divorce, they have never threatened him--nor any other blogger or journlist--for reporting about Sarah Palin's lies in re: being pregnant in 2008, and/or for stating the obvious: that Trig is not her biological son, and she faked the pregnancy for one or more of a number of possible reasons.

Truth is an absolute defense in defamation cases, and if Palin's attorneys were to file such a lawsuit, one of the first things a defendant's attorneys would do is file for discovery. In other words, Palin would have to put up whatever proof she had that the person she was suing was not telling the truth--a birth certificate, medical records, and so forth. As should be evident to anyone who's following along at this point, she cannot and would not do that, because such documents would prove exactly the opposite, and might indeed disclose facts incriminating to either her or one or more of her family members. Claiming the Fifth Amendment ("I refuse to testify on the grounds that I might incriminate myself...") for purposes of ducking or delaying discovery when one is the plaintiff is not possible, either--the defendant in such a case would have a right to a speedy and expeditious trial, as well as the right to effectively defend himself.

Hence, no defamation suit ever gets filed on that count, even as Palin might sic her retained attorney on bloggers for other things: divorce rumors, publishing excerpts of her book, and so on.

Anyway, fast-forward (so to speak) to the present, and Palingates has just posted a new 2-part video report, produced by Lidia, that's extremely well done, and, unless you are someone who's in complete denial of reality as it appears before your eyes, impossible to argue with. I especially like the second part, as it zeroes in on some of the evidence I find to be most compelling--for example, leaning forward and doubling in two while seated when you're seven months pregnant is, quite simply, physically impossible, no matter how tiny you are, no matter how tiny your baby is. (And then, incredibly, hopping up effortlessly, as though no center-of-balance shift has occurred in the past several months!) However, I recommend to everyone who's been following this utterly bizarre story that you have a look at both parts. Here's Part One. And here is Part Two, also embedded:

So, here we are, two years later, and members of the mainstream media's irresponsible, unethical, sexist, and, in my view, unforgivable behavior--in apparent deference to a vice presidential candidate who is on the record as having told baldfaced, self-serving, and bizarre lies as well as having exhibited irrational and mentally unstable behavior during the 2008 campaign--has become the preeminent story.

And one can only wonder if one of them has it in him, at this point, to finally heed the simple request we've been making all along:

The Empress has no clothes. Kindly investigate same.

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