Friday, April 29, 2011

Major babygate blogger going soft?

Yesterday afternoon (pacific time), "Kathleen" of the blog politicalgates posted an article in the UK Guardian's Comment is free/America section, asserting as fact that Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy. The last paragraph began:
Sarah Palin's pregnancy hoax is relevant, ...
The same article was posted at the politicalgates blog, but shortly after the post went up the Guardian pulled its post, apparently out of libel concerns. The post was re-worded, at the Guardian and at the blog, with the beginning of the last paragraph changed to:
The questions about Sarah Palin's pregnancy are relevant, ...
At the time of this writing, the Guardian has pulled its post again.

The post as it currently appears at politicalgates is here. The post may reappear at the Guardian; if it does, it may be found here.

politicalgates bloggers have in the past asserted as fact that Palin faked a pregnancy, and "Patrick" has even challenged Palin to sue him, so, although it's understandable that the blogger would alter the text of the post at the Guardian in consideration of the Guardian's concerns, it isn't clear why she should soften the post on her own blog.

Update: Legally, a reason to soften the post is that the writer cannot prove that Palin faked a pregnancy.

Update: The post at the Guardian is back (link above).

Update: Part of politicalgates' post echoes Professor Sharlott's concern about a "spiral of silence." I think that the back-and-forth between the Guardian and politicalgates refutes the notion that a "spiral of silence" exists. I think that the Guardian was being prudent rather than part of a "spiral of silence" when it required the change to the last paragraph. As I've written before, if people could prove that Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy, the story (stated as fact) would be everywhere.

Perhaps it would be better to say that there has been a "spiral of prudence." Has politicalgates become part of it? In any event, they've apparently had an earful of professional legal advice.

Update: The Guardian/politicalgates post makes the statement, "Palin could end the public discussion immediately by presenting hard evidence, such as hospital or insurance records," ignoring the fact that the burden of proof isn't Sarah Palin's. What they're essentially saying is: "We can't prove that you weren't (pregnant), so you prove that you were." Is it any wonder that such a jailhouse lawyer's argument should be met with scorn and laughter?

Update: The politicalgates/Guardian post states: "This statement [that her water had broken in Texas] by Sarah Palin was the trigger for scepticism on the part of some journalists regarding Palin's birth story, as well as the start of investigations by bloggers and citizens."

Yes, I do recall that this motivated the investigation by "Audrey" of Palin's Deceptions; however, the writer ignores part of what Professor Sharlott wrote:
... Palin thus seemingly confirmed that her water broke in Texas, although her answer was sufficiently muddled that one might argue otherwise. ... [emphasis added]


Joie Vouet said...

The blogger also asserts as fact that Palin's water broke in Texas.

A careful reading of Professor Sharlott's paper confirms that that is not certain:

... Palin thus seemingly confirmed that her water broke in Texas, although her answer was sufficiently muddled that one might argue otherwise. ...

Joie Vouet said...

The water breaking assertion isn't libelous. It's just interesting: How could her water have broken about the time of the child's birth if she was not pregnant?

Just_a_Mote said...

Chuck Heath's assertions and Sarah's muddled statements prove nothing regarding whether she was pregnant or not. Is the blogger asserting that her water broke when she wasn't pregnant? I think not. FWIW, perhaps the blogger should have said, "This exchange established SARAH'S NARRATIVE that her waters broke during the early hours of the morning on 17 April 2008 in Dallas, Texas."