An interesting footnote has emerged to a theory that raged around the Internet during Sarah Palin's candidacy for Vice President. The theory is that Sarah Palin is actually the grandmother of her purported son Trig, not the mother, and that she staged a gigantic hoax during the campaign to cover up this fact.
Professor Bradford Scharlott of Northern Kentucky University has looked into this story in detail and written a long academic article about it. He concludes two things: First, that the "conspiracy theory" is likely true—Sarah Palin staged a huge hoax, and, second, the American media is pathetic for not pursuing the story more aggressively.
Scharlott's article walks through all the evidence supporting the theory, including the photos of Palin in what is said to have been a late-stage pregnancy, the leisurely 20-hour trip home that Palin took after she supposedly went into labor in Texas, the refusal of the hospital where Trig was supposedly born to even confirm that he was born there (let alone who was the mother), strange statements from Palin's doctor and the McCain campaign, and so on.
And Scharlott concludes that, given that this hoax would be a massive fraud perpetrated on the entire country by a vice-presidential candidate, the media absolutely should have pursued the story more aggressively.
Because the mainstream media did not—and has not—pursued the story at all (let alone aggressively), Professor Scharlott has done some of the work himself. He has also attempted to explain why the media was so wimpy and gullible during the campaign.
One of Professor Scharlott's theories, interestingly, is that conservatives have been extraordinarily effective at shaming anyone who has even brought up the matter, let alone investigated it. He notes how different this is than the Democrats ability to quell the other conspiracy theory that has obsessed the nation in recent years—the theory that President Obama was born in Kenya.
Given the amount of publicity (and support) presidential candidate Donald Trump has gotten in recent weeks by picking up the Obama-wasn't-born-here mantra, the silence on this other question is indeed startling. The evidence Scharlott's cites about about Palin's possible hoax is by no means conclusive, but it certainly raises as many questions as the logic about Obama's birthplace.
In light of Scharlott's evidence that Palin staged a hoax, as well as the ongoing absence of any proof that Palin is actually Trig's mother, one wonders if the media will now, finally, seek to determine the truth—especially because Palin is considered a candidate for president.
Here's some of the evidence that Scharlott describes:
The suspicions started with the story the Palins told about how Sarah Palin and her husband behaved after she went into labor while on a trip to Texas. Namely, they took a 20-hour trip home.
The press release Palin put out announcing Trig's birth did not say where the birth took place. The hospital where Trig was supposedly born did not list him as being among the babies born that day.
After Palin supposedly went into labor in Texas, her husband Todd did not mention this to her aides. Flight attendants on the way home did not notice that Palin seemed pregnant.
When Palin returned to work three days later, she seemed unsure about the timing of her water breaking. In her later book, she implied she went into labor at 4AM in the morning—and then stayed in Texas long enough to give her speech before beginning her 20-hour trip home.
The hospital where Trig was supposedly born lacks pre-natal intensive care, which made it a "less-than-ideal" place to deliver a child with Down syndrome. Palin was close to several hospitals in Texas and Anchorage that did have these facilities.
Two months earlier, when Palin announced her pregnancy to her staff (at 7 months), her staff was shocked: No one thought she looked pregnant.
Photos of Palin in the weeks before she gave birth gave no indication that she was pregnant.
Another photo, from four weeks before the birth.
After Trig's birth, the McCain campaign issued a bizarre statement.
During the campaign, Palin had promised the press that she would release her medical records. The night before the election, she did. The section from her personal physician about Trig's birth was worded in a way that it barely said anything.
Nothing in the doctor's statement suggested that the doctor was present for the birth, and the doctor declined to answer any questions.
Finally, one traditional media tried to figure out the truth... and ran into a brick wall.
The editor of the Anchorage paper tried to explain to Palin why he wanted to investigate the issue: To determine once and for all that it wasn't a hoax. Palin never responded.
All Palin would have had to do—then and now—to prove that she was Trig's mother was, ironically, produce a birth certificate.
One of the only American journalists who looked into the story, Andrew Sullivan, suggests that we may have witnessed one of the greatest frauds in history.