Secondhand Smokette–no fan of Sarah Palin–has a blog out today that points out how abysmally Palin was treated when she first emerged on the national political stage. I have said that I believe much of the irrational, spittle spewing hatred of Palin originates with the birth of Trig, her baby with Down syndrome, which symbolized her personally socially conservative views for some, and brought out the inner eugenicist of others.
Debra doesn’t go there, but she notes that the biologically impossible and defamatory rumors that Trig was really Palin’s grandson were seized upon by the media, which rocked the McCain/Palin campaign with scurilous and insulting questions about Trig’s birth, reflecting the intense bias of a press determined to elect Obama. From “Was Sarah Palin Done in by Trig ‘Birther’ Story?:
When McCain picked Palin, his campaign team thought the media would hail Palin as a fellow maverick, a moderate who could work with Democrats, and avoided polarizing social issues by, for example, vetoing a bill banning benefits for same-sex spouses of state workers. That is, Camp McCain expected the sort of in-depth look that [New Republic’s Josh] Green provided in “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin.” They also thought that personal profiles would portray Palin as a pro-life Republican who walked the walk when she chose to give birth to a son with Down syndrome.
Alas and woe to her, Palin had the misfortune of walking onto the national stage in the era of the blogosphere. A Daily Kos blogger charged that Palin faked giving birth to Trig five months earlier in order to conceal her teenage daughter Bristol’s pregnancy. Other bloggers, as well as British and Australian newspapers, joined the pile-on. That rumor was put to rest for all but the most ardent Palin “birthers” when Bristol turned out to be five months pregnant.
The Daily Kos used a photo taken two years prior, in which the overweight Bristol had a “bump,” changed the date in which the photo was supposedly taken, and used the “bump” as proof of pregnancy. It was all a fraud, but it was all the excuse the MSM needed to flip into TERMINATE mode, and uncoincidentally, Trig was made the point of the first spear. Back to Debra:
While most reputable American news outlets did not report the rumors, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz wrote at the time that reporters deluged the campaign with questions “about the governor’s amniotic fluid, the timing of her contractions and whether she would take a DNA test to establish the baby’s parentage.” Those questions enraged the McCainiacs. Palin’s record as governor also went through the dirt washer. Palin wrote in her memoir “Going Rogue,” “Suddenly I was a book-burning evangelical extremist sweeping down from the North on her broomstick.” Factcheck.org felt compelled to report that Palin “did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library” and “has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools.”
Green laments that McCain/Palin didn’t run “as mavericks,” but instead “turned hard right.” He doesn’t seem to understand that the political press corps kept seizing unsubstantiated odd-bin tidbits to paint Palin as a right-wing kook and social-issues crusader — and thus shoved Palin into the right-wing ghetto.
And it was done with malice aforethought. The hatred continues unabated. And while it has been indisputably proven that Trig is Sarah’s son–some still refuse to believe it, the ignoble Andrew Sullivan, for one–and he remains at the core of the Palin haters’ seething cauldron of bile.