Monday, September 1, 2008

Private vs. public lives

A number of bloggers have become enamored of their 'investigative' skills and now spend hours poring over and dissecting photos from the 'net, etc. to "prove" or "disprove" various theories of theirs, hoping all the while to get a scoop that will catapult them to bloggers' nirvana... (the bloggers' equivalent of YouTube's "Numa numa guy" or "Chocolate Rain"). This got a fillip during 'Rathergate' and when someone figured out that the Iranian missile picture had been 'enhanced.' However, the vast majority of the time it usually rubbish viz. the multiple threads re Barack Obama's certificate of live birth over at No Quarter, and now "proof" over at the Daily Kos that Sarah Palin's last son is actually her grandson.

Well, Andrew Sullivan picked up on this and started blogging about it. Some reaction has been negative (e.g. Email of the day II) and some in support of the proposition (e.g. Privacy and Palin). Sullivan's position seems to be that since a) Palin and McCain put out the story of her deciding to keep the child (even though pre-natal testing had indicated that the child would have Down's syndrome) this puts "it" (i.e. the baby) and the topic in the public sphere, and b) "legitimate questions arise", and finally c) "the answers to those questions can easily be provided...(sic)" (see A Smear?) it is legitimate to ask McCain-Palin to respond to these charges.

Well, what if some nut wrote a diary on Kos (or elsewhere) claiming that Palin is the mother, but that the father is actually the postman? Hmm, that would certainly contradict the whole wholesome image they are trying to portray... Seems like per Sullivan's theory a, b, and c still apply - would he call for the McCain-Palin campaign to "... resolve this now with medical records, as are mandated for presidential candidates anyway....?" After all, surely the McCain campaign can easily "...resolve a factual question which they must already have covered in the vetting process..." and "... the answers to those questions can easily be provided..."


Sarah Palin hit by internet rumours over fifth child