I had not previously paid much attention to the question of Trig Palin’s parentage since I never understood the allegation’s relevance to questions about the merits of Sarah Palin as a political leader. Indeed, what she was alleged to have done would arguably be noble and self-sacrificing. My basic understanding of the issue was that the Triggers had no actual evidence for their view, but that it was at least in some loose sense a plausible theory.
Justin Elliott’s exhaustive inquiry in to the subject indicates that this is mistaken. Anyone who thinks there’s doubt about Trig’s parentage has either not looked into the issue (and why should anyone?) or else is peddling an extremely implausible conspiracy theory that flies in the face of the available evidence:
The exhaustive review of available evidence that we conducted, along with new interviews with multiple eyewitnesses who interacted with a pregnant Sarah Palin up-close in early 2008 — most of whom had never spoken publicly about the matter before — has produced one clear conclusion: Sarah Palin is, indeed, Trig’s mother and there is no reason to suspect any kind of a coverup.
We’ve learned, for instance, that an Associated Press reporter in Alaska who was covering Palin during her pregnancy in early 2008 (before she became a national figure) thoroughly investigated rumors that the pregnancy was a hoax. The reporter directly questioned Palin about the matter in a private meeting in her Juneau office before she gave birth. Gov. Palin responded by voluntarily lifting her outer layer of clothing, offering a clear look at her round belly. The reporter quickly concluded that there was no truth to the rumors and never wrote about them.
As Jon Chait says this helps put the persistence of birtherism into perspective. If I’d gotten a question about Trig from someone a week ago, I would have given an inadequately definitive put-down to suspicions on this score. But now I know—Sarah Palin is Trig Palin’s mother and nobody has any business claiming otherwise.