Give Andrew Sullivan credit for allowing Patrick Appel to speak his mind on the Palin issue. The Dish has always set the gold standard for airing dissent from across the political spectrum, and I hope more people favor Sullivan’s approach to online discussion over, say, RedState’s.
As to the merits of the issue, I think Appel’s take is pretty authoritative. The scope of the supposed conspiracy around Trig’s birth is ludicrous, and multiple eye-witness accounts confirm Sarah Palin’s pregnancy. Arrayed against all this is one ambiguous photo and a confusing timeline of events. Needless to say, I find Appel’s case a lot more persuasive.
However, I remain baffled by Sullivan’s willingness to pursue this issue beyond all reasonable limits. The substantive relevance of Trig’s maternity was so minimal – and the invasion of her family’s privacy so extreme – that there was never any reason to investigate Palin’s pregnancy in the first place.
I don’t dispute the fact that blogs are useful tools for keeping campaigns and traditional media outlets honest. I also understand that the pace of blogging is faster – and therefore less considered – than a conventional news cycle. But cyberspace shouldn’t make basic courtesy obsolete. I’m sure writing this will make me a hypocrite within a matter of weeks, but whatever. Consistency is for the unimaginative and all that jazz.