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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

Politico:

Besieged by blog rumors about her 17-year-old daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — named Friday as running mate of John McCain — released a statement Monday saying her daughter is pregnant and plans to marry the father.

What does one thing — the news of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy — really have to do with the other — scurrilous rumors that were never pushed by any mainstream US media outlet, nor by anyone remotely connected to the Obama campaign? What — the plan was to keep Bristol Palin’s pregnancy a secret from us, until she was rushed to the hospital to deliver her child a week before Sarah Palin’s inauguration?

I think it’s wonderful that Bristol Palin has chosen to have her baby, and I’m sure that she’ll make a wonderful mother.

But if it’s such a wonderful thing, let’s be out and proud about it — not try and change the subject. Let’s disclose this in the People magazine interview. Let’s not bury the news when there’s literally a hurricane bearing down on Louisiana. And let’s sure as hell not confuse the overheated rantings of the liberal blogosphere for the series of decisions made months ago by mother and by daughter that led to a 17-year-old child becoming pregnant.

The media ought to be more responsible than to take the McCain campaign’s spin at face value. If that irrelevant distraction about rumors in the blogosphere belongs in this — than certainly things like these do: What is Palin’s position on contraception? What is her position on sex education? Does she believe that sex outside of marriage is immoral? These questions are not remotely personal, but they’re certainly a part of the story.

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