Under pressure from TabloidBaby.com and in response to yesterday's post calling attention to its deliberate deception, the Los Angeles Times has replaced its initial story on the pregnancy of dangerously extreme and ill-equipped vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughter with a new report that includes a mention of the initial question that led to the announcement.
The McCain-Palin camp announced yesterday that 17-year-old Bristol Palin was pregnant, in order as the New York Times and other media reported, "to counter rumors by liberal bloggers that Ms. Palin had claimed to have given birth to her fifth child in April when, according to the rumors, the child was her daughter’s."
The struggling and increasingly "square" Los Angeles Times, in its 20th Century notion that certain news should and can be withheld from the public, ran the story without mentioning the rumours that had swept through the Internet all weekend:
"(McCain strategist Steve) Schmidt said the campaign had hoped that Bristol's pregnancy would remain private in spite of 'a lot of very disturbing nasty smears moving around on the Internet.' He said the campaign released the Palins' statement because of the number of media inquiries about Bristol..."
Yesterday afternoon, our staff contacted reporters Robin Abcarian, Maeve Restson and Mark Barabak, who shared the initial byline on the story, why they chose to leave out such a crucial element of the story.
None of the reporters responded, but today, hours after our posting and emails to the reporters, the original story was replaced on the website by a new one, attributed solely to Barabak, and including this line in the sixteenth graph:
"(McCain strategist Steve) Schmidt told reporters that the campaign issued the statement on Bristol's pregnancy to rebut Internet rumors that the governor's 4-month-old baby, Trig, is in fact Bristol's child."