Dave Weigel Calls Out Sully’s Trig Trutherism, On Sully’s Blog

Over at The Daily Dish, Dave Weigel hit the nail on the head in his criticism of Andrew Sullivan's bizarre obsession with a two year-old infant.

Dave Weigel is guest-blogging for Andrew Sullivan this week and yesterday he used one of his posts to address the criticism he’d received from some for doing so:

From my e-mail I gather Sullivan critics are angry about the other Palin stories he’s posted. I don’t see a huge difference between how he’s covered the odder Palin rumors this and how the rest of the media has covered them. I do see a difference on Trig, and I do think that he’s made a huge mistake by indulging this. Politicians suffer when they’re called out on things they’ve done. They thrive when they’re called out for things they haven’t done, for stories they can call “conspiracy theories,” and for stories they can file under “politics of personal destruction.” Obsessing over Trig, as much as it annoys the Palins — and I see why it does — is one of the best ways of propping her up. It gives her fan base proof that its hero is constantly battling unfair personal attacks that the media won’t debunk. It convinces them that critics focus on this nonsense because they’ve got nothing else to criticize Palin about. She has taken advantage of this impression.

The Trig obsession has also, I’m sad to say, damaged Andrew Sullivan’s reputation. I’m stunned by the anger he’s generating not just among random Tweeters but among people who’ve been online for years, part of the rough-and-tumble of blogging. They know that 99% of what Sullivan writes is challenging, smart, and addictive, and that he’s very capable of honing in on bigger political and philosophical debates. People want him to take a deep breath and stop obsessing over this conspiracy theory. Count me among those people.

Yea, that about sums up how I feel. Sullivan was one of the bloggers I started reading pretty much from the beginning. I didn’t always agree with him but I thought he usually made sound arguments worthy of being considered, and I’m always willing to read an argument that makes me think even if I disagree with him.

When he drifted into this strange obsession with Sarah Palin’s uterus, though, I found it harder to take him seriously. I ended up agreeing with most of his substantive criticisms of Palin, but this obsession over Trig Palin, which continues to this day, is just bizarre and it’s lead him to fall for other bizarre theories, such as last year when he briefly flirted with birtherism.

Sullivan is a smart guy, I think, but he’s let his personal passions lead him down an intellectual black hole to a point where it’s difficult to take him seriously anymore, and that’s unfortunate.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    It is bizarre because Sullivan is by and large fairly clear eyed not to mention devastatingly articulate. That said the whole Jerry Springeresque Palin circus is bizarre and has I see clicked up another notch with Bristol and Levi announcing their “re-engagement.” Standby for glutinous interviews. There are slightly odd circumstances surrounding this baby’s birth according to my old lady (I haven’t a clue) but probably not enough to justify it becoming an idee fixe on Sullivan’s part.

  2. Herb says:

    I like Sully….but on this one, he’s majorly posing. He’s trying to look like a gritty journalist asking tough questions. But that’s not the role he plays in his normal day-to-day blogging, so why he thinks he’s gotta get all gumshoe on Trig…..who knows?


  3. sam says:

    “He’s trying to look like a gritty journalist asking tough questions. ” You think so? I think that, for whatever reason, on the subject of Trig, he just gone out of his effing mind. The obsession ain’t rational, that’s for sure.

  4. Herb says:

    Trying….and failing spectacularly. He should have let it go a long time ago, but then again, “letting go” is not Sullivan’s thing.

  5. Brett says:

    I think maybe this comic offers a good explanation.

  6. ponce says:

    I enjoy Sullivan’s writings about Trig. I agree with the analogy that his birth is Palin’s version of a war story and there’s something not quite right about the tale. At the very least Palin is guilty of endangering her child’s health by flying all the way home to give birth.