(New GS motto: The fourth-least popular two-man non-political blog site in Washington D.C.)
All of this is prelude to today's Howard Kurtz story on Sullivan's using The Atlantic to question whether or not Sarah Palin is Trig Palin's mother.
I don't have much to add to the story except to (1) Congratulate Kurtz for taking a look at it; and (2) Observe that there is a bit of a double-standard going on with The Atlantic and the McCain campaign.
Sullivan complains that the McCain campaign has ignored his requests for proof of Trig's parentage.
This is, however, common practice in political journalism: Campaigns often don't respond to reporters they don't like or to questions they don't feel like answering. This rarely has any nefarious implications. I wrote a ton of fairly sympathetic copy about Hillary Clinton during the primary season and had, I think, good relationships with people on her campaign staff. But when I wanted to find out who was running her speech-writing shop, I spent almost two months making calls and sending emails and knocking on doors and getting not a single reply. This didn't mean that Clinton had no speechwriter, or was trying to cover up the fact that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney were penning her speeches. (Or does it!) For whatever reason, they just saw no advantage in playing along with that particular question. That's the way the world works.
But here's what's funny: I know at least one person who has emailed The Atlantic's head honcho, David Bradley, asking for comment on Andrew Sullivan's recent work. I was copied on the email that was sent; here it is:
Date: Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 11:10 AM
Subject: The Atlantic's official position re: Identity Theft
Does The Atlantic Monthly endorse identity theft as a legitimate political vetting tool? I'm only curious because a Sr. Editor at your publication recently endorsed this tactic on an official Atlantic blog: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/09/vetting-palin.html
If this is not the official position of your publication you might want to publish a disclaimer disavowing Mr. Sullivan's recent endorsement of said crime.
Bradley has yet to send a reply. Of course, Bradley is under no more obligation to answer questions from the blogosphere than the McCain campaign is. But perhaps Sullivan's gripe about not getting answers would carry more weight if his employer answered the questions being raised about him.
Update: Patterico goes all next level on Sullivan.