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Palin Calls Photoshopped Images 'Atrocious'

Sarah Palin may have bid adieu to the national political spotlight last November, but she doesn't seem to have any intention of leaving the media spotlight behind. The former vice-presidential candidate's camp has launched accusations of intolerance at an Alaskan political blogger over a photoshopped image featuring Palin, a conservative talk show host, and Palin's youngest son Trig, a special needs child with Down Syndrome.

For the past several months, Linda Kellen Biegel, the author of the Democratic Alaskan political blog Blue Oasis, has covered conservative Alaskan radio personality Eddie Burke's treatment of fellow Alaskan Andree McLeod, a self-described political watchdog who has vocally and consistently criticized Palin. As Biegel's coverage wore on, she came to suspect that the Governor's office had directly assisted what she has called the Republican Burke's "smear campaign" against McLeod.

Moved to investigate the validity of her suspicions, Biegel requested that the Office of the Governor provide her with whatever e-mails might be pertinent to her investigation (i.e. any e-mails between the Governor's office, Burke, and anti-McLeod writer Sheila Toomey). After corresponding with the Governor's staff, Biegel found out that copies of the aforementioned documents could be hers -- after she paid administrative fees amounting to $5,552.64.

Undeterred, Biegel began to raise money on her blog, which she then started to festoon with satirical, altered images featuring Palin and Burke. And therein began the problem. On the fourth day of her fund raising, Biegel posted the above image. In a smiling Palin's arms squirms her infant son Trig -- with Burke's face photoshopped into the place of the boy's.

Wasting no time, Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton launched this diatribe, published today by Politico:
The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling. To learn that two Alaskans did it is absolutely sickening. Linda Kellen Biegel, the official Democrat Party blogger for Alaska, should be ashamed of herself and the Democratic National Committee should be ashamed for promoting this website and encouraging this atrocious behavior.

Babies and children are off limits. It is past time to restore decency in politics and real tolerance for all Americans. The Obama Administration sets the moral compass for its party. We ask that special needs children be loved, respected and accepted and that this type of degeneracy be condemned.
According to Politico, Blieger offered this statement in response:
It's called 'Baby Burke' because it's Eddie Burke...basically his probable second-biggest fantasy about the Governor. So, connecting the dots for you...WE'RE MAKING FUN OF EDDIE BURKE!!!!!!
Still unwavering in her desire to ascertain whatever pertinent e-mails may sit in the Governor's inbox or deleted folder, Biegel is continuing her fundraiser. At the time of this writing, she reports that it has yielded $4,646.

Even though it's hard to argue with the Palin camp's statement that special needs children should be "loved, respected, and accepted," it's doubtful that Biegel even had Trig's disability in mind when she altered the image.

But, here's the rub.

If Palin wanted to preserve the dignity of her son by truly making him "off limits," she's gone and messed up. By binding her world-famous name to such a narrowly read, provincial blog, Palin has in fact -- intentionally or no -- taken this image from the mini-blogosphere of what may be the most secluded state in the Union and brought it to the attention of the world. So, now, instead of a debatably malicious image of her son appearing on thousands of Anchorage laptops, it is appearing on millions of monitors around the world. That, dear readers, we cannot stand behind. [From: Blue Oasis and Politico, via Huffington Post]

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Tags: blogs, government, photoshop, photoshopped, politics, privacy, sarah palin, SarahPalin, special needs, SpecialNeeds, top

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