Starting with stories on sites such as Digg, and then progressing to more mainstream media outlets, Sarah Palin is being smeared by those with a different political ideology.  Rather than attacking her on her voting record, anti abortion rights stance, or other political aspects, they are suggesting that she is not the mother of her recently born child (called “babygate” by some).  These assertions are based upon pictures in which Palin is said to not look pregnant.  Like the readers of this site, and the people making these allegations, I am not in a position to determine the truth of the matter.  However, I can easily spot a smear campaign when I see one.  I’m also able to see the deeper problem with such political tactics:

The Smear Campaign Against Sarah Palin
Suggesting that Palin is not the mother of her child, presenting only a series of purposefully selected pictures as “evidence”, is the lowest of the low.  Note that I am not saying I have evidence that she is the mother of the child, but rather that a married woman with 4 other children should certainly be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to something like this.  Furthermore, like all smear campaigns, this one ignores the important political issues and instead focuses on drumming up tabloid style excitement over a sensational and unfounded claim.

Smear Campaigns in General
Smear campaigns are nothing new to politics, and have been around for ages.  They are used against politicians from every part of the political spectrum, by their own party members, and by members of opposing parties.  Given their long history and general lack of truth, you would think that people would learn to ignore smear campaigns, but sadly that has not happened.  I would guess this is because a certain segment of the population would rather pay attention to sensationalist news stories than to learn about the issues.  Regardless of which political party one supports, it seems to me that the focus should be on the issues, rather than unfounded personal attacks.