There’s quite a few websites claiming people have spotted some kind of device in Sarah Palin’s right ear, during the VP debate on Thursday night. A “willyloman” post “What Does Gov. Palin Have in Her Right Ear?” signed “Scott Creighton” seems to be among the most popular ones.
You can also check out the “Palin Appears To Be Wearing an Earpiece During The Debate” thread in the Abovetopsecret forum.
Myself, I cannot see evidence of anything in Palin’s right ear, during the debate.
But that is not as important as the answer to the following question: what evidence would I need to change my opinion? Well, I would need to spot that device clearly in at least one picture. So far, all I have been able to see is perfectly explainable with Palin’s hair, glasses and shape of the ear.
And so my question to Creighton and all the others is: what evidence would you need, to change your opinion?
What was that running down into Sarah Palin’s right ear during the debate? [...] This photo was never intended to stand alone as evidence, that is why I include the link to the CNN video itself… That is still below. From that video, and many others now, you can see something that looks like it is attached to the arm of her glasses on the right side. You can see it move with her head, and her glasses throughout the video. I have taken another shot of the straight on view of this object, but please, look at the photos, then watch the CNN video so you can see it isn’t just some fluke; it stays there and is attached to her glasses. [...]
Even without zooming, you can clearly see something attached to her glasses and running into her right ear. At first I thought this might be a hearing aid of some sort, so I looked up other pictures of her to see if I could find one of her wearing a hearing aid. I couldn’t. [...]
Let’s start with the consideration that the “hearing aid” claim sounds very disingenuous. If Palin really had been hard of hearing, we would have known that weeks ago for sure. Mr Creighton should have definitely tried to look more sincere, if only to help support his case for a “device in the right ear”.
Anyway…the only way to be sure is to check if the “device” can be seen in any picture.
Now, a paranoid mind will find lots of food for their thoughts, as there really aren’t too many photos of Sarah Palin clearly showing her right ear during the debate itself (there is the one with her youngest son, but it was taken after the end of the debate and the aforementioned paranoid mind will surely claim Palin’s removed the “device” just in time). Also, I am not going to argue with anybody believing that the “device” was invisible or very well hidden: that’s akin to claiming a giant white, invisible rabbit was jumping up and down in front of the camera for the whole debate (iow: it cannot be taken seriously).
In any case, the onus is on those claiming the “device” existed at all. So I have scoured around on YouTube, the Getty Images website and the web looking for any “right ear” shot. Results below.
Images are enlarged areas from sources described in each picture. Copyrights remain with the authors of course.
First of all, look at “Palin 05″: that one has been taken at the end of the debate, when Palin was holding her baby son, if I am not mistaken. I included it because it reveals Palin’s ear details in full, with all the “ridges” and “valleys”. Note in particular the rather peculiar “ridge” right underneath the “temple” (“sidepiece”) of her glasses.
Peculiarity in this case is not important. Every one of us has a “special” shape of the ear and I understand it’s the one thing people really have trouble with when disguising.
I believe that “ridge” is what people like Creighton are misinterpreting as a “device”.
UPDATE: a similar conclusion has been reported by “SkepticOverlord” in the Abovetopsecret forum.
UPDATE: an “enhanced image” showing no device can be seen at Plaidlemur. Just to avoid the usual conspiratorial comments, I actually chose not to enhance the pictures posted above.
In fact, I wonder if anybody could please tell me where in every other picture posted above, there is a “device” that is on top, or separate, or in any case definitely not the “ridge” mentioned above.
You may also want to note how in images Palin 08, 09 and 10, taken directly from the live TV pictures, Sarah Palin is showing her right ear to the cameras in ways that would be extremely dangerous were she wearing a “device” of any sort in her right ear.
The above is more than enough to convince myself there was nothing at all in Palin’s right ear, during the debate. At this stage, the discussion can move forward only in two circumstances: either somebody comes out with a very clear picture of the “device”, or believers tell me what more evidence they need, to change their opinion.
UPDATE: blogger Ginandtacos reasons it would have been almost impossible for Palin to be able to talk the way she did, without breaking in apparently incoherent ways.
UPDATE: the claim appears to have moved to “Palin was reading her notes“. I don’t think that deserves any further analysis.