John Kass is right to criticize a DKos diarist playing up Palin pregnancy rumors (though he ignores that the site was at war over whether to discuss the rumors–for the one diarist’s irresponsibility, there was plenty of reasoned and quite angry dissent). But does the fact that the rumors in question weren’t true make it worse than the Trib starring the different but true story of the same Palin daughter being pregnant on today’s home page?

Based on the argument that Kass makes, which emphasizes her youth, right to privacy, and the irrelevance of her free will to her mother’s political career over the truth of the rumors, I’d say the obvious answer is no. Which makes me wonder if he’ll go after his employer and all the other media outlets that are playing the story up over all the other rich, relevant Palin dirt that’s been spreading from the unvetted candidate.

For the record, there seem to be two generally proffered reasons to discuss the Palin pregnancy. First, the candidate supports abstinence-only education, so this is some small bit of proof that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work. I think it’s proof that I need to get “correlation is not causation” (read it, it’s a hell of a post) tattooed to my forehead (indicative of something? bzzt). Second, and more broadly, it’s about policy. But it was about policy before, too, and reading crystal balls about other people’s families (“Anyone who watched coverage of the Bush twins’ barroom exploits knew that the avert-your-eyes stance toward candidates’ children has its limits”–what the fuck, Washington Post) is not just poor form, it distracts from the meat of policy discussion with emotional pornography.