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(CNN) – A week after a high-profile uproar with comedian David Letterman over the late-night host’s joke about her daughter, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is again sharply responding to the appearance of her children in the public sphere.
Palin’s latest response comes after liberal Alaskan Blogger Linda Kellen Biegel doctored a photograph of the former Republican vice presidential candidate with her 1-year-old son Trig, who suffers from Down Syndrome.
Biegel, who blogs in support of the Alaska Democratic Party under the name “Celtic Diva,” superimposed a picture of conservative Alaskan radio host Eddie Burke over Trig’s face in an apparent effort to show how close the radio host is with the Alaskan governor.
“Recently we learned of a malicious desecration of a photo of the Governor and baby Trig that has become an iconic representation of a mother’s love for a special needs child,” Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapelton said in a statement provided to CNN. “The mere idea of someone doctoring the photo of a special needs baby is appalling.”
Stapelton also suggested President Obama should speak out against such behavior from liberal activists.
“Babies and children are off limits,” She said. “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.”
Responding on her blog to the uproar, Biegel said in no uncertain terms the doctored picture was intended to make fun of Burke, not Trig Palin.
“It’s called ‘Baby Burke’ because it’s Eddie Burke…basically his probable second-biggest fantasy about the Governor,” she wrote. “So, connecting the dots for you…WE’RE MAKING FUN OF EDDIE BURKE!!!!!!”
Earlier this month Biegel filed an ethics complaint against Palin for wearing a jacket made by a company that sponsored her husband — a snow mobile racer — to a public event. An investigator ruled Palin had not acted wrongly and the Alaska governor accused Biegel “asinine political grandstanding.”
THURSDAY, June 25, 2009 (Health.com) — Iconic pop star Michael Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest and died on Thursday at the age of 50. Details of his death are still emerging, but friends and relatives say they have been concerned about Jackson’s use of prescription painkillers.
Brian Oxman, the Jackson family spokesman and attorney, told CNN that people surrounding Jackson were “enabling” him in his use of medications. Jackson had suffered a number of injuries, including a broken vertebra and a broken leg sustained in a fall on stage, Oxman said.
“If you think the case of Anna Nicole Smith was an abuse, it is nothing in comparison to what we have seen taking place in Michael Jackson’s life,” Oxman told CNN.
“I do not know the extent of the medications that he was taking, but the reports that we have been receiving in the family is that it was extensive,” he said. “This is something which I feared and it is something that I warned about.”
Douglas Zipes, MD, a distinguished professor at the Indiana University Medical Center and past president of the American College of Cardiology, says that drug abuse can contribute to a cardiac arrest.
“Certainly drugs, in someone like Michael Jackson, have to considered,” he says. “We know that drugs like cocaine and amphetamines can trigger a cardiac arrest by themselves, and the summation of multiple drugs could ultimately result in a cardiac arrest.”
Jackson may have been underweight as well. He reportedly weighed 120 pounds in 2003. At 5’10” or 5’11” (reports vary), he would have had a body mass index of 16 or 17, and anything below 18.5 is considered underweight.
In recent months, friends and relatives had described Jackson as even more frail. Filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller, who visited Jackson in April, told People, “I hugged him and it was like hugging bones.” And a fan who recently met Michael Jackson at a tour rehearsal reportedly wrote in an email this week, “He is a skeleton.”