Welcome Joe McGinniss, and Host Phil Munger “EdwardTeller”, (Progressive Alaska)

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

Host, Phil Munger:

Longtime journalist and award-winning author Joe McGinniss’ newest book, The Rogue, is the latest – but by no means last – book about Sarah Palin. Palin is not only the most famous Alaskan in history, she has uniquely combined political activity, celebrity, motherhood, grandmotherhood, a spousal relationship, borderline religious beliefs, professional victimhood, the American gossip universe, pop culture, legal obfuscation, new media and social networking. Increasingly known for being thin-skinned and somewhat lacking in spatial awareness, Palin, more than any American politician in a generation or so, almost begged McGinniss – or any investigative author – to move next door.

The Rogue is constructed around Joe McGinniss’ 2010 summer stay on the shores of Lake Lucille. His introduction to the ambience of Wasilla is lengthened by over a page as he lists all the churches in the greater Wasilla area – about 50. He even misses some that are hard to find for one reason or another.

The chapters alternate between retelling the meetings, interviews, encounters, conversations, emails, hate mails, visitors and narrowly avoided altercations as they roll by, and looks back at Palin’s rise. The looks go back into her family’s background, before Sarah Palin was born. McGinniss throws a lot of fresh light and detail onto available biographical information about both the Heath family into which she was born, and the Palin family, into which she married. He adds quite a bit of important new information too. The looks back eventually merge with the present as it was when McGinniss finished the manuscript early this summer:

This may be a strange thing to say in [opening] the last chapter about the star performer of the circus. But no matter how much my book sales might benefit from a Palin presidential campaign in 2012, I sincerely hope that the whole extravaganza, which has been unblushingly underwritten by a mainstream media willing to gamble the nation’s future in exchange for the cheap thrill of watching a clown in high heels on a flying trapeze, is nearing its end.

In a review at the Euro-American Palin-centric blog, Politicalgates, Blueberry T has provided a fairly brief chapter-by-chapter synopsis. The subjects that seem to be brought up repeatedly by those interviewing the author this past week have centered around Palin’s two best-known sexual escapades (one pre-marital), the perception that McGinniss’ move next door was unseemly, questions about the birth of Trig Palin in early 2008, and the veracity of his anonymous sources. The author’s book tour interviewers, at least those that I’ve reviewed, don’t seem to be interested in how thoroughly McGinniss has documented the fervor of Palin’s over-the-top devotees, nor in the deep ties Palin has had since the early 1990s to domininionist sects.

The author gratefully acknowledges how fully he was able to use the resources and existing material of such Alaska bloggers as Jeanne Devon, Shannyn Moore, Jesse Griffin and others. He also points out the importance of author-journalists such as David Neiwert and Max Blumenthal for their research on Palin’s ties to far-right, white supremacist and millennialist organizations.

On the other hand, McGinniss is wary of the symbiotic relationship media has come to rely upon regarding Palin. He seems to understand that had Alaska’s mainstream media done a better job up through mid-2008, he would have been left without a subject for this newest book.

It is too early to tell what McGinniss has achieved, past writing the easiest to read, most engaging trip yet through the strange world of PalinLand. As the author noted, much contained in the book has been covered before. Not this way, though, and not with this level of humor, wonder, snark and plain curiosity. His coverage of the voluminous hate messages, calls and emails is centered not on him, but on what this means in a larger way. His continual refusals to take guns proffered to him day after day by a succession of some of my longtime friends made me laugh, because he accurately caught my friends’ quirks in a touchingly warm way. Even though you don’t know these people, you’ll probably laugh too, as Joe introduces them, one pistol, shotgun or rifle-offering woman or man after another.

He was notably more charitable toward the vast shortcomings of Alaska society in The Rogue than he had to be when writing about the crazed oil pipeline construction days in his 1980 book, Going to Extremes. At that time, McGinniss’ book was one of several that addressed the wild times of that construction boom, including John McPhee’s brilliant set of sketches, Coming Into the Country. Even though McPhee’s pipeline era book was a masterpiece of tone, narrative and style, his predictions about Alaska’s future held up far less than did those McGinniss made back then.

McGinniss’ implications about what the pipeline meant in 1980 were mostly limited to the future of Alaskan society. Those in The Rogue have as much to do with the future of our fraying, tarnished American fabric.

258 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Joe McGinniss, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin”

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Joe, you were able to include a photo of Sarah’s doodle about becoming Mayor. Why didn’t you include a photo of the election-eve letter from CBJ and point out that the letterhead was straight, but the body of the letter was crooked and that it was a stamped signature. Just those two little facts alone scream “forgery”.

BevW September 25th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Joe, Welcome to the Lake.

ET, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Do you know who is the McCain staffer who is a long time friend of Wev Shea?
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/damage-control?
“On Monday, Shea told us that he was first contacted March 5 by a member of McCain’s campaign (a friend of his for more than two decades). The staffer wanted his thoughts on Palin as a potential vice presidential candidate. He gave her a ringing endorsement. Shea declined to give the name of the staffer.”
March 5 is the day that Palin announced she was 7 months pregnant. Sarah doesn’t believe in coincidences, and neither do I.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 1:56 pm
In response to BevW @ 2

Thanks, Bev. I’m glad to be here.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I had no credible evidence that the letter was a forgery.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

No, I don’t know who that McCain staffer is.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:02 pm
In response to BevW @ 2

Hiya, Bev, Joe, pups and visitors.

What a beautiful mid-fall day in Wasilla. I can see the Talkeetna, Chugach and Alaska ranges from my house, along with millions of golden, crisp brown, red and purplish leaves, and a pale blue sky.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:02 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 7

Wish I were there.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hi ET, Hi Joe, thanks for coming to the Lake.

Looking forward to reading this one, ordinarily I avoid Palinity but with you as the author, it will be surely a good read.

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Joe,

I’m half-way thur the book. Initially I was annoyed by the distraction of the fuss about you living next door to the Palins and thought the book and the attention it’s recd would have been more focused on the substance of the book rather than your living arrangements. But as i progrss thru the book, i realize that you had chosen this narrative to provide context to the environment in which you chose to use so many anonymous sources. Can you speak to your approach in telling the story, and whether it changed as you wrote the book?
Second, while some of the bits have recd too much attention, I’ve been engrossed in the way that Palin approached her job as mayor–pretty much as a figurehead, pretty much not interested in governing. I wish more attention would be focused on these fundamentals about this political celebrity /phenomenon.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:03 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 7

sounds lovely!

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:03 pm
In response to Elliott @ 9

Thanks. Even Barbara Walters, staunch defender of Sarah and Todd, had to admit on The View that it’s a good read.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Who do we have to blame for Palin ending up on the VP list for McCain? Is it really Bill Kristol?

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Welcome, Joe. Loved the book and am going to re-read it. Have you heard the amusing tale that Todd & Sarah are moose hunting for 2 weeks currently? Can your sources confirm?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

The letter is indeed sketchy in appearance, with elements seeming to be out of alignment. Had Dan Rather brought it out, instead of the McCain campaign – on election eve – I’m sure it would have gotten a different kind of scrutiny than it has. Joe covers the content of the letter itself in The Rogue, IIRC.

watertiger September 25th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for writing this book, Joe. While I derive an inordinate amount of pleasure lampooning the Palin Follies, do you think her star will finally fade once she announces that she’s not running for President (although I suspect she’ll keep kicking the can so she can milk more money from her innumerate followers)?

Also: thanks for making them spend money on a fence!!

April September 25th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Joe, why do you think so much of the mainstream media has given your book such a “cool” reception?

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

The book was great, Joe. While I understand that it must have been horrible to receive death threats, I imagine that it actually gave you first hand experience of what others (who have crossed Sarah) have gone through. To learn why people are so scared of her.

I’m wondering what your opinion is of the letter CBJ, her family doctor, released on the election eve? Do you think CBJ actually wrote it? Or could Sarah have written and released it without her doctor’s knowledge or consent? Thanks in advance:)

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm
In response to bob @ 10

I hadn’t planned on writing this in the first person. But Sarah put me squarely in the middle of the story by her bizarre, over the top reaction to my moving in next door. She started telling ugly and hysterical lies about me on Facebook and repeated them on Glenn Beck and that changed the tenor of the next four months. Her reaction to the minor annoyance of my moving in next door–but never bothering her or her husband or her children–revealed something important about her character, and her unfitness for national office. She’s all show and no go.

Cali5 September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for writing the book Joe…why does the media refuse to talk about her extreme religious views?

inmylife September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Joe, does your gut tell you that Palin had a hand in writing Levi’s book and orchestrated it to be released on the same day as yours?

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Joe, your book is a good read—better than I had imagined it would be. You didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of some of the various corruption scandals Sarah Palin has been associated with: the mysterious construction of her house, with those huge sports-center windows and sports-center railings inside; the “Dairygate” scandal, where she turned a state dairy over to a private consortium of high-school friends with no experience running a dairy operation; the construction of new prisons and poor oversight in the existing ones overseen by the ex-boyfriend Sarah appointed, State Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt… just the tip of the iceberg, as you know.

Was your interest in Sarah more personal, or was there another reason to avoid referencing these potential crimes? I know you’d already addressed the problems with the AGIA in a magazine article, and references to that boondoggle are sprinkled throughout “The Rogue”. but Sarah’s brand of “crony capitalism”, with the emphasis on the crony, is certainly remarkable even by Alaskan benchmarks.

The prison connection is intriguing to me, given the “trade route” from Alaska’s prison system to Arizona’s, given Sarah’s strong Arizona connections, political and residential. Can you speak about this in any way??

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:06 pm
In response to Elliott @ 13

Only one person to blame: John McCain.

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Joe,

Also–when anonymous sources are used—does anyone other than yourself, such as your editor, verify those sources? What is the fact-checking process like?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:08 pm
In response to April @ 17

One of the themes of the book–and I hit this pretty hard in the last chapter–is that MSM didn’t do its job in 2008 and hasn’t done it since in regard to Sarah. Bedazzled by her sauciness and superficial charm, they never tried to look behind the mask. I call them out on this. Their first line of defense is to kill the messenger, i.e., me. If they can make my book disappear fast, there won’t be widespread criticism of their laziness and cowardice.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:09 pm
In response to bob @ 10

I’ve been engrossed in the way that Palin approached her job as mayor–pretty much as a figurehead, pretty much not interested in governing. I wish more attention would be focused on these fundamentals about this political celebrity /phenomenon.

— I commented on that in my extended review of the book. Strange how the programs and rags dissing the author for celebrity fixation and what not are far more trapped in that modality that this book is. It may be impossible to write about Palin, even in her native environment, without wading through “celebrity culture.”

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:10 pm
In response to inmylife @ 21

Absolutely not. I know the publisher of Levi’s book. She had a chance to sign me to write about Sarah, she passed it up, then decided to try to recoup with Levi. That’s just business, no conspiracy involved.

watertiger September 25th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

What’s the (in)famous quote of hers about Ivana Trump?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 22

What a list! Heh – you’re talking a 900-page book.

watertiger September 25th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Whoops, sorry, that Trump question was for Monsieur Teller.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 22

My standard for what to include and what to leave out was how much interest in each story there would be Outside. Something like “Dairygate” for example leaves Outsiders shrugging and saying ho-hum.

inmylife September 25th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 27

Thanks, I just wondered. I finished Levi’s book quickly, but I’m taking the time to savor yours. Has anyone ever told you that you’re a good writer? ;-p

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Joe, since “The Selling of the President” was published and was on the NYT best seller list for so long, how do you view the marketing of Sarah Palin who has made sure she’s a “brand” and has even tradmarked her name?

dakine01 September 25th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Good afternoon Joe and ET!

Joe, did you enjoy “Roland Hedley’s” review this past week?

Where does Palin rank on the list of your book subjects on a “I can’t believe s/he actually said that” scale? (compared to say Nixon or Jeffrey MacDonald)

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

watertiger –

Joe wrote this right after Donald Trump and Palin used forks to eat pizza together while she was on her Paul Revere’s Ride Tour:

She told Todd she was going to Costco to buy groceries. But she was really going to J.C. Penney to see Ivana because, as she told the Anchorage Daily News, she was “so starved for any semblance of glamor and culture.”

buckydoc September 25th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Joe,

My feeling is that focus on baby-gate detracts from other, more important, reasons she should never hold high elected office. Occams Razor suggests that she indeed gave birth to that child, and my concern is that if babygate is debunked, other more substantive issues will fall by the wayside.

Your thoughts?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:16 pm
In response to bob @ 24

Great question. I may soon answer this question in more detail in a newspaper article. Bottom line: not only my editor, but Random House attorneys verified every source, in some cases speaking directly to the sources themselves. I have dozens of hours of recorded conversations. Random House attorneys listened to them all, then made an independent judgment about the trustworthiness of the sources. No material from an unverified source is included in the book. Many details were omitted for that reason. Obviously, any writer would like to be able to name every source. In this case, the climate of fear the Palins created in and around Wasilla made that impossible. After seeing how Sarah reacted to my moving next door, many people became afraid for their own safety and said they’d talk to me only if I guaranteed confidentiality. When I felt I had to, I did. Anonymous sources have a long and honorable tradition in U.S. journalism. Look at Woodward and Bernstein and “Deep Throat.” Just last week, the NY Times had a story about the Mets third baseman and quoted an anonymous source. In twelve books written over 42 years, I’ve never been through a legal vetting like this one. It lasted for months.

watertiger September 25th, 2011 at 2:17 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 35

Ah, that was it! Thank you! I think it explains a lot.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:17 pm
In response to inmylife @ 32

No, you’re the first. But thanks!

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 2:17 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 25

I’m afraid you aren’t the first and won’t be the last to receive this treatment from the so-called real journalists of the MSM.

But thanks for writing this one, and thanks for being here at the Lake!
Thanks, ET and RevBev!

FunnyDiva
in Seattle

Jeanabella September 25th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Hi all, Joe, read your book on my Kindle, and wasn’t disappointed. Thank you for chapter 19 especially as I didn’t think you would write about it as extensively.
Have you talked with any other writers who want to take on the Palin hypocrisy since the book came out?

Jeanabella

kimchatman September 25th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Joe,

I just finished your book and really enjoyed it. So glad that you stayed true to your word and did write an accurate account of her. Please stay safe because I know all too well how her supporters can come after someone.

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Joe, I have not finished your book, but I thoroughly read Chapter 19 which did not include the subject line of Sharon Leighow’s email to Sarah and Todd on 3-4-08 at 11:29 a.m. Alaska time that stated: “strategy for responding to questions about pregnancy”. (That’s the same day McCain won the Republican nomination. The next day, 3-5-08, Sarah announced she was 7 months pregnant.)
Did you mention it elsewhere? Didn’t you think it peculiar that she needs a “strategy” instead of simply announcing her “pregnancy”?

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’ve seen several interviews you have done for this book and it really seems like the interviewers are not being fair, and are in fact, rude to you. They have focused on the salacious stories and ignored the over-arching theme of her being a fake and that the media didn’t really vet her.

You have done a good job of holding your own. I am sure I missed some; can you tell us which interviews you thought were fair? I’d like to find them and watch them.

April September 25th, 2011 at 2:20 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 31

I have to disagree now that “crony capitalism” has become a rally call for the RW. Having an author with your talents explain what happen would be a great tool and the MSM might even pick up these stories.

Nellie Bly September 25th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Joe – as a journalist who despairs at the current laziness of the MSM, I’m grateful to you for your work.

Have any journalists spoken to you privately and taken responsibility for the lack of coverage and questions re: Palin? Anyone?

Thanks

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Hi Joe, longtime fan (since Gary Jacobson assigned The Selling of the President to our PoliSci101 class my freshman year). This is your most rollicking, fun read yet. I really like how you (or Sarah?) put yourself right in the middle of the story.

It was amazing to realize my instinctive sense of Sarah’s lack of maternal feelings was true: the vignette of Trig crawling around the filthy parking lot at her Villages book-signing proves everything I need to know about her relationship to her children, especially that one — whether it’s really hers or not.

Thanks for writing this book, at considerable real danger to yourself. I hope, for America’s sake, that it (and Sarah Palin) end up a novelty somewhere on the political history shelves, unlike your book about 1968. Great read, many thanks.

Synoia September 25th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I am such an idiot.

I though Palin’s Book was called “Going Rouge”.

My dyslexia strikes again.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 25

If they can make my book disappear fast, there won’t be widespread criticism of their laziness and cowardice.

— you’re not the first author critical of current media standards to make that observation, or to have a similar experience touring a book that addresses this. Is there a way back toward “normal” in our MSM coverage of political figures, or are we doomed to having to put up with them “celebratizing” politicians more and more, so they can get web hits and so on? The relation between Palin (and her whole strange package) and the media truly is symbiotic.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to buckydoc @ 36

I was careful in my chapter about Trig’s birth to do no more than explain why questions remain. I think that a detailed analysis of the stories Sarah has told about that pregnancy and birth give rise to many legitimate questions. If it did all happen as she says it did, she was guilty of reckless endangerment of the life of her unborn child. I don’t consider that much of a “family value.” MSM has avoided this story like the plague. My hope is that what I write about it may prompt a larger media organization, better equipped than me, myself and I, to pursue the many contradictions. For example: the fellow Sarah talked to for two hours in the airport lounge in Seattle, who had no idea she was about to give birth. Someone could locate him and get a more detailed account of his interaction with Sarah. I work with no staff, not even a research assistant. And I was working under time constraints and on a limited budget. Bottom line: Sarah could prove by DNA tomorrow that she is Trig’s mother, and all the other questions would remain.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 40

Hiya, Funnydiva2002. Good to see you here.

eCAHNomics September 25th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Can anyone explain to me why so many people take such an interest in Palin? I think she’s dumb as a stone, can’t get a straight sentence out of her mouth & should be dismissed without a second thought. I am a decided minority, so explain to me what I’m missing.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
In response to Jeanabella @ 41

The only writers I’ve talked to recently are those who told me I was crazy for taking it on myself.
My friend Geoffrey Dunn is one of these. He considers Palin a tar baby who sticks to whoever approaches
her story. Given MSM reaction over the past week, I tend to agree with him. But sometimes you have to tell the
truth as well as you can, without regard for the consequences.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Joe, I definitely can believe you when you say your sources were verified. Why, then, do you think the mistake in identifying which daughter was in that Valdez/teacher confrontation was made?

eCAHNomics September 25th, 2011 at 2:24 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 50

Who looks after Trig when she’s traveling?

Mauimom September 25th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Thanks, Joe. I’ve enjoyed the book.

I think the initial chapters re how you were treated in Wasilla are important to convey to people the whole thuggish mentality: how it’s created, and how both Palins used it to their advantage. It’s just a precursor of their utilizing Fox to attack critics

It’s really frightening reading about this level of threat.

buckydoc September 25th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 50

My political opposition to SP runs about as deep as it possibly can. And I think many secretly hope that baby-gate somehow turns out to be true. But it is simply impossible for me to believe the MASSIVE ongoing effort it would take to tamp this down indefinitely. I mean,,, all the way down to the medical records clerks. I just don’t thinks she’s capapble of that, particularly when you think of the payday a low level hospital employee would receive for breaking the story..

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 31

How did you ascertain that interest? I mean, to me Dairygate, Housegate, and the grand fiasco with the sports center are important issues to consider when judging a politician. What kind of food she keeps in the house (Kraft Mac&Cheese), perhaps less so.

Do you worry that, sticking to topics of perceived Outside interest, you risked losing sight of topics that are more essential? I mean, in your recent interviews it seems as though the Outside MSM is only interested in the most scabrous of details. While we certain relish the scabrous details as much as anyone, we would rather see Palin vanquished for her true crimes and misdemeanors, not sentenced in dribs and drabs by a hypocritical court of political correctness (eg. Barbara Walters), which court will continue to protect the worst perpetrators of real societal assaults.

BevW September 25th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
In response to Synoia @ 48

That was: Going Rouge: An American Nightmare by Richard Kim and Besty Reed
FDL Book Salon

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hello Joe & Phil. The ‘sow’ appears to wear her ignorance as a badge of honor. Is this part of the reason she carries the Tea Party banner so proudly? Yes we are sick of her here in the lower 48 though I’m sure ET is baked. You may add this to her resume. She was also too poked by her lawn boy some while back providing more reason to be skeptical of the ‘mowing the back yard with Trig in a backpack yarn”.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:27 pm
In response to buckydoc @ 36

Here are my unsolicited thoughts re Trig:

If Palin’s account is true and I assume it is (esp since Bristol had her own baby about the same time), it tells me Palin was hoping her problem would be solved if the little guy died at birth and she did whatever she could to put his delivery at as much risk as possible.

alaskalove September 25th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Hi, Joe. I loved the unconventional way you wrote this narrative–it’s engrossing and hilarious as well as horrifying about Sarah. Since it’s mostly Alaskans here, I wonder if you can tell us what’s in the book that would surprise even Wasillans (other than the amazing fact that Glenn Rice found Sarah attractive!)?

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 37

Thank you for this explanation. I will also ask rhetorically–who fact-checked Sarah Palin’s memoir “Going Rogue”??

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 52

Your question is appropriate and has probably been asked more times than people can count. She is the best bright, shiny object the media has ever found. I’ve watched the aggregator memeorandum completely taken over by her for hours, merely for making one more inane or inept statement designed only to get her name back out there in circulation.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

well know that is verry interesting, perhaps she was expecting to adopt out the baby had she been out of the limelight.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

OK, it’s not in the system at my county library.
But it’s now been requested for purchase!

Oh, nevermind. It popped up on an author search.
King County is getting 14 copies!
And I’m the 41st hold.

You have fans here near the Emerald City, sir!

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:29 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 49

It is totally symbiotic. I even quote a mainstream journalist as admitting this, in my last chapter.
As I told Sam Tanenhaus, editor in chief of the New York Times Book Review, for the profile of me he published in last Sunday’s NYTimes, the line between politics and entertainment has not only been blurred–it no longer exists.
And celebrities are easy to cover, because all you have to do is cover the extent of their celebrity. Character analysis and thoughtful evaluation of their stance on public policy issues is much harder. And less sexier.
That means fewer hits, lower ratings, et. 99.9 percent of coverage of THE ROGUE so far has been based on three or four items that National Enquirer trumpeted after obtaining an advance copy despite the embargo. All that material together would occupy three pages of a 320-page book. Yet that’s all anyone wanted to talk about last week. Blowing it up to even greater proportions, while at the same time condemning me for being a sensationalist.
As Tony Soprano said, “Whadda ya going to do?”

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
In response to BevW @ 59

Going Rouge remains the best compilation of essays about Palin between her beginnings and the end of the 2008 campaign.

kimchatman September 25th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 50

Joe,

What has your experience been in dealing with the Trig Truthers? My family and I saw her in Fairbanks just a week after she announced her pregnancy and I can guarantee you she was not pregnant. People think that I’m crazy when I tell them that and for a long time I thought maybe I was missing something. But when I saw that other people questioned her pregnancy then I knew that it wasn’t just me and I felt validated.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:31 pm
In response to alaskalove @ 62

Thanks for noting that parts of it are pretty funny. MSM hasn’t noted that yet, probably because 90 percent of those who’ve been questioning me haven’t actually read the book, but only one review in NY Times and stories about the stuff the Enquirer focused on. But it’s only week one of a three-month season. As more media types read it, we might be able to move the discussion beyond what NE thought was the hot stuff.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to alaskalove @ 62

The Glen Rice infatuation isn’t shocking. Sarah was an adored person who was kind as can be.

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to Elliott @ 61

But remember–she also put her own life at risk, if her story is true. And note, you are assuming that Trig was actually born on April 18, when she said. Not to derail the larger discussion. But every bit of her story on Trig raises questions. Don’t accept any of it at face value.

alaskalove September 25th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Joe,

Has anything bad happened to any of your identified sources? Have they gotten any threats? I know that Outside there’s a resistance to believing that the Palins are so powerful.

mocha September 25th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Been cheering for you Joe in interviews. You’ve faced some rude questioning with grace and wit. Your answer here about anonymous sources is spot on and I hope you can incorporate it into future interviews, because that seems to be the Palin supporter talking point about the book that anonymous sources are not valid.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 2:36 pm
In response to bob @ 63

Probably the same person who fact checked Levi’s. No one.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 2:37 pm
In response to bob @ 72

good points, there is just something way off about the story.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In response to kimchatman @ 69

The Trig Truthers are as certain of their position as Sarah’s defenders are that Sarah is, of course, telling the truth.
I have to say that if she is not it would be a hoax of such monumental proportion that someone writing for publication needs to be cautious in what he asserts. (As Andrew Sullivan has been for three years.) On my own blog, I was getting comments for months accusing me of selling out because I didn’t endorse the Truther position uncritically. You can “guarantee” that she was not pregnant? How can you guarantee it? Because she didn’t look pregnant to you when you saw her on one occasion? Is that one glimpse enough for a “guarantee?”

For even reintroducing the question, I’m being condemned in many quarters. Barbara Walters said on Wednesday that the “worst part” of my book–and Barbara didn’t find any good parts–was my raising the possibility that all questions about Trig’s birth have not yet been answered.

This is like the abortion issue. There are two sides. There is no one in the middle. Each side is convinced of the rightness of its view.

My own view? Further investigation is warranted. But don’t expect it unless Sarah announces that she’s running for president.

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 52

I can only speak for myself. When McCain picked her, I was curious and started looking online to find out about her. Then, I became very worried about her; she was spewing such venom and racism and no one was calling her on it. I’m no longer worried – I don’t think she has any chance of getting elected to any office.

Now, when I read about her it’s almost like my entertainment for the day. I know that sounds sick. What can I say? I have a BA in Psychology and watching her self-destruct is fascinating.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In response to alaskalove @ 62

Speaking as a Wasillan (since 1985), I can say two things regarding this, alaskalove:

1. You are right about the humor McGinniss brings to local characters on both side of the Palin divide. There’s enough character sketching on some of the anonymous sources, my wife and I have figured out who they are. And on people he names, like Jay Cross and Dewey Taylor, he gets them to come across as the genuine, quirky but dead serious progressives they are, fighting for liberal values in the midst of all this Wasilla, uh, batshit strange craziness brought on by the uber far right.

2. It’s even stranger here than he was able to pull off, but he’s come closer than anyone else, which wasn’t easy.

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

The incidents which added most to my Outsider’s understanding of Alaska was all those folks, many who hardly knew you if at all, showing up with guns. Was that unusual to anyone else reading it? I mean, there must have been two dozen guns offered.

And I feel like I know something about Alaska, having read ET pretty faithfully (at least here at FDL) through the years.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:40 pm
In response to cricket @ 78

Hopefully, we’ll be treated to the season-ending episode soon.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Do you have any comment about the discrepancies in appearance of the various children presented as Trig by Sarah Palin?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Thanks. So when you coming up?

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Hi Joe! I so appreciate this latest book!

I am about 1/2 through the book (damn job!), and am finding the info regarding Palin’s extreme religious beliefs very disturbing. Thank you for pointing out her life-long relationship with the Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation.

There is so much about Palin that is truly disturbing. Personally, after doing more research on Third Wave theology, I now believe that Palin’s religious beliefs are the most dangerous thing about Palin as a political figure/potential candidate/celebrity. Palin doesn’t have to hold office to wreck havoc with her religious beliefs.

What do you believe to be the most dangerous aspect of Palin as a national figure. (Sooo much to chose from!) Do you see Palin bringing her religious extremism even deeper into the political conversation if she runs for VP?

Sorry for the long question!!

buckydoc September 25th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Moving away from the Trig stuff. What about the allegations of diet pill use, eating disorder etc. How confident are you in that?

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Her having all the non-white people fired literally made me sick.

This is a person who has a huge following, and that story ripped the mask off the racism of the tea party. That’s what they mean when they say “she’s one of us — a real American.”

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Joe,
Thank you for all your hard work on this book.

When you wrote “The Selling of the President” a generation ago, did you envision that we would have as a VP candidate of a major political party of the quality of Palin at some point?

How has your reception with this book differed from previous books? You have not shied from controversy in the past, i think.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:44 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 71

I don’t present the Glen Rice story as something shocking. I was told by numerous sources that after her experience of having sex with a “black athlete” Sarah freaked out in horror and guilt. That she felt she’d done something shameful. And that she was traumatized to such a degree that more than twenty years later, when she became governor, she ordered the firing of two dozen lower level state workers because their presence in the state office building made her “uncomfortable.”

I didn’t feel that the stories I’d been told met the burden of proof I personally require for inclusion in a book with my name on the cover. And so I pursued the story for months. Eventually, I learned that the “black athlete” in question was Glen Rice–who, by the way, is an immensely classy and gracious man. I’ve had a number of cordial phone conversations with him, and after reading THE ROGUE last week he left me a terrific voice mail message.

The point is that Glen said, “No, no, no: she didn’t freak out. It was all great. In fact, we stayed in touch by phone for months after that, right up until the time she got married.”

His account disproves any linkage between Sarah’s later discomfort and this event.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 2:44 pm
In response to Elliott @ 61

If Sarah birthed Trig, she was attempting what I call a “Baptist Abortion”.

eCAHNomics September 25th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
In response to cricket @ 78

On another Palin book saloon (heh), or maybe it was in Going Rouge, someone put it: She’s one of the famous people who are famous for being famous. That gave me about as much understanding as anything else I’ve read. I read stuff about her from time to time just bc I understand that aspect of U.S. life so little.

kimchatman September 25th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 77

I guess that guarantee is a strong word, what I do want to say is that she didn’t look any different to me than any other time that I’ve seen her, which was quite often, as I’m from Eagle River and would drive to Wasilla on a regular basis. She didn’t walk or move like a pregant woman, there are just certain ways a woman moves when she is pregnant and she didn’t look or move like a pregnant woman.

The reason that Barbara Walters and most people don’t want to believe that it’s even possible that she would fake a pregnancy is because it’s so bizarre that someone would even do something like that.

Phoenix Woman September 25th, 2011 at 2:47 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 64

A very left-wing male lawyer friend of mine confessed to having erotic daydreams about both Palin and Michele Bachmann, usually with both in leather outfits of some sort. Yes, he’s deeply ashamed.

If someone like him can at least bodily respond to the siren song of Palin, small wonder that John McCain and a non-trivial number of male Republicans fell and fell hard for her.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to kimchatman @ 69

Good to see you here, Kim.

I was interested in seeing how the Trig Truth blogs like IM and the ‘gates would handle Joe’s treatment of the issue – their “Chapter 19″ posts.

Overall, I think the consensus is that the author handled explaining the whole issue of TriG’s birth from the point of view of a Trignostic very well. He actually gained many advocates from those blogs over the past two weeks, which took me by surprise.

That didn’t keep the MSM from bashing Joe for even bringing it up.

To me – and Joe doesn’t take it this far – if she didn’t fake the birth, she hid the pregnancy for so long because she was trying to kill the fetus through stresses. Were she a prominent Latina or Black politician, explaining the wild ride the way she did, some prosecutor would have charged her with child endangerment back in 2008.

Mia September 25th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Joe,

What was the most difficult topic/incident about SP to verify.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to mocha @ 74

seems to be the Palin supporter talking point about the book [is] that anonymous sources are not valid.

Which in itself is so hilariously hypocritical one could laugh for hours!

The term “Lamestream Media” is actually pretty apt, IMO. Just not for the reasons she coined (or co-opted) it!

(paging Inigo Montoya…)

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

This constant falling-in-and-out-of-love with the latest GOP presidential aspirant (Trump, Bachmann, Perry, maybe now Christie) makes me think the GOP/tea party base is simply waiting for their one true love: Palin. While I think she would err terribly to run, since it would shut down the gravy train and subject her to actual investigation and questions, isn’t the media’s fascination with her and the GOP base’s serial infatuations bound to collide sometime soon?

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

This is most emphatically NOT like the abortion issue, which involves the metaphysical concept of when a blastocyst/embryo/fetus becomes a “person”. I feel that sort of argumentation in this case is a cop-out.

Mrs. Palin either WAS or WAS NOT pregnant: there are no half-measures or metaphysics involved.

Our OPINION of her pregnancy does not impinge on the truth of it, one way or the other.

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

1. Were you able to interview Lisa Demer, Andrea Gusty and the editor of ADN, Pat Dougherty?

2. In the video of Michael Carey in August 2008, he mentioned the rumor that Sarah faked her pregnancy from someone who was told by a “really smart attorney”. Did you find out who was that attorney? Did you ever speak to Michael Carey?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:50 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 84

I think that Sarah’s long and close ties to the Dominionist movmement–that wants to end separation of church and state in America–is by far her most dangerous characteristic. She’s been linked to these extremists since before she ever ran for Wasilla City Council. She covered it up while running for governor, and MSM did nothing to expose it during her 2008 national campaign (David Talbot of Salon and Max Blumenthal being praiseworthy exceptions.) As with so many other things, she tries to play it both ways: keeping her religious extremism quiet in the secular world, but maintaining close contact with the Dominionist brain trust. They believe Sarah to be “annointed” by God to carry their message forth. She may not practice what she preaches, but I am convinced that in her heart she believes us to be in End Times. I don’t want a finger governed by that sort of brain anywhere near a button that could trigger nuclear Armageddon.

inmylife September 25th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

While I have heard about the “Wasilla Mafia”, what concerns me most is Palin’s association with the AIP, Dominionism and Rupert Murdoch – throw in a little Koch brothers to keep it interesting. Sometimes I just see her as a big-fish-in-a-small-pond-naughty-librarian-egomaniac, but lately I’ve been scared. Your thoughts?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 2:51 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 92

I can truly say I’ve never eroticized Sarah Palin in the 20-plus years I’ve known her. However, yesterday my wife wore some boots like the high black ones Palin sometimes wears, when we went out. Different reaction.

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 2:51 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 81

Maybe when it’s all over, journalism professors can use the unchecked rise of Sarah Palin to teach what should have been done, if the press had been doing their job.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

That said, I think that Chapter 19 was masterfully written, given that the person writing it did not want to make a particular claim in regard to the situation of Mrs. Palin’s Faked Pregnancy.

kimchatman September 25th, 2011 at 2:52 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 93

I am so glad that he even had the nerve to acknowledge it, and the fact that it was discussed on The View was HUGE!!!

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Were any of the illegal acts this woman made standouts that possibly would bring her into court in AK? ‘Dairygate’ was of special interest to me.

bob September 25th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to kimchatman @ 91

i want to give Barbara Walters credit for even bringing the subject up. But allowing Joe to repeat the crazy story out loud to a daytime television audience–with many mothers in it–BWalters has done more than the many journalists who simply repeat the crazy story without questioning its truthfulness or recklessness. It’s only one of so many crazy stories from Palin that no one actually questions.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to bob @ 87

Well, in last Sunday’s NYTimes, Sam Tanenhaus called me a “political provocateur.” To that, I plead guilty. From my first days as a newspaperman, I hated watching powerful people get away with bullshit. I guess it goes back even further: the alumni magazine at my alma mater, Holy Cross College of Worcester, Mass., once ran a cover story about me and called it, “The Rebel.”

Maybe my first controversy came in 1966 when I was a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Bulletin and reported that Wilt Chamberlain had refused to attend a special foul shooting practice called by his coach during a playoff series against the Celtics. In the sixth game, Wilt went 6 for 28 from the foul line and the 76ers were eliminated. If he’d shot even fifty percent, they would have won. In the locker room afterward, someone asked him if it was true that he’d refused to attend the special practice. He spotted me, the source of that story, and ordered me to leave the locker room. I refused. He lost his temper, jumped up and took a swing at me. Wilt was 7-3, 320 pounds. Five guys jumped on him and restrained him.

So, you know, I don’t exactly quiver when confronted by Tiny Todd Palin.

NYNY September 25th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I’m 1/2 way through, so I apologize if I simply didn’t get there yet, but did you sit down with Levi? In his book he says he got a call from Sarah about a year ago and he never says what she wanted or offered or threatened. He does say in his own words that he was pretty much done letting Tank and Rex make his decisions, tired of the limelight, discouraged with the mess his life was and not seeing his son. Any idea what went on in that call from Sarah to Levi?

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Did you talk to McCain? What do you know about his thoughts on this gift that keeps on giving?

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 2:57 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 99

Thank you, sir!

Do you think that Sarah believes that she must eventually become POTUS (not necessarily in 2012) in order to usher in the End Times?

Are there those who believe that Sarah is an important figure in the End Times?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:57 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 101

See, you can’t say she’s never done anything good for anyone.

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 99

But do these “anointees” ever talk to one another about their candidates? So far in this GOP contest, we have two: Bachmann and Perry. Both have long, deep relationships with the Dominionists, and both have been counseled by high-ups in their (admittedly vertical) branch of American talibangelicalism that they are The One.

I know the evangelical movement is broad and uncoordinated, but isn’t it difficult when these folks presuming to know who’s been anointed get together? Isn’t it fundamental doctrinal error to believe in The Wrong One?

Kelly Canfield September 25th, 2011 at 2:58 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 99

Agreed – I think the Dominionist stripe is the most worrisome. Particularly with the connection to Muthee and “Kill The Gays” bill in Uganda.

As a Federal official, not only could she go Rouge, but full on Khmer Rouge.

April September 25th, 2011 at 2:59 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 99

Joe, Do you think any MSM interviewers will give you the chance to discuss the Dominionist Movement? And it is more than just SP. These Prayer Warriors seem to have overtaken the Republican Party as a whole.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 2:59 pm
In response to RevBev @ 109

I never talked to McCain, nor even tried to. He wasn’t part of my narrative arc.
Geoffrey Dunn, in “The Lies of Sarah Palin” has by far the best coverage ever of the 2008 campaign.

I highly recommend Dunn’s book, not just for that, but for so much else. He is a diligent reporter
and a fine writer and I was sorry to see his publisher fall down on the job last spring.

But it’s still not too late to buy Dunn’s book. In many ways, it’s a perfect complement to mine, or vice versa.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Joe, in regard to the phenomenon mentioned by bob @106… what do you think renders Mrs. Palin so immune to criticism, the kind of criticism that sticks in the MSM?

So many other “lesser” politicians would have been long scuttled by this point. To what do you attribute her longevity, beyond the support of Roger Ailes?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:00 pm
In response to cricket @ 102

And The Rogue will be part of their source material. Along the lines of interviewers of Joe this past week and MSM reviewers of the book avoiding talking about the millennialist and Christofascist material the author handles: When Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah came out, he got a lot of the same treatment. Interviewers only wanted to talk about a few incidents that they could make as salacious as they wanted, leaving the main subject of Blumenthal’s book – the rise of crazy fundamentalisms in the GOP and what that means – out of the interviews.

Our Alaska media and the US MSM can’t handle this important discussion about how dangerous these religious ties are. Why they can’t cover that sometimes baffles me. I think they fear personal retaliation in some cases, or even losing their jobs.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:01 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 115

Dunn’s book is excellent. He particularly takes her to task over the plight of Alaskan natives, for whom she clearly cares not a whit.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:01 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 111

I’ll pass that on.

Phoenix Woman September 25th, 2011 at 3:02 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 111

Heh!

bob September 25th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Joe–i thought the way you handled Ch 19–explaining the basics of the controversy was brilliant. But that episode is only one of many issues. I hope the rest of the book–how Palin actually governed when elected to office, her religious affiliations, –and most importantly–how mainstream journalism so fell down on the job–what’s the line in “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance?”–when the truth and the legend collide, print the legend? I really thought we’d be beyond that with so much at stake.

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Joe, you mentioned that Todd has renovated the house you rented. Do you know if he did that for Levi & Bristol, as Levi claims he lived “with the Palins” during the fall and early winter of 2008? Any idea if any of the Palins actually lived there at all?

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to RevBev @ 109

McCain is super-cautious about talking about Sarah. He knows exactly what kind of hell he unleashed on Americans, but if he says anything bad about her, he speaks badly about himself.

McCain will never go on the record about Palin. Ever.

The man owes America an apology.

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Kelly, FYI:
Pastor Thomas Muthee is part of a cult sweeping Africa and they are child killers. The Guardian Films report below: CAUTION DISTURBING IMAGES”

http://www.zimbio.com/Thomas+Muthee/articles/5/Sarah+Palin+Supports+Killing+Torturing+Witch

kimchatman September 25th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to bob @ 106

You are exactly right. And I’m so glad that it was even addressed, and I tell anyone that will listen that Palin’s behavior is so bizarre that it’s unbelievable that’s why people don’t pay attention. That is why she gets away with so much.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to April @ 114

Yes, and there are some excellent books about this. Frank Schaefer’s “Crazy for God” is one. There are others,
but I don’t have time here to find the titles.

So far, MSM interviewers have only wanted to say I’m reprehensible for putting things in a book about a major political figure that the National Enquirer would find salacious. Then they repeat the “salacious” bits, thereby highlighting them further, and leaving the rest of the book in the shadows.

David Folkenflik of NPR recorded a 45-minute interview with me last week. Fifteen seconds made it on to the air.

I expect no better in the weeks to come, because MSM is a herd animal. Once there’s a meme, they stampede with it and all other points of view are obliterated.

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 3:06 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 123

I do find it odd that she can be such a “clown”, yet so scary. Not surprising he is quiet, I guess.

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 126

Wish you could get Terry Gross to air it.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 117

There’s a potential line of investigation in the dedication of Tri-G PAXSON V.P. to Bud PAXSON, a major Christian fundamentalist media tycoon, and his possible blackmailing of McCain over the Vickie Iseman affair. Iseman was a lobbyist for Paxson, and McCain availed himself of the “services” provided on Paxson’s private planes.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/27/mccain-paxson-lobbying-biz-wash-cz_sw_0227airwaves.html

Sarah does love a play-on-words.

Phoenix Woman September 25th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

There’s a little game I like to play called “If a Democrat Did This It Would Be All Over the Evening News”.

For instance: Can you imagine, Joe, that if, say, Hillary Clinton had dated a black athlete before marrying Bill, and the news were to come out now, that the MSM would go out of its way to suppress the story the way it’s tried to suppress and marginalize your book?

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Were you happy with any of the interviews you have done? If so, which one(s)?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I’ve been meaning to watch that, but lost the link. Thanks for doing that. Bookmarked this time. Once again, the MSM cannot handle this.

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 15

Thanks ET. IMO, Joe should have provided a photo of the CBJ election-eve letter for readers to see for themselves. Joe didn’t have any credible evidence if is WAS or WAS NOT a forgery, but it certainly looks suspicious that the letterhead was straight, but the body of the letter was crooked. And like everything else, the MSM ignored it.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 130

Ah, from the IOKIYAR Productions division of Parker Brothers, non?
I hear it’s the new “Trivial Pursuit”…

(sorry, havin’ a silly moment here…)

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 123

That’s succinct, to the point, and so very true.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:13 pm
In response to olderwiser2 @ 122

Todd and Sarah rented the house I lived in for six months, which ended in October, 2009, when–giving no notice–Todd simply told the owner they didn’t need it any more. Todd did renovate the upstairs (actually, some pretty shoddy workmanship) in lieu of paying $3,000 per month in rent. When the work was done it the time came to start writing a rent check, Todd and Sarah bailed, leaving the owner out in the cold all winter, receiving no income, after Todd had told her they’d be renting it “indefinitely.”

When I moved in, I found a box of cheap and stale salt water taffy on the kitchen counter. The owner said Bristol had received that as a gift when she campaigned in New Jersey in 2008. There was also a hideous blanket in the bedroom that I auctioned off as a door prize at one of my many wild and crazy parties there. I’d love to post a picture of it, but that would disclose the identity of the person who won it, which could put said person in an uncomfortable position in Wasilla right now.

There was also a lot of baby stuff, old boxes of diapers, etc., suggesting that a baby had lived there.

The owner said Bristol had been living there with Tripp.

Right by the bed, there was also a set of ear plugs, which some might see as suggesting that someone living there was trying to block out noise. But you’d have to be a lot more mean-spirited than I am to say that the earplugs are evidence that Tripp’s crying was something Bristol didn’t want to hear.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 126

Joe, how can we fight back against this unfairness? I’m sure many authors and news sources feel they are being manipulated and given short shrift in order to promote other, contrary, agendas.

Do you see any hope of counteracting this phenomenon? If so, where, and what can the average citizen do?

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:15 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 117

Excellent point, Edward. Blumenthal’s book was a real eye-opener; I had no idea how powerful the Christian Right is within the GOP. I knew they were major players, but I had no idea that they are the major players. Reading Republican Gomorrah and then reading more about Palin’s faith in McGinniss’ book really intensified my fear of Dominionists in politics today.

I recommend reading Republican Gomorrah, The Lies of Sarah Palin, and McGinniss’ books together. The combination gives a very solid pic of Palin’s role in the Christian Right Wing today, both in her community and on the national stage.

For those who haven’t read Rep Gomorrah and The Lies of Sarah Palin, I think starting with McGinniss’ book is perfect because he gives the most personal look at Palin.

Phoenix Woman September 25th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 126

Oh, indeed.

Remember the furore that erupted over the Hillary Clinton interview in the very first (September 1999) issue of Talk magazine? A furore that was spurred by Republicans leaking lies about it to a dutiful and obedient press corps?

It took nearly two weeks before anyone in the MSM noticed that the Hillary Clinton interview shared the cover with Tucker Carlson’s profile of George W. Bush — the first profile of the Texas governor who had just announced his plans to run for the presidency.

If you read the profile, it’s obvious that Carlson, though he gamely tried to hide it like the loyal Republican he was and is, was frankly horrified at the prospect of Bush as a serious presidential candidate. It horrified George Will, too, when he read it.

Yet by the time they’d bothered to notice, the TV networks had long since moved on, and we never got to see, say, Brian Williams look horrified on the air over Bush’s mocking of Karla Faye Tucker. And since as far as most Americans are concerned, if it wasn’t on the evening news it never happened, the only persons who knew about it besides journalists were hardcore news junkies.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
In response to RevBev @ 128

Terry Gross has declined to have me on her show. As have all other NPR shows. My fifteen seconds as part of a Folkenflik report on All Things Considered is all I get from NPR. I’m told they are scared of losing more federal funding if right wing Congresspeople complain that they are “promoting” my book.

FYI, both Morning Joe and Keith Olbermann had me booked for last week, but canceled when they saw which way the wind was blowing.

I’d like people to know that about Olbermann. First, he attacked my book on Bill Maher without having read it–then, when the publicity director of Crown Publishing said to his producer that she hoped he would read it before interviewing me on his own show, he canceled me.

Rachel Maddow also refused to have me on.

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 3:19 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 141

That’s very disturbing about Keith and Rachel.

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Many of us around these parts see real Christina Crawford potential in Piper, with her forced smiles, makeup, faux LV bags, and babysitting requirements. Do you think any of these kids will break free of PalinLand and tell-all?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 137

Thanks for your concern. I’m sorry to say that having published twelve books over forty-two years, I don’t think there is anything the average citizen can do to stand up against a mainstream media bulldozer. Far worse has happened to far better people than me. It’s the nature of the beast. If you feel so disposed, you can write to shows that canceled me or refused to book me, or to interviewers you think were unfair, but in good conscience I cannot encourage you to expend your energy that way.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 129

One of Todd’s relatives is named Trig.

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 141

I am so sorry….what wimps. That the sleaze of Sarah can be so scary is really sickening. We appreciate having you here. Maybe Katie Couric should interview you….

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

There are inevitably things an author attacking a subject like this has to leave out of the book. You brought up that Joe includes the doodle of her young political fantasies when she was on the Wasilla City Council. (here’s a link)

He also left out Palin’s official portrait when she was on the Wasilla City Council, peering over a John Birch Society newsletter. (link)

Joe observes in the book that a lot of what he rote about had already been covered. What I wrote about that for my review here is this:

What Joe McGinniss ended up writing is a story that may be the best close look at how a small town in America related over a period of 20 years to a politician who had an uncanny ability to draw upon hatred, superstition, gang organizing and media incuriosity since Sinclair Lewis’ novel of 1935, inspired by Huey Long, It Can’t Happen Here.

Interesting to live in a town that is so lamentably built on typical American franchise fodder stores like McDonalds, Lowes, Wal Mart. One that never deserved special attention other than that it is so ugly compared to its surrounding natural majesty. Then to see it become part of the national spotlight, then to see the detail emerge from that national gaze to be so true in some ways, so false in others.

I doubt we’ll see another book that brings that into better context than this one.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:23 pm
In response to cricket @ 142

I had friends in Alaska who simply WORSHIPED both of them.

But the fact is, they’re in show business, just as much as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are.

They are out to promote their own brands.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
In response to olderwiser2 @ 138

Thanks. I think the image shows why prochoicegrandma has concerns.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to RevBev @ 146

Years ago, I forget for which book, Katie did interview me on the Today Show. (Speaking of which, let’s remember that Savannah Guthrie for the Today Show last week did a very fair interview with me)

What I most remember about that is that there was a nice kid in the green room, also waiting to go on. He said he was a comedian who was promoting a new TV show that would soon start running on NBC. I asked him what it was about. He said, “It’s not really about anything. It’s just this bunch of people and how they get on, sort of day by day.”

I thought to myself, wow, this poor bastard is doomed.

His name was Jerry Seinfeld.

Phoenix Woman September 25th, 2011 at 3:26 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 144

That makes me doubly glad that we have you here, Joe.

The irony is that if you’d written a piece of utter hackwork that trashed a Democrat, the MSM couldn’t book you on their shows often enough for their tastes. (As what was done to the Clintons and the Gores showed.)

Cynthia Kennedy September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Knowing that Keith and Rachel have refused to have you on their show, do you know if Lawrence O’Donnell not hosting his own show the night you were on The Last Word was deliberate? Just wondering. Maybe I’ll cut down on cable.

BTW, did enjoy your book and Dunn’s as well. Thanks for all your efforts.

tuezday September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
In response to olderwiser2 @ 138

I’ll tell you right now why that letter is fake (misalignment aside). Doctors dictate, they don’t type their own letters. That letter was not signed off by a transcriptionist.

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Joe, Palin’s own father said the reason she left Hawaii when attending college there was because she didn’t like being around so many Asians (I’m paraphrasing). Do you find it odd, then, that she went to Hong Kong and gave a speech last year, and is now supposedly going to S. Korea in Oct to speak under the auspices of the S. Korean equivalent of the Wall St. Journal, Maeil Business News? I’m sure it’s a good payday for her, though.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Joe, what part(s) of your book do you think aren’t receiving enough attention by the media? It has been frustrating to me to watch so many in the media focus on the more salacious stuff rather than discussing your entire book. You are writing about some very critical issues in your book, but sex and babies are taking over interviews. (I love all of that to, but there are some much more important issues in your book, IMO.)

If you could take over an interview, what 2 issues, discussed in your book, would you say the media and the general public should be paying more attention to?

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 145

No, there is no relative of Todd named Trig. Sarah made that up. Trig stands for Tri-G, an older abbreviation for Trisomy G, Down syndrome. Sarah named him after his genetic condition thinking she was being so clever. At least she didn’t name him Mongo Lloyd Palin.

mocha September 25th, 2011 at 3:27 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 144

One of Todd’s relatives is named Trig.

Really? Which relative?

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to NYNY @ 108

Bristol told her that she wanted to date Levi again. Sarah called to set up a meeting. Levi’s account of 2010 is not accurate.

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 150

Great story…You both made it big….Thanks.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 145

I think the spelling of the relative’s name is in the Norwegian style – Tryg or Trygg

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Who knows? Over and over again, I was told that Track never wanted any part of the show, and still doesn’t.
More power to him. Bristol, on the other hand, is building a career on being Sarah’s daughter.

All I know about Piper is that she’s not doing well in school, at least in part because of all she’s missed by being dragged out on the road by her mother.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 3:29 pm
In response to mocha @ 157

I believe an uncle or cousin. There’s a girl named Shannon who is also of that branch.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

No, I’m told Lawrence O’Donnell’s mother is/was very ill. It was valid personal reasons.

NYNY September 25th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

The way Sarah treats people is the heart of your story about her. So, again, I’d like to ask, did you talk to Levi and did you get any sense from him or anyone else what Sarah said to him in that call she made long after he was marginalized? Even if you didn’t put it in your book, it’s out there in his. What did you hear?

CTuttle September 25th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Mahalo, Joe and Phil…!

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 3:30 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 160

Thanks! I just know there is a relative, not specifics

bob September 25th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Joe,

One of the reasons i looked forward to the publishing of your book was that i knew it would generate significant publicity, given your reputation. And yet even a well-established journalist such as yourself is shut out of what would seem like natural venues to discuss your book. That is as chilling as anything in your book.

mocha September 25th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to mocha @ 157

Bristol told her that she wanted to date Levi again. Sarah called to set up a meeting. Levi’s account of 2010 is not accurate.

Is that you Willow?

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 144

Thanks for your honesty, but what—would you hazard—is the PHENOMENON? HOW does it happen? What makes Sarah Palin untouchable in most regards?

Admittedly, a personal shortcoming of mine is that this sticks in my craw. But I still want to know the mechanism by which it plays out in the grotesque way that it has.

If you have any insight on that, I would appreciate it. I feel the media’s complicity is THE most important and shameful aspect of the Palin saga, as you know, and a book—MANY books—should be written about this embarrassing period in our nation’s history.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 145

Give me a break.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 165

Aloha, CT. Got any questions for Joe?

bob September 25th, 2011 at 3:32 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 166

Do not accept this is true, if the source is Palin. She’s also said he was named after a Norse god.

Mommybrain September 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I loved this book. It was so easy to read, ended much too soon, and reminded me to re-read Going to Extremes(and also Coming Into the Countryby John McPhee).

Elliot, all along I’ve thought she was after the “easy” way out, but thought that no one who had four kids already could be so cold. After reading the book, I don’t think so anymore. All our gut instincts seem to be correct. I don’t think the book is gossipy. There’s no way to recount bad character that doesn’t sound like gossip. We really dodged a bullet with her and McCain.

The Dominionism is what scares me. If you’ve noticed, lately the leaders and lesser lights of the moment have been backpedaling, claiming us heathen atheists have no clue about the movement and are simply spreading fear and rumors. Poor Christians. They’re going underground, to the horror of watchers.

I don’t know what to make of the fact that St. Sarah doesn’t go to church regular-like. Did you get the impression her faith is, um, political?

CTuttle September 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 171

Not really, just wanted to express my thanks…! *g*

NYNY September 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

We must have been typing simultaneously, thanks for the answer.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to RevBev @ 146

Agreed! It is as if the MSM doesn’t want to discuss anything but “hard news” about Palin. What they don’t understand is that this is what Palin has! Her personal life is her public life. Many other politicians do well with separating their personal and public lives. Palin finds that impossible. In order to talk about Palin, one must discuss her private life; it is all she discusses!

Because Palin isn’t an intellectual, she can only discuss issues from her own personal experience. Thus, trying to talk about her politics necessitates discussing her personal life!!

I am so frustrated with the MSM.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 155

Great question:

1) Sarah’s longstanding (since second grade, really) religious extremism and desire to turn America into a country whose laws come not from our constitution, but from the Bible.

2) Her racism. Don’t forget, Sarah knew back in Wasilla High in 1981/82, that Todd and two friends, all seniors, savagely beat a seventh-grade boy simply because he was black, and they didn’t want any blacks in their school. This is the man Sarah married. As governor, she fired people solely because of their skin color.

Despite both of the above, she came within a few percentage points of being elected to an office that would have put her a heartbeat away from the presidency.

The MSM ignored all this in 2008 and wants to bury me for bringing it up now.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:36 pm
In response to bob @ 172

Palin literally lies about the weather. There is nothing she wouldn’t lie about.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
In response to NYNY @ 164

I didn’t talk to Levi because Levi wanted to be paid for an interview.

As you see from THE ROGUE, I talked to his mother and sister a couple of times. Great people.

I’m sure there’s much they did not tell me.

Cynthia Kennedy September 25th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 163

Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I knew his mother died 8/16 but assumed the show was more recent.

watertiger September 25th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 177

We’re supposed to look forward, doncha know.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:39 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 177

And she’s only 5% behind Barack Obama in a poll from this past week. Now that’s some scary shit.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 173

My guess would be that her current public observances are probably political.
And that her churchgoin’ holier-than-anybody-else schtick is political.
It would be comforting to think that “Oh, she doesn’t really believe all that claptrap” but there are clearly plenty of folk who _do_ in fact believe it, and as far as I can see, SP is definitely one of them.
IOW, I have every confidence that were she securely near any real levers of power –longer needing to maintain the bible-thumper persona–that she’d still be whole-heartedly working to usher in the Dominionist America nightmare that so many have been warning us about.

But that’s just my opinion.

msmolly September 25th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 15

Anyone who has dealt with desktop printers and letterhead knows that having the body of the letter appear crooked is proof of nothing other than a misaligned sheet of paper. It certainly doesn’t indicate forgery.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:40 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 173

I think the reason why aspects of Sarah’s personal life become relevant, in a way they would not be with other politicians, is because her persona IS her career. Sarah sells a package: Grizzly Mom, rugged Alaskan husband, a passel of great kids, all united in one great Christian family.

This is utterly and flagrantly false.

Yet because it’s an appealing story, MSM wants to keep it alive.

Sarah drives ratings.

The truth about her is not pretty.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 182

For sure. That she could still be included in a poll three years after the 2008 campaign is proof positive that mainstream media has been rolling over to get its belly tickled.

RevBev September 25th, 2011 at 3:43 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 185

Do any of the other books provide this much, or any/almost, of the not pretty? This is intensely worse than I had gathered, I think.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 177

Well, some preachers’ interpretation of what their version of the Bible says, anyway.
That sort of religious extremeism is as Tribal as hell, but I’m not convinced it has much to do with the original Twelve Tribes of Israel or that Jesus guy that was a decendant of one of ‘em…

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to msmolly @ 184

That was far from the only issue with that letter.

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
In response to msmolly @ 184

I was a secretary and paralegal for 40 yrs. There is no way I would have allowed a letter to leave the office that appeared that way. Especially one of such importance.

inmylife September 25th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I’m surprised more Palinbots haven’t descended on us.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 173

The problem is that the average Christian has no knowledge, understanding or experience with Dominionism/Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation. I had some basic experience with it as a child/teen (through parents and friends families), but I had no idea how deeply disturbing it truly was.

The average American Christian has no clue what Palin/Perry/Bachmann truly believe. As the Assemblies of God church has said, this branch is heresy.

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:45 pm
In response to msmolly @ 184

I didn’t say it did. I said that it was “sketchy,” as in questionable.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:46 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 185

Neither is the truth about the MSM.
Thank you for showing us so much of both!

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:47 pm
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 183

Read about how as mayor of Wasilla she flew to Indianapolis (at city expense) to attend a Christian extremist political conference and came back and made Wasilla a “city of character,” meaning it would be governed in accordance with 49 Biblical principles. The “city of character” movement is a part of the dominionist drive to assume control over secular institutions and enforce the laws of the Bible–as they understand them–on the rest of us.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:48 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 177

Frightening stuff. I am very glad that you raised these issues in your book, Joe!

Hopefully, once more folks have digested the book, people will look more at those issues as they think about Palin. The MSM may ignore it, but you give some solid sources on those issues. I hope readers will reflect on those points.

What the hell would this woman do about homosexuality if she went back into politics, even if not as POTUS?!

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 192

I think it’s interesting that the Wasilla Assembly of God church subscribes to doctrines so extreme that even the international Assemblies of God–not exactly a bunch of liberals–has declared them heretical.

I think that every time Sarah Palin appears on television, her blessing by Rev. Muthee should also be shown.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I’m still trying to figure out, if there is a media “bulldozer” clearing the way for Sarah and tossing aside valid critics, who’s driving it, and who’s putting gas in the tank?

Her approval ratings are practically the lowest measurable, and yet this “kid glove” treatment continues. It can’t be because her fraudulent image (as you rightly portray it) still “sells”…

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 182

Don’t take that poll too seriously. That poll is in serious conflict with the majority of other recent polls.

aspiecelia September 25th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I said I would not read your book, but someone told me I had to because you describe the bullying, abuse, meanness and threats that go on here in Alaska very realistically. I have experienced them, including threats of harm against me, death threats (veiled whispered threats), police harassment, abuse from government agencies (multiple agencies), blocking of my PFD, unbelievable lies by bullies covering their abuses, destroying evidence, refusal to prosecute people who committed crimes against myself and I was even wrongfully imprisoned by a crooked judge and malfeasant prosecutor. I was moved around and lied to about where I was going, they had me in four different prisons/jails and I was severely abused. I now have PTSD. They wanted me to shut up about some things, instead I blogged about it using my real name, with the addition of the abuses in the prisons. People like Sarah Palin are not unusual in Alaska, she just got more power than most. The importance of your book to me is this is being brought to light. I have a very different perspective on it than most people. You were able to see how harmful it is because you experienced some of it.

I still disagree with you about bloggers, in fact your book would have never been written if it had not been for the bloggers in Alaska who consistently worked to get the Palin story told. Yes, I still believe Sarah Palin is a psychopath and I will be posting about that on my blog soon.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 196

Well, her daughter Bristol last week in LA, when confronted by a heckler as she was performing in public for her new “reality” show, shouted the worst insult she could think of: “You’re a homosexual!”

I doubt she developed that attitude on her own.

aspiecelia September 25th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I am Celia Harrison I can’t get WordPress to cooperate.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 195

Ah, thank you for the concrete example.
Didn’t mean to imply that my opinion was completely uninformed, just that I wasn’t up for chasing down actual citations at this point.
Thanks again for putting together so many facts about the Palin-verse…

April September 25th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 163

LOD’s Mom passed away around the beginning of the month and he was off for a week. I can’t believe his people told you that, it really sound like a lame excuse for his seemingly sudden absence for 1 night.

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 3:52 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 195

Palin famously said, “I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.” Obviously, no one challenged her. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/17/palin_mayor

BevW September 25th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

As we come to the end of this great Book Salon,

Joe, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and Sarah Palin.

ET, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Joe’s website and book

ET website

Thanks all,
Have a great week.

Next week:
Menzie D. Chinn , Jeffry A. Frieden / Lost Decades: The Making of America’s Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery

Christopher Phillips / Constitution Cafe: Jefferson’s Brew for a True Revolution

Just quick reminder:
Membership drive! Are you an FDL member? If not, please join and help keep FDL delivering kick ass activism and independent journalism. You can join HERE.

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Wasilla church Fire? Started in the file cabinets where the adoption records are kept? No resolution? What’s up with that?

prochoicegrandma September 25th, 2011 at 3:54 pm
In response to msmolly @ 184

If it were simply a misaligned paper, then the entire page would have been crooked, or the letterhead would have been crooked and the body of the letter would have been straight. Also, CBJ’s signature is a stamped signature. There are several more issues about the content of that letter. It appears to me that Sarah used a letterhead from CBJ and invented the rest.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:54 pm
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 188

An excellent article on Dominionism in American politics. Palin is discussed.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117259426336524.html

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 197

I think that every time Sarah Palin appears on television, her blessing by Rev. Muthee should also be shown

Ding!

That’s a firedoglake traditional acknowledgement of an especially true statement that rings.

What are some of your upcoming appearances. I know that C=SPAN’s book TV is running their talk with you in today’s cycle. What else?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:55 pm
In response to aspiecelia @ 202

Good to see you here, Celia. Sorry about the WP hassles.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to aspiecelia @ 200

Sorry that you weren’t going to read THE ROGUE because you don’t think I have sufficient regard for the impact of bloggers.

Actually, my decision to write a book about Sarah was not inspired by bloggers.

Please consider this: not one of the interviewers I faced last week ever made a single reference to anything they’d ever read on an Alaskan blog.

I say, keep on bloggin’, if it makes you feel good. But don’t imagine that you’re having any influence on the larger world Outside.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 201

Another example for Phoenix Woman’s game of
“If a Democrat did that, it would be all over the Evening News.”
(Unless I just missed it…don’t have much use for the Evening News these days!)

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 173

I always thought her faith was political but I sure don’t know her beyond the public image.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to April @ 204

Hey, at least he didn’t cancel me (though he did cut my segment from eight minutes to four) the way
Olbermann did. Besides, it was a joy to have such an elevated discussion with such a font of discernment
as Martin Bashir.

olderwiser2 September 25th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Thank you, Joe McGinniss, for your forthrightness in answering our questions. It has been an honor discussing your book with you. Much success with your book, in spite of the lazy MSM. Keep on it!

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 212

Aptly proven that none of my questions were commented on.

Elliott September 25th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Thank you so much ET and Bev!

And thank you Joe,
personally I love true crime when it is well reported, so I look forward to your next book there.

very enjoyable salon.

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 209

Thank you!

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 3:59 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 197

Amen!

McCain forbid Palin from discussing Obama’s religion because team McCain learned just how extreme Palin’s faith is.

Isn’t it amazing that she ran with McCain, who is fairly nonreligious?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 3:59 pm
In response to aspiecelia @ 200

Celia,

In my long review of The Rogue, I note that Joe generously and accurately covered the jobs done here by our AK bloggers. He didn’t mention everyone, but no book yet has. Bailey’s book, for instance, didn’t even mention that issue, fixating instead on right-wing radio hosts, etc.

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 4:00 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 210

I’ve been advised not to discuss details of forthcoming appearances for security reasons.

There have been new threats.

But stay tuned to Comedy Channel and HBO first week of October.

bigbrother September 25th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Palin’s remarks aon the US Rep Gabriel Gifford assassination attempt were telling. Any thoughts?

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Headed off to a concert in Anchorage with Ms. ET in a few minutes. She says she’s gonna wear the sexy boots again. What a great ending to this book salon, eh?

Joe McGinniss September 25th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Thanks to everyone. I’ve enjoyed the discussion.

Stay well, and keep on keepin’ on.

Joe

EdwardTeller September 25th, 2011 at 4:02 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 225

Thanks, Joe McGinniss. Good luck on the next book too!

cricket September 25th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Thanks to everyone! Being able to ask questions online of an author is just one the wonderful things I like about the Internet.

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Edward Teller, for hosting…
Joe’s book is quite well-written and worthwhile, though it may not delve into all of the Quitter Queen’s secrets to the extent that we might hope.

There are many fascinating and sad aspects recounted of the world around Wasilla. This in particular haunted me, and I think there is something, too, to be read between the lines:

Intact nuclear families were a minority. One year, a fourth-grade teacher attempted a genealogy project. The first step was for the students to list their grandparents. He had to abandon the project because many students literally did not know what a grandparent was. Indeed, many, while knowing the woman they lived with, were unsure if she were their birth mother; nor were they certain if the man in the house was their father.

Mommybrain September 25th, 2011 at 4:03 pm
In response to funnyhaha71 @ 192

You are so right about the level of ignorance about her Dominionist sect. What I’ve read about it, from the links you’ve posted in the past and from following dog emperor’s diaries, really opened my eyes. I see her and the others’ involved in it, as much more about political power than about god. The hardness in Sarah gives me the willies.

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 4:04 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 228

That’s sick & sad…

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Thanks so much, Joe! Stay safe!!!

Funnydiva2002 September 25th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 229

I’ll agree about it being more about political power than about (truly serving or understanding any recoginzably benevolent) god.
That said, the woman has TRUE BELIEVER tattoo’d on her forehead. She really DOES BELIEVE these scary things and truly DOES want to impose them on the rest of us.
This makes her that much more dangerous than your average psychotic demagogue.

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Thanks to Joe and Phil for a wonderful Book Salon.

And for people who are motivated, here’s how to write to Rachel and ask her to interview Joe: rachel@msnbc.com

…. and on Twitter:

@Maddow is Rachel’s personal account.
@MaddowGuestList announces who’s booked for the show each day
@producerguy1 is executive producer Bill Wolff.
@MaddowBlog tweets links and other blog content.
@WillAtWork helps maintain the site

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 4:10 pm
In response to Lidia17 @ 228

I also thought was very sad.

Americans tend to think of the non-intact family as an inner-city problem among non-whites. This disproved that thesis.

Jeanabella September 25th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thank You E.T.& Joe!

Jeanabella

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
In response to April @ 204

Joe, you were misled about the reason for Lawrence’s absence the day you were interviewed. He may have been absent for reasons related to his mother’s death, but it happened weeks beforehand.

funnyhaha71 September 25th, 2011 at 4:13 pm
In response to Funnydiva2002 @ 232

Well said!

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 4:13 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 224

pics or it didn’t happen

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I don’t know if I’d say Bristol is building a career off being SP’s daughter. She’s taking opportunities that come her way. I do know that she’d be just as happy living a quiet life. She has a lucrative outside entertainment.

April September 25th, 2011 at 4:17 pm
In response to Mommybrain @ 229

It’s not just SP but much of the current Republican Party are adherents to these extreme sects/cults. Joe’s work on SP is an important piece of the puzzle of what is driving the crazy of the current GOP.

April September 25th, 2011 at 4:21 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 240

Willow, you really should pay more attention in English class. Grammar will matter when you do write a tell all book.

Peaceplease September 25th, 2011 at 4:25 pm
In response to Joe McGinniss @ 201

Bristol said “is it because you’re a homosexual?” It was a question.

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Peaceplease@240, you talkin’ sex toys or what…

bccanuck September 25th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I just went to Amazon and bought the Kindle version :-)

This discussion made me realize that it is a MUST read!

Lidia17 September 25th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

By the bye, many people seem to want to pooh-pooh photographic evidence as somehow inconclusive (it isn’t), and gloss over the discrepancies Palin herself introduced into the “wild ride” story of Trig’s birth. Anyone who wants a taste of that photo, video, and audio evidence is encouraged to view these presentations I created, solely from the factual record:
(1 of 2) The Perfidy of Sarah Palin; proof Sarah faked her pregnancy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ZtzPI2OMw

(2 of 2) The Perfidy of Sarah Palin; proof Sarah faked her pregnancy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm9YxKbmQrk

The Perfidy of Sarah Palin; Chapter 2. The Wild Ride.

Teddy Partridge September 25th, 2011 at 6:56 pm
In response to Peaceplease @ 243

She wasn’t asking if he was a homosexual, she was asking if he hated her mom BECAUSE he was a homosexual. She presumed/accused her questioner of being a homosexual, as if it was something shameful.

She is an ignorant little bigot who should go back in her freezer-box.

aspiecelia September 25th, 2011 at 7:11 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 221

Here is McGinniss’ response, just to clarify his thinking:

“Sorry that you weren’t going to read THE ROGUE because you don’t think I have sufficient regard for the impact of bloggers.

Actually, my decision to write a book about Sarah was not inspired by bloggers.

Please consider this: not one of the interviewers I faced last week ever made a single reference to anything they’d ever read on an Alaskan blog.

I say, keep on bloggin’, if it makes you feel good. But don’t imagine that you’re having any influence on the larger world Outside.”

This response is strange considering he could not have written his book without the help of yourself, Jesse Griffin and others. I think bloggers are considered competition by McGinniss. He doth protest too much. He used the hard work of those who toiled to expose Palin and then dissed them. It was not his “sufficient regard for the impact of bloggers” that I was not going to read the book over it was his severe rudeness. He also thought it was because I was upset he did not say Palin was a psychopath at one point, a pure fabrication, I was simply saying it myself. He does not even get that my former comment contained a complement.

Rondaf September 25th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Dear Mr. McGinniss:

I’ll be the second to declare you are a “good” writer. Although, I hardly believe that I’m the second and “good” seems a little inadequate to me).

Thank you for standing up to these bullies. I Wish I could have been there to help. The trail of blood this woman has left in her Tasmanian wake is appalling. Those poor people – those poor kids.

After reading the passage where Sarah prays that God not let her miss the open doors, I found myself praying (even though I’m not the least bit religious), “God PLEASE show Sarah the door and make sure it doesn’t hit her in the butt on her way OUT!”

This book was my first experience of your work and I would appreciate your recommendation for my next one.

Thanks again Mr. McGinniss, keep ‘em coming!

*ilbo September 25th, 2011 at 8:40 pm
In response to aspiecelia @ 249

I caught that…and was not pleased this salon was basically 90% dominated by the ‘FDL Insiders’. As far as the interviews JM has given and the 3 chapters of the book that I have read there isn’t much to add to what the bloggers have unearthed and other authors have revealed. The format of the book looks to be directed to the far sighted with huge spaces between paragraphs extending the page count. No index is of no help. All and all I give ‘The rRogue” a B- grade and will wait for a library copy to read.

tully September 26th, 2011 at 6:05 am
In response to eCAHNomics @ 52

It matters because Palin was the republican nominee for vice president of these United States and running mate to an old man with cancer! Had that ticket been elected, Sarah might have been POTUS. So, did McCain and crew not vet their choice adequately or did they know what SP was really like and foist her upon the public anyway? What’s going on behind the scenes now, as Cheney, Rove, the Koch brothers, etc. manipulate the system while the american public sees only the circus covered by the MSM?

Lidia17 September 26th, 2011 at 6:15 am

Mr. McGinniss may not be reading these further comments, but I hope his agent or publisher is.

The lack of an index for this book is a concern. A good index is an investment of time and resources, but is part of the heart of an investigative book. I am lucky to have a Kindle, but even that sort of search is not as helpful as a good, expertly-crafted, index.

Often the index is the first part I go to when deciding whether to purchase a book or not.

Lidia17 September 26th, 2011 at 6:20 am
In response to tully @ 252

Tully,, and knowing what Sarah is capable of, would cancer really have been the first among John’s problems?

From “Deer in the Headlights” by Levi Johnston:

…I had asked her, what does a vice president do exactly? Takeover—she had smiled—when the president dies.

His concession speech was the best and most animated of his campaign. He looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. He’d dodged a bullet, and he knew it… BOY did he know it!

EdwardTeller September 27th, 2011 at 8:59 am
In response to Lidia17 @ 253

I agree. In my initial assessment of the book, comparing it to other recent books on Palin, I noted the lamentable lack of an index.

Lidia17 October 2nd, 2011 at 5:24 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 255

Yes, Mr. Dunn’s book has a good index AND real page number navigation for Kindle. An excellent product which did not cut corners as did that of Mr. McGinniss or many others.

Phoenix Woman October 6th, 2011 at 8:53 am
In response to *ilbo @ 251

Um, wha? The very first question in this thread was by a Wasilla resident. You guys dominated the thread to such an extent that I feared you would shut out everyone else who wanted to talk.

Phoenix Woman October 6th, 2011 at 8:57 am
In response to Lidia17 @ 256

Lack of index or not — and for e-copies at least, the search function serves as a do-it-yourself index — I do notice that Palin has, after making huff-and-puff threats to sue McGinniss, suddenly bailed on her 2012 presidential grifting campaign. (Of course, she had to wait a few weeks until after her allies in the establishment media finished burying the book, so nobody in the press would be compelled to make the obvious connections.)

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