Yesterday The National Enquirer and the blog equivalents (Wonkette, Gawker, TBogg) ran two hot button headlines about Sarah Palin based on a preview of a book written by creepy stalker Joe McGinniss. You know the allegations, so it’s not worth repeating (see Robert Stacy McCain’s take on the race-baiting).
See also a report at Say Anything about McGinniss’s sleazy tactics used to try to falsely paint Palin’s father as a defender of pedophiles based on an incident that took place decades ago.
So when I saw on Memeorandum that The NY Times had written a review, I thought, oh boy, here we go. But the review totally skewers McGinniss, and reveals him to be the creepy stalker we all thought he was:
Mr. McGinnis, who has been writing best sellers since “The Selling of the President” in 1969, starts this book by affecting a gee-whiz attitude about his amazing new digs. (“Forty years in the business and I’ve never had a piece of luck like this.”) But he doesn’t get far with that attitude. Ten pages into “The Rogue” he has already blown his cover, printing a map to the Palins’ isolated house. He describes having gone to the Palin door with a signed copy of his book about Alaska, “Going to Extremes,” and exploiting this encounter to engage the family’s older son, Track, in conversation. But had Mr. McGinniss been a good neighbor, he would have delivered that book without showing up unannounced.
The NY Times review has even harsher words for McGinniss’s two hot button allegations:
Although most of “The Rogue” is dated, petty and easily available to anyone with Internet access, Mr. McGinniss used his time in Alaska to chase caustic, unsubstantiated gossip about the Palins, often from unnamed sources like “one resident” and “a friend.”
And these stories need not be consistent. “The Rogue” suggests that Todd Palin and the young Sarah Heath took drugs. It also says that she lacked boyfriends and was a racist. And it includes this: “A friend says, ‘Sarah and her sisters had a fetish for black guys for a while.’ ” Mr. McGinniss did in 2011 make a phone call to the former N.B.A. basketball player Glen Rice, who is black, and prompted him to acknowledge having fond memories of Sarah Heath. While Mr. Rice avoids specifics and uses the words “respectful” and “a sweetheart,” Mr. McGinniss eggs him on with the kind of flagrantly leading question he seems to have habitually asked. In Mr. Rice’s case: “So you never had the feeling she felt bad about having sex with a black guy?”
If even The NY Times is disgusted with Joe McGinniss, then Palin will emerge stronger from this book.
More to come, I’m sure.
Update: The NY Times, in a separate article, has some background on McGinnis:
Mr. McGinniss won wide acclaim for writing about politics with his first book, “The Selling of the President 1968.” But his later career as an author of mostly true-crime books has featured a series of controversies. Jeffrey MacDonald, an army doctor accused of murder who had cooperated with Mr. McGinniss for a book about the trial, accused him of dishonestly coercing him and later betraying him in the book. He was accused of plagiarism after his 1993 book about Senator Edward M. Kennedy, “The Last Brother.”
And this interview on NBC reveals McGinnis to be every bit as creepy as the NY Times book review suggests: