New book on Palin blasted as 'lies'
September 15th, 2011
01:17 PM ET
3 years ago

New book on Palin blasted as 'lies'

Washington (CNN) - Todd Palin released a scathing statement late Wednesday about author Joe McGinniss, whose new book about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has grabbed internet and tabloid headlines, as well as received harsh criticism from The New York Times.

In a statement distributed to members of the media, Palin's husband said the book "is full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears."

"This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife," Palin said. "His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.'"

McGinniss' book, "The Rogue," is set for publication next week and is the latest work from the bestselling author who first rose to national prominence with "The Selling of the President 1968," which described the marketing of Richard Nixon during the 1968 campaign. He subsequently wrote a crime trilogy and two controversial books about the Kennedy family.

In early 2010 McGinniss moved to Wasilla, Alaska to begin research for a book about the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and rented the house immediately next door to the Palins.

His arrival was met with criticism from the Palin clan and national media.

When asked about McGinniss' presence in Alaska, Palin, who is considering a bid for the White House in 2012, told Fox News "Some people just need to get a life."

"Bless his heart, he needs to get a life," she said.

But in an interview with NBC News that aired Thursday, McGinniss said it was happenstance that the Palins' neighbor was renting her house.

He said he wanted to write the book because Palin is a "phenomenon," and the negative reaction he received was yet another example of Palin's temperament.

"She overreacts. She has no modulation in her responses to stress," McGinniss told NBC. "In other words, she freaks out."

Although McGinniss said Palin instructed those closest to her not to speak with the author, he interviewed people in Alaska who he said knew the couple and used his months of research in "The Rogue."

McGinniss' book has not been made available to CNN for reporting and it has not yet been released in stores. However, the Times and NBC read the book and reported on the more salacious storylines in the over 300 page hardback, much of which received tough critiques from the news organizations.

"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,'" the Times wrote in a review published Wednesday.

In the interview with NBC News, McGinniss said Sarah and Todd used cocaine in the past, a claim that has not been verified.

When asked by NBC how he substantiated the claim, McGinniss said "well you talk to somebody who snorted it with her."

"You talk to many of Todd's friends who describe him as having been on the end of the straw frequently in his youth," McGinniss said. "I'm not saying Todd and Sarah Palin today abuse cocaine or even use it, but there is no question they both did at one point in their lives."

According to NBC News, McGinniss alleged in the book that Palin had an affair with Todd's former business partner Brad Hanson.

Hanson denied that charge in a statement Thursday.

"This is the same old story that went around in 2008," he said. "It is a complete and outright lie. Todd and Sarah Palin have been good friends for many years, and in fact we still own property together. We sold a former joint business venture for business reasons, nothing more. These attacks are shameful and those making them seem to be out only to destroy good people and make money doing so."

McGinniss also wrote, as reported by NBC, that Palin had a sexual encounter with former NBA star Glen Rice in 1987, before she was married to Todd.

The New York Times wrote that the book also rehashes "conspiracy theories," including that she may not be the mother of her youngest son, Trig.

"It is perhaps the most blistering assessment of her character possible that many Wasillans who'd known Sarah from high school onward told me that even if she had not faked the entire story of her pregnancy and Trig's birth, it was something she was eminently capable of doing," McGinniss wrote in the book, according to the Times.

The Times came to this conclusion in their review: "There is one area, and only one, in which 'The Rogue' is dead-on. Mr. McGinniss knows how publicity works. He appreciates, not to say emulates, the way members of the Palin family cash in on celebrity and contradict themselves without penalty."


Filed under: Sarah Palin • Todd Palin
soundoff (431 Responses)
  1. ken

    The truth hurts, doesn't it Sarah.

    September 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Maggie

    Sarah and Todd Palin should sue this man who calls himself a so-called author. It seems that he will do or say anything to make money off the Palins. People like him are unworthy of life and should be totally ignored.

    September 15, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. dina

    The more people write about her, the better she likes it even if it is unflatering. She can cause a "hissy fit" in denying and then becomes the victim that people want to protect. She is that kind of needy person.Pretty disgusting. Why aren't there better people to run for president.? Why do people believe her garbage?It makes me wonder about the mentality of Americans.This is a devious and self centered woman who loves the spotlight. She probably would be a good talk show host on Fox network, sort of like a Jerry Springer.

    September 15, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. AntiFringe

    I'd like to know who this McGinniss guy "pals" around with. He has no right to insinuate that Palin is anything less than squeaky clean. How dare he make charges that are unsubstantiated!

    What?? Did I read whose books?....listen to whose speeches?........whose interviews?......read whose tweets?
    ......Never mind.

    September 15, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Don wicklund

    Another snarky article on Palin. CNN has been running these types of negative articles on Palin for almost three years just to use a twisted negative headline for it's low I.Q. readership. Luckily the Americans that actually vote are generally more knowledgeable, (thanks to the internet.) CNN should clean out the Socialist reporters and go back to reporting real news as CNN originally did. Surprise! Your readership and viewers will come back and so will your profits.

    September 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Common Sense

    Even though I'm no big fan of any of the Palins, the book should have been based on facts, not "he said", "she said" rumors and gossip. The individuals he interviewed may have had personal reasons to have said what they told him whether fact or fiction. Bottom line all he has succeeded in doing is keeping this wannbe in the limelight for what little time she has left to bask in it before going the way of the dinosaur.

    September 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Steve

    If it is false then she can sue, there is always that recourse when someone slanders you and defames your character.

    HOWEVER...if she does not sue for this kind of story, then you have to question how much of it is true. She would NEVER take it to court if any of the allegations are true, she would have to publicly admit if any of these things actually occurred.

    September 15, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. ccastine

    you want the truth?? you CAN'T HANDLE the truth! shut up Todd. people might have believed the book was a lie if you would have just kept your mouth shut. this guy has been a political writer since 1968, he has no reason to make crap up.

    September 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. What?!!?

    ".....book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears."
    Wait. Palin has "written" 2 books. Which one are we talking about?

    September 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. boocat

    Takes a liar to know a liar...........

    September 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Alina77

    Palin gets the taste of her own pill.

    September 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. DTB

    Yes well Todd isn't really the man in that house anyways, the communist is just trying to save face. (He was a communist member for 10 years)

    September 15, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. CutTax

    Libs are digusting

    September 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. demetri

    "The Times came to this conclusion in their review: "There is one area, and only one, in which 'The Rogue' is dead-on. Mr. McGinniss knows how publicity works. He appreciates, not to say emulates, the way members of the Palin family cash in on celebrity and contradict themselves without penalty."

    This is merely giving the Palins a taste of their own medicine.

    September 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Steve

    I can't imagine anything more frightening than a coked up Sarah Palin.

    September 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. pprty

    Gee, maybe she isn't even a U.S. citizen – where is her birth certificate?

    September 15, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. TomNPitt

    "...Palin, who is considering a bid for the White House in 2012, told Fox News... "
    Why is that in there? Who's not considering a bid for the White House sometime in their life. She surely hasn't put much meat into that claim. Another book – another opportunity for the Palin's to claim people aren't treating them fairly. Stick with the FOX sara. They'll always cover your butt and your cover!!

    September 15, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Derek

    "Sarah, doesn't it suck when someone makes up lies about you?" – Barack Obama

    September 15, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. unsub

    the nba star incident is true!

    September 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. fred ca

    Liberals just hate women so much...even more than they hate blacks, hispanics and jews.

    September 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. dude

    The "higher" you go, the farther you have to fall.

    September 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Independent In Albany

    "She overreacts. She has no modulation in her responses to stress," McGinniss told NBC. "In other words, she freaks out."

    NOT a leadership quality

    September 15, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Andrew

    If Palin calls it "lies" then it must all be the truth.

    September 15, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. TigerLily194

    Oh my........... I am so tired of the Palin's ........ Who really cares?
    Anyway, I am glad some one other than the Palin's are making money off the Palin name .......... LOL

    September 15, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Madtown

    Shocking that the accounts in the book have been dismissed as outright lies by the Palins. I don't care what's in the book, I won't read it, but I can say this......$arah Palin could tell me the sky is blue and my first inclination would be to not believe her. Given who she is, no words out of her mouth should ever be trusted.

    September 15, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
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