New book on Palin blasted as 'lies'
September 15th, 2011
01:17 PM ET
10 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. Bill

    The simple fact is that the Palin's can not handle the truth. A family of clowns.

    September 15, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    It sounds like he spent a lot of time "fishing" in Alaska.

    September 15, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Howard

    The problem with being a controversial personality known for more than a few public gaffes and inflammatory statements, is that you make yourself a target for inflammatory statements by others. Sarah just doesn't get this. The thing about this book is, like nearly all expose books, you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. Some of it is bull-bleep, and some of it isn't.

    September 15, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. glen rice

    oh yes i did!

    September 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. teena

    Poor Poor Sarah–always the victim and yet the mouthpiece for the tea party who advocates for PERSONAL responsibility!

    September 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. ST

    Hello CNN why are you not writing some of allegations in the book like using cocaine. The news has spread already all over outside the US.

    September 15, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Oskar

    Not like she robbed a bank or sumptin'...

    September 15, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Be Sane

    Won't it just kill Sarah when this book is a blockbuster. Especially after her last book was such a dud.
    She won't be able to stand someone else making the big bucks.

    September 15, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    I'm sure this is so important that CNN and their bloggers will see this is the TOP ticker of the day.

    Have at it folks but don't complaint about all the coverage she gets.

    September 15, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    I meant to say:
    Have at it folks but don't complain about all the coverage she gets.

    September 15, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. mdn

    I find it all believable. Especially the part about Glen Rice and the cocaine.

    September 15, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. Sandy

    In the Daily News article it says that Sarah "has a thing for black men." LOL

    I knew it! I knew she was in love with Obama! She can't stop talking and thinking about him. Obama this, Obama that... he's ALWAYS on her mind. And she can't stand that he ignores her like she doesn't exist.


    September 15, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Well Simple Sarah. I guess being labeled a cheater and a druggie ain't so great? What about you and your mindless speeches about Obama being "unamerican" and not challanging any dopes who said he was a Muslim/ Take this as a lesson. You obviously can dish it out but can't take it. Oh wait, you can. By an athlete

    September 15, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Now THAT'S a profile that'll launch 1,000 votes. You betcha!

    September 15, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Steve, New York City

    In light of this book coming out, I sort of feel bad for Palin. Is it all true, has the truth been "bent," etc? Maybe, maybe not.

    I'd much rather debate her policy expertise (or SHOCKING lack thereof), rather than focus on personal things that might or might not have happened in her past.

    Above all, I feel bad for her family, as this must be very unpleasant for them. That being said, that's the cost of fame (and still stunning that Palin continues to "chase such fame" rather than run away from it).

    September 15, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Jt_flyer

    What is her purpose? She seems to be a rich person with way too much time on her hands. Get a hobby.

    September 15, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. ted

    And who is surprised by any of this. And what person in their right mind would want to vote for her for any office, whether president of dog catcher? There has to be truth in the McGinniss book. Even if the percentage split is 50/50, that is still a lot of bad stuff.

    September 15, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Sebastian Kent

    Why, if she wasn't married at the time, is the fact that she was laying with Glenn Rice mentioned? Is it because she was a chicken head and he's a black guy? So what, it happens all the time.

    September 15, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Reggie from LA

    What should make us feel assured that THEY ARE LIES. This isn't court, innocent until proven guilty. She is nowhere near perfect which should make us at the very lease believe that some parts may be true. In that she is a facade in so many ways, I'd be willing to bet there's a lot of truth in the book about the troopergate, bridge to nowhere lady.

    September 15, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. ggwindsor

    thanks to his wife he will never have to work again on that union job he once had

    September 15, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Inmyopinion

    Here we go again with another writer just making a buck on someone else's life. Next he'll be writing a tell all book on a Hollywood star as if he knew that person also. They make their money on gossip, no different than the STAR, ENQUIRER. It's amazing how easily these people make their money, they write a book without knowing the person, they can fabricate a person's complete life and sell it as a fact.

    September 15, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. Tam

    She's not in politics right now - ignore her. Gossip columns, ok, not politics.

    September 15, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. PaulH

    Then if you think, Half-Governor, that the book is full of "disgusting lies, innuendo and smears", then by the end of business today we should be hearing about a lawsuit that you'll be filling against McGinness and the publisher of the book. C'mon, Palin...we're on the clock here.

    September 15, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Kris in AL

    I would say a lawsuit by tha Palin's against this creep will get to the bottom of it......SUE HIM FOR DEFAMATION!!!!!

    September 15, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. andrewstl


    so nothing nbegative is ever truthful and everything you and dimwit say is all truthful. shocking todd i expected a different response.

    how did glen rice taste?

    September 15, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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