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. TXJim


    This guy is so screwed. Slander will cost him everything he has. I'm definitely no fan of Palin, but I'm also no fan of sensationalistic gossip disguised as journalism. I hope McGuiness loses his house and all of his assets when the Palins and anyone else mentioned in this book sue him for slander.

    There will be no lawsuit for slander.. because its all true..

    September 15, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. NE gal

    I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, but honestly, I do think it seems a bit creepy that this guy moved in next to her and seems to be on a mission to shame her family. I personally wish the media would just stop talking about her altogether. She makes all kinds of money on all the publicity and attention she gets, which is really based on nothing. She's not running for anything and she quit her post as governor. End of story.

    September 15, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Palin Power

    BEHOLD our next President Sarah Palin. Todd is completely right. That new book is completely full of lies. The Palins speak the absolute and honest truth. We WILL have 8 great years of President Sarah Palin and an eternal line of Conservative Madam Presidents and Vice-Presidents.

    September 15, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. TXJim


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

    I think they forgot to read that passage in the Bible about reaping what you sow... and they all have been planting seeds for 3 years now..

    September 15, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Independent voter

    Sarah Palin was not thrust into the spot light, she sought it out & is still seeking it. As every celebrity knows, there is a dark side to fame. If Ms. Palin wishes to continue in the media glare, she needs to develop a thicker skin. I, personally, am sick of her whining about being a victim on one hand & a rogue on the other. It makes her to appear to be a walking, talking oxymoron. It may well be true that the media is out to get her, but she appears to be handing them the ammunition.

    September 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. TXJim


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

    She can try learning how to hunt, since her show proved she doesn't know how to do that.. now that I think about it.. she walks around with her finger on the trigger of her mouth too..

    September 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh, good grief. What a load of nonsense, and MONTHS more of the Palin Victim Machine screeching at full blast. Certainly at CNN. Hey, Palin. Put on your big girl panties and suck it up. If this is the worst anyone will write (or say) about you, count yourself fortunate.

    September 15, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Jose Wan Sekiavich

    Like most republicans tea party nutjobs, truth is not something they know much about.

    September 15, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Mama Judy

    The Lord knows the truth and she will answer to him for all she does to her "neighbors".
    Reactions show guilt...the more she reacts to this the more we will know its true!

    September 15, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. NanookoftheNorth

    Well he didn't interview this Wasillian...we all know McGinniss is a peeping tom troll !

    September 15, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Dave

    In every lie there is always a bit of truth . . . . . I'm sure the Palins are no angels

    September 15, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. I"m with u

    hey sara how was it to have a big black guy for a lover was it good like everyone say.

    September 15, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Norm - not that one

    Sounds like Joe McGinniss did a "Sarah Palin", on Sarah Palin.
    Even if it is as bad as they claim, it still must be better than the PR crap Sarah puts out in her media trash.

    September 15, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. TXJim

    The Real Tom Paine

    The book is nothing more than a shoddy hit piece( I refuse to call books like this "journalism"). I loathe Palin, but this is ridiculous: a badly researched book that digs up old innuendo is not worth the time of day for anyone.

    You mean like when Sarah Palin called Obama a terrorist for going to a dinner hosted by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce honoring Bill Ayers...

    September 15, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. augustghost

    This idiot of a woman has figured out that the public is dumber than she is..have you noticed, all she does is make outlandish remarks about everything, this draws attention...she then goes on inerview$$$...then she write$$ a dumb A$$ book...repeat cycle when out of money...JUST IGNORE HER...PLEASE..she's playing all of you Fox news loving idiots l like a fidel

    September 15, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    @txjim, the President fessed up to smoking marijuana. Your point is? Read and watch something other than the faux news flunkies or limbaugh. The book was not badly research. If you read comments in the Anchorage Daily News they hate this woman and there's a LOT of stuff she has done that they used to be afraid to say because she is such a vindictive witch. Now that she is a NOBODY people are coming out and telling the truth including the kardashian look alike going to live with grandma or somebody for a few months and then there's little Trig (the forgotten child).
    The imbecilic quitter, on the other hand, never comes clean about anything she has done, is doing or will do in the future.
    @bigwillies – that is the same thing we thought!! Those racist teabagging clowns and their queen of mean who slept with a black man? Oops!!

    September 15, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. TXJim


    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.
    ... and Sarah Palin will say anything to make money.. like.. "I'm gonna make a major announcement.. I'm running for president.. SYKE... but buy my new book... and watch my new show.."

    September 15, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. NVa Native

    Oh that's sweet – another book about a Repub/tee-bagger full of lies. Of course the right-winger klans only denounce lies when they are unfavorable. What goes around comes around.
    Palin as always plays the helpless victim, but she’s more a spineless hypocrite.

    September 15, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Mr. Marcus

    @ blake wrote: Why is the left so afraid of this woman? They bend over backward to slander and seek to discredit her. I am not a big Palin fan, but she is not what the media seeks to portray her to be.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    They aren't afraid of her but this is America and if you talk sugar-honey-ice-tea about as many people as Sarah & Todd have, people will not cut you a break.

    It's not Slander, nor is it Libel because you can be sure that Professional Victim Sarah would file a lawsuit if it were.

    Now as far as that bending over backwards thing – – that's between Sarah & Glenn.

    September 15, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Roger Noe

    Reminds me of the movie BEDAZZLED where white Brandon Frasier bargained with the devil to be a basketball star but forget to include what Sarah Palin saw in Glen Rice. The white women reporter was LESS than impressed with Bradon's personal equipment. Maybe Rice could have given him some EXTRA pointers.

    September 15, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. tim

    Adultresses, tax cheat, liar, racist.drug user. The thrilla from wasiila is the perfect republicon.

    September 15, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Why is this woman newsworthy?
    She's not Jeff, but the gossip on her is to DIE FOR!!!!! lol

    September 15, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Aval

    As I recall, Sarah said she was attracted to the business partner such that Todd severed that endeavor. She never said how attracted but apparently someone did. I think McGuiness has been in the literary business long enough to cover himself.

    The couple is not as smart as they think. As long as people with knowledge are around they are apt to reveal. The source for what they thought would not surface may be closer than they think. Anyone who doesn't want regurgitation of their life best stay out of politics.

    September 15, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. OCMan

    Movie or clip coming out soon?:-).

    September 15, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. REG in AZ

    What merit does a proven liar have in calling someone else a "liar"? Wouldn't it be nice to just to have Palin out of the headlines?

    September 15, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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