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. tim

    Time for Sarah to run to Hannitty for comfort.

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

    Where are the libel and/or slander law suit threats? Not a word? Welly, wellly, welly, well.....methinks there might be a bit o' truth in the book.

    September 15, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Sam Barber

    Dear Todd and Sarah(!):
    If the book is "lies," then sue and clear your name! If the book is "innuendo," then either the innuendos are true–or not. If the book is a "smear," isn't that the code word today for "uncomfortable truths"? No publishing company today is going to put out statements like what have been leaked to the press unless they have been verified.

    September 15, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    Saint Sarah uses Glen Rice's knob for a pogo stick?

    I betcha that is going to cost her some playmates at the next KKK rally where she is the "head"liner!!!

    September 15, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Jon

    Lies my "bass", She's just following the republican program. That is, do first, then lie to cover it up later. She should stay home and take care of the returd child of hers, instead of pushing that child off on nannies and baby sitters.

    September 15, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Shhhhhh. Nobody mention Barry's confirmed and self-admitted drug use and God knows what other past embarrassments.

    Oh please Obama himself wrote about that in his book. Have somebody read it to you sometime.
    Do try and catch up.
    What's the deal with your girl Sarah the Tooter thiough? You think she's gonna sue this guy for writing all about her and her way of life?

    September 15, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    If you can't stand the heat, sarah, then just get out of the kitchen. She is all fine and dandy smearing others ~ but no one is allowed to return same?
    I am still amazed the she just chucked he job as gov to just go and make money and vast swaths of America think this is ok.
    What if she was President and just quit for a big movie offer.

    September 15, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. willard

    I m best think that pailn would like charge against mc ginnius and presdient obama cause obama make rude with sarah about lipstick also sarah would like get lawyer. Against mc ginnis and presdient obama

    September 15, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. kl

    My guess it is a trap! The whole point is to get you to deny everything, then bring out the evidence that shows your denial is not the truth. Then the focus switches from what was reported in the book, to your character . Then you are lumped in with all the other politicians that have fallen in public after the deny, deny, deny charade, followed by a confession and phony apology.

    I am guessing of course, but why would they publish if they did not already have the proof.

    September 15, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. 1977

    Of course you call them lies when the truth hurts

    September 15, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. VivaLaKelsey

    I'm not a fan of the Palins, but its kinda sick that this guy would write this kind of gossip and move next door to them, whether its fact or fiction, who cares. Seriously, he should just get a life and leave them alone. His book sounds dumb.

    September 15, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. judith

    Gee, do we wanted to hear any more about the wasilla Hillbillies? This trailer trash bunch has had their 15 minutes of fame.

    September 15, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You know Wasilla is such a small hamlet. Everyone knows everybody's business as is typical in small towns. Silly Sarah must've thought that living way up there above the Lower Forty-Eight would pretty much insulate her, thereby keeping her trailer-trash ways from reaching the headlines.
    I'm just surprised that the abundant rumors are about coke use and not meth seeing how Levi's mom apparently was the town's meth manufacturer and dealer.
    She certainly acts irrational enough to be on meth, and exteremely paranoid to boot.

    September 15, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. VivaLaKelsey

    However, Palin does lie about everyone else, so karma??

    September 15, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. TXJim

    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).

    Re-read my comment.. I was commenting on someone else's nonsense..

    September 15, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Iron Mike

    So she's down with the brothas? Tea Baggers will NEVER stand for this. if they haven't abandoned her yet, they will now. She can forget about running for president, she will be running for her life.

    September 15, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. tor5

    How funny. In the teabag world The New York Times is all liberal lies… until you need a credible news source to refute a gossipy book. You can bet next time NYT publishes something unflattering about Palin – however well researched and fairly reported – it will be trashed as a “tabloid” by the very people who cite it today as the standard of truth.

    September 15, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    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
    Stick a sock in it Maggie and take it like a man! Your girl is a 'ho and a posible cokehead.
    She ain't gonna sue and you know why so don't hold your breath.....or go ahead and hold it.

    September 15, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. Oldie in TampaBay

    the truth hurts ..

    September 15, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Ken

    Live by the sword...Die by the sword.

    Live by innuendo...Die by innuendo.

    It's called Karma

    September 15, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Haha

    This is THE book to buy!

    September 15, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Time to strike up the VICTIM song. It's the only card the Alaskan Fraud has left to play, over and over.....bring on the fake outrage!!!! Nobody cares!!

    September 15, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. buellfooll

    I've said it before and I'll say t again, and again and again. The people trying to shoot Sarah Palin down are terrified of her, rightfully, and for what she stands for and what she is capable of doing.

    September 15, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Greenspam

    I just ordered a copy of his book on Amazon.

    September 15, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. JoSteed

    All you bullies out there, just lovin' the hate! Hope your happy in your own skin.

    September 15, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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