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. leo

    Well Todd, Sue him. The author is either libel for slander or its the truth. And Truth is an absolute defense! Or was this why she quit the position as governor? Knowing this would come out? Its either slander or its the truth. Which is it? And the people have a right to know. After all, the Republican Party nominated her as their candidate for Vice President!

    September 15, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Lies Lies Lies and more lies

    It's all lies except for the stuff between the first and last page

    September 15, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. The Pope

    It's all lies except for the stuff between the first and last page, and I didn't have anything to do with it.

    September 15, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Sara Baracuda

    None of this is true. Except the written stuff

    September 15, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Michele Bachmannowitz

    Pray and this will all go away

    September 15, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Johnjon

    I caaannnnn't wait, I needed a new book for my vacation next month. Costco here I come!

    September 15, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Jimbok

    Obviously, we all should be eternally grateful to John McCain for introducing Sarah Palin to the world.

    September 15, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Justin Observation

    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.

    This from a lady who does nothing but run around the country following actual politicians and telling everyone how good she would be, if she was one.

    September 15, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Sam

    McGinniss' book about Palin couldn't possibly contain any more falsehoods or distortions of truth than the two books she wrote herself. What his book definitely will not be is self-aggrandizing or an insult to the intelligence of average Americans.

    September 15, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Of course it is all LIES – it came from Palin. Like most Republicans – Palin has never told the truth in her life.

    September 15, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. Acromyrmex-versicolor

    Sounds like a pretty awful book (and I am faaaaaar from Palin's biggest fan), but he hit the nail on the head with one thing:

    "She overreacts. She has no modulation in her responses to stress."

    Palin is out of her league when it comes to national politics.

    September 15, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. jose

    it's great to finally get to know the real sarah palin. i may like her more if this is all true.

    September 15, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. just curious

    So if they dont sue what then?

    September 15, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. tony

    Whether the innuendoes of Palin's personal life be true or not....who one ever thought she walked on water....she's had a good ride.....thanks to the press.

    September 15, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Always feeling they are above the real news media, these "touch-me-nots" think they are special and no one can say anything negative about them.

    September 15, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. SLC Monk

    I'm no fan of Palin, but printing a big pile of trashy gossip won't exactly enlighten the political discourse in America.

    September 15, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  17. Lizzy10

    I dislike the woman, but publishing induendo isn't journalism, it's gossip.

    September 15, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Middle America

    I'm more interested in Palin"s views on public policy than her personal life. Her personal life sounds more typical to me than not.

    September 15, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. Alaskan Voter

    Unfortunately, with Sarah, the truth IS stranger than fiction.

    I'm not surprised by the allegations.

    September 15, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Bill in Florida

    "His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears" Gee, sounds like a review of Sarah's book too!

    September 15, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  21. kmp

    between all of the smoke and the mirrors lies the truth. Is some of this sensationalized sure, but remember behind all "flase truths" lay's the actual truth.

    September 15, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. lcleejr

    you can bet, the republican party will ease her out of a presidential run. they now know the truth. besides she already made millions off of her fans.

    September 16, 2011 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  23. donna

    WHY can't the media let Palin rock? That was the funnest time I've ever had. Keeping her away from the spotlight is just making this election BORING.

    Wait until she decides to run for President before blasting her.

    September 16, 2011 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  24. smc

    Somebody who stretches the truth for their own personal gain? Hmmm ... where have I heard that before?

    September 16, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. Gene

    The National Enquirer has been tagged with the label of nothing more than a gossip rag for years. But some of their stories have turned out to be on point. Let's see how this story turns out.

    September 16, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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