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. Realitybites.

    Some times truths are hard to take. Oh well, I sure she probably has already forgotten most of them.

    September 16, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  2. oldbones24

    I'm certain everything he had to say about Nixon was true, so I can only guess that he is on target with Palin.

    September 16, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Kel

    I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin, in fact, I think she should disappear. At this point, I don’t even want her to run for President even for the entertainment value (although Tina Fey was terrific, wasn’t she?) But I do not believe all of these accusations. He’s obviously making sensationalist claims to earn some money. Even if it were all somehow true, who cares? Who cares who she slept with when she was in college or if she took drugs? We shouldn’t attack her this way, I’m sure her family doesn’t appreciate it. Besides, we have far much more substantive matters that we can criticize her on. Like the fact that she’s clearly ill equipped to run the country if that is truly her wish. If not, let’s stop talking about her so she can finally go way. Her fifteen minutes were up, far long ago.

    September 16, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Lee Tran

    First, I do not like Palin.
    Second, even so I do not like people who is talking about her youth past, who cares how many men or boys she slept with before her marriage. The author proves that he is a low class writer.

    September 16, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. maerlyn

    LMAO!! So the book about Sarah "is full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears. . ." – just like Sarah herself! That's funny right there, i don't care who you are! 🙂

    September 16, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Diane

    If they can't take the heat-then stay out of the linelight! Cry me a river Sarah & Todd...America just doesn't care anymore...and probably never really did anyway. Your 15 mins. are up! GO AWAY!

    September 16, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Caroline

    This McGinnes fellow sounds worse than the Palins and thats pretty bad!

    September 16, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Eric

    Again, does anyone take this McGinnis maggot seriously?

    September 16, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. BC

    You say Palin is unqualified and would never vote for her?? You voted for the most enepft person to ever serve as president.. Obama is a joke!! He's been a disaster for the USA. And you have the nerve to castigate Palin. You libs are just showing your ignorance.

    September 16, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. You know

    So the book is 95% bs, and 5% common knowledge. Sounds kind of like Sarah Palin herself.

    September 16, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. kd

    Palin is slimy, no matter how you cut it. Too bad the author writes in a National Enquirer/gossipy tone but I'll guess there's more truth to this junk than lies.

    September 16, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Keith

    I don't care. If it is full of lies, then it is simple Karma for Palin. "Do unto others..." If the book is full of lies, then it is just a case of somebody else doing unto you what you have done unto others. Palin has become a full fledged card carrying promoter of the right-wing media circus that creates an echo chamber of lying propaganda. Welcome to the flip side of your own created world, little girl.

    September 16, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Starman

    I'm not interested in reading any books by or about Sarah Palin. All you need to know about her, she provides in her own words.

    September 16, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. NYCMovieFan

    Seeing as how the Palins can't get basic American history right – listen my children and you shall hear/of the lies Palin told about Paul Revere!!! – we CERTAINLY can't believe them about their own story! Thankfully, this is one Republican who has been proven a liar and a fraud. Now we just have to wait for the rest to be revealed as con artists. Should not take too long...

    September 16, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Liberal in Wyoming

    If this book is in fact full of lies then I anticipate they will be filing a lawsuit for slander against the author. Seeing as I doubt that will happen, I will tend to believe these things are true. While they may be petty, they will prove that the Palin's are nothing more than hypocrits....."Do as I say, not as I do.". This woman is not squeaky clean like she likes to pretend. She is the lowest denominator of a human. Slimey to the core.

    September 16, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. GOP Hates Middle Class

    So now we know why Sarah was so interested in getting into sports, she wanted to be an NBA wife....or a Kardashian. LOL @ Todd.

    September 16, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Lcrouse

    I find it hilarious that the sinners of the past are always the righteous of today. It is usually the reason for most to turn to religion. Ask any converted convict!

    September 16, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. adam

    The idea that the Palins are getting upset about character assassination is so ironic I actually laughed out loud.

    September 16, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Jam.Nat

    The book is nothing but garbage that Palin haters love. People that rejoice in other people's humiliation are garbage too. Besides you can find dirt on anyone and say anything about anybody true or untrue, people will beleive what they want to believe.

    September 16, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Observer

    Of course the book is full of lies; it's quoting Palin.

    September 16, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. mdn

    I feel sorry for CNN. For three days, this is there top story. I'm switching to the New York Times and Drudge Report websites which spend less time pandering to the "car crash" phenomena that is Sarah Palin.

    September 16, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. vel

    Well, Sarah and Todd should know "disgusting lies, innuendo and smears" when they see them, being that they use the same against other people.

    September 16, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Sniffit

    Jaberwocky Barbie releases books, movies, speeches full of factual innacuracies and outright lies: MSM reports them uncritically and ignores criticisms and contrary proof.

    Someone attacks Jaberwocky Barbie with a tabloid-esque book release and MSM goes into defense mode, propping up their favorite controversy-bot for fear that damage to her reputation, etc., might take away their ability to sensationalize her as filler for the 24-hour "news" cycle.

    September 16, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. pflatman

    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."


    September 16, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Tina

    Her and the ex first dud need to go away, far far far far away! who is with me on this???

    September 16, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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