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. LDJ

    For someone the left claims they are so tired of, you guys love to rant about her. I think she is a non-event in the political scheme. I don't mind her making a few bucks, especially when it drives the left wingnuts so crazy. You 15% left wing crazies and 15% right wing crazies keep it up while the 70% of the normal middle America solve our problems. Very funny. Cheers!

    September 16, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Mustang95

    Personally, I cannot STAND her and that unintelligible screech that passes for a voice and the dimwitted, Fox-bot talking points that pass for an intellect. However, this book sounds like crap. Won't be buying it...

    September 16, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. AEK

    In Ms. Palin's defense, I'm sure there are many of us, who, when young and impetuous, did things we never thought would amount to anything in the future. But then again, also would probably not be trying to cast themselves as a national political figure now without some understanding that those types of behavior would eventually come up. Either a political rival in the same party or from another party was certain to attempt to use the information to disparage you to their advantage. She has been the queen of scathing remarks ever since she hit the national scene. If she indeed was thinking she was immune to this type of journalism, she was very naive.

    September 16, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Eileen

    to: just curious

    So if they dont sue what then?

    If they don't sue it's because they know that the authors lawyers would fry them. If you rant and rave that it's not true and then don't go after them, it kind of proves the point.....It's all the truth. With these 2 and their family you have to take 100% of what they say with a huge dose of salt. They wouldn 't know the truth if it jumped up and bit them.

    September 16, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Robin Bray

    Tax breaks for her husband's business, an unwed pregnant underage daughter, cutting funding to early intervention help for children with disabilities, trying to ruin the careers of those who would not do her bidding and bailing out after serving only two years of a four year term as Governor. It all catches up with you in the end. So get off the road and go home and fix your life.

    September 16, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. 2cylinderbill

    The left MUST submarine Sarah with innuendo and rumor since they have no leg to stand on in the political arena. Shame on you all.

    September 16, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. beth

    I can't wait to read it.

    September 16, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. John - NJ

    If you live by the lie you will die by the lie....kinda befitting for the Palins.

    September 16, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. carrie

    I am sure there is a bit of streching the truth , much like Palin does in herself in her book. It is called spin ,most books are... and some just have a knack at it better than others and I think Palin is a Master at it .Thank Goodness she is not in the news daily anymore with that screaming out her views of the streched truth! Remenber" what goes round comes round" It is just coming back round to her now!

    September 16, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Debbie

    Pack of lies? I think there is some truth and some not. Her past actions and lawsuits make me think so. As for being a good mother, what I see is a mother with a special needs son that uses his disability for her own political gain and she sure isn't at home taking care of him.

    September 16, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. JCat

    Now I know how she could see the Russians from her back yard.

    September 16, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. rightdetour

    And why does McGinnis stop where he did? Why not tap into the left-wing conspiratorial readership?

    Remember, in that Alaska tournament. Michigan opened with a 106-76 trouncing of Miami, in which Rice scored 22 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Then after Palin wore him out in the sack so that he lost his legs, Michigan lost to Arizona 79-64, when Rice scored 15 and made 6 turnovers.

    Then 25 years later those same Arizona boosters that engineered the Palin-Rice tryst teamed with the Koch brothers get her a sweetheart deal on her new house in Arizona.

    Has McGinnis let a Pulitzer slip from his fingers?

    September 16, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. learntoread

    she was sleeping with Glenn Rice and doing blow?

    Jeez–THAT changes EVERYTHING....I'll vote for her i guess....

    Those right wing nuts know how to PARTY!!!

    September 16, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Carol

    I'm sure Todd does not want anything to happen to his gravy train. Maybe some of the things are exaggerated, but there are many, many things that are 100% consistent with her behavior over the years. And we must not forget that the Palin's are experts at character assassination!! They are reaping what they sow.

    September 16, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Dave

    I'll buy a copy of the book just to help boost sales!

    September 16, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. coosa

    She's the most feared woman in politics..Wonder who paid this guy's bills while he was stalking her ?What is it about this gal that scares Washington to death?? Guess we'll just wait and see.

    September 16, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Latch

    What's that about lies, Sarah? I'm still waiting for the death panels you warned us about to show up at my door.

    September 16, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. John Ellis

    It's such a shoddy piece of work you'd think Palin had written it, were it about someone else.

    September 16, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    funny thing is the more the Palins come out and deny what is in this book, the more books it will sell. This is the 3rd anti- Sarah book that has come out in the past 3 months with Levi's still to come. Me thinks Sarah is about to get attacked from all sides.

    September 16, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Saboth

    It's amusing Palin seeks the spotlight *so* hard, yet can't handle the shadows cast by the light.

    September 16, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Leslie

    That family has some real christian problems!

    September 16, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. wrack

    "These attacks are shameful and those making them seem to be out only to destroy good people and make money doing so."

    This seems an awful lot like her own crusade against Obama. How does it taste, Sarah?

    September 16, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    It's a catch-22 for those of us who are absolutely sick to death of the coverage of this woman. She holds no political office, is not running for a political office, made a mockery of the last presidential election, made a mockery of those in Alaska who did at one point support her enough to vote her as their Governor, and yet she still receives media coverage befitting royalty. We ignore her, she comes back. We cringe when articles are written about her, the media doubles the coverage. It doesn't matter that 99.9% of the comments about Palin are negative, the media continues to insult our intelligence by continuing to give this woman a "voice". Pretty much sums up the entire political scene - ignore mainstream America and bombard us with inconsequential drivel while ignoring the really important issues.

    September 16, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Carol

    Palin is constantly attacking people and makes a ton of money doing so! So sorry for the fool's who contribute to this cause. She certainly has not done anything for this country except embarrass us!

    September 16, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. jack

    I don't see why Todd is so upset. What this guy has done is no different than what Sarah has done many times to the American people-telling us lies, inuendos and smears. Why don't you grow a pair and tell your wife to stop. But you won't
    because that would be the end of the gravey train and the two of you would just disappear. She's nothing but a huckster and your're nothing but a Todd doll.

    September 16, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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