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. Chris~Albany, NY

    I'd LOVE to hear if any of this is true. Past Presidents have admitted drug use as kids this person being a NOBODY should do the same thing. But she won't.

    September 15, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Illeagle-j1

    Phenomenon, I wonder who had to teach him that word?

    September 15, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. huxley

    Coke and interracial relationships. Its like a Hustler movie.

    September 15, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. joeM

    Ah yes..."American Exceptionalism" on full display in the Palin family.

    September 15, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Geoz

    Live by the smear, die by the smear.

    September 15, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. thomas

    Perry/Palin 2013 ?

    September 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Michael

    As it turns out, palin's husband isn't the "first dude" after all.
    No wonder he's so angry, it sounds like he's at least the "third dude" and probably has "envy issues" at this point.

    September 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. lildvel

    Finally!! A book about palin that I might actually!!

    September 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. John

    Hey Palins, You bought this on yourselfs for being so greedy!

    September 15, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Cfrench

    Well, seeing as Palin has done nothing but lie since coming on the national scene I fail to see how the author is any lesser of a person than she is.

    September 15, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Michael in Houston

    whether its a book written by Palin or written about Palin....most of us could care less. I dont care if she snorted moose poop..took revenge on this person or that....what she gave birth to.....or who she slept with...she is boring, over exposed, and nobody who conned her way to being a somebody. She offers nothing and any story about her is a yawner

    September 15, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. willard

    Oh my god
    I know that ginniss mmake trying trouble jelous blame on pailn before someone make blame me that I was rape with 6 year old also I'm never hurt with child cause police was stop me that police was found out of someone steal with my old password

    September 15, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Noodle Nose Johnson

    "full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears" – Just like your movie "Undefeated", right? By the way, how'd that do at the box office?

    September 15, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |

    Snookie Palin licks her chops as Bachmann flounders. The book will make more than the $5000 that her movie pulled in.

    September 15, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. erich2112x

    She's nothing but a figurehead image for the GOP. They're like Cyrano de Bergerac as they feed her the rhetoric, and she relays it back to us.

    September 15, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Mathman025

    If you stop filling the country with lies, we will stop making lies about you. (Actually, some of what you put up, Ms. Palin, is your fault.)

    September 15, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Martin

    "Sold a joint venture together for business reasons", just like Palin quit as Governor halfway through her term.

    Looks like Mrs Palin can't even maintain strong business relationships with her partners in business in the long term.

    This woman has a history of quitting when the going gets tough. Politics, business, the list goes on.

    And this author is right, she DOES overreact to every single negative story published about her.

    September 15, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. volksmaniac

    Someone told me that Mc Ginniss used to hang out in the alley behind the bar and blow seals .

    September 15, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Ray

    Todd and Sarah are the live Teapublican versions of Ken and Barbie though with identical IQs.

    September 15, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. EuphoriCrest

    Sarah Palin. Anagram for Sharia Plan.

    September 15, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. John - NJ

    You live by the lies you have told and you die with the lies told about you.

    September 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. JR

    CNN, you are part of the problem. I don't suppose your crack team of journalists has ever investigated the fake pregnancy? It's really not hard to prove she's a fraud – the work (with references) has already been done by others. Hit the Google and do some real reporting.

    September 15, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Ernie

    What is about the Palin's the 'left' is so afraid of? Is it that they are respected by common people? You know the people who vote instead of buying trashy gossip books written by 'cry-babies' who are jealous of real people. Todd is right, the man should get a life.

    September 15, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. funnyname

    So why are the media jumping on McGinnis now? Just a few months ago the media went nuts when they thought they might have seen a photo of a congressman's penis. They reported it even thought the congressman did nothing illegal and he wasn't shown to be a hypocrite since he never made his personal life a part of his campaign.

    Both stories might be gossip. The allegations about Palin at least potentially expose her as a hypocrite for being a family values candidate and seem at least some what more newsworthy in that sense. Why are McGinnis' claims now being lambasted by the media that took up the story about Anthony Weiner?

    September 15, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. desi

    "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."

    So in other words, this book is perfect for Tea Party readers. That's the kind of stuff they like.

    September 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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