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. Todd in DC

    Gee, who to believe? The secessionist, the quitter, or the opportunist? Some choice. But if there is an issue of libel, then Palin should sue. Otherwise, STFU.

    September 15, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Bob, Virginia

    So we can expect the Palin family to be suing McGinnis for these lies?

    September 15, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Little Jimmy Truth

    "The Rogue" should be listed on fiction.

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

    Palin should be used to this kind of slander as she has maligned Obama's character and policy with unsubstantiated balogna. Pot, kettle?

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

    I'm no Palin fan, but I have to say, it sounds to me like this McGinniss guy is jealous that Palin seems to have had some fun times in her early adulthood. I could really care less about what people did 25 years ago. I sure hope nobody ever writes a book about all the things I did in college. I guess McGinniss never had a one night stand, so he just jealous that maybe Sarah had one or two way back when.

    September 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Steve

    Palin's comments should be worth more than a million bucks to Joe McGinniss. Stupid is as stupid does.

    September 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. keeth

    Yeah, Troopergate was a lie too, except it wasn't.

    September 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. John

    Never seen so many obsessed with a person as Palin critics.

    September 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Kagume

    The publics feeds off of this. we all love a juicy conspiracy. keep us away from thinking about serious issues at hand.

    September 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Retired Army in San Antonio

    "New book on Palin blasted as 'lies'"



    September 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Republican who supports President Obama


    Can we say "death panels"?!?!?!?!? Hmmm!!!!!! Who is the liar?

    September 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Joe

    If you can't name sources, or corroborate evidence, then you don't use that particular bit of information or story. It's unfortunate that this seems to be a hack job because Sarah Palin richly deserves to be exposed for the shallow little fraud she is. But with the truth, not with unsubstantiated rumors. .

    September 15, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. levi

    Unauthorized biography about a liberal = total lies that the press will not cover

    Unauthorized biography about a conservative= absolute truth covered by every major outlet

    ExBoyfriend of a liberals daughter = liar and jealous smear monger ( ashley biden)

    ExBoyfriend of a conservatives daughter= honest kid that deserves 100s of interviews, a tv show and a book ( levi johnson)

    September 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Republican who supports President Obama

    Ahhh! the Queen of thin skin has a response after she has a taste of her own medicine. Fame has consequences – people will find out stuff about you so take a hint – GO AWAY!

    September 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. AesopsRetreat_com

    Gosh, what great timing from the guy who moved next door to Palin to spy on her and her kids. It must have been a tough task to write a book of lies 'JUST in time' in case she cast her name for the Presidential run. Hmmm i'm thinking thinking thinking , and a those of you with a brain should think too.

    My, the fear of Palin on the Left is is is is (what's the word) 'Funny'.... -chuckle-

    September 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Drogo, who bit the dust

    Regardless of the veracity of the book, Palin is not even remotely qualified to be president.

    September 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Roger Noe

    Say Sarah I'm bigger than Glen Rice. When can we hook up? Once you go Black, you never go back!

    September 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Debbie

    What goes around comes around. Palin thinks she can harrass everybody else and it not hit her back. Her big mouth, which mostly tellls lies, is going to come back and bite her.

    September 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Retired Army in San Antonio

    C'mon.....what did you expect from Todd Palin.....actually is wife.....because do your REALLY believe that any statement from him didn't actually come from her?

    Anyone says anything negative about them, and this 'lady' goes straight on the warpath.....regardless as to how true the statements were!

    Sad, pathetic people!

    September 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. GOP Hates Middle Class

    Always suspected Ms. Palin likes brown rice...she will no longer be a GOP darling should that become well known.

    September 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Joshua Ludd

    Well, he got one thing right at the very least... she does absolutely freak out to any criticism. Think thats not true? Look at the numerous times she has tried to paint reporters as asking "gotcha" questions when the questions were actually softballs.

    September 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Glenn Rice

    It's all true.

    September 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. PZ

    Rice confirmed it... as long as she doesn't pass judgment, cast stones (fat chance) no one should care.

    September 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Buckhippo

    Let's blame McCain for unleashing these monsters on the world. Another Republican legacy that will ruin society.

    September 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It wouldn't surprise me if some of it was true. The problem is I don't know what can easily be verified. I don't think much of Sarah Palin and wouldn't want her to be in public life anymore. I still don't like unsubstantiated statements about people, even her is wrong.

    September 15, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18