Sex, drugs, and unethical politics: New Palin book sparks controversy
“Some things are just going to come to light that the Palin’s just won’t be able to shake, and I have faith in that. It has already started, but these books will add to it,” Whitstine said.
By the CNN Wire Staff
- “The Rogue” by Joe McGinniss comes out next Tuesday
- Joe McGinniss’ book alleges that Palin once used cocaine
- The book also claims Palin was an image-obsessed governor and poor parent
- Sarah Palin’s husband says the book is full of “disgusting” lies
(CNN) — A new one-volume guide to virtually every rumor, controversy, assertion and accusation about Sarah Palin — scurrilous or otherwise — is about to hit the stands, and it’s already generating a storm of controversy.
“The Rogue: Searching for The Real Sarah Palin” by Joe McGinniss is a merciless review of Palin’s personal life and meteoric rise from the mayor of a small Alaskan town to the center of America’s political universe.
CNN obtained a copy of the book — which relies heavily on unnamed sources — earlier this week.
Palin critics will find some of their worst assumptions about the former governor reinforced by McGinniss; Palin defenders will be outraged. The book portrays Palin as an image-obsessed governor who was ill-prepared for the burdens of Wasilla’s town hall — much less for the Republican presidential ticket.
If that’s not enough for you, how about charges of racism, adultery, and cocaine abuse? Her parenting skills also leave something to be desired, if McGinniss is to be believed.
Needless to say, those closest to the former governor are not amused. The Palin family has had a rocky relationship with McGinniss since he moved in next door to their home in Wasilla last summer to research the book.
Palin’s husband, Todd, accused McGinniss this week of “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.”
“His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears,” Todd Palin asserted.
The former governor told Fox News that McGinniss “needs to get a life.”
The Palin circle is not alone in its criticism of McGinniss. New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin called most of the book “dated, petty and easily available to anyone with Internet access.” Maslin accused McGinniss of using his time living near the Palins “to chase caustic, unsubstantiated gossip,” often attributed to unnamed sources such as “a friend” or “one resident.”
In an interview broadcast Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, McGinniss said: “I think I was as fair as I could possibly have been given the fact that (Palin) told all the people who were closest to her not to talk to me.”
Palin “overreacts,” McGinniss said. “She has no modulation in her responses to stress.”
McGinniss’ other notable books include “The Selling of the President” in 1969 — a critical review of Richard Nixon’s first successful presidential campaign — and “Fatal Vision” in 1983 about Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, a military physician who was convicted of murdering his wife and children.
He also wrote a book about Alaska — “Going to Extremes” in 1980.
McGinniss’ website calls his latest work “an extraordinary double narrative that alternately traces Palin’s curious rise to political prominence and worldwide celebrity status and then recounts the author’s day-to-day experiences as he uncovers the messy reality beneath the glossy Palin myth.”
Among other things, the book cites an unnamed friend who claims Sarah Palin once snorted cocaine off an overturned 55-gallon oil drum while on a snowmobiling trip. As for Todd Palin, he “did coke with us all,” former friend John Bitney says in the book. “He was on the end of the straw plenty.”
“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,” McGinniss told NBC.