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Two years digging into Sarah Palin’s life and this is the best Joe McGinniss can do?

September 15, 2011

Right out of college: Palin as a sportscaster, 1988.

Pity poor Joe McGinniss. Here his lurid Palin biography is about to come out (drugs! infidelity! miscegenation!) just as the Republican primary campaign heats up, and the public shrugs: Sarah who?

For a list of upcoming activities at the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, visit the center’s website. And mark your calendar: This year’s Miami Book Fair International runs Nov. 13-20.

Way back in 2010, when McGinniss rented the house next door to Palin’s in fabled Wasilla, a muckraking book about the right-wing firebrand must have seemed like a capital idea. Now that The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin is set to arrive next week, the Republican race has narrowed to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, with nary a Sarah sighting anywhere along the campaign trail.

Heck, she’s even lost the niche of Tea Party Cougar-in-Chief, which now belongs to Michelle Bachman.

But even if Sarah had not faded in the dazzle of fresher media stars, I don’t think I could work up much indignation over the dirt McGinniss has dug up by interviewing 200 friends and enemies in Alaska.

And just what are those allegations? The breathless headlines on the web today provide a sampling: “Three Outrageous Revelations in Sarah Palin Biography,” trumpets Reuters. “Sarah Palin alleged to have used cocaine and marijuana,” tsks the Guardian. “Report: Glen Rice, Sarah Palin had a one night stand in ’87,” intones the Washington Post.

Should be no surprise that all these stories are based on a report from  the — ta-da! — National Enquirer (“World Exclusive! Sarah Palin Bombshell Book Shocking Claims!” — I kid you not).

Really? This is the best (worst) McGinniss can come up with? Palin smoked pot? Jeez, what could be more American than that? She had an booty call with Glen Rice when he was a college basketball star and she was a young sports reporter? Ho-hum. And yes, I know he’s black. Your point?

As for the accusation she had an affair with husband Todd’s business partner: A) It’s not new; B) Everyone involved has already denied it; and C) Isn’t adultery our favorite indoor sport? Or at least it was before the advent of Internet porn — back in the era of, ahem, Bill Clinton.

I don’t know about you, but I find these wan indiscretions eminently forgivable — compared, say, to Palin’s stated views on religion, the environment, foreign policy, gay rights, and on and on, not to mention her evident ignorance about niceties like geo-politics, the Constitution, U.S. history, science…

The only rumor mongered by McGinniss worth thinking twice about is the one that has Palin snorting cocaine off an oil drum (nice detail!) while on a snowboarding trip in 2006.

It’s the date that makes this alleged incident potentially relevant. Palin was a mature woman by this time, soon to take the governor’s mansion in Juneau. Her behavior, if true, cannot be ascribed to youthful high spirits or inexperience.

On the other hand, let’s put this into context with a simple thought experiment: What recreational activities was I up to in 2006? Yikesarama! Uh…let’s just say I’m glad Joe McGinness isn’t moving into the condo next door to mine.

Right? He’s not, is he?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2011 11:52 am

    Can’t quite imagine digging in her past of 2 years. Two years! I will go back to my youth, (6 or 7 ) when for no apparent reason I would start digging a hole in the back yard. My farther used to say ” If you dig long enough you will dig your way to China.” Now that sounds more interesting.

  2. September 15, 2011 12:31 pm

    My father told me it wasn’t a good idea to make your living off of somebody else’s bad day. Or, in this case, somebody else’s really freaking awesome snowboard trip with a bunch of rich bastards!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      September 15, 2011 1:25 pm

      Hahaha — too true, too true. Bad form all around but at least someone may have had a good time.

  3. Candice Simmons permalink
    September 17, 2011 12:49 pm

    Sarah who? And that’s all I got to say about that.

    • September 19, 2011 11:05 am

      I’m with you Candice. Everytime I think of Palin now, I hear Ringo in A Hard Day’s Night: “Come in, number seven, your time’s up!”

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