Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

“I love that smell of the emissions.”

Sometimes you don’t have to say anything, because Motorcycle Mama–and motor mouth–Sarah says it all herself.

Is Sarah Palin “A Face in the Crowd?”

More than a half-century ago–in 1957, to be exact–America was treated to (and in some quarters alarmed by) one of the finest films ever to receive commercial release in the U.S.

I’m talking about A Face in the Crowd, adapted by the great Budd Schulberg from his short story “Your Arkansas Traveler,” and produced and directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Andy Griffith, Walter Matthau and Patricia Neal.

Here’s the  IMDB plot summary:

An Arkansas hobo becomes an overnight media sensation. But as he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

I first saw A Face in the Crowd as a teenager.  It made such an impression that more than fifty years later, as I was considering whether to write a book about Sarah Palin, I watched it again.  In the context of Palin, it resonated even longer and louder the second time around.

Whether or not you plan to see Sarah’s million-dollar epic to be released in June, I urge you to watch A Face in the Crowd.

Once you do, I suspect you won’t find it quite so easy to ridicule Sarah Palin as an ignorant moron who can’t possibly harm us.




Sarah Palin: Media scrutiny next year? “I just have to be prepared for it and overcome it.” UPDATE//: Ivan Moore in Anchorage Press says “absolutely yes, Sarah will run”


Oh, man, I was just on my way to bed when I saw Sarah-sites overdosing on her Hannity interview.

So I watched it. I figure that since I’m still writing my last chapter, I get paid to stay up late and do such things.

Some of it was (unintentionally) funny, such as:

I think one of my problems in this whole process is I don’t live for that game of the pundincy [sic] of the opining and speculating on who’s doing what …What I live for is fighting for family and faith and freedom in this country.

But I won’t go to sleep smiling over her later words:

I’m still not ready to make an announcement….I’m still seriously considering it and praying about it…I want to make sure that we have a candidate out there with Tea Party principles.


Perhaps scariest of all was Sarah’s Freudian slip at the start.

I realize that the Wasilla Assembly of God  taught Sarah that Sigmund Freud was Sigmund Fraud, and that she’s believed it ever since, but that doesn’t immunize her from what the rest of us might call a Freudian slip.  Speaking of Gingrich’s recent stumble out of the gate, Hannity asked her, in regard to 2012, “Is there going to be a different standard?” Meaning: will candidates be held accountable for their words?  Sarah said:

There’s gotta be the preparation on all the candidates’ parts for those gotchas. That’s what the lamestream media is known for nowadays is the gotcha, trip-up questions, and I just have to be prepared for it and overcome it. (emphasis added.)

Why would someone who did not intend to seek the Republican nomination say “I”?

If she weren’t planning to run–notwithstanding how she makes everything about herself–wouldn’t she have said “they?”

Dr. Fraud, where are you now that we need you?

I, for one, am going to need someone  to interpret the dreams/nightmares I’m about to have as I go to bed with Sarah’s mantra in my head:

“I just have to be prepared for it and overcome it.”

At least she’s got God helping her.    I’m all alone down here, trying to muddle through with nothing more than rationality, a modicum of decency, and whatever I learn from my reporting.

Anybody know a good Jungian shrink?  Because here’s what I’m afraid I’ll be seeing tonight:






Alaskan pollster Ivan Moore says in Anchorage Press that it’s “Palin’s Perfect Storm.”

Here’s his lede:

Us pollsters don’t like making predictions. No really… we don’t. We can measure things at any given point in time, but we can’t, no matter how much others may want us to, see into the future. Today, however, I’m going to make an exception, because I’m absolutely certain of what I’m going to predict.

No ands, ifs or buts about it, Sarah Palin is going to run for president.

And so to bed.


Walt Monegan tells more truth about Sarah Palin

In an interview with Alex De Marban of Alaska Newspapers, Inc., which publishes six regional weeklies, Walt Monegan, Alaska’s Director of Public Safety, whom Sarah fired in 2008 because he refused to dismiss her ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, from the Alaska State Troopers, recounts the history of his interactions with her.

His bottom line: “If she would have said, ‘Walt, I don’t like your hair. You’re outta here,’ that would have made more sense.”

Sarah Palin fired Walt Monegan in an act of petulance and vindictiveness because he would not commit a wrong she insisted on.

I write in considerable detail about the Palin family campaign–in which Todd played a leading role–to have Mike Wooten fired from his state trooper job because he and Sarah’s sister, Molly, were in the midst of a bitter divorce.

Sarah’s abuses of power in her extended campaign to have Wooten’s head served to her and Todd on a silver platter created the scandal known as “Troopergate.”

As I write in THE ROGUE,

The Troopergate imbroglio is worth examining in detail because Sarah’s actions, and those of her husband on her behalf, expose so clearly the vengeful, obsessive nature of the person who lurks behind the mask of sexiness and chirpy insouciance.

And I’m not referring to Walt Monegan.

He doesn’t wear masks.

I also write:

Sarah said she’d fired Monegan because he’d displayed a “rogue mentality.” Sarah apparently felt that “going rogue” was acceptable only when she did it herself.

I got to know Walt and his wife, Terry, last summer. There are not two finer people in Alaska.

Over coffee in Eagle River one morning, Walt told me that Sarah “just thought she should be able to do anything she wanted to, and that anybody working for her had an obligation to help…Maybe she hadn’t realized there were limits on her power. Maybe she thought being governor meant she could do anything she wanted to anyone. I loved my job and I’m sorry she took it from me, but I’ve never had a moment’s doubt about what I did.”

Walt Monegan combines intelligence, dedication and integrity to a degree that makes him very special.

Although he grew increasingly disillusioned, he remained loyal to Sarah Palin until she and Todd pressured him to betray his principles: something he would not do.

In her petulance and vengefulness, Sarah deprived the state of Alaska of the services of a remarkable man.

You can read much more about Walt Monegan in THE ROGUE.

Enter THE ROGUE Last Chapter Contest Here…$250 Prize for Winner!

Here’s the best chance for  you commenters–and anybody else who has an idea about what the last chapter of my book about Sarah Palin should say–to make a difference.

I’m about to start writing the last chapter of THE ROGUE.  It’s due for delivery to my publisher Random House/Crown on June 3.

Tell me, please, what you think I should say, why I should say it, and how I can prove it to an extent that would pass legal vetting.

Trig is not off limits–nothing is off limits–but I’m not going to devote the chapter to showing how Figure A or Figure B proves that Sarah was or was not pregnant with that child.  I’ll make my own views on that question clear in THE ROGUE.

So the matter before us today is:  if you had five thousand words, more or less, in which you could summarize The Rise and Fall (and Possible Rebirth) of Sarah Palin, how would you use them?  What would you say?

Please remember, in THE ROGUE, I am not preaching to the converted:  I can’t–nor do I want to–write a final chapter  that contains only snark and invective.  The first twenty chapters don’t do that, so–despite the fact that I won’t pull punches–I don’t want to leave those who read the finished book with the taste of bile in their mouths.

Let’s put it this way:  imagine yourself in a dialogue with a friend who respected your opinions.

You have three or four minutes, without interruption, to explain why Sarah Palin is every bit as bad as you believe her to be, and why she continues to be a danger to the USA.

What would you say?   How would you say it?

As I’m working on my last chapter, I’d love to know.

I’d love to know so much, in fact, that I’m offering a $250 prize to whoever gives me the best suggestion about what I should write in the next two weeks–whether it’s a phrase, a sentence, or whether you take five thousand words to express it.





Dateline, Wasilla: HS Principal Bans Song Because Gay Man Wrote It//UPDATE: Will they ban the movie in Wasilla, too?///UPDATE 1.1: Which One Is Gay?
















The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reports today that the principal of Wasilla High School told members of the school’s symphonic jazz choir that they would not be allowed to perform the 1975 Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” because Freddy Mercury, who wrote it, was gay.

In the face of student protests, and fearing ACLU involvement, the principal backed down–to a point.

The choir will be allowed to perform the song, but only in a censored version, without lyrics the principal deems objectionable.

Three points about this:

1) Bravo to Wasilla High seniors for fighting back.

2) Wasilla High has a symphonic jazz choir? Humph. They never had that sort of thing in Sarah Palin’s day.

3) In Wasilla, in the Year of Our Lord 2011, there can be controversy about a song simply because the songwriter was gay.   Sarah Palin is, in every way, a daughter of Wasilla.  If this is what it’s like in 2011, imagine the ethos in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, when she grew up there.

Actually, you won’t have to imagine, because I describe the atmosphere in detail in THE ROGUE.


Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) will portray Freddy Mercury in a new movie being written by Peter Morgan, who wrote “The Queen” and “The Last King of Scotland.”   Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions is producing it.

I’m sure my friend Verne Rupright, current mayor of Wasilla, will take no action to prevent its showing in Wasilla theaters, but it might have been a different story back in the days of Sarah Palin’s mayoral regime.

Even so, the question remains:  will Wasilla High students be permitted to attend?

Two further notes about Mercury:  he was actually bisexual, not homosexual, and (here’s where it gets truly sinister) his real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was a Parsi Zoroastrian born in Zanzibar.  That alone should be enough to ban his music from Wasilla High playlists forevermore.  Can’t those kids sing songs written by Americans?  I wonder if Chuck Heath will weigh in on this.


The estimable Alaskan blogger, composer, musician and music teacher, Phil Munger, posts this photo of Wasilla High School principal Dwight Probasco, who banned Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and another non-hetero British singer and songwriter, Elton John, and poses the question: Separated at Birth?

Phil also writes:

“My feathers are ruffled. If Wasillians are going to be consistent, they’ll need to ban the following composers and their work:

Samuel Barber – No more Adagio for Strings, Dwight
Leonard Bernstein – Don’t you dare play anything from West Side Story, my friend
Aaron Copland – Watch out for those hidden messages in Fanfare for the Common Man
Noël Coward – no more Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Charles Tomlinson Griffes – careful, Dwight, a piece for flute or piano might sneak into a solo and ensemble contest
Elton John – empty the sky, Dwight. Right now!
Dave Koz – he was a hit in Anchorage, but don’t play his version ofWhite Christmas at WHS
k.d. lang – put her in Shadowland forever, Dwight
Gian Carlo Menotti – those little operas have been done at thousands of high schools, but keep away from Dwight
Cole Porter – there go about 500 really good songs, Dwight
Stephen Sondheim – Gypsy, West Side Story, A Little Night Music orCompany. Oh – wait! West Side Story’s already banned because of Lenny
Billy Strayhorn – Can’t Take the A Train if you’re a WHS Warrior
Peter Tchaikovsky – What was the secret message in The Nutcracker, Dwight?”

Oh, and by the way, Principal Probasco, Phil Munger isn’t gay, so maybe you’ll let him attend the graduation performance of the censored version of “Bohemian Rhapsody?”

That Amazing Robert Hunt Illustration atop The Atlantic’s Palin Story//UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan on the illustration and the story

Robert Hunt is one of the most extraordinary illustrators of our time.

In fact, let’s skip the qualifiers and just call the man a great artist.

The Atlantic commissioned him to do the illustration that accompanied “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin” in their June issue (about which I blogged earlier today.)

Whatever one might think of Joshua Green’s article, there is no denying the power of the portrait.   It’s Sarah Palin as she sees herself,  and as her worshippers see her:  in the Oval Office.

It turns out that The New Republic was also aware of Robert Hunt’s artistic brilliance.

They commissioned him to do a portrait of Barack Obama for the cover of their December 2, 2009 edition, which contained a number of articles highly critical of the president.

Hunt has a fascinating account of his interactions with the magazine as he worked on the illustration.

As he describes (and shows), he offered them several possibilities:

Which one did they choose?

Did they choose the one that showed President Obama looking the difficulties of his job straight in the eye?

Or even one that portrayed him in profile, pensive and deliberative, possibly humbled by his responsibilities?

No, The New Republic wanted an illustration that showed him cowed, defeated, turning his back and walking away.

And so of all the choices Robert Hunt offered them, this was the illustration they used:



I hope Robert Hunt will share on his blog his alternatives to the Sarah Palin illustration The Atlantic chose.

Whether he does or not, isn’t Robert Hunt amazing?

As for the editors of the mainstream New Republic and Atlantic, what subliminal message do you think they are trying to convey?

Take a look, side by side:

And Sarah complains about “lamestream” media?







MSM continues to roll out the red carpet for her, because MSM wants her to run against Obama next year.

He’ll be reelected, no matter who his opponent is. But MSM is increasingly desperate for readers and viewers.

MSM is sinking fast, and as a former psychiatrist of mine once told me, “A drowning man has no morals.”

MSM wants Obama v. Palin, because the alternatives are so dull. Without her, nobody will bother to read or watch and MSM numbers and dollars will continue their flight to alternative sources of news, opinion and entertainment.

Only Sarah can juice up the campaign:  with Tea Party moronics, blatant racism and Christian Dominionist hate.

So MSM is trying to seduce her now in order to betray her later, after they’ve used her to improve their bottom lines, just as she’s used them to improve hers.

Frankly, they deserve each other, and may the worse whore lose.

But before the whole orgy really heats up, take one more look at Robert Hunt’s vision of President Obama that The New Republic didn’t want you to see:

That’s Mr. President.

Sarah is Ms. Pretender.


Andrew Sullivan tells it like it is.

If only Sarah weren’t Sarah, She Coulda Been A Contender//UPDATE: John Podhoretz in Commentary

That’s the thesis propounded by Joshua Green in the June issue of The Atlantic.

The magazine, however, went with the classier title, “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin,” and illustrated the piece with the striking image above of Sarah in full presidential mode.

“But over the past few months, Palin has begun fortifying her profile by visiting foreign countries and delivering speeches that extol her record as governor, especially on energy, as she did in March to an audience of international business leaders in India….She seems to be reintroducing herself.”

Given that I’m presently writing the last chapter of THE ROGUE I’m not going to critique Green’s piece, though I’m sure some will take issue with his conclusion that Sarah was a great governor of Alaska, who accomplished extraordinary things.

I find it interesting that during his week in Alaska Green spoke to the same people I talked to two-and-a-half years ago about Sarah’s accomplishments as governor–Gregg Erickson, Pat Galvin, Hollis French, Les Gara–and came away with conclusions very different from those I reached and published in my 2009 Portfolio cover story.

I will say that I hope Howard Kurtz reads Green’s story. In the current Newsweek, Kurtz writes about the end of the Sarah Palin phenomenon in a piece titled, “Is Sarah Palin Over?”

Kurtz says she’s toast. Green says she just might be a soufflé only starting to rise.

Maybe Andrew Sullivan, formerly of The Atlantic and now with Tina Brown’s Daily Beast-Newsweek behemoth could moderate a Kurtz-Green debate on The Dish.



Even Commentary compares Sarah to Daryl Strawberry.

Even while pining for what might have been, Podhoretz writes her off.   But who will win his heart next?

Or can Sarah lure him back by offering lunch on the concrete block on Lake Lucille, the way she seduced his buddy Bill Kristol over lunch at the governor’s mansion in Juneau?

After 22 Years, My Rebuttal to Janet Malcolm Goes Public

Thanks to the miracles of modern science (i.e. the internet) the 26-page essay I published as an epilogue to the 1989 edition of Fatal Vision, in response to Janet Malcolm’s wrongheaded and factually inaccurate New Yorker attack on my journalistic ethics and me, (later published as a book titled The Journalist and The Murderer)  is now available online.

And guess where?

Right here. On this very site where you already are.

As I say in the introduction to the epilogue–I know it’s weird to have an “introduction” to an “epilogue,” but what can I do?–

In 1989, the New Yorker published a two-part article by Janet Malcolm entitled “The Journalist and the Murderer.” In the article, which was published in book form a year later, Malcolm offered her skewed perception of my relationship with Jeffrey MacDonald–the subject of my 1983 book, Fatal Vision–to support her bizarre hypothesis that “Every journalist…knows that what he does is morally indefensible.” So numerous and egregious were Malcolm’s omissions, distortions and outright misstatements of fact that I felt compelled to set the record straight in an epilogue to the updated edition of Fatal Vision that was published in 1989.   There is no statute of limitations on truth. Even now, twenty-two years later, Malcolm’s fictions ought not to be accepted uncritically.

What makes this relevant to THE ROGUE is that Jeffrey MacDonald was the first pathologically narcissistic psychopath about whom I ever wrote a book.

Guess who’s the second?

Why Is This Not A Surprise?

The poorer and less educated you are, the more likely you are to like Sarah.