The difference between an obsessive and a professional

I had to laugh earlier today when I saw a cute little piece in the “Daily Intel” section of New York Magazine called “Inside the Palin Industrial Complex: The People Who Thrive on Speculating About Her Presidential Intentions.”

The writer, Noreen Malone, categorizes the various people who write or talk frequently about Sarah in public places.  Under the category of “The Obsessives,” she lists Andrew Sullivan and me.

Anyone who regularly reads “The Dish,” Andrew’s blog at The Daily Beast, is aware of the wide range of subjects that engage his penetrating intellect. Sarah Palin is only one among many.

The failure of mainstream media to acknowledge that even doubt about Sarah’s account of her pregnancy with Trig might be legitimate has prompted him to continue to express such doubt, even in the face of widespread ridicule and condemnation.

I would call that persistence, not obsession.

As for me, Malone writes:

“Reporter Joe McGinness [sic], for instance, famously moved to the house next door to Palin’s in Alaska so he could better gather intel for a book. His Rogue blog is a running chronicle of Palin’s movements, along with occasional Wasilla reportage…McGinness’[sic] book is out in a month — and it will good for sales if she runs.”

I signed a contract to write about about Sarah in November, 2009.  A year and a half later, working full time on it, I delivered the book.  Since then, in order to build interest in the book, I’ve been blogging–mostly about Sarah.

Does that make me “obsessive?”

Hardly.

It makes me professional:  I signed a contract to write a book, I wrote the book, and starting next month I’ll promote the book.  When the job is done, I’ll move on to the next job, as I’ve been doing for more than forty years.

If Nora Malone wants to meet people who are obsessive about Sarah, I suggest she look at some of the commenters on this and other Palin-related blogs.

Writing about Sarah day after day, often many times in the same day, without even getting paid for it–now that’s obsessive.

That’s all for now, friends.  I’ve got to get started on my preparations for Hurricane Irene, whose acquaintance I expect to make on Sunday.

One thing I need to do is shore up the sixteen-foot fence I built earlier this summer so my next door neighbor wouldn’t be able to see what I was cooking on my grill.

 

75 Responses to “The difference between an obsessive and a professional”

  • SCmommy:

    No offense, Joe–but if there weren’t people “writing about Sarah day after day, often many times in the same day, without even getting paid for it,” there wouldn’t be much information out there about her at all–nor would there be as large an audience to whom to hock your book. You might want to refrain from the put-downs on the people who have most been looking forward to buying your wares.

    I, for one, am extremely grateful to those Alaskan bloggers (and others not from Alaska!) who have doggedly followed her and exposed her for the fraud that she is–all while “not getting paid for it.”

  • omomma:

    Uhm, “obsessive” more aptly describes palinblog visitors than anyone who does actual writing about her. Most of the writers are quite good–Sullivan and McGinness among them. But I’d bet there are a lot of us who are really just waiting for the day the train finally wrecks so we can find more useful ways to waste our time online.

  • Joe:

    To point out that some people are obsessed by Sarah’s having gotten away with so much for so long is not to put down those people. I’m simply pointing out that there are many Palin “obsessives” and that if Ms. Malone wants to write about “obsessives,” she should write about those who comment so frequently on Palin-related blogs. I, too, am grateful for politicalgates, palingates, immoral minority, progressive alaska, malia litman, laura novak and many others for doing the job that MSM should have been doing since 2008 (and Alaskan media even before that.)

    –Joe

  • Arapaho 415:

    What this New York magazine blogpost highlights is that unserious journalism is rewarded.

    It seems the primary qualification for online success as a journalist is shallow thinking on a topic that has proven to get past pageviews. If you’re snarky and sheeplike with the rest of the MSM, all the better!

    The MSM likes to jump on bandwagons, such as “MSNBC is the liberal version of Fox News.” It’s a given that to succeed in today’s media, a person or entity needs to establish a “brand.” MSNBC has grasped the “liberal” branding, but it’s lazy thinking to equate Ailes’ Fox News propaganda distribution factory (facts be damned) to the investigative reporting that Rachel Maddow pursues every weekday (although she too gleefully embraces snark). Based on Rachel’s appearance on David Letterman this week, the 9/11 documentary created by Rachel and Richard Engel will shed important light on the impact to our country and its citizens since that horrific attack on American soil.

    I despair to think that this important reflection will be dismissed by the MSM as “merely” left-wing propaganda. You may not agree with Maddow and Engel’s conclusions, but Americans need to seriously compare where we are in 2011 versus 2001. The 10-year anniversary of this event should spur this discussion.

  • Enjay in E MT:

    ok – I am a $arahPalin addict
    and I really appreciate the various blogs, media organizations,
    TV shows, Political Pundits, facebook and authors
    who provide me with my Palin fix every day.

    I remember exactly when this happened…. August 29th, 2008
    John McCain announced his running mate in Dayton Ohio
    and I went ….. who the f*ck is THAT!

    After reading internet blogs, posted articles…….
    I knew the country was in BIG Trouble.
    I clicked on Barack Obama and donated
    to his campaign.

    PS – I double ordered your book so the library would have a copy

  • Edie2113:

    SCmommy:
    August 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I’m on the same page with your analysis of this article. I re-read the statement a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly. And Joe, although you say “some”, a reader may deduce you are indicating in addition to ridiculing them…staunch supporters of your writing. It’s like “biting the hand that feeds you”. “Perception is reality”

  • guest:

    …and some of us really do get it, Mr. Mcginniss.

    I think we’re all a little obsessed. I’m not reading/commenting on equally-worthy stories about Pat Tillman and Krakauer’s book, am I?

    Thanks for your time, Joe. You rock.

    Verde Valley School
    Class of 1980

  • gypsyrose:

    Joe,
    Are you aware that on September 20 1973 the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was played out with Billie Jean winning the $100,00.00 prize? As I am sure you are aware it was called “the battle of the sexes”. Here’s to you winning the “battle of the sexes” on September 20, 2011. Your win would mean a win for all of us here and around the world. I am sure everyone who is obsessed would agree:)
    After all, the common thread for everyone’s obsessiveness (here and on sp watchdog sites) is seeing her fall epically and permanently……..yes?
    Cheers for any and all obsessives – whether temporary, ongoing or intermittent, who have contributed to sp getting what she deserves…….

    Stay safe and get your wife and dog (s?) out of harm’s way and into a cozy and safe hotel somewhere far from the coast.

    peace.

  • B:

    “If Nora [sic] Malone wants to meet people . . .”

    I am proud to be obsessive about Babygate, and hopeful that soon we can all give the MSM a big “Told you so.”

    Stay safe, Joe.

  • PopSixSquish:

    I think a problem with Palin “obsessives” is, they heavily rely on rumors to get page loads. They don’t moderate ridiculous comments meant to confuse. They contribute to the “nothing adds up” mantra many of you have frustratingly screamed at times. In reality, if everyone’s sources were incredibly accurate and no one led people down the garden path for purely entertainment purposes, then things would probably add more better.

    That’s not to say that the story is simple. It means it COULD be much simpler if people wouldn’t believe every tine thing that is written on a blog. Especially a blog that exaggerates and relies on propaganda.

  • Trixy:

    And I am also happy for the blogs which temper the craziness with humor – I couldn’t stay in it without ‘em! Some people can go all day without smiling, but I would never be able to stay involved if I didn’t have my funnies. Satire done well is very “emotion releasing”. Let the photoshopped graphics, clever lyrics, hypothetical reenactments and plastic dolls say it for me when it’s just too much to say it myself.

    http://theperilsofpalins.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/sarahs-newsweek-photo-shoot-after-a-couple-of-wine-coolers/

    http://secretdiaryofsarahpalin.com/news/me-me-me-me-me

    http://lynnrockets.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/palin-plummetts-in-polls-again/

  • B:

    PopSixSquish said, “[T]hings would probably add more better.”

    Sounds like word salad. That you, Sarah?

  • krbmjb05:

    I’m just waiting to see if she’ll announce if she’s running or not. If she’s not, I will turn my focus on the MANY other delusional dominionists that are looking to destroy this country. However, she is the first politician that has truly scared the crap out of me and made me worry about my children’s future! She has opened the door for the other loons…so, once she’s disabled, like a video game, more will come busting through the door!

  • Joe:

    Actually, reality is reality. Perception is in the eye of the beholder.

    –Joe

  • Trixy:

    Try going a day, just one day, w/o snarking at another poster who relates their personal experience within completely acceptable boundaries of polite society.

    It’s transparent that you didn’t like their comment about rumors and page loads so had to come up with a sarcastic comment. Can you tell me how that furthers blog discussion, and attracts new posters or people who read and don’t post much or (ever have)? What is this adding to the conversation? Does everyone who has a differing opinion always going to get labeled Sarah, Bristol, Willow or Rebecca? At the end of the day, did you further your cause or drive it backwards a bit?

  • diz:

    I’m surprised that Malone didn’t notice Palin’s three year obsession with berating the President every time she finds a camera, microphone or a ghost-writer at her disposal.

    Nothing we can do from the hinterlands to help all of you in the path but know that many of us are sending positive thoughts and prayers for everyone’s safety. This to counter Beck’s words that the hurricane is a ‘blessing’. Sorry Glenn, this is a tragedy in the making and no amount of handy survival packs will help those who lose their lives, homes and belongings. A pox on these malevolent messianics.

  • Virginia Voter:

    Umm, ok, here’s why I have been following the slow moving Palin train wreck for three years now. When Sarah Palin took that stage almost exactly three years ago, I was aghast. I knew absolutely nothing about this woman, never even heard her name before, but I knew something was radically wrong with her and her family. The deer in the headlights look on Bristol holding Trig , covering her belly with a blanket, an obviously non postpartum Sarah who could not have possibly given birth a few months earlier, and her nasty, snarky tone she delivered her speeches with all set off my alarm bells. When I started googling and reading up on Sarahs magical mystery 6 week pregnancy and the wild ride, I was incredulous. More googling, and finding IM and Mudflats I was dumbfounded….Troopergate, Per diem gate, Bridge to Nowhere, and then those disastrous Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric interviews, and I realized that McCain had not vetted Sarah all. Here was a woman who could not even speak proper English, had no grasp of foreign policy , the economy, or what the function of the VP was, and the Republican party tried to present her to the voting populace of the most powerful nation on earth to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    Sarah Palin is a mentally unbalanced fraud and she has been protected and coddled by the Republican party and it’s propaganda arm , News Corp. She has made millions from sketchy non profit front groups, hurls spit balls at her enemies from the safety of Facebook and Twitter, and poisoned political discourse without consequence. The reason no one takes her down is because if she is truly exposed for faking a pregnancy, and goes down, she takes McCain and the entire Republican party with her.They know her secrets, many people do. Sarah is still a useful idiot, but now that she’s pissed off Rove, I don’t know how much longer they will allow her to keep her carnival barker job. I imagine it won’t be too much longer…don’t look for her to announce a Presidential run anytime soon. Sarah is stupid, but not that stupid.

  • Sharon_Too_Also:

    So Malone starts out her piece by saying: “I was a paid Palinologist in my former job at Slate” then goes on to list all the people who are still at it.

    Hope while she was writing this sly mocking piece about Palin and all her professional chroniclers, she didn’t break her arm patting herself on the back for escaping the necessity to write about Palin. Now she write about Palin for the pure joy of it.

  • ManxMamma:

    Beautifully stated Virginia Voter. Thank you!

  • carollt:

    I will gladly admit my obsession with Sarah Palin. Like Enjay in E MT, I googled Sarah Palin on August 29, 2008 and within twenty minutes, I came out thinking that McCain had selected a know-nothing nut job for Vice President.

    The woman knows absolutely nothing. She knew nothing in August of 2008, and she still knows absolutely nothing. I am horrified at how close she came to power. If residents of Alaska voted for her for their Governor, that is their business, but when she gets on the national stage, it becomes my business.

    I am hard pressed to think of any other politician who is or was as ignorant as Sarah Palin. And she wears her ignorance like a badge of honor. Africa is not a country and the founding fathers had very good reasons to separate religion from government.

    Her hypocrisy is also a source of contention with me. She claims Obama is a socialist, but it was Sarah who raised taxes on the oil companies in Alaska and used the money to cut a check to every citizen in the State. That is well beyond socialism and borders on robbery by the Government in my mind. When she took over as mayor, Wasilla had no long-term debt, but under Sarah, the little town is indebted to the tune of over twenty million dollars. She also left Alaska with the largest per capita debt in the nation. Hardly the fiscal conservative she would have us believe. As mayor, she remodeled her office, not once, but twice, at a cost in the tens of thousands. She even collected a per diem for living in her own home as Governor.

    I am a direct descendant of Aquilia Chase (my maiden name), who came to this country in 1638. We Chases have fought and died in every war this nation has ever been in. I myself am a veteran of the U.S. Navy. And we didn’t do this so an ignoramus could come in and spout a bunch of nonsense. I expect the leaders of this country to know something, even if I disagree with their position. I didn’t care for Nixon, but he was a very smart man who knew more than I about most everything.

    I would like nothing better than to go on with my life and never hear the name of Sarah Palin again. To put it bluntly, every American should be concerned, and a bit obsessed, when a dumbass is so close to power.

    And that is why I was so happy to hear that Joe McGinniss was going to write a book about Sarah Palin. Finally, maybe, possibly, people will wake up to to how close we came to dodging a bullet. I am so hoping that September 20, 2011 will be the beginning of the end for Mrs. Palin.

    All that being said, I read the article in the New York magazine and thought it was the lamest article on all things Palin that I have ever read. I don’t think Andrew Sullivan liked it any better than you Joe.

  • B:

    Thanks for reminding me to respond to PSS’s comment from the previous thread. It made no sense to me either.

    PSS said we HAD to respect Sarah for putting herself out there and fighting for what she believes in, just like Hillary; and, “Look at the crassness of the media and how it automatically treats ANY conservative;” and also, “We haven’t had a true leader with actual qualifications in the office of the President since . . . Clinton.” That unsupported comment also sounded like Sarah could have written it, except maybe not the Bill Clinton part.

    Sarah is no Hillary, I don’t HAVE to respect Palin politically, the media coddles conservatives, and Obama IS a leader and qualified President. And if by “a blog that exaggerates and relies on propaganda.” she means this one (or Sully’s or maybe Gryphen’s or Patrick’s? not clear), then I am also defending all of them for trying to get it right with no help from the MSM–and criticism like Ms. Malone’s, which was the subject of this post.

  • Rocky in Texas said...:

    “One thing I need to do is shore up the sixteen-foot fence I built earlier this summer so my next door neighbor wouldn’t be able to see what I was cooking on my grill.”

    Thats a good one Joe.

    Best laugh I’ve had all day.

    Thanks!

  • Trixy:

    We can always just say “No, I don’t agree with you. Provide some more background or just sound nutty – up to you!” That’s about as snarky as I can get because I don’t really know who I’m talking to. It might be my neighbor, it might be my Dad (heaven forbid!) and sometimes we just have to ignore it and move on if they are stuck like a warped record. I didn’t really get the post, either.

  • anonymous:

    For what it’s worth………..we each decide on the connotative qualities of a word. Obsessive, obsessively, obsessives, etc. are not always a negative. I assumed Joe was stating the difference between him being labeled an “obsessive” and his actually being a “professional”. I did not see where he was defining the term in any way except by using himself as an example of not being an obsessive and sp watchdog sites and many of those who comment as being obsessive. His replies to several comments actually reveal that he values the many, many people who blog and comment and are obsessive. Being obsessed with bringing out the truth about a lying, hypocritical,vengeful, vindictive and ugly human being is not generally considered to be a negative unless of course it causes harm to the object of the obsession or the one who is obsessed. By harm, I of course mean physical harm.

    Please don’t accuse me of having “fatal vision”…………………..LOL

  • guest:

    I love all that stuff and appreciate the creative energy. Some of it is hilarious. As a foil to real conversation about real stuff. And sometimes we just need to stop talking and have a laugh. Symbiotic.
    Not – one at the expense of the other.

  • Myboys:

    Carollt

    That was fabulous!!!!!! I wish I could put into words how I feel about the demise of our country with the likes of a Sarah Palin. You did it for me ………

    I thank you!!!!!

  • Ivyfree:

    I am proudly obsessive about the United States. I have a distant ancestress who dressed as a man and fought in the Revolution. I was amazed- and amused- when my mother (who was born in a log cabin, in 1922) confessed that she had circulated a petition to get an incompetent teacher fired when she was in high school… successfully. I come from a line of people who are willing to draw the line and stand on it.

    I was appalled when I realized what McCain had chosen.. which wasn’t until after the election because I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention at that time. Hey, Bush COULDN’T win AGAIN. But McCain might have, and he might have taken Sarah Palin with him.

    I’ll be very glad when Sarah retreats to well-deserved obscurity. I hope some of the “Alaska Blogs” will shift to social organizations because I will miss a lot of the people I’ve ‘met.” Sarah won’t be one of them.

  • Marc:

    Well said VV!! Kudos!

  • Flying Pig Ranch:

    I would love to be paid for my snark. Perhaps, I could set up a PAC and pay myself?

    Waiting for your book to appear on my Kindle, Joe. Then I won’t be spending so much time obsessing over the blogs and the comments. The Rogue had better be the cure for what is ailing me.

  • Trixy:

    Paul Revere agrees with you about not talking for awhile and laughing instead – at least his reincarnated doll self does. He does like to yell “Blam!! Blam!! Ring Ring!!” a lot because it makes us all laugh for a moment or two!

    http://theperilsofpalins.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/paul-reveres-midnight-ride/

  • Trixy:

    Just imagine! You might have chosen to write a book about someone who didn’t give a steady stream of material to blog about after the book was written and before publication. Sarah keeps it all alive on a manic up and down basis and the blogging just whizzes along.

    She has fueled much anger, much disgust, and much creativity in those who oppose the idea of what she stands for. I could do without the huge dose of the first two, but I’m not sure my life would be complete without the flash mobs, brilliant comedy shows, and Sarah Palin jokes. When I get down on being a human sometimes and sharing the planet with meanies, I reflect on the wit, strength, intelligence and compassion we can use to turn the tide of darkness.

  • carollt:

    Thank you Myboys. When it comes to Sarah Palin, I think we have a silent majority (Nixon’s words, not mine) who do want her anywhere near the White House.

  • guest:

    I’m not sure I did. Being brutal and direct – but not mean. Since I dunno, I won’t interject lame-ass snark. It’s just an opener. If someone else gets it and there’s subsequent commentary, then I’ll maybe have something to say.

  • guest:

    The woman has been campaigning a loooong time. I’m waiting for her to say she’s NOT.

  • Trixy:

    One joke, I just have to…

    Preparing madly for her fake reality show, Sarah Palin decides she better learn to go ice fishing. Being the prepared outdoors klutz she is, she’d seen pictures in many books on the subject, and finally, after getting all the necessary items together, she made for the nearest frozen lake.

    After positioning her footstool, she started to make a circular cut in the ice. Suddenly, from the sky, a voice boomed, “THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

    Startled, Sarah moved further down the ice and began to cut yet another hole. Again, from the heavens, the voice bellowed, “THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

    Sarah, now quite worried, moved way down to the opposite end of the ice, sat up her stool, and tried again to cut her hole. The voice came once more, “THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!”

    She stopped, looked skyward, and said, “Is that you, God? Why are you YELLING at your favorite daughter?”

    The voice replied, “THIS ISN’T GOD, THIS IS THE MANAGER OF THE WASILLA HOCKEY RINK!”

  • BeeEss:

    Joe – quick thing that might interest you. I was at the Wasilla bookstore closing today. Dunn’s book had about four copies left, Bailey’s two. As I’m wandering around the store I come upon a WHOLE RACK of America By Heart. What does that say? They took a loss on Palin’s book. I like to think that had your book been out, there wouldn’t be any left! Thanks for all you do.

  • KatieAnnieOakley:

    Could not have said it any better. Well done.

  • I’m thinking this is one of those times the term irony actually applies… and Joe still doesn’t get it.

  • In defense of Alaska, I must aver Quitler was not going to be re-elected.

  • Joe:

    Sorry, but what is it that I still don’t get?

    –Joe

  • Really?:

    VA…you do purty good puttin’ words and such fer an “amateur.”

  • minnesotamud:

    Yes.

  • lillibird:

    excellent comment…but..”Sarah is stupid, but not that stupid”-I wouldn’t bet on that, she’s narcissistic + stupid!

  • Jaguar:

    My experience follows many of the comments on this blog, Especially Virginia Voter. I was trying to figure our whom McCain would choose as VP, and I had a feeling he thought he could pick up a lot of disinfranchized Woman Voters who backed Hillary, but he was woefully mistaken with Sarah Palin. I recall scouring the internet to find out more about her, only to find her Wiki page and others I had bookmarked had been either scrubbed or removed completely.
    I found the Alaska Blogs and researched the various “accomplishments” of their Governor, and was appalled and disgusted at what I found.
    I try my best to adhere to a “balanced diet” approach to where I get my information. While I do value the void that the Alaskan Blogs have filled that the mainstream meadia either ignores or glosses over in fear of losing readership or stepping on the wrong toes, I agree with Joe’s definition of “obsessive” vs “professional”.
    I read the NYT, a few local papers, magazines and have some go to sites for news, but always question the motive of the writer and the target audience they’re trying to reach.

    Being compared to Andrew Sullivan isn’t a bad thing.

    Stay Safe, Joe!

    Love your line:

    “Actually, reality is reality. Perception is in the eye of the beholder.”

  • More_Cowbell:

    I can’t help but think that no one would be paid to write about Sarah, two years after her short campaign run, if it hadn’t been for the hard work done by bloggers and commenters from the very day her candidacy was announced. It seems to me disingenuous in the extreme to claim that, two years down the line, the person who gets paid to write about Sarah is “professional” while the people who ensured that enough details came out about Sarah to make her a marketable subject are “obsessive.”

  • Bretta:

    MSNBC is too inane to be called liberal.

    It is too busy stumbling over its own stupid self to be respected.

  • Rene:

    I am not motivated to increase my bank account focused on Palin. Her not being elected was a great reward. I have a vested interest in family, grandchildren being born, citizens that a pathological liar possible sociopath not rise to power.

  • Apologies, Joe… I was thinking of critical remarks you had made regarding “obsessives” and their spin while I’ve conveniently forgotten and ignored some of the more egregious examples, which luxury you of course have not.

    Heck, I myself have gotten a reaming or two at some blogs for deviating from the accepted narrative so I really can’t say where I was coming from last night (actually, yes I can: my cups); again, I’m sorry.

    Stay safe friend and keep on the good Work.

  • B:

    Rachel is not inane.

  • Beaglemom:

    Unfortunately, the Noreen Malone piece is just what’s been wrong about the msm and Sarah Palin. It’s always a little joke and it always includes jibes at blogs that have addressed Sarah Palin and all of the issues that surround her. If Malone had taken the time to look at the variety of coverage given in “Palingates” and “Politicalgates,” she would have learned that there are many serious issues that speak volumes of the damage Sarah Palin and her handlers have done to political discourse in this country. It’s the reason these blogs and others exist now: to make sure that Sarah Palin remains unelectable to any office.

    Don’t look into the many “gates” now swirling around Sarah Palin, just dismiss any of her critics as “obsessive.” Don’t question why the Republican Party did not vet her properly in 2008 and just assumed that, since she was a governor, she would be qualified to be vice-president of the country. Don’t look at the photos of a non-pregnant Sarah Palin claiming to be pregnant, just wipe them away from the internet. Don’t ask about the association of both Sarah and Todd Palin with the AIP, just ignore it. Don’t ask why her children were covered by federally-funded health care but she would not want such coverage for all children. Don’t ask where she got the nonsense about “death panels,” just keep repeating the phrase. Don’t ask about Sarah Palin’s obsession with the Obamas, just ignore it. The msm avoided the real questions in 2008 through 2010 and is still avoiding them. My question is why?

    There are a lot of us citizens who are angry that she was allowed to introduce such nastiness into the election of 2008, during the health care debate in 2009 and in the mid-term election of 2010. This is why we follow the blogs and this is why we comment. The bloggers (from ImmoralMinority, the Mudflats, Palingates, Politicalgats, and many more) and their readers/commenters are doing the job that the msm has failed to do.

    My Saturday rant is over. Stay safe – everyone on the East Coast.

  • mea:

    in my humble opinion, what Sarah Palin did was reveal reality. She revealed the dark side of our nation, its people, its media, and its lovers of anger and schaedenfreude. (sp?) She is only a vessel, indicative of so many uglinesses, reflecting us back at ourselves. she is not the biggest problem, because she will go away. who will replace her? the people who backed her, who love and adolize her will still be out there.

    i am glad for people like Joe who expose the Beast for who she is. Hopefully his book will also highlight how her followers and the media are cause for concern, too. when SPAK is no more, we still must remain vigilant!

  • jcinco:

    I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for stating so eloquently what so many of us are thinking. I wish your comment was posted on every political site out there.

  • GypsyGirl:

    Yeah. Like the CeeOPee.

  • GypsyGirl:

    You get 10 gold stars for that comment.

    So spot-on the money. You called it well. Tks.

  • GypsyGirl:

    LMAO! Good one! Love it.
    We can ALL borrow it yes?

  • grammy11:

    This morning Politico.com asks, “Palin a “scam artist?”. I wonder. after all she, her family and friends have been living the good life with the Pac and legal funds and they keep begging for more and more money. It makes me wonder if she ever had any intention for running for the highest political office in the land with the lowest poll numbers.

  • GypsyGirl:

    B-I-N-G-O

    You just hit the nail on its round head with such force that you flattened the nailhead.

    From one stand-point, we have this point.
    It’s those so-called egotisical “professionals” who make certain “confessions” with regards to SP now 3yrs after the “announcement from Hell” who DID NOT DO their “jobs” from the beginning regarding Palin and thus should be down on their knees, hugging & kissing not only the ground they walk on but the Alaskan Bloggers themselves in addition to thanking them from the bottom of their yellow-jouralism cowardly little hearts that because of them, those “non-professional” and “obsessive” bloggers, that SP is either VP today, nor a heart-beat away from the presidency-by-default.

    I keep saying, the question I’m so flippin’ tired of hearing is, “Will she or won’t she run for the Office of President?”

    Yet the question that we should be asking yet I’ve never heard it asked is this one.

    “But is she or isn’t truly FIT [in all aspects] to HOLD the Office of President?”

    THAT’S the question I’d like all those, as SP has grandly labeled them, the LameStreamMedia “professionals” to for once in their “professional” media careers, honestly answer for once & for all.
    If they would finally ask that question, and finally give their honest-to-goodness answer, then maybe, just maybe [from my mouth to God's ears] that we’d finally be done with her for once & for all.
    Let’s stop pussyfooting around the bushes with this prick-tease from Hell.

    So to paraphrase Robin, answer me that Batman!

    It started with some obscure 21yr old in the middle of nowhere who thought he had political savvy, he didn’t.
    Then it was picked up by others who they too thought they were so politically savvy, they weren’t & still aren’t.
    Onward & upward the GOP-Food-Chain it went till little Billy Kristol went A-courtin’ with old man Fred Barnes to find their not-so-holy grail in a vision of stilettlos & upsweeps yet turned out to be a shrew. They believed she was the cat’s meow but all she has ever done is to claw people.
    After the Cruise-2-Hell, McCain’s boys picked up the scent like they were a pack of Al Pacinos in the “Scent of a Woman” and thought they struck gold in the Alaskan wilderness but it turned out to be nothing but Pyrite.
    Then those guys became bees buzzing into McCain ears all about the sow-cow & how she’ll save his day & political career.

    From there, we now all know about the sordid history of SP.
    And for sure it’s not pretty …. YouBetcha!!!

  • nancydrewed:

    From José Ortega y Gasset — “I prefer bad people to stupid people, because bad people sometimes give it a rest.”

    I think a number of bad people found in Sarah, one who would play her role in a calculation that would allow them to “sometimes give it a rest”. Foolish calculation — they can’t now make Sarah stop.

    Josh Greene in The Atlantic took a stab at painting her as a tragedy. I think he got it very wrong, and I’m hoping The Rogue tackles, at least in part, what it means about us as a polity that she’s still on the national stage after being found so undeniably wanting.

  • arapaho415:

    Agree with B.

    Rachel has her snarky snide which is offputting to those who weren’t born after the end of the Vietnam war, but in the U.S., we can count on one hand those national outlets who actively pursue investigative journalism (NPR, CBS’ 60 Minutes… can’t think of any others).

    Her team broadcasts national investigations every weekday, and also focuses on local issues as well, performing a broad public service.

    Agree that outside of Richard Engel, NBC has a dearth of field reporter talent and MSNBC is really not a news outlet.

  • I noticed Malone neglected to mention the NYT in her “obsessives” grouping. They ran a front-page above-the-fold story accompanied by a rather large photo on the day she launched her breathless June bus “tour”. Her motorcycle appearance in DC earlier had gotten the same treatment. These told me that Palin is supposedly worthy of my immediate attention, as per the country’s paper of record.

    That is a maddening editorial policy. Do they create her or cover her? I choose to read your book or Andrew’s blog entries. The Times, seems to me, is making value decisions about what is important to us all. Front page placement tells me I should read those stories.

  • quills:

    Imho Joe ~ actually, actuality is real (or fact). Reality is perception (and perspective).

  • guest:

    Well, let’s take a look at that, shall we? Professional writer or obsessive. Professional or amateur (?).

    Certainly professional writers can be obsessive. In fact, I would say most are. That’s some part of the element of being driven, and how they get it done. The skill set of writing, producing, publishing and going the entire distance of putting a volume of work on the shelf in the library and in the bookstore.

    Professional writer. Author. One who is paid for generating pieces of writing. The career path of writing. A sports writer might never publish a book, but still earns a great living as a writer. An author is specifically what a book writer is called. Just so we’re clear.
    People who write books for a living, a paycheck, have a publisher. Sometimes they have literary agents. Usually they set out to become writers and had writing-specific goals. Employed in that field.
    Some authors write fiction, some write non-fiction, some write both. Both usually have a subject or topic they specialize in, for whatever reason (the “genre”), because of academic credential and training, personal background or expertise. Biographers typically write books on a number of different individuals of some import or broad public interest. Obviously.
    Then there’s people who publish a book secondary to some other career, often academics, or because they have something to say – anthropologists, Carl Sagan, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Julia Childs, the Dalai Lama. Perhaps they earn money from it, perhaps not. Either way, one doesn’t consider them a professional writer. Sarah Palin has not earned being called a “professional writer”.

    Then there’s the world of “recreational” writers, for lack of a better term. Hobbyists. Dabblers. People who really want to publish something but lack the professional resource or skill. My own term: vanity authors. People who pay a publisher for a publication to distribute themselves. There’s nothing that says that such a thing couldn’t be very good. But typically it doesn’t get broad acclaim.

    The internet blog world is something different altogether. It’s a new medium of direct immediate “publishing” available to everyone. Part reading materials and part social environment. It replaces newsletters and old-fashioned “round robins”. It’s more communications and personal journals, than literary in the strictest sense. Very effective in real-time journalism. I believe this medium will eventually replace conventional news altogether, in some far-off time.

    So, did we get there, yet?
    Joe McGinniss. Writing is his profession. Trained for it and sought employment in the industry directly out of school. Started in journalism – Worcester Telegram reporter (1964), Philadelphia Bulletin sportswriter, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist (1966). Howard Cosell profile (TV Guide, 1968). Tried for Hubert Humphrey, but ended up with Nixon instead (1969).
    A couple of books every decade, for 40 years. An Italian soccer team, Ted Kennedy, murderers and family crime, horse racing, politics, biographies.
    Prolific writer, big bank account. McGinniss fits the criteria as a professional writer.

    Does that mean that writers who are unpaid are less worthy? Absolutely not. There are wonderful writings and writers, unpublished.
    Are the other players in this “Tastes Great/Less Filling,” who-gets-to-write-about-Sarah Palin-first thing, less credible? Absolutely not. Should they get to write, too? Of course! Should they write books and expect to be published? You bet! Whether or not they are published is a matter of committing to the work that part requires. Finding a publisher, marketing the book. That’s what the compensation is for.
    Are they any good? Well, I don’t know. I suppose that remains to be seen, since none of them have published a book before now.

    Mudflats – Really terrific writing. I love reading her stuff and very well-written. She didn’t actually start with Sarah Palin. She started with Don Young. Is she a professional writer/published author? Not as far as I know.
    Politicalgates Patrick – Not too bad. I know nothing of him except what’s on that blog. I don’t know what he does for a living. He’s putting the time in to develop a writing career. But he’s anonymous. It’s going to be hard to buy his book. : )
    Palingates Regina – Pretty good. Very readable. Sound arguments and well-developed case, easy to read. She may live in France, but her command of English and appropriate easy use of American vernacular, slang, jargon makes me think she’s an American/British expat. Definitely English is a first or primary language. Don’t know what she does for a living.
    Frank Bailey – Alaska Airlines employee and eager campaign volunteer harvested to serve as an aide to Palin’s administration. A writer? No.
    Linda, Gryphen, “Bladecatz”, Philip Munger, Shailey Tripp, et.al. – I don’t know if these people have published stuff or worked as journalists, etc, but based on the bits that I do know, they have not worked at it as a vocation.
    Are they worthy? Sure. Are they dedicated to the topic of Sarah Palin? Yep. Do they work hard at it? Yes. Do they accomplish something and add to the knowledge base? Absolutely. Do they research and write about other topics? Nope, this is all about Sarah Palin. Are they professional writers? No.

    Now, if we’re gonna start down the road of ethics about taking money for writing, then you’re going to have to consider whether folks should be taking money for producing movies, acting, works of art, painting, etc.
    It’s a craft. Scribes have been paid throughout history. It was a limited and valuable skill up until the contemporary era and laws requiring children to be taught to read and write.

    You don’t think Sarah and Bristol’s writers did it for free, do you?
    Just my opinion.

  • mudmanor:

    I’m proud to be an obsessive who has hung out with the likes of Virginia Voter these 3+ years. All we have to gain is the good of the country.

  • Reality Check:

    Good post. Andrew Sullivan is an incredibly compelling and talented writer, and yes, touches upon a vast, vast range of subjects. And I respect his persistence, which I believe will one day be vindicated. As for lumping you, Joe McGinniss, in with the “Palin industrial complex,” the writer is completely off the mark. And, I suspect, feels guilty about her prior membership in this group to the extent she wants to lump anyone who examines Sarah Palin in the same shallow category of fluffy, speculative “reportage.” That’s ok, we know better. I’ve read several of your books, and am well aware of your extensive career as a REAL investigative journalist. (btw, Fatal Vision is one of those rare books that I have read over and over and over.)

  • Reality Check:

    Good post, Guest, but I slightly disagree with your assessment of Internet blog writing. As a whole, anyway. I don’t see how it can replace traditional news reportage when it basically depends on traditional reporting to piggyback off of. I would say the vast majority of blogs are just opinion pieces on news that actual reporters gathered for them. And it costs money to track down and report that news. How will free bloggers replace that?

  • B:

    You lost me, but I didn’t go read Malone’s article, so maybe that is why. I thought Joe was explaining that he is not obsessed with Sarah Palin. Then in comments he clarified that he does not look down on bloggers who are.

  • guest:

    B – it’s a response in this thread. Read More_Cowbell: August 27, 4:04 am. Which is a thought on McGinniss’ post about the article.

  • guest:

    …add mo’ betta…
    Sounds ‘local’ Islander to me! Perfect! We say exactly THAT all the time! Yay!

  • B:

    I did read More Cowbell, who was objecting to Joe calling himself professional and the bloggers obsessive. MC suggests the bloggers were responsible for Joe’s or anyone’s being asked to write a book about Palin. You then jump to professional v. amateur, but MC was addressing “obsessive.” So I couldn’t follow your comment.

  • Joe:

    May we try to maintain some perspective? I have great respect for–and have learned a lot from–all the bloggers I’ve already mentioned, including Immoral Minority, Progressive Alaska, Palingates, Politicalgates, and several others. But the fact is that no one at Crown Publishing had ever even heard of any of these blogs in November, 2009, when I was signed to write THE ROGUE. Bloggers about Palin have much of value to say, and some say it quite well, but they are not on the radar screen of major publishers in New York, such as Crown, which this fall will publish, in addition to THE ROGUE, the memoirs of Condoleeza Rice. I’d published eleven books before being signed to write THE ROGUE. Five of them were New York Times best-sellers. Of the six that were not, five received major–and favorable–reviews in the New York Times Book Review. I don’t mean to brag by saying that, but I’d had a forty-year career as a successful author before signing a contract to write a book about Palin. Anyone who thinks that bloggers about Palin were somehow responsible for the offer from Crown Publishing that I accepted simply doesn’t understand how the real world works.

    I know Phil Munger and Jesse Griffin personally. I consider myself their friend. Whether I’m their friend or not, I admire much of what they do on their blogs. I’ve exchanged several emails with Patrick of Politicgates. I think the Politicalgates archives are the best single available resource for anyone wondering why questions are still being asked about Sarah really being Trig’s birth mother. The Immoral Minority archives are also rich in widely ignored material.

    I quote and credit both Phil and Jesse in THE ROGUE.

    Please don’t think that I consider myself on some higher plane. I don’t.

    I do, however, get paid for my writing, which allows me to do the sort of extended and immersive reporting that people
    like Phil and Jesse are not able to do. That doesn’t make me a better person, or even a better writer, but it ought to suggest
    that a book I’ve worked on full-time for almost two years, with months prior to that spent on a magazine story about the same
    subject, might contain something of value.

    You can all judge for yourselves, starting September 20.

    –Joe

  • gypsyrose:

    Joe,
    I for one am embarrassed that because of some comments you felt the need to reply and explain yourself as a writer AGAIN and state AGAIN, that you value many of the bloggers who keep everyone informed about sp.
    ( am referring to your comment at Aug.28th, 11:38pm.)

    Thank you for your IMMENSE PATIENCE as an author of multiple award winning books and as a FIRST TIME BLOGGER and as an amusing, informed and charming host here. I am not inferring that because you are a world renown author that your patience is more difficult to give or receive, only that you continue managing this blog even though I am sure it must wear on your last nerve at times.

    On another note, how did Irene treat you and yours? Did Oslo stay put and ride this storm out with you and your wife or high tail it for the woods again? I hope he is home and that home is safe and dry and with power and water.

    cheers!!!

  • guest:

    I was trying for diplomacy and a more insightful term than “obsessive”.
    But okay. Obsessive = blogger = amateur. Better?

    Unfortunately, publishers don’t pay for rank speculation. But maybe it’s time they did! Enough of the kibitzing and armchair-quarterbacking. Time for the Kingdom of Blog to fashion a marketable, readable, relevant 500-page narrative out of 50,000 blog comments.
    It’s not going to be enough to just cut and paste entire threads of “I’ve conclusively diagnosed her with psychosis and autism!”, “She’s malnourished and needs to wash her hair!”, and “She was never pregnant because no real mother holds a baby like that.” It’s going to have to have a beginning and an end and some kind of flow to it. All those allegations are going to have to be woven in and out to produce a story.
    Someone’s going to have quite the challenge of figuring out the liability to including the really good juicy illegal scandalous stuff (allegations that she uses Ecstasy and “Special K”, Todd pimps hookers to his friends, tax evasion, criminal fraud, forging documents and physician’s statements, etc.) and how to resolve intellectual property rights and divide up the advance and royalties fairly among the hundreds/thousands(?) of anonymous commentors entitled to a cut, without knowing identities.
    And strategic planning for resolving the hundreds of lawsuits that will follow from blog readers who feel that they suggested it first. It’ll probably meet class-action criteria. Which means the editor would be well-advised to put the entire advance into escrow toward this eventuality.
    I can’t even imagine the army of assistants this project is going to require. Just getting notarized affidavits will take years. You know, to back up the blog comment. For example, that anonymous commentor ‘A’ has personal knowledge that Sarah Palin had LipoDissolve injections while she was not actually pregnant in March 2008.

    Yeah. Do it. I’ll buy that book.

  • M. Aragon:

    We all know Palin wouldn’t know what to do with herself and will not know what to do with herself when we stop keeping a wary eye on her and reporting on her dubious activities. And none of us have forgotten that she might have been a heart beat away from the White House, if we hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a different team in.