Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Comparisons Between The Lies of Sarah Palin and Blind Allegiance at The Immoral Minority

A new review of Geoffrey Dunn's book, The Lies of Sarah Palin, by Herbert Calhoun Monday, for Op-Ed News, got Anchorage blogger Jesse Griffin to write an essay about the review. It spurred a number of commenters at Griffin's progressive Alaskan blog, The Immoral Minority, who had read both Dunn's book and the more recent Blind Allegiance, by Frank Bailey, to compare the two. It was the first time I'd seen the two Palin pans paralleled by more than one person at the same place.

In some ways, comparing the two is unfair.

Geoffrey Dunn is an award-winning author, film maker and educator, with decades of experience writing about some of the most interesting aspects of the constant changes and challenges of American life. He wrote the book himself, and there's a remarkable tone and generosity in his book.

Frank Bailey is a duplicitous, hypocritical opportunist, with little writing experience past political pap, inter-office memoranda, and letters to the editor, who had to have help from two co-authors who arguably aren't much better writers than I am. There's no tone, no generosity, no perceivable elevation from some sort of collaboration with his co-authors, no over-arching theme, past the simplistic one of his begging his readers for forgiveness for being such a shameless, bootlicking asshole.

Here are the comments that compare the two books:
I read Dunn's book on my Kindle and have wondered so many times why it isn't being promoted in the media as Bailey's book has been.

To me, an investigative reporter writing a well-researched book has more credibility than a disillusioned, disgruntled Palin staffer.
I agree, Dunn's book is excellent. I just finished Bailey's as well, and while fascinating, I found it a rugged ride. So difficult to believe that anyone could be that gullible, willing to risk everything for her, when he had every indication that she is an evil person and an unproductive politician from quite early on.
I initially chose Frank Bailey's book over The Geoff Dunn's because of the intimate relationship of Bailey to Palin. It was good but I think he tried not to show the truly despicable woman she is. I thought she came off as just extremely immature, vindictive and petty. IMO, he pulled some punches.

I REALLY want to read The Rogue too. I love Joe McGinniss' blog and it's really getting me anxious for the release.
I read Geoffrey Dunn's book and Frank Bailey's book. Would recommend both.
Yeah, I think that just about covers it. (hehe:)
btw: Dunn's book WAS excellent.
Bailey's book not so much.
I am looking forward to "The Rogue".
It was a very well written book. Much better than the Frank Bailey book. Don't get me wrong, Bailey's story needed telling but it was not so "professional" if you will.
I've read both Dunn's and Bailey's books and in my opinion Dunn's is vastly superior. I couln't put it down. His writing style is extremely engaging and fact based, as opposed to Bailey's book where I found myself being angry the whole time I read the darn thing. The writing in Bailey's book is very choppy, the time lines jump all over the place, there are many typos and grammatical errors--in other words, the ghostwriters are mediocre--and I couldn't shake the uneasy feeling that Bailey withheld a lot of information and is still protecting the grifter for whatever reason. Plus I think he's a very stupid man if he was really sucked in by the barracuda for as long and as much as he alleges. Read Dunn's book! I'm anxiously awaiting Joe McGinniss' book, and I'll read Levi's also.
I think Bailey's book was "designed" in such a way that it would be palatable to the right-wing reader/Christian community. On that score, I think it was done well and needed. (can't preach to the choir only). Joe McGinnis and Levi Johnston's books will reach another demographic... ALL Good - IMHO!
I loved Dunn's book. As a former Alaska resident, whose mother grew up half Native on a homestead in the Mat-Su, I am finding Bailey's book a little too heavy on Alaskan mythology. Dunn grasps Alaska without mythologizing it. I'm surprised that Bailey, who grew up in Alaska (I spent a brutal winter in Kodiak), has embraced the bs mythology about frontiery, tough Alaskans. Yes, they actually exist. Can't find that many in the Mat-Su valley anymore though (my grandfather was one of those). Certainly not in Anchorage. I lived there too, as well as in Juneau. I even spent a little time in Galena (very little, but highly entertaining). I put Bailey's book down because the oh-so-special Alaska thing was bugging me, and I kind of needed a break anyway after Dunn's book.
The reason Dunn's book hits harder than Frank's is those are Franks Balls hanging around Sara's neck on the Undefeated poster. Frank needs to grow a new pair and take another look at what he knows and what he did. Just like going after Gryph, he did most of the dirty work for her and hasn't really come clean about all of it.
Dunn's is the best Palin book I've read. Someone gave me Bailey's and I look forward to it. I think these two books have different audiences, which makes both important.
Loved Dunn's book! Great read! I'm slower with Frank Bailey's....summer in Alaska and all...
Geoffrey Dunn's book was beautifully written and well worth the money for the read itself. Bailey's book , not so much. I, too, felt he held back and tried to play us a little. I hate to even say that because I'm sure there had to be a consensus of what to write since there were other writers involved. That said there was a vast difference in the quality of the written word.
I believe you'll find Bailey's book to be a rocky read, compared to Dunn's professional smoothness of prose, and continuity of narrative.

As to the typos and horrendous grammar found in Bailey's book: In all fairness, keep in mind that in his disclaimer, he states that he's quoting Palin's emails verbatim. It's shocking, to say the least, that this uneducated fool (and her minions) were trying to "run" the state of Alaska.

And as others have said, during the process of slogging through Bailey's book, there is definitely the sense, if not full awareness because we've all been studying the Palin phenomenon for at least 3 years (and many more if you're an Alaskan), that he has not divulged the whole truth. The shrieking cat never leaps out of the bag, but you know damned well it's still in there, trapped by the fears and self-protective contrivances of the authors.

However, when all is said and done, Bailey's book is very much a valuable resource for those who've never heard this sordid tale. We should all be thrilled it's on the market.

That was all of the comparisons. I've yet to read any comparisons anywhere where Bailey's tome comes out even with Dunn's, let alone where Bailey's is perceived to be more valuable.

I finally managed to thumb through Blind Allegiance the other day at Fireside Books in Palmer. After about 20 minutes, I shook my head, put it down, and went out to do more painless business - driving home to weed the garden.

Do not buy his book for anything more than $1.50. For less than that, it may be worth it.

You won't have to wait long to get it at that price, though.


Tan said...

Can someone please help me find the Dunn book on Kindle? I've been wondering for weeks why the book isn't available on Kindle but only in hardcopy on Amazon....

But since then I've read comments from people clearly have the kindle edition somehow. Can anyone help me with this? The amazon page isn't helpful at all and it's mystifying as to why it's not available considering every book appears to be!

Any help would be appreciated! Is it possible my location (Australia) is causing the issue? Thanks!

ManxMamma said...

Here you go Tan: http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Sarah-Palin-Relentless-ebook/dp/B004477WLU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1308656295&sr=8-2

Anonymous said...

I found reading Bailey's book that he is holding back. He seems to want people to forgive him. But until he really tells everything people are going to think he is still carrying her water. Mr. Dunn's book was excellent. I already preordered Mr. McGinness' book and Levi on my kindle.

Tan said...

ManxMamma: THanks so much for your help - I can't get the book but at least I finally got an answer as to why!

Apparently his book is not available in Australia as a Kindle book! Which is very disappointing, and I'm surprised and annoyed at his publisher. His sales will undoubtedly suffer from this; I live a student life so the extra money for the hardcopy and then the huge postage and handling to get it all the way to the antipodes is just unfortunately too much for me at the moment.

I'm SO DISAPPOINTED in Dunn's publisher for doing this to this book. All the other Palin books are available, but this is the one I really really want to read!

I hope he changes publishers for the future. I do not know how many countries are affected by this but likely it's more than just mine and there is a large international interest in Palin (negative interest!).

Aussie Blue Sky said...

I've never forgotten that Bailey would gladly have made that bitch God if he could have. Zero credibility, zero sincerity, and he is still keeping her secrets; even the book has some sort of personality disorder.

Tan said...

I found Bailey's book read reasonably well, but I certainly did not come away thinking the man is in any way an intellectual heavy weight. In fact I was mystified and a little horrified by the manner which Palin appeared to choose her staff; rather than experience and expertise it was vindictiveness and willingness to do bidding. Indicative of lower intelligence amongst her staff.

I got the definite impression that had Bailey truly been the moral and upright Christian man that professes to always try to do the right thing by others, he would have abandoned Palin at the point he realised she was a fake (when he realised she staged the RNC ad). But he was blinded by what I think is a huge crush, obviously not alluded to in the book in respect for his wife, but this was very obvious, and I'm certain his obsession with Sarah caused significant troubles with his long suffering wife.

Even in the book (in which many incidents must have been edited out) there were plenty of warning signs early on that SHOULD have made Bailey leave, but he stayed and that should make everyone weary of trusting him. I'm inclined to admire him for finally saying enough is enough, and I pity him his weakness etc, but the bottom line is the man is a hypocrite and one wonders how long he would have gone on destroying peoples reputations, allowing people to spend hard earned money on worthless Palin faked signatures, laughing at Palin's constant allusions to her enemies as paedophiles and perverts...I mean how long, really? If Sarah had treated him a LITTLE nicer occasionally maybe he'd still be destroying people.

And he's a man that professes to lead a Christ like life. These types of Christians (fundies) are the ones that demean people like me as an atheist/agnostic (and also my background in Catholicism) as being immoral depraved people without God.

I think his book would work best in the hands of Christians and pro lifers to be honest. People that are like Bailey (but rather less hypocritical!). Although politicians like Palin use the pro life movement as a means to enhance their career, many CHristians really do feel strongly about the issue and should feel outraged at Palin's hypocrisy in the book. It works best for people that don't know alot about her but are people typically that we would think find her appealing. THey should be outraged that Palin ordered Bailey to try and come up with a sex offender record for the pro life organiser man that she behaved so abominably to.

For us though, Bailey's book did not go far enough and cut Palin FAR too much slack for her behaviour. Far too much! For any other politician in the world her constant mean girl bullying and name calling (bird nose, vajayjay) would be huge news. It is so disgusting and unprofessional yet Bailey alludes to it very breezily, almost casually, and the mainstream media (and frankly bloggers too) just ignore it!

Bluerinse said...

Hi Tan, I have a copy of the book - though I sent it to Moseyon in QLD. I can ask her to send it to you when she's finished with it if you like.

Tan said...

Hi BlueRinse! Long time! Thank you so much for your offer! Very generous! I think I still have your email address saved so I can send you my mailing address.
I'm a very quick reader so I can have it on its way back to you a few days after receiving it :)

N Crowley said...

Tan's take of "not an intellectual heavyweight" is spot on. That could be nailed in the first couple of interviews he gave.

Bailey's book appeared to me to be a simple man's recollection of complex events that essentially overwhelmed him. For what it is, it did the job. If the book had been more polished, it would have been less effective and untrue to what Frank is (and is not).

It's hard to vilify the sailor that falls victim to the sirens' song; at lest this one got free, and is trying to warn others of the danger.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "NCrowley" - Bailey's book is important in it's own right. Some people may not think it is heavyweight enough..fine. It isn't supposed to be. Don't read it. But for those who need a "primer" to learn how ineffectual SP and her governance was, it is very good. "Christians" who don't read blogs, who still love SP, due to Fox, will read Bailey's book, and for that, I am thankful it is out there!!!

Henrietta said...

A review is an expression of personal opinion therefore there is no such thing as a 'bad' review.

That said, it is my opinion that you have allowed your intense dislike of Frank Bailey to color your review to a point that it is Palinbot like in its objectivity level.

You are comparing National Geographic to People Magazine and while they are both magazines and have value, they really are not comparable.

The Dunn book is a documentary. The Bailey book is a confession, but not a full confession. It is a case history. To anyone who has never been seduced by a cause, never been to a Revival Meeting and been tempted to stand up and walk forward to be saved it is an incredible story.

Blind Allegiance does have value because it is an eyewitness account of the gradual corruption of an individual, his absorption into a cult and the derogation of his core values. It illustrates how easy it is for certain personality types to get sucked in but more importantly it is a small open window into a previously closed vault.

I would recommend reading Dunn's book first, especially if you are unfamiliar with the entire saga. Blind Allegiance validates The Lies of Sarah Palin in a way that only a participant's account can.

Anonymous said...

I read both books. Dunnes was good, but covered territory that I already knew about. Nothing was new to me, except perhaps his slight coverage of her teen years. I enjoyed Baileys book, but primarily for the insight of how the Dominionists can be so duped by their blind faith in not just her, but various other things that defy fact and reality. Scary also to see people I respected such as Loewenfels (sp?) who got behind this witch. Devon's writing style jumped out to me, and I enjoy her work. I nearly stopped reading the book when Bailey totally glossed over the WAR nomination and its subsequent tanking. You know there was all kinds of screeching going on about all those evil "liars", as she called them in a local TV interview. Plus, Bailey terms WAR a good man, and then drops the whole thing. Yes, much was glossed over, but I still enjoyed it, nonetheless.

Philip Munger said...

Tan & Henrietta,

Although I'm not a Christian (I was raised one, but eventually found it to be worship of a false god that never existed), I believe very deeply in God.

One of the things that appalls God most on this planet is how Christians seem to think they can get away with screwing up any fucking thing in the world, then go out and confess (or - in the case of Frank Bailey - write a semi-confession), and the slate is clean, their soul saved until their next fuckup. It isn't. In that sense, at least to me, giving Bailey any credit, or less blame, for his set of superstitions, is looking at his work through a flawed lens.

1,000 years ago, my wife's ancestors and my own worshipped and sacrificed to Wotan and his pantheon. We moved on. Hopefully, 1,000 years from now, humankind will look back upon the fundamentalist aspects of Christianity, Islam and of several other faiths, in the same way we now look upon the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Norse gods and goddesses.

Philip Munger said...

The above being said, I'm glad to see more comparisons between the two books, as they seem to help define Palin's vast shortcomings in some new ways.

And I'm glad Tan may have found a way to get Dunn's book on kindle down under.

TNbluedot said...

Wow, PM! It's obvious your opinion has a very personal bias. Is it jealousy or just dislike? Who is it directed at - Bailey, Devon or Morris? Comes across a bit like the p-bot trolls at IM.

NCrowley, Henrietta, Anon 7:36 and Anon 8:18 are spot on... while very different perspectives, both books have value. You wouldn't know that from a 20 minute thumb through, PM.

We all knew Bailey had not freed himself from the web. That dismayed me, but we knew it going in. There's much more to his story if and when he reaches that point. If he never does - so sad for him.

Philip Munger said...

"Wow, PM! It's obvious your opinion has a very personal bias. Is it jealousy or just dislike? Who is it directed at - Bailey, Devon or Morris? Comes across a bit like the p-bot trolls at IM."

Bailey's book, from what I've read, is pathetic. My criticism is directed at the author, not his accomplices.

Anonymous said...

An opinion, almost by definition IS a personal bias... there is no way that each person doesn't filter books, conversations, etc, through their own personal lens...

My take on Phils limited reading of Baileys book, is that he has had personal dealings with Bailey, little respect for his positions, and even less respect for his making everything "all better" by confessing..

I am a Christian, but even I feel frustrated by certain elements of my religion that seem to make all ok, if you just confess... I also came away thinking that Bailey sure as heck didnt confess all, either, which defeats the purpose and spirit of confession anyway...

Its like, I will confess only those things that won't get ME into trouble... Well.... Isn't that special..

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 10:48 -