Saturday, September 17, 2011

Comparing Four Books That Critically Address Sarah Palin

I.  I finished reading Joe McGinniss' new book about Sarah Palin, The Rogue, last night.  It is due to be released Tuesday, after having gotten more pre-release coverage than any of the other books critical of Palin had managed to garner.

Since the end of the 2008 presidential election, four critical books that either solely addressed Palin's shortcomings, or devoted a portion of the volume to them, have struck me as outstanding in one way or others:
Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert
Going Rouge edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed
The Lies of Sarah Palin by Geoffrey Dunn
The Rogue by Joe McGinniss
Blind Allegiance by Frank Bailey, with Jeanne Devon and Ken Morris, seems to have fallen flat, though, mostly because it is a dull read, and when one finishes it, one suspects the collaboration didn't manage to gel into something that could have combined the strengths of the authoring partners, but mushed instead into a poorly disguised coverup for what Bailey didn't want us to know, and a wounded representation of what might actually be in those emails.  Geoffrey Dunn, who reviewed Blind Allegiance for The Anchorage Press in late August, is even more critical of the book's shortcomings:
Like Palin in Going Rogue, Bailey leaves out some critical information in Blind Allegiance - information that he had most certainly access to, because it's information that involved him. And in so doing, he made me realize that Blind Allegiance, for all its inside revelations is, in fact, a second, albeit more subtle, cover-up involving Troopergate.
Dunn goes on to describe material that was leaked to him "subsequent to completing my book."  He writes:
The documents were records of statements given during the Petumenos investigation by Bailey and his sidekick Ivy Frye, and, taken with the findings and conclusions of the Petumenos report, point to a conspiracy of sorts in framing the collective response by Palin's inner circle to the Troopergate investigation in the late summer and early fall of 2008.
Dunn then lays out aspects of the conspiracy in such a way that one can't but wonder why Devon and Morris could have felt they had clean hands while working with Bailey.  After all, the two collaborators have supposedly seen thousands of the emails that didn't make it into Blind Allegiance.  Whether they were merely incurious, or accommodating in helping Bailey in what Dunn seems to indicate may be a possible criminal coverup, we may never know.  Based on Andree McLeod's findings in going through the emails released by the State of Alaska, I've believed for some time that this may be the case.

Dunn questions the honesty of Bailey, regarding the latter's sworn testimony to the Petumenos Inquiry:
When the Petumenos Report was released on November 3 - the day before the national election - Bailey says "I welcomed what I eventually came to understand was undeserved vindication." Say what? "Eventually came to understand?" Bailey knew at the time it was undeserved.
According to Bailey, in finding that there was "no probable cause Governor Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act in her dismissal of Walt Monegan," Petumenos "relied predominantly on [Palin's] testimony to arrive at this conclusion." But Petumenos made no such claim in his report. In fact he cited the testimony of several witnesses who "gave sworn depositions to independent counsel" - among them (guess who?) Frank Bailey, who made no mention of this deposition in his book. In fact, Petumenos specifically identified Bailey (page 36 of the Petumenos Report) as providing corroborative testimony that Palin knew nothing about activities being directed by her husband and Bailey against Wooten.
In fact, Petumenos devoted significant attention to Bailey in his report. He goes over in detail Bailey's now notorious conversation with Lieutenant Dial. Bailey's testimony, according to Petumenos, directly contradicted that of Walt Monegan and also Colonel John Glass of the Alaska State Troopers. Bailey makes no mention of this in his book, either. Moreover, Petumenos noted that "Bailey also corroborated the Governor's assertions with respect to her concern about the Commissioner's lack of progress on trooper recruitment as part of discussions regarding replacing Commissioner Monegan with Mr. Kopp in July of 2008." Again, no mention of this in Bailey's book - the fact that he was a corroborating witness to Palin throughout the investigation.
Dunn goes on to tackle that subject. He details Petumenos' attention to Bailey's relationship to Palin administration emails, raising this question in conclusion:
Again, no mention of this Petumenos finding in Blind Allegiance. But it raises the obvious question: Does Bailey have access to any other relevant emails that were not provided Petumenos and which are relevant to Troopergate? Certainly the October 3, 2006, email had direct probative impact on the scope of the Petumenos investigation and was not included in the "exhibits" of evidence provided as a formal addendum to the Petumenos Report. Are there others?
Of course there are.  Essentially, many feel the authors of Blind Allegiance have a lot to answer for before that book can be fully assessed historically.

Bailey's book pays scant attention to bloggers in Alaska or elsewhere.  It leaves out a lot of previously known information about Palin's absorbtion in new media and social networking tools.

II.  All the way back in early 2009, Eric Boehlert's look at how such tools, particularly those of the netroots blogging community, Bloggers on the Bus, gave national readers a glimpse of what was then a tightly knit community of progressive new media writers here who were openly sharing information with the journalists, videographers, writers and others, who flocked north in the fall, to begin reporting on the startling pick of the McCain campaign for a running mate.

At the time, Boehlert and others were skeptical of the meme that Sarah Palin might not be the birth mother of TriG Palin.  He constructed Chapter 13 of his book around a contrast between bloggers like me, who he felt reported about that issue and others responsibly, and those who he felt had not, naming the chapter after my long series on Palin here, Saradise Lost.  By the time his book came out, I was more skeptical of Palin's story than I ever had been, and wrote Eric about that, including pictures that had surfaced since his publication, indicating Palin may well have faked the pregnancy.

More important than the TriG coverage in Boehlert's account, is his understanding in the book that new media and social networking tools have changed political communication irreversibly.

III.  The Lies of Sarah Palin, which I reviewed in detail in May, takes up a lot of room describing the 2008 campaign, and paints it vividly, with remarkable detail and vignettes.  Author Dunn brings up Boehlert's attention to Alaska bloggers on page 213:
Independent voices from the internet "influenced and altered the road to the White House" in ways never before imaginable.  Moreover the intrepid band of bloggers from Alaska did the public vetting of Sarah Palin that the media failed to do.  They were ahead of the curve every step of the way.
Dunn's assessment of Andree Mcleod as an "Anchorage-based good-government activist" is the most thoroughly sympatheic portrait of her yet penned.  Where Bailey et al seem to demonize McLeod, Dunn managed to put McLeod into the context of bipartisan political activists in Alaska who truly do want, and - as in McLeod's case - demand good government.  Both Bailey and Dunn contribute to the huge volume of material that shows Palin's claim to have been such an activist to be the smelliest kind of bullshit.


IV.  The Rogue is a helluva read.  It is the fifth book by the author I have read, having read The Selling of the President and Going to Extremes multiple times.

Although McGinniss' book, like Bailey's contains no index (Dunn's has a superb one), I'm almost willing to forgive that.  Bailey's book looks mostly from deep inside a gubernatorial administration.  Dunn's concentrates largely on the 2008 presidential campaign from August 28, 2008 on.  McGinniss' book is very much about Wasilla, where I live.  As with the community, the book is populated with many, many of my colorful friends and adversaries over the years.

I feel almost too close to a lot of the content to be able to review the volume.  It does bring up, once again, a subject Judy and I have discussed fairly frequently over the past three years - how much we've forgotten about Palin, that we knew, and that we knew was really awful.  McGinniss addresses the climate of fear the Palin camp has created in the Wasilla area since the mid-1990s, better than anyone else has.  Far better.  He lived through it.

Here's one example.  My longtime friend (since 1974, in Seattle, before he moved to Alaska), Dewey Taylor, used his truck to bring some chairs over to McGinniss' new rental next to the Palins.  Apparently, some of Palin's advocates took note:
Then I hear that at about four o'clock this morning somebody shot out the driver's side window of Dewey Taylor's truck, which was parked in his driveway.
I call him and offer to pay for a new window.  "Don't be ridiculous," he says, "it was probably just a coincidence."

"How long have you lived there?"
"About twenty years."
"Ever had a problem with a vehicle parked in your driveway before?"
"Nope."
"I don't think it's a coincidence."
A couple of interesting things should be noted here.  I see Dewey a lot.  He's never discussed this incident with me.  Strange, eh?  Maybe not, as three months earlier, Palin-loving vandals (a week after this incident) had drained the oil from my Subaru (probably using a Jabsco pump), cut the oil warning light wire, and cost us $3,500.00.  And I've never shared that with Dewey.  We're both "I'll move on" kinds of people.  Dewey more than I.  But did fear of even dwelling on the vandalism help us keep our mouths shut?

How many other stories like that are there out here in the Mad Zoo?  The climate of festering fear or immediate retribution here - not just from the Palins, but from the nutty right-wing and Christianist zealots - should not be underestimated.

For those who complain about how McGinniss was purported to have taken advantage of informants in Going to Extremes, there won't be much that I've found in this new book which will bring that back up.

McGinniss is even more scathing than Dunn in his assessment of the failures of Alaska's main media outlets during Palin's rise and short reign at the top of Alaska politics.  And, far more than Dunn, he observes Palin's ability to play the media - and the media's inability to shake itself of the Palin habit - up to the date of publication.

Six months ago, I would have totally disagreed with this McGinniss assessment of new media and blogs:
I sometimes wonder why anyone bothers to blog.  Almost nothing anyone writes changes anyone else's mind.  Most people who read a blog already agree with the writer's point of view.  The others read so they can write quick, nasty comments in response.  The whole blogosphere sometimes seems like one vast game of verbal paintball.
I'm not in total agreement with McGinniss on this, mind you.  And perhaps he hasn't played paintball in the right setting yet, as it can be very enjoyable.  I learn something every day at one blog or another.  Blogs which Joe list at his own blog can be the way he describes - Palingates, Politicalgates, and The Imoral Minority, for instance.  Yet even at those places where the commenting communities are so predictably like Joe's description, one can learn valuable information.  Others McGinniss lists, like The Daily Dish and Glenn Greenwald, are among the most valuable resources for reliable information anywhere (The Daily Dish does not publish comments).  And I'm tired, as Joe must be, of the pettiness commenters often show toward people and situations they show themselves to know little or nothing about.

Like Going to Extremes, The Rogue gets into amazing detail of daily life here, in this case from his perspective of spending the summer of 2010 on Lake Lucille.  A lot of what he writes about has been covered before, but his descriptions of the Heath and Palin families, along with the other assorted characters of this seemingly never-ending soap opera, are rife with raw humor.

He gets much more into the conflicts in the minds of central characters than any other author.  Sarah Palin's predecessor as Wasilla mayor, John Stein, initially didn't want to talk to or meet McGinniss.  I know, from having stayed in John's house in Sitka, that Going to Extremes is in the library there.

Joe kept after John, who finally relented and invited the author over.  Their discussions are by far the best to cover Stein's relationship with the young politician he was mentoring through the early 1990s.

The book has been criticized for leaving out interviews with Palin supporters.  However, as in Dunn's book, one doesn't need to be further illuminated in the goofiness of Palin's devotees than we already have been.

The book concludes looking back at Palin's very bad early 2011, particularly since her insanely self-centered response to the January shootings in Tucson.  McGinniss is wary of not only the symbiotic relationship media has come to rely upon regarding Palin, but of his own, with the book coming out and campaign seasons ramping up:
This may be a strange thing to say in [opening] the last chapter about the star performer of the circus.  But no matter how much my book sales might benefit from a Palin presidential campaign in 2012, I sincerely hope that the whole extraveganza, which has been unblushingly underwritten by a mainstream media willing to gamble the nation's future in exchange for the cheap thrill of watching a clown in high heels on a flying trapeze, is nearing its end.
The Rogue may be the best close look at how a small town in America related over a period of 20 years to a politician who had an uncanny ability to draw upon hatred, superstition, gang organizing and media incuriosity since Sinclair Lewis' novel of 1935, inspired by Huey Long, It Can't Happen Here.

Regarding the dustup over McGinniss' role in the release of manuscripts of Blind Allegiance back in February, and how that might have had an impact on the Bailey book's sales prospects, I'll just say that with Bailey coming out of hibernation now to talk about comparisons, McGinniss' book looks like it will help Bailey's sell more copies, just as stores and the publisher were about to remainder Blind Allegiance.

note - the author of this article is referenced several times in The Rogue

52 comments:

barney said...

This is, in my opinion, the best article that I have seen on your blog. I am really impressed by your writing, I do apologize for fussing at you before. I hope you will accept my apology.

I do not live in Alaska but read the Alaska blogs daily.

Stay safe and thanks again for this article.

neo said...

Phil thank you so much. Your blog is always a good read, this was the best.

Also like the garden pictures you post.

Philip Munger said...

Thanks, Barney.

Just this morning, Diane Benson told me she thought the article about Crayons of Mass Destruction was nice, too.

Don't worry about the fussing, OK?

scarlet/oregon said...

Excellent & very well written to cover every base.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Small correction in the listing of books:

Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert
Going Rouge edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed
The Lies of Sarah Palin by Geoffrey Dunn
Going Rogue by Joe McGinniss


McGinniss book title is "The Rogue".'

Otherwise, nice recap/thoughts on the multiple Palin books.

PMom_GA

Philip Munger said...

PMom_GA - fixed it here and @ fdl.

{{{{hugs!}}}}

Anonymous said...

About the most relevant review I've come upon. Your corroboration is...unsettling. The part about the mafia-like atmosphere has been one of the hardest things for me to swallow about the Palin saga. You've driven it home.

Ailsa said...

Outstanding job. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"How many other stories like that are there out here in the Mad Zoo? The climate of festering fear or immediate retribution here - not just from the Palins, but from the nutty right-wing and Christianist zealots - should not be underestimated."

Will we ever find out the truth about the church fire and the fiery death of Dar Miller? Seems those investigations have been sealed for some reason.

curiouser said...

Your unique perspective makes this review of 'The Rogue' (and the other books) very helpful. I have increased respect for all those who've spoken out about the Palins and a better understanding of those who won't. No small town should have to live with the kind of intimidation you describe. I hope the Palins' influence will decrease soon.

I'm sorry you're not feeling well. It may be time to get to a doctor. From my personal experience, if it hurts when you laugh, you may have pneumonia.

Get better and thanks for the reviews.

Daisydem said...

Thank you for this post. I will say in defense of bloggers (myself included) that I learn more on these blogs than I do anywhere else especially being that with the exception of the BBC perhaps, I no longer frequent "news" sources, yet because of the blogs I sometimes learn of national or international events before my husband or son (who do both frequent several news sources). Because of the blogs, and especially the Alaskan ones, I have taken a more active role in the political arena than I ever had before and even in Alaskan politics up to and including making money donations, though they are small ones. I know more about our 49th State than I ever learned in a textbook and I would like to visit someday.

P.S. I too love the garden pictures, but you know that.

hedgewytch said...

When Jeanne Devon became involved with Bailey, the first thing that came to mind was the saying, "If you lie down with dogs, don't complain if you get fleas."

I never trusted Bailey and I totally agree with the assessment that the whole book is nothing but an attempt to justify and cover up his own culpability.

Jeanne and her co-authors got their panties all wadded up with Joe's supposedly dasterdly deed of "leaking" the manuscript; when I can only see that that leak gave them some much needed publicity and finally a publisher which wasn't happening before hand. I said it before on other blogs, including Shannyn Moore, Mudflats and IM; Jeanne may very well come to regret her association with Bailey and her subsequent reactions towards the situation that arose prior to finally getting the book published.

With the FBI investigations into the machinations in Wisconsin perpetrated by Gov. Walker, which mirror Palin/Baileys actions, and the questions raised by Bailey's book and the others, it wouldn't surprise me in the least, and would be a hell of a Christmas present if we saw some investigations, if not indictments, as a result of these publications by the new year. At least I can hope ....Dear Santa....

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Phil! Your perspectives as one who llives in Wasilla and experienced the wrath of the Palins are riveting - and revolting.

It sickens me how the media - major outlets in the L48 and Alaska - did so little investigating into Palin before, during and after she Quit as GINO.

Remember that gal from Wasilla who was the first to write a letter warning people about Sarah when she was picked for VP?? If it wasn't for her and AK bloggers, none of the awful truths about Sarah Palin (and Todd) would have been revealed. I hope John McCain reads Joe's book and hangs his head in shame. His legacy will be how he endangered our country with his VP choice for his own pathetic "gain."

Phil, is there anything in the Rogue book about Sarah's hide away lackey, Sean Parnell?

Anonymous said...

Will we ever learn the truth about how the Palin's house was built (by Todd) with materials from the sports center? About the no paying of taxes on that property around Big Lake (I think?) ....

Phil, do you think all that is being revealed is just the tip of the iceberg?? Do tell, and thank you for all you are doing in outing the truth!

Viola-Alex said...

Thank you. I finally understand the fear in your community. It seems so silly from afar, and so maddening. But you made it real.

Thank you, too, for your assessment of the collected books. When I realized Blind Allegiance had been published by a Christian press, I knew it had an agenda that didn't interest me. That also caused me to doubt Bailey's authors, and yes, the flea saying is more than apt.

sendlawyersgunsandmoney said...

Thanks Phil, for an extremely excellent review. The only book of that lot I read was Bailey's book, and always felt too much was left out...a lot that would criminally indict Bailey. I never wanted to read another Palin book, as I always felt I needed a shower after each chapter. And I already know so much (too much) about that narcissist dink. But I think I'll pick up Joe's book. It is amazing watching pundits on the tube bash the book, concentrating on the lurid items, and missing the real points of the book. Especially sorry to see Olbermann take a pass, but maybe that is good politics for him. Either way, Palin's positive numbers seem impossible to increase, so that's a good thing.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a really good review. I've followed the BabyHoax story since right after the election. I read only a few blogs, and much of what you say about blogs is probably true, but I have had a different experience.

Like many others who have followed the BabyHoax, I sensed something was wrong with the Palin picture early on, but no one wanted to discuss it with me in real life, the MSM I used to rely solely on never mentioned it, and my eyes bugged out like in a cartoon when I found and followed Audrey's site during my frequent bouts of insomnia.

My view of politics through the knothole of the PalinHoax has educated me hugely, as I checked what I learned on my favorite blogs with other sources incl books I would never otherwise have read or even known of.

Yes there is stuff I don't like on the blogs -- the endless 4-letter vulgarity, the criticism and hilarity about Palin's personal characteristics, the focus on her family rather on the simple fact that she was not pregnant or other important political/ethical issues. Commenters engaging trolls and being rude to them seems unnecessary and boring to me. But in comparison with other media, this is easy to overlook. At the NYT, we get ads that cover the whole first page and definitely NOT "all the news fit to print" anymore.

Every medium has its drawbacks based on the frailties of us human beans. At this point, I feel I can no longer rely on the MSM because of what they are not telling us, purposely feeding us only what the Murdoch/Kochs/Ailes folks want us to hear. So, looking at the world via an in-depth blogger's view in one subject I now know pretty well has been an education and a better source of info and criticism than other alternatives.

Like your good review here. Much more informative than the NYT's review. So a sincere thank you! --Amy1

Holly said...

Thank you. Excellent review. I am anxious to read the Rogue, if for nothing more than to learn more about the small town culture in Wasilla that bred Sarah Palin and allowed her ambitions to grow.

Anonymous said...

There is an absolutely amazing detailed write up on Laura Novak's blog by a health insurance professional writing as Palinoia.

It examines coverage options for Sarah, TriG, Tripp, Todd, and Bristol. Truly incredible investigative digging in by someone who clearly knows what questions to ask and where to look for answers. www.lauranovakauthor.com

Anonymous said...

It is very telling that not one person has spoken out to defend Sarah or say something nice about her.

No family members, friends, no one.

Kinda sad, really. It must be so lonely to be $arah Paylin. But I cannot feel pity for the Quitter because she brought it all on herself.


Thank you for a fabulous write up.

Philip Munger said...

Regarding the oil company exec, currently temping as Governor of Alaska, Seanico Parnellips (as Scott McAdams labelled him the other day), The Rogue doesn't deal with him more than peripherally. It does address the worthlessness of the gas pipeline concept, AGIA, as set up by Palin, and carried forth by Parnell.

Philip Munger said...

"It is very telling that not one person has spoken out to defend Sarah or say something nice about her.

"No family members, friends, no one."

--- Palin supporters don't check this place out much anymore, as I've only written about Palin three times in the past 80 or so posts.

I doubt that will change with this review, or with my coverage of it next week at firedoglake's book salon. More of a chance of being trolled by Bailey supporters, frankly.

Anonymous said...

I read this before the "don't tase me, bro" comment on I'm, but didn't leave a comment. But since you are sick, I decided to come back and ask you to tend to your health. It should only hurt your abs from laughing like crazy, not your lungs.

Also, too, I read the Bailey book, and since he was such a pathetic suck up, in honor of the Grifter Quitter Fraud of a Grandma, I quit half way through. That book was pathetic.

Philip Munger said...

"....I decided to come back and ask you to tend to your health. It should only hurt your abs from laughing like crazy, not your lungs."

--- just got up from a nap and am starting to feel a lot better. I was afraid I was coming down with the flu, but it seems to be a bad cold. I often get one in late September.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment a few comments back about Jeanne Devon and Shannyn Moore all getting way too dramatically upset about Joe's "leak" of the manuscript. I wrote a comment about this on Shannyn's "Mourning Joe" post yesterday and she did not approve it! In my comment, I also noted that the Bailey book wasn't very good anyways.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 9:12:

go ahead a reprint it here. I must say that Gryphen has printed all but one comment I submitted to IM over the years. The one he didn't print had to do with his concerns about something I didn't understand when I wrote it, and made sense when we talked about it. Too bad about your comment at Shannyn's blog. She printed one by me yesterday.

Devon, OTOH, has stopped printing anything I submit as a comment at The Mudflats since long before I was made aware of her flat-out making stuff up out of nowhere in a hurtful way about former AK legislator, Vic Kohring. Even after she was caught in the lie, she refused to fix it until Kohring allowed me to share his concern directly with Devon. I can't help but think she intentionally hurt him, merely because it advanced a false meme she was pushing about Palin and the 2006 legislature, and that she didn't care whether or not she hurt Kohring, because - after all - he's only a GOP crook. All this, while she's working with Bailey, eh?

With Moore, the dustup appears to be dramatics, provoked by her "blind allegiance" to Devon. With Devon, it is far worse. Which is too bad, because Devon and I see eye to eye on a lot of issues, particularly, the environment.

Anonymous said...

Phil -- What is your view of what I am convinced is the Palin BabyHoax? And do you know why AKM won't discuss it, not even so much as to say why not? Sorry if you have covered it -- I am new to your site. --Amy1

Philip Munger said...

Amy1,

Until I see more real evidence that she faked the pregnancy - there is a lot of it, just not quite enough to cinch it - I think she was merely trying to starve the fetus to kill it, which is bad enough, to say the least.

The Palin described in The Rogue is totally capable of killing an innocent fetus. Totally.

Also, Devon's two recent posts on Palin's mental instability tend toward backing the idea Palin is totally batshit crazy. Crazy enough to kill her own fetus on purpose.

Anonymous said...

Good article! However I think this book should get a mention: Paradigm Shift:The Palin Matrix which I am currently reading (by Floyd M. Orr).

Just when I was getting really discouraged about Teflon Palin this book really inspired me to get back into the fray at my keyboard to continue the fight to expose the fraud Palin and why it's important to do so. The book is entertaining and puts Palin in the big perspective and why we should continue to bring down this dangerous woman.

Anonymous said...

As far as Shannyn Moore goes I think it was a very bad move on her part to burn her bridges by showing the world how butt-hurt she was about Joe in her small world. NOT wise at all - she shouldn't have said anything but waited. Maybe she just had one too many glasses of whine and hit the enter button too soon. I could understand THAT.

Anonymous said...

By the way Phil, please put up your most excellent review of The Rogue on Amazon. The general public who don't follow these blogs will read it. Thank you for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Phil -- Thank you for responding. I don't mean to pester you or be confrontational, but I sure would appreciate knowing how you rationalize the photos of Palin's flat profile just weeks before a supposedly 6+ pound birth? I keep asking that question (because to me the photos are iron-clad proof) and no one ever answers.

I agree that your review should go up on amazon. I often read those reviews when researching a book. --Amy1

Philip Munger said...

Amy1,

I've written about my views on that picture. It proves she either wasn't pregnant or was trying to kill the fetus. If she produces a birth certificate, then maybe a prosecutor needs to bring her in for questioning about why she was creating such an unhealthy environment for a child who she knew to be quite vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Phil, for the very informative and enlightening reviews of these books and the background stories. I always learn something when I read your blog.

Blue_in_AK

Philip Munger said...

Politicalgates has put up a post regarding stuff in The Rogue I didn't touch upon in my review, but that is important - Chuck Heath's reaction to the 1983-84 case against Iditarod elementary teacher Charles Koenig.

A must read!

Still love Alaska said...

I think the only entertaining thing out of all this is that fact that Glen Rice went from 300+ to 1400+ twitter followers in mere hours.

I recently reconnected with an old friend from earlier in the decade. Her family moved from Alaska around 02 after sadly losing a child. We were reminiscing and obviously Sarah and crew came up. I only know Sarah as a mother who engaged in outings with other families. Both our experiences were only positive and revolved around these things, so it's hard to imagine the contents of Joe's book being true for us.

It's sad that there seems to be such a divide between people like us and people who only seem to have negative experiences. I think that is why nothing has really caught on, because of what I described.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of Baily's book until the hub bub about the leaked manuscript. That caused me to buy the book. I stalled about a third of the way in, unlike Dunn's book which kept me up all night finishing it. What I learned from Baily's book was that Palin's run for governor was rinky dink and less complicated than the average campaign for senior class president at a high school.

It sounds like Wasilla could be made into a major motion picture with a twilight zone theme. I always thought Sarah Palin ruled her territory more ruthlessly than Tony Soprano ruled his.

Lidia17 said...

Hey Phil, good reviews! I was offended by the way Joe treated his commenters, but I'll be ordering the book anyway, in part because you've confirmed that there's a lot of "local color" which will help put into perspective Palin and the other individuals in her claque that we have been following from afar for so long.

I agree with you on the general worthlessness and mendacity of Bailey's book. I've long said that if Bailey were serious about redemption, he'd release every mail in his possession. Jeanne did herself no favors by associating herself with that low-quality product.

I hope you'll re-assess your opinion of the anti-Palin blogs, though, in light of the recent post at Politicalgates upon which you commented positively. It's true there's been some stagnation, but don't forget that there is still a ton of material about Sarah Palin's 'gates that's been up on the blogs but which has been ignored by the MSM, as you well know.

While they may not be interested in electing her any longer, the majority of Americans likely still think she sold the plane on E-bay, think she got the pipeline started, have no idea about Dairygate, Housegate, or even Troopergate…, etc. Stuff that is old hat to Palin-watchers.

I'm truly shocked and saddened to hear about the vandalism you suffered. I can only hope that ALL the victims of the Palins start coming out so that we have the true measure of this horror. Greater safety in numbers, certainly. Wishing you and yours all the best -Lidia

Anonymous said...

Excellent entry Phil! I'm pleased that you decided to provide some analysis in advance of the FDL event and the format you chose here was especially informative for me, as I've not read anthing since Game Change (The Rogue has been on order for weeks). I might rethink reading, at the least, Dunn's book.

Loved the insight you provided on life there and the other blogs and bloggers. It helps to put some things into perspective. That's the kind "reality," IMHO, that the commenters need to hear every know and then. I think Anon757 above nailed the good and bad about the blogging medium. As Boehner said about his smoking habit, "it is what it is."

Thanks Phil, hope to see you on the 25th.

Susan in MD

hedgewytch said...

"It was important to not to confuse writers with their books." - Erica Jong from "Parachutes and kisses".

This is what Shannyn needed to realize and what those who dither about whether to purchase Joe's (or any of the other) books.

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil -- I really, really appreciate your answering my question about your stance on babygate. Esp because few people are willing to discuss this. I think your position must surely be shared by many when they look at the Mar 14 flat-profile photo or the Mar 26 photo.

In the spirit of discussing things thoroughly on a blog (in spite of my agreement when you say few opinions are changed on blogs!), I want to make a point about starving a fetus.

It is nearly impossible to starve a fetus, as a quick Google tour will tell you, and as a reading of history will also tell you. And such starvation would not prevent the growth of the uterus and its amniotic fluid (and the fetus, even if its growth is compromised), so one would NOT see the flat profile we see on Palin 5 weeks before the "birth" of a 6+ pound baby. It would just be a medical impossibility. Or a miracle, if you prefer.

Since time immemorial, women have craved control of their reproductive destiny, without much success, once pregnant. If we ignore the enhancing-fertility side of things and think only about getting rid of unwanted pregnancies, we see that for both royalty and peasants through the ages, it is very difficult to terminate a healthy pregnancy. Ingesting poisons that threaten the life of the mother, a D&C (whether medical or coat-hanger style) have been used, but acts like hurling oneself down stairs (as Princess Diana said she did) or starvation do not work with a healthy fetus. Miscarriages are usually a fetus that was not healthy or due to some pre-existing maternal problem.

To successfully starve her fetus, a pregnant woman would have to bring herself to a point of severe malnutrition, including loss of calcium from her teeth, etc. We do not see severe malnutrition in photos of Palin before the April 18 "birth" -- RedBull and possible fasting notwithstanding. The likelihood of a 6+ pound preemie at 7.5 months or 35 weeks (whichever of Palin's claims you prefer to believe) is also a near impossibility.

Sorry to go on and on. But I think many people are not aware that the March 14 (and other) photos are impossible to reconcile with either the Apr 13 watermelon-sized belly or a subsequent 6+ pound birth of a baby that looks neither premature or as small as 6+ pounds.

Thank you for listening. Rant over. --Amy1

ginny11 said...

Great reviews! None of my comments ever get approved over at Mudflats either. Not sure what I did to piss Jeanne off, since I've seen comments approved that are more critical or sharp than mine are. Hmm. And Wow about Jeanne lying about a legislator to further her own agenda re: Palin! Geez! She really is not at all the person she seemed to be or presents herself to be on her blog. :-(

Philip Munger said...

Amy1,

She wouldn't necessarily have to starve it to kill it.

Thanks for your detailed and informed information.

Anonymous said...

So enjoyed this review and subsequent commentary. I've had the McGinniss book on order for a number of weeks and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I've read all of Joe's prior writings and have even reread a couple of them.

I purchased and reviewed Bailey's book and found it horribly written. It was sad for me to see that Jeanne, of Mudflats, made herself a part of that project.

Hopefully, Sarah, Todd and Frank Bailey are currently under investigation for their misdeeds while involved w/the State of Alaska government.

Thanks for your input, Phil. I was very sorry to read of what occurred to your vehicle in Wasilla. Please be very careful.

Philip Munger said...

"Please be very careful"

--- we changed our security plan after that. Thanks

DobieTracker said...

I think it is important to remember that while two wrongs don't make a right, it certainly makes McGinness's leaking of Devon's book far far more understandable when you realize DEAVON WAS BETRAYING HER FRIENDSHIP WITH MCGINNESS BY NOT TELLING HIM ABOUT HER COLLABORATION ON BAILEY'S BOOK WHILE HE TRUSTED HER AND GAVE HER SO MUCH INFORMATION THAT HE WAS FINDING OUT ABOUT AS HE RESEARCHED HIS OWN BOOK ! ! ! ! !

Shyannan conveniently defends Deavon by HER LIE BY OMMISSION JUST AS DEAVON BETRAYED MCGINNESS WITH HER LIE OF OMISSION.

As you know Phil, I was at those early meetings at Gryphen's house and I would have never guessed Deavon nor Moore would have betrayed their own integrity as they have.

They BOTH knew, even back then, very clearly what we were dealing with re: Palin and they BOTH sold their souls to the devil for their own egos.

Very very disappointed in and ashamed of them both.

Liz

P.S. Keeping thinking the babygate thing through. I think at some point you will realize it was all a hoax. I agree Palin is evil and crazy enough to deliberately try to kill her own but there is just NO way those photos are lying.

I do fear for Todd's life and that of anyone close when her narcissism hit's it's wall. She will kill and I still believe, "there will be blood."

Anonymous said...

Great review of the books. Living in a small town a lot like Wasilla, people live in fear of those in power.

Anonymous said...

Pictures of 'newborn' TriG show a child that is NOT a premature, sickly, 6 pounder -- he looks at least to be two months old.

Several doctors have commented on this when shown pictures of TriG (not knowing who he was) on various blogs over the years.

Gryphen's blog has just posted a new story from a P'bot who claims that $arah stopped in Seattle to be checked by a doctor on her Wild Ride. Guess they are trying to change history - and open up a whole new series of lies.

Please keep sharing your insights and reactions from Wasilla re the Palin clan. Thanks for all your great writing, Phil.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Andrew Sullivan link to this excellent post.

Philip Munger said...

@ 12:08 - Just what I DON'T need. Same goes for Dewey. Should have kept my mouth shut.

CGinWI said...

It is worth blogging. I have learned so much from AK and other bloggers. Yes, I am a liberal to start with, but I never would have known about Domianism without reading about it in connection with Palin on AK blogs. And I probably wouldn't have known about ALEC if I hadn't read WI blogs. Not that the information wasn't out there, but blogs brought it to my attention, provided links and gave real world context that helped me find and understand that information.

Plus, I don't think any of those books would have been written if the AK bloggers hadn't stubbornly kept finding facts and raising important questions.

Philip Munger said...

Thanks, CGinWI. Don't forget to thank the others too!