Author of The Rogue, Joe McGinniss, was on Mike Porcaro's KENI-AM radio call-in program Monday. With Joe, as Mike's other guest was longtime Alaska journalist, editor and writer, Tom Brennan. I've embedded the interview below. A few notable things happen during the interview and calls in, which should be noted:
Porcaro was quite courteous, but wasn't exactly pitching softballs at the author. Was this the first local radio interview with author McGinniss? Where have Dan Fagan, Dick Rydell, Casey Reynolds, Dave Stieren and Shannyn Moore been? It was obvious from the interchanges with Porcaro and callers that McGinniss' book's subject matter, particularly the fear her followers still instill, is worthy of coverage.
Frankly, cardboard cutout figures like Fagan, Rydell, Reynolds and Stieren probably don't have the balls to engage with McGinniss. As for Moore, she should put personal issues with the author aside and interview him. After all, she gave creepy author Frank Bailey a total fluff job on his all but worthless book about Palin. I'll bet if Anchorage talk radio offered recently unemployed Anchorage Press editor Brendan Joel Kelley-Hellenthal an on-air spot, he'd have the courage to take on some new subjects, perhaps including McGinniss.
Steve Stoll, nemesis of Wasilla Mayor John Stein, initial strong supporter of Sarah Palin, called in, claiming McGinniss' treatment of him was unfair and untrue. McGinniss didn't address some of Stoll's issues, but his rejoinders to Stoll, and Stoll's prickly responses, reminded me why some of the latter's friends - back in the 90s - didn't let Steve know to his face that his nickname had become "Black Helicopter Steve." He came across in the radio show as nervously paranoid.
Another person familiar with Palin and the Heath family back at or before Palin's rise called in. Former Mat-Su School Board member, journalist, educator and author, Pat O'Hara (my only journalism teacher), called in. She is one of McGinniss' seventy or so named sources in the book. As opposed to Stoll's strange demeanor, O'Hara was icily cold as she described the depths of hatred and rancor Chuck Heath could so easily instill in the local environment of politics, education and cronyism. Hearing her familiar voice, and knowing what a high price O'Hara paid for her courage back in the late 80s in the Valley, as she stood up to Heath and his henchmen, brought chills down my back.
Here's the program: