Monday, October 3, 2011

Ken Morris' Article at the Alaska Dispatch - "I'm Not Gonna Sue Joe...... Unless" - Updated

I'm paraphrasing  (don't want to get sued).

The Alaska Dispatch is hosting a sort of diatribe by author Ken Morris, who, along with Jeanne Devon, co-authored Frank Bailey's Blind Allegiance.  You can read Ken's entire article here.

I commented at the AKD post:
Mr. Morris,

From my experience, it helps any book's marketability when it is written with a sense of tone, an ease of flow, and a narrative that reaches beyond what one might feel reluctant to assign to a class above the 8th or 9th grade level. Blind Allegiance has many faults, none of them attributable to Mr. McGinniss. An honest assessment of just a few of them was published by author Geoffrey Dunn in the Anchorage Press last month, in his detailed article, Palin Redividus.

Interestingly, the same author published an assessment of Mr. McGinniss' book's media reception by the New York Times at my blog and at firedoglake last week, an article titled Blood in the Snow: Maslin’s NYT Review of The Rogue Is Intellectually Dishonest.

You write:
Along with McGinniss’s recent assertion that the mainstream media conspired to unanimously issue his Palin book scathing reviews, he has insulted everyone’s intelligence more than enough.
You're mischaracterizing what McGinniss has actually said. He has been critical of the book's reception, but his description has been of a captive mindset that produces reviews like the first one in the NYT, the Truthout piece you reference, and others, not of a "conspiracy" per se.

I am not defending McGinniss' February action. I never have. However, I also regard the handling of material that undoubtedly passed through your hands during the creation and composition of Blind Allegiance to be open to question, as Andree McLeod has so fully done, and is continuing to do. She contends that you, Devon and Bailey knowingly violated Alaska’s public records, retention and preservation laws.

Indeed, Dunn going in a slightly different direction than McLeod, wrote in the Anchorage Press:
But there are also bigger problems. 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.

At some point subsequent to completing my book, I had a couple of "smoking-gun" documents leaked to me anonymously from Anchorage related to Palin's checkered career. I have no idea who sent them. 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.
You write:
As for the media covering this man in recent days, I find it saddening that nearly all of you ignored Joe McGinniss’s career-swagger through questionable ethics, yet again. Not one interviewer asked him about leaking competing authors’ work while on his recent media tour, yet many of you were the same folks who gleefully read from the leaked copy of that manuscript back in February, thereby helping to diminish its marketability. Shame on you.
First, I'm not aware of any time this same media you castigate having asked you, Bailey or Devon a serious set of questions related to McLeod's and Dunn's concerns.

Second, you regard McGinniss' present stance as being a "career-swagger through questionable ethics." I see no less in how you are approaching this announcement about not intending to take legal action against McGinniss.

Third, as to the alleged "marketability" of Blind Allegiance, I've contended since struggling through it, as have many, many others, that it just wasn't and is not very marketable.

Update: Jesse Griffin all but concurs with my assessment, Ken. In his recent post on a Canadian review that compares The Rogue and The Lies of Sarah Palin, Griffin concludes:
I could not concur more. If you can ONLY afford two Palin books this year, then these two wonderfully written books are your best choice hands down.
Good luck on your next book, Mr. Morris!


Anonymous said...

I bought Blind Allegiance in support of Devon, but the book was unreadable--I only made it through half because Bailey came off as a fool still in love. It was embarrassing to read, but I'm going to give it to a neighbor who is 66 and a Viet Nam vet who thinks Palin is nicer looking than our poll-leading Secretary of State, like looks help you do important jobs....


nancydrew said...

Thanks Phil. This has gotten extremely tedious. Frank Bailey, dim-witted, late to the wised-up party, and former Palin flunky's story was NEVER going to have people parting with their credit card numbers. Ever. I have followed this exhausting story in spite of myself. But, I did no downloading and read nothing re the Bailey 'revelations.' This grudgeball is starting to reveal the insularity that probably allowed the Palin story to go without proper investigation as long as it did. Morris and Devon wanted to morselize a huge political story and are still serializing what they have. They should drop this and go about writing the book that still needs writing. Plenty of room for more analysis of what just happened to us all in dodging the Palin bullet. I fault Alaskans for not being far noisier about what they knew. Hair on fire noisy -- not 'we just won't discuss some things' noisy.

Anonymous said...

I purchased and read the Bailey book - found it somewhat interesting, but poorly written.

I also purchased and read Geoffrey Dunn and the Joe McGinniss books and found them outstanding. Have even referred back to them more than once to reread parts.

As to Mr. Morris - think he should be keeping his mouth shut at this point! Sorry to have to say that!

Anonymous said...

Well said. I ponied up my $17 and bought a copy of Blind Allegiance. The brou ha ha put that book on my radar. I also labored through Blind Allegiance and ran out of steam half way in. It still sits on my dresser. I also bought both the Dunn and the McGinniss books and they were both page turners and a delight to read. I read through both in a matter of days.

Not every endeavor is competition. Two antique stores next to each other aren't competitors because they have different stuff and they generate traffic for each other. These three books accomplish the same thing. I didn't buy Levi's book because I thought he was even less forthcoming than Bailey.

Again - well said!

Anonymous said...

Im still shocked anyone would get involved with someone that close to SP.
It boggles.

Anonymous said...

I've read Dunn's book, McGinness's book, and the Bailey/Morris, Devon book. I found all of them very good, very interesting, and written from different perspectives.

What I'm really tired of is all these authors, who are aiming at the same target, dissing and nitpicking at each other. It must make the Palinbots very happy.

Joe's leaking of the Bailey manuscript was unforgivable; the authors have a right to be upset with him. But why air the dirty laundry so publically. If they want to take legal action let them take it and be done with it.

scarlet/oregon said...

Ironically I purchased Blind Allegiance 'because' of the leaked manuscript which urged me to want more.

I was sorely disappointed! It was one step forward and 2 back and ended with Bailey's infatuation with Palin still intact.

nancydrew said...

I missed the "unless" part. When is Morris going to sue?

Mr. Morris. Newsflash. Piggybacking. Stop grousing and get busy. There's more to uncover and write about.

P.S. This grudge match is not your topic.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Ken Morris has no cause to whine. 'Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin' was pitiful. McGinniss did him a favor; the book would have sold nothing had it relied on reviews.

L D said...

Honestly, I don't think Joe's book is well-written either. It's not even well defended or research in parts. There are several inaccurate and dishonest portrayals and too much bias. While there is humor, it's also boring as drying paint.

Frank's reads like that of a former colleague, not a professional writer. While I disagree with how Jeanne approaches things and basically all of her politics, I think she captured Frank's story well. Could it be organized better, sure. I don't think the organization takes away from the book though.

I was put off by Joe's just because of some of the lies he printed (no fault to him, a good liar can make any story believable. I enjoy Frank though. He's a good guy deep down who doesn't seem to hold grudges. (Not saying he doesn't have fault. We all do)

sharon said...

Out of the 3 books mentioned, I read 2 and 1/2. Guess which one I didn't finish?! Frank Bailey's book was exhausting - i had to give it up. Why? Because he whined pathetically throughout the book, over and over again.

And I also came away with the same feeling - that he still has a major crush on palin and the book makes him look like charlie brown wishing Lucy would kick him again.

His whole defense for being a liar and buffoon is based on his "christian" ethics that just went south for a while. But now being the really good Christian he always was, he's found his way back to being a good guy. And here to tell all of us why he was so led astray by esther.

Frank bailey is a loser and his book made him look even more ridiculous. I hope he reads this blog so he can stay informed on how much most people loathe him.

He needs to tell the truth - write another book but please spare us another lesson in christian values and your crush on palin.

Anonymous said...

I purchased Blind Allegiance out of loyalty to Jeanne Devon and was disappointed to find her beautiful, witty style of writing had not been allowed to shine through the dreary Bailey narrative. (That happens all too often as unknown writers aren't given much clout with first works.)

I bought both Dunn and McGinniss books knowing these would be the meat and potatoes of the Palin rise to glory story and I was not disappointed at all.

The leaking of the manuscript by McGinniss never sat well with me. But I have to wonder why no one ever addresses the fact that Frank Bailey's book was deliberately fast-tracked to upstage Dunn's publication - because I fail to see the difference in behaviour.

Except to note that of the three contestants, Bailey, Dunn & McGinniss, Mr. Dunn has managed to prove himself the better sport.

Jeanne hasn't written her best-seller yet but she will because she's a gifted writer.

Morris who?


Anonymous said...


I think it is important not to leave out Shannyn Moore when it comes to Blind Allegiance. Jeannie was a double agent. Shannyn supports her. The way they are acting, I can't help but feel both Shannyn and Jeanie are now closet Sarah Palin supporters. Maybe they always were.

Philip Munger said...

"I think it is important not to leave out Shannyn Moore when it comes to Blind Allegiance. Jeannie was a double agent. Shannyn supports her. The way they are acting, I can't help but feel both Shannyn and Jeanie are now closet Sarah Palin supporters. Maybe they always were."

--- that's absurd

Anonymous said...

Bbbbuttt one of those authors blogs for HuffingtonPost.

I read what Morris posted at Alaska Dispatch. Waaahhh.

Morris needs to buy a clue. Either they had the emails and supporting documentation, or they did not. Or was it that they had this material, but did not use it for the book for some reason? Seems like they should have been able to understand what they had, but Frank Bailey is no John Dean.

When seen in some his interviews it was obvious to this commenter that Frank Bailey is no Joe McGinniss in a live interview. How did the Parnell administration review work out for the authors? That didn't crimp their exposing the various Palin exploits while she was governor did it? Why not some comment on this from the authors?

This might have been an interesting topic to explore in the interviews that Bailey did. Prepublication review by the government is fairly unusual. The authors are aware that an adept interview subject can sometimes direct the coverage and questions aren't they? Well, adept interview subject might not apply here either.

The reasons why this book gets called out as lacking have very little to do with whatever involvement McGinniss had with the book leaking. The general suspicion was illustrated very well by Geoffrey Dunn in the Anchorage Press last month, in his detailed article, Palin Redividus.

Anyway it is a good thing that Phil has been careful, lest he be forced into charitable donations he'd otherwise not be making.

Just a Housewife from South Central said...

I bought Blind Allegiance because of the leaked manuscript. I felt bad for the authors and I was mad at Joe. I didn't like what I read: Frank was and still is a sap. I left the book in a coffee shop for someone else to peruse.

I was mad at Joe but bought his book anyway and he writes well. The sad part is, he lowered himself with Bible Spice. Joe is an intellectual writing about a non-intellectual. Palin's smut sticks on the people who deal with her. I had a hard time reading about her escapades-- I don't care that she had them, but I care that someone that close to the presidency had been so careless. I started glazing over the smut-- but I am glad that I purchased the book. He told what had to be told and almost any other author wouldn't have been taken seriously.

Dunn's book is more on her political rise and he can keep his hands clean. It's heavy duty, "lite" on smut, but still packs a powerful message about what almost got unleashed on us. It shows that it takes more than being a simple housewife with what enough think of as common sense to actually run a state or a country. Palin squandered her chance to make a difference. There are so many smart housewives out there and she got that chance? It's so wrong!

Anonymous said...


While I didn't necessarily agree with the leak of Blind Allegiance, I didn't feel that revealing it caused anyone not to buy it. Just the reverse actually. What did turn me off was the continual whining about it & their attempt to disparage Joe's book & Joe himself because of it. Their hands are definitely not squeaky clean either, and the attempt to paint themselves as the only good guys is more than pathetic.

The only reason I bought the book in the first place was because of Jeanne. I KNEW anything she was associated with had to be a bombshell & extremely well written. It was neither. As many others have said, I came away extremely disappointed and disillusioned by the book. It started almost immediately when they actually included their sorry little "poor me" story in the book itself.

I, too, came away with the feeling that Bailey is still under the spell of his queen & still madly in love, although slightly disillusioned, with her. There was little there there. He definitely did cover her more egregious behavior (Troopergate) I don't believe his story about reaching the end when she didn't show up at the evangelical meeting for the cause she previously supported. That's bunk. He got fired because she'd used him up like so many before him. He was a liability.

I still love Jeanne's writing but I've lost a lot of respect for her in the process and Shannyn as well who had no part in all of this. I still think they stand for most of the things that I do & have admired many of the stands they've taken. I guess that's why I'm having such a difficult time with their handling of the cat fight the authors started against a former friend & colleague. There was no high road taken by the authors of Blind Allegiance.

Anonymous said...

Mr Munger,
I totally enjoyed your post, and I couldn't agree more. Dunn and McGinnis's books complement each other, though I favor Dunn's approach a tad more.
I had trouble reading Bailey's book. Thought that Jeannie Devon's writing, which I admire, would help tell his story more clearly, but it was lost in collaboration, the book became a drudge to read and when downhill quickly.
While I don't condone the leaked information, the publishing business has a cutthroat side and an underbelly about as clean as a weasel in muck. It's all about publicity, marketing, timing, and talent.

All this whining on Ken's part is just petty and smells of sour grapes. Bailey is the flawed charcater, and cause of all this, he comes across as unable to totally let go of his "blind allegiance", which hurt him more than anything else.

DobieTracker said...

Let us not ignore the fact that Jean Devon "lied by omission" by not letting Mcginnis know that she was writing about the same subject as she continued to receive information from McGinnis re: Palin!

No wonder Joe felt betrayed. How conveniently Devon omits discussing this fact.

And I still dont know why Moore has any say in this situation nor how she can feel she has been betrayed by McGinness. SHE was not an author of Baily's book and if she claims she did not know Devon's secret till the leak came than that is just all the more reason she has no right to feel McGinness did anaything to her.

Is she just trying to get some of the spotlight by aligning herself with Devon as "Victim"??

Me thinks Devon and Moore have egos way beyond their talent or depth.

Anonymous said...

Dobie Tracker:

Spot on.

You should read the reports that their group, Alaskans for Truth, filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission-- they may have had a heck of a time complying with Alaska's disclosure laws themselves.

Devon's name appears in the original 2008 group registration. Moore indicated to me that she was a member of the group.

AFT could have simply filed accurate reports. But they didn't.

Anonymous said...

Dobie Tracker:

Despite ethically challenged bloggers and "authors", I think democrats are mostly ethical and I will maintain my democrat voter registration. Too bad that the unethical fringe consumes so much attention from the public and from voters. What a less than worthless distraction.

Thank Heavens I'm not a registered republican!