It looks like big journalism has finally caught up with Joe McGinniss. For years, the ignominious Irishman has been crafting tales that reek of malted myth-making and shrewd self-promotion. From “The Selling of the President, 1968” to “The Last Brother,” the author has been alternately celebrated and vilified by the folks on Madison Avenue. They have not wanted their prodigious bias and profit-motive revealed. Yet the overly ambitious writer is incapable of keeping his proverbial chinos zippered up, unwittingly exposing the shocking tip of the liberal agenda to anyone and everyone who mistakenly glances in his direction.
“The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin,” is McGinniss’s latest novel (I refuse to call this tome nonfiction). Predictably, it’s an outrageous hit piece on one of America’s few remaining political heroes. It is meant to titillate and horrify as we gear up for the 2012 election, but will it resonate? Maybe there are too many Joe McGinnisses floating around these days for such a book to matter.
Thanks in part to the internet and conservative voices, the newly enlightened public of this millenium understands that the dream of preternatural equipoise is not only improbable, but distasteful. We know full well that journalists are living, breathing human beings. They are, by and large, polymorophously perverse alcoholics struggling with tyrannical egos and unpaid rent bills, agitated little men typing away mendacious monstrosities out of an utter sense of failure, a failure to fight with a sword instead of a keyboard, a failure to achieve success in the careers of their fathers, a failure to believe in Thomas Jefferson’s vision of liberty and unable to venture forth from their musty rooms to embrace the real America. Ultimately, these are men unwilling to play a vital role in keeping this nation great as the Almighty has intended. The liberal media is but an underclass of agitators and propagandists hungry for a front-page byline or prime time appearance. What makes them particularly dangerous during these difficult times is that they are so willing to crush what is left of truth and decency in America to achieve these outrageous goals.
Yes, we live in an era where McGinniss-style reportage is the norm. The man’s salacious, fact-challenged influence can be seen everywhere from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan. America’s contemporary crop of journalists will jump on any hint of scandal, no matter how reckless or ridiculous, to further their secretive personal agendas and, most of all, to profit gruesomely from the wreckage they cause.
The Palin book itself is a like a pint of Guinness– lukewarm, gritty and topped with too much froth. The myths here are ample– from the claims that Governor Palin had an affair with a black basketball player to the suggestions that the Tea Party icon is a racist and a drug abuser.
McGinniss may imagine himself as a cross between Lincoln Steffens and John Steinbeck, but he is more like the bastard child of Roald Dahl and Jackie Collins. He writes with the desperation of a man who wants every lap dance to feel as thrilling as his first. At times, he pontificates with the mangled syntax of his old nemesis Howard Cosell, rewriting message board rumors with a highfalutin superiority meant to cover up a paucity of factuality.
In researching this volume, the author went to lengths that border on the immoral and illegal. He camped out next door to the Palin household, spying on Sarah and Todd’s young children as they sunbathed in the backyard in small bikinis and gym shorts. Thumbing his sweat-drenched paragraphs, one senses that his binoculars fogged with prurient persistence up there in Alaska. He became a notorious denizen of Wasilla during his stay, inserting himself into the Governor’s beautiful family with lecherous intent. Yet the man was so intoxicated with ego (among other things), he seemed queerly unaware that he was not at all welcome.
The old guard at the New York Times has attempted to rein in McGinniss for exposing their industry’s bias so nakedly. Voluptuous Janet Maslin even went so far as to write, “Although most of ‘The Rogue’ is dated, petty and easily available to anyone with Internet access, Mr. McGinniss used his time in Alaska to chase caustic, unsubstantiated gossip about the Palins, often from unnamed sources like ‘one resident’ and ‘a friend.’” But the Times is once again out of sync with the times of its readers. Has Maslin forgotten the mythmakers on her own editorial board, from hypocritically-appellated Frank Rich (who has gotten rich by being decidedly un-frank with the American public) to the deliriously obtuse Thomas Friedman?
One senses that McGinniss wrote this work with his own neighbors in the theatrical haven of Williamstown, Massachusetts in mind. The author maintains a sprawling compound there, stocked with a steady supply of young aspirants and Glenlivet. The locale is a haven of social climbers and film industry agents to whom McGinniss has much need to prove his bona fides. After his raunchy biography on Teddy Kennedy was released a decade ago, he was quietly disinvited from democrat bacchanals everywhere from Chevy Chase to Martha’s Vineyard. This book may very well be his embossed invitation back into the confines of the effete elite.
Delving a bit deeper into McGinniss’s own biography, one comes across a life worthy of an extensive Homeland Security dossier. After traitorously harassing a sitting president during a time of war and civil unrest (Richard Nixon), he went on to libel the Green Berets with a miniseries entitled “Fatal Vision.” That offence earned him a decade in court and a $325,000 fine. We might as well also mention McGinniss’s longtime companionship with the absurdly named Sterling Lord, a hanger-on of the drug-addled beatnik crowd as far back as the 1950s. Recently, his membership in Soka Gakkai, a radical Asian religious sect with a California foothold, resulted in a new round of newspaper headlines.The brothers at Holy Cross must be sickened that one of their own graduates could so willfully turn his back on America’s sacred promise.
A generation ago, Joe McGinniss was scandalously linked to the queen bee of cocaine propaganda, Bret Easton Ellis. The Los Angeles-based fiction writer fell under the McGinniss spell over scotch and cigarettes at Bennington College, where America’s Wall Street kingpins send their most debauched offspring to sow their wild oats in the secluded hills of Vermont. Ellis would later recount his experiences with McGinniss in the popular novel, “Less Than Zero.” The central character of drug dealer Rip (played by the snarky James Spader in the film version) was widely rumored to have been based on old Joe’s pedagogical predilections.
In the midst of all these dalliances, McGuiness even took the time to disparage the great American sport of horse racing. The publisher’s advance for his 2003 book, “The Big Horse,” was itself used to pay off the author’s enormous gambling debts. (That’s what you get for betting against a War Emblem and a Proud Citizen!) To attack a creature so noble, so righteous as a horse was disturbing to many at the time. He showed little respect for George Washington’s men who depended on their fighting equines to bring liberty to a youthful nation, to the work animals that gloriously wrangled open the West to trade and Christendom, to the cavalry soldiers who led us to victory in World War I and to the gracious beasts that to this day inflame many a young woman’s heart with the hypnotic rhythm of their gait in the verdant pastures of America’s heartland.
The great lesson that patriotic Americans will take away from the McGinniss/Palin kerfuffle is that the liberal media remains completely out of touch with mainstream America. Despite Obama’s economic crisis and our loss of global supremacy, they will do anything to disparage the real truths of God and Country. Even more chilling, these radicals remain clueless as to how we have grown as a people since 2008. We are fed up with the tawdry gossip and political assassinations of McGinniss and his ilk. We don’t want big government lies and slick marketing campaigns. Books and news programs that shill this dystopian socialism are sliding into obscurity under the rebirth of virtuous citizenship. Most of all, we want our country back!
In the end, McGinniss fails to realize that Governor Palin is no longer a person of flesh and blood. She is not a woman or a politician. Instead, Palin is a movement that stirs in the hearts of all those who love this nation. That movement is fueled by the uniquely American spirit of liberty. Its foundation is our willingness to fight for our faith and the role we envision Jesus Christ must take in our society. We are more intelligent, more honest because of the work of Sarah Palin. She has made us brave in our beliefs. She is an inspiration for something far larger than McGinniss seems capable of imagining. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry are just the latest incarnations of this incredible revolution in our society.
Joe McGinniss will change no one’s mind about Sarah Palin with this book. Those who fear the Tea Party revolution will only curl up deeper in their fleece blankets while tuning into the latest episode of Glee. For those of us who believe in America, “The Rogue” simply underscores the threat we face in outdated liberal panic as we charge forth into the dawn’s early light of a reborn America. Old Joe needs to know that we will never give up Sarah Palin and we will never give up the fight!
“America is looking for answers. She’s looking for a new direction; the world is looking for a light. That light can come from America’s great North Star; it can come from Alaska.” –Governor Sarah Palin.