Joe McGinness is a well-respected author. A writer of both fiction and non-fiction, McGinnis is known for his thorough research and documentation. His body of work includes:
* The Selling of the President (1969), about the marketing of Richard M. Nixon
* The Dream Team (1972)
* Heroes (1976)
* Going to Extremes (1980)
* Fatal Vision (1983)
* Blind Faith (1989)
* Cruel Doubt (1991)
* The Last Brother: The Rise and Fall of Teddy Kennedy (1993)
* The Miracle of Castel di Sangro (1999), the story of Castel di Sangro Calcio.
* The Big Horse (2004)
* Never Enough (2007)
He began following and writing about the unlikely, yet meteoric rise of political phenomenon Sarah Palin, and about a year ago, wrote a piece for the on-line magazine Portfolio entitled "Pipe Dreams," which discussed Sarah's bragging about creating a pipeline that doesn't yet exist. Though factual, McGinniss' article wasn't exactly complimentary.
Suffice it to say, Mrs. Palin is not fond of Mr. McGinness.
Currently, McGinness is working on a book due to be published by Broadway/Random House in 2011. He has said his working title is "Sarah Palin's Year of Living Dangerously."
As you might imagine, that makes Sarah, the beauty-queen runner up, half term quitter Governor, ghost-written author and Presidential wanna-be extremely unhappy, because McGinniss has something She-Who-Would-Be-President does not. Credibility.
In finishing up his book, McGinniss decided he needed to spend a few months in Alaska, specifically in Wasilla, Sarah's home town, conducting more interviews and gathering more background information.
This is where it gets interesting.
According to his son, Joe McGinnis Jr. (a respected novelist himself), Joe Sr. was contacted by the woman who owns the house next door to the Palin home. She had been seeking a renter. According to McGinniss Jr., there's a bit more to that story, too. Apparently, the woman had completed some renovations (whether to her home or theirs is unclear) at the Palin's request. After the renovations were completed, the Palins refuse to pay for them.
In retrospect, they probably shouldn't have reneged on whatever deal they had with her, because... well, Karma can be a bitch.
This neighbor of Palin knew McGinniss was working on his book, and contacted him, offering to rent him her house. McGinniss, not being a dummy, realized that her rental rate of $1500 a month was a pretty good deal for him, and it beat the hell out of staying at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn.
To her credit, this neighbor had turned down more lucrative offers from The National Enquirer, which hoped to have paparazzi staying there, stalking the Palins and snapping pictures whenever they walked out of the house.
And... as you might expect, when she got the word that Joe McGinnis was moving in next door to her, Sarah Palin went berserk. Her Facebook page is one of the places where she issues her proclamations, and she wasted no time in attacking Mr. McGinnis there, implying he was a stalker, and quite possibly a pervert as well! In part from Sarah's page:
Joe announced to Todd that he’s moved in right next door to us. He’s rented the place for the next five months or so. He moved up all the way from Massachusetts to live right next to us – while he writes a book about me. Knowing of his many other scathing pieces of “journalism” (including the bizarre anti-Palin administration oil development pieces that resulted in my Department of Natural Resources announcing that his work is the most twisted energy-related yellow journalism they’d ever encountered), we’re sure to have a doozey to look forward to with this treasure he’s penning. Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole? (emphasis mine)
To underscore the Palin's paranoia, Todd immediately grabbed his tools, and scabbed another 8 feet or so of height on to the existing fence between the houses, creating (as Mudflats called it) quite the fencetrosity.
The scale and ferocity of Palin's reaction left McGinnis sort of stunned and disturbed. He hadn't planned to publicize where he was staying at all, and he had hoped to keep it off the internet. He felt no reason to invade the Palin's privacy, or to make a big deal out of it, and her implication that he would be peering over the fence, spying on her children, deeply offended him. As McGinniss said,
"These little kids, I couldn't care less about them," said McGinniss. "I have my own kids and grandkids to care about. I don't have any interest in Palin's kids. I'm not going to write, oh, I saw Trig run across the lawn, and I saw someone else change his diaper. I haven't been writing for 40 years to wind up on that level. I'm just very offended by this." (emphasis mine)
Good job, Sarah! You've managed to wrest Teh Crazy™ Crown back from Rand Paul, and get back into that media spotlight!
But guess what?
All you've really done is ensure that Joe McGinniss will sell even more copies of "Sarah Palin's Year of Living Dangerously."