Dear Mr. Ulin,
I read your article regarding Joe McGinniss and his upcoming book “Rouge” that is rife with salacious lies, innuendos and rumors. I have to say that the real story here isn't whether or not Sarah Palin snorted cocaine off an oil drum when she was in her 20's or if she had a romance with basket-baller Glen Rice while unmarried. All of which, I can assure you will never materialize and catch fire simply because—those who really know Sarah, the Heaths and Palins, know they're all lies. No, the real story is how many of you so called credible and reliable journalistic organizations ran with the story which is based on quotes from "friends" and "those close to the Palins", weak sources and such.
While you tried to remain objective in the article, you're ideology as a leftist or somewhat "third way" progressive came through as there are many flaws in your reporting. You used a quote from Zane Henning insinuating that Palin is a fake conservative because she doesn't perform acts of charity to the organization Henning prefers. You left out the fact that Gov. Palin has devoting her time and resources to the organization "Samaritan's Purse" as well as other charities for years.
You also forgot to mention that Joe McGinniss has been caught plagiarizing other writer's work many times in his career. Venerable editor and publisher Roger W. Straus, president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, once said about McGinniss in 1993, ''Will the public accept it when an author says, 'I'm selling you this book as a bio, but I'm also telling you that I made up a lot of stuff myself"? I would think including this all important character flaw of McGinniss would be relevant when the author is clearly doing what Mr. Straus accused him of doing back then—making stuff up.I’m shocked that you and so many other journalists from so called venerable newspaper organizations neglected to mention that New York Times veteran film and book critic Janet Maslin had panned this piece of trash in May. Maslin isn’t exactly what you would call a conservative standard bearer. She pointed out that McGinnis crudely prodded Glen Rice for information regarding he and Palin’s “sexual relationship”. All Rice admitted to was that he remembers Sarah Palin as “respectful” and a “sweetheart”.
And what about those affair rumors? In your article you claimed, “McGinniss talked to Rice for the book and he confirmed the relationship”. If you’re citing Joe McGinniss as a source for this information, then that’s quite sad and it’s proof as to what passes for journalism today. I mean, for the love of all that’s holy, you are taking the word of a man who—on one page of his book, paints Palin as a person who is leery of blacks and flatly, a racist—and then on the other as a woman who has “jungle fever”. The contradictions are glaring, wouldn’t you say?
Also, this is wrong because it was the National Enquirer who confirmed that Glen Rice admitted to this relationship. Even worse, if National Enquirer is taken seriously by “credible” news organizations as truth, then that’s a sad day for the mainstream news business. You may cite that Nat EQ broke the John Edwards story. True. However, a broken clock is right at least twice a day. And until Mr. Rice steps up and publically admits to this relationship, I and many others will not take it seriously. And even if it were to be true—which it’s not—so what? It was over 25 years ago and she was not bonded in matrimony.
Let me point to one final flaw in your article. You stated quite glibly that Palin “is narcissistic, undisciplined and unqualified for public life.” 1) every politician in America has a narcissistic streak in them, beginning with the one that’s currently occupying the White House. 2) be careful with the “she quit” argument. While I will not disclose to you how, it just may backfire on you. 3) She was and is qualified for public life as she’s spent 20 plus years as a public servant and executive.
I’ll leave you with one thing: Journalists like yourself and others—while taking seriously and giving attention to sensationalistic dreck such as this—are doing yourselves and your profession a grave disservice. It’s almost as if you’re burning down your own houses while you’re sitting in them.
By using supermarket checkout rags and lying opportunists like Joe McGinniss as credible sources, you are setting a dangerous precedent. After all, if we were to believe this story about Sarah Palin, then we are free to believe those about Barack Obama, his family and past associations, right? I guess now we can say that Obama is really gay, sold cocaine while “in college” in New York city, that his college days were funded by Muslims who are tied to terrorist organizations, should be charged with the murder of a Chicago reverend with who he was having a gay affair, got a blow job from Larry Sinclair while he smoked crack in the back of a limo 20 years ago, and that his mother in law Mother Robinson really does perform Santeria in the Rose Garden of the White House. And on and on!
Does that all seem fair to you?
But after taking the time out of my day to write this to you, I had to stop myself and say—what do you expect from the Los Angeles Times? After all, this is the newspaper who, during the 2008 election season, refused to release a damaging tape of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle attending a dinner for Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi a man with known ties to Middle Eastern terrorism. Just what were you all hiding there?
The fact of the matter is, Sarah Palin is not going away and neither are the hordes of her supporters. So if you do not like the harassment that you get after writing this gobblely gook I kindly say—life’s a bitch, get a helmet.
Host of Mr.L’s Tavern
Conservative talk show