|"The Rogue" stripped away the Palin mythology and revealed to the world what lay beneath . Eww!|
His research - or at least his accommodation in Alaska - made news around the world. "Joe McGinniss has rented the house next to the Palin family's lakeside home in Wasilla, Alaska, for five months while he completes his work," reported this paper's website in May 2010.
"Palin did everything she could to stop it," says McGinniss. "She threatened. She had a lawyer announce she was considering a lawsuit." That didn't happen. But within weeks of publication, Palin announced she would not be running in 2012.
McGinniss is far from claiming sole responsibility. As he sees it, Palin faced two problems running for the Republican nomination this year: she didn't have a hope of winning and any attempt would expose her to the sort of scrutiny that would put at risk her lucrative new career as a political celebrity.
"These people worked out a way to game the system," McGinniss says of the Palin family. "I don't blame them. They are just grifters who suddenly saw a chance at the main chance and they were clever enough and canny enough to take it. The American media was so gullible and the right wing was so desperate for new heroic figures that they basically got a free ride. She knew she wouldn't get a free ride this year in 2012."
His attack on Palin is full throttle. "I think everything about her is false. I think her claims of super Christianity are as false as everything else. She discovered who she needed to be to play to a very small audience in her town of Wasilla and she has calculated her way every step of the way. There has been an opening for a woman of the extreme right. She saw that.
"Even in Alaska there were no openings for educated, intelligent women of the left because Alaska - part of the anomaly that is the state - had a number of those already. What they needed was a militant crusader for evangelical values. And she combined - and we can never underestimate this - raw sex appeal with Christian platitudes. The Anchorage Daily News called her 'The Joan of Arc of Alaska politics'. There was nothing subtle about it."
What followed in his eyes was a tale of cunning and vengeance; high ambition and lazy performance; bobsleds and cocaine; a toxic marriage that saw Todd sleeping on the couch most nights and the kids roaming the neighbourhood looking for a feed. Then young Track was shunted off to the military after the high-school bus fleet was mysteriously vandalised one winter.
"I laughed," says McGinniss. "The closer I got and the more people I talked to who knew her, the more I laughed. After a while laughter gave way to a numb stupefaction that this brainless, venal, definitely crafty, religious fanatic and self-aggrandising bimbo could have become a powerful factor in national politics."
The Herald even asked Joe about the mystery of Trig:
McGinniss devotes hilarious and scurrilous pages to the mystery of little Trig, the Down syndrome baby born soon after Palin won John McCain's endorsement. "The story she tells of her pregnancy and the birth simply can't be true," says McGinniss who wonders if the "birth" was designed to make Palin the poster child of the Right to Life.
"It would be the most cynical ploy and the greatest hoax ever pulled off in American politics," he says. Pursuing the story with him are bloggers and the influential columnist Andrew Sullivan. But McGinniss despairs of the failure of the "establishment media" to take the story seriously. He doesn't believe the issue is yet settled either way: "I remain Trignostic," he says.
I have to say that I know Joe is FAR from Trognostic, but I also know that he was very frustrated that he was never able to crack open that particular part of the Palin mythology.
Still he managed to bring the controversy to the forefront of the American audience for a short time, and may very well have been the MAIN reason why Palin has moved as far away from the political scene as she has recently.
And now Joe will be in Australia this month to discuss this most scandalous of deceptions with an entirely new audience. And didn't "Sarah Palin-You Betcha!" just start appearing on Australian TV recently as well?
Why yes it did!