DC Trawler

Sounds like somebody took “Sarah Palin is the girl next door” a little too literally

Name a prominent Democrat. The first one who pops into your head. Okay, that’s a good one, let’s go with that.

So, let’s say a professional writer of some note decided to do a book about that Democrat. Let’s say the writer wasn’t satisfied with just trying to get interviews with that Democrat or any of the people who’ve encountered that Democrat.

Let’s say the writer moved into the house right next door to that Democrat.

Now imagine the media’s reaction to that development. Would it be anything like what their reaction will be to the following, as conveyed by Ben Smith?

Sarah Palin, guerilla Facebook warrior, turns the tables a bit on the author Joe McGinniss — best known for his Nixon campaign account, The Selling of the President, and for the murder investigation Fatal Vision — who, she says, has rented the house next door.

Palin, in a recurring preoccupation, suggests that McGinniss is really there to peep at her young daughters, noting that his property overlooks “Piper’s bedroom, my little garden, and the family’s swimming hole.”

It might be a “recurring preoccupation” because her family keeps getting dragged into people’s disputes with her, in ways that have never been tolerated with any other politician or public figure, of any stripe, in my memory. Yes, parents do tend to be “preoccupied” with the well-being of their children.

The completely unbiased and impartial Dave Weigel, referring to Palin’s mocking Facebook post, asks, “Can somebody explain to me how this isn’t a despicable thing for Palin to do?” Well, I’ll give it a shot, Dave: The guy moved in right next door to her damn house.

I don’t know if Ben Smith or Dave Weigel have any kids, but I wonder how they’d put up with the sorts of things that have been said about the Palin family. I wonder how Ben Smith or Dave Weigel would like it if some jerk moved in right next door to them for the express purpose of writing a book about them. I wonder if Ben Smith or Dave Weigel would think their concern for the safety and privacy of their own children was “despicable” or a “preoccupation.”

I’m guessing they wouldn’t.

(Hat tip: AP)

P.S. From Page Six on June 23, 2009:

JOE McGinniss — author of “Fatal Vision,” “Blind Faith” and other best sellers — is fed up. In a message posted by his son, Joe McGinniss Jr. on Facebook, the writer asks for ideas for his next book, saying, “The last three books I’ve written have been about soccer, which nobody in America cares about; horse racing, which nobody in America cares about; and true crime, a genre that expired sometime last century . . . Let me know if you think of something.”

Sounds like he did. But wait, there’s more:

McGinniss says freelancing hasn’t worked out: “Some of you may have seen my cover story on Sarah Palin and the Alaska gas pipeline for Portfolio . . . At least they paid well, which not many places do any more. Among those that don’t is The Daily Beast. I recently wrote a short piece for them . . . They said they’d pay $250. But then they said they’d only pay if I signed an agreement that is the nuttiest, most onerous, restrictive contract I’ve seen in 40 years . . . I said I couldn’t sign it . . . and, of course, never got paid.”

Hey, gotta pay the rent…. on the house right next to the people you’re definitely not stalking.

Speaking of things that aren’t the least bit creepy, last year McGinniss also bid over $60,000 on eBay for a dinner with Palin. He lost by $3,350, or about 13 Daily Beast pieces.