When I went public with “The Sarah Palin I Know,” I expected that the reaction would be intense and mostly negative. I have not been disappointed. But no matter how clearly you see the flak coming in your direction; its impact is still unpleasant, especially when it is largely unjustified.
Before I address the response to the piece with more specificity and make a rather interesting proposal to my critics, let me first take some responsibility for making a couple of mistakes.
No, I don’t regret telling some of the inside story of my failed crusade to correct the historical record about the media coverage of the 2008 election or laying out the strong case that the “star” of my documentary, Sarah Palin, cannot possibly beat Barack Obama in 2012. However, I do have regrets about the way I went about it.
My first mistake was that the piece was really two essays in one and this allowed my many critics to be distracted from the real issue here. Half of the column was the untold narrative of my many efforts on behalf of Palin and interactions with her, and half was an argument about the electoral consequences of her running for president. I did it this way because I figured that the juicy tidbits that made up the inside story would get more people to read the argument portion of the essay.
Now, if I was a celebrity commentator I wouldn’t have had to go in this direction, but for a mere mortal like me to get this message the attention it deserves, the gas pedal has to be on the floor. Unfortunately, many people seem to think, somewhat understandably, that the “inside” stuff was a significant part of the “argument” element of the piece. This was not my intention.
This mistake allowed some to attack me because they thought my point was that somehow because Palin may have treated me worse at times than she should have, or didn’t follow my advice when it could have helped her, that this was part of why she can’t win the 2012 election. Some even absurdly concluded that I was somehow trying to get back at her. That is simply not the case.
I truly wish Palin and her family the very best and I went way out of my way to alert them and their team that something was going on and no one even bothered to get back to me. Heck, right up to the moment the piece went live I was doing a Fox News appearance on her behalf and working behind the scenes to try to help the new Palin-related film navigate a legal issue. I said all of this in the piece, but I guess I should have made all of it even more obvious.
Similarly, many seemed to mistake my technique of letting the reader inside my world and head during this saga as me displaying undue arrogance. In reality, I was actually cracking open my bizarre life, warts and all, simply so that the reader could get a better understanding of why I did the things I did, why I was hardly being disloyal, and why I finally had to come forward.