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Sarah Palin is rightfully agrieved about invasion of privacy

I’m with Sarah Palin on this one.

The Palins’ new neighbor, it turns out, is author Joe McGinniss. Coincidence? I think not. McGinniss wrote an unflattering profile of Palin for Portfolio magazine last year, and he’s now writing a book about the former Alaska governor. So he’s moved in next door.

Apparently, this is really next door. As Palin posted on her Facebook page alongside a picture of McGinniss, “Here he is -- about 15 feet away on the neighbor's rented deck overlooking my children's play area and my kitchen window... Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?"

Palin’s intimations of pedophilic voyeurism are characteristically aggrieved -- said “swimming hole” is Lake Louise a public lake, after all -- but I’d feel pretty aggrieved in these circumstances as well.

McGinniss’s choice of venue is outrageously, unnecessarily intrusive. There is -- there used to be and should be, anyway -- a difference between reporting and stalking, serious journalists and papparazzi. Not that I’d want to make my living chasing celebrities, but the papparazzi, at least, have an excuse: they have to stick their cameras in people’s faces to do their jobs. McGinniss and Marcus don’t. People, politicians included, deserve a zone of privacy, literal as well as metaphysical.

Slate’s Jack Shafer says he has “no problems, ethically or morally, with him getting as close to his subject as possible” and puts McGinniss’s behavior within a “long journalistic tradition of wearing sources and subjects down until they surrender.” His examples include “knocking on the door of a grieving family to ask them, "How do you feel?” and “frequenting a subject’s favorite bar, place of worship, and subway stop until he cracks.”

I’ve had to do that knocking -- not easy -- but I was taught not to besiege grieving families. If that’s changed, too bad on us, but there are remedies against such harassment. Going to a public place in pursuit of a source is different from essentially spying on the source in her private domain.

This was, it turns out, something of a grudge rental. McGinniss’s son wrote in an e-mail obtained by Politico’s Ben Smith that the owner “sought out the author because the Palins had crossed her (owed her money for renovations she had done at their request and never paid her for).”

As McGinniss Jr. explained, “[I]f you were writing a biography of Tiger Woods and had the chance to move in with him, or his pool house, or rent next door or down the street from him -- it would be journalistic malpractice not to.” Yes, if Tiger invited you to move in, or rent the poolhouse, you’d be crazy not to. But positioning yourself so you can watch his every move, day in and day out, for five months?

“People who write about politics, campaigns, they travel with the candidates, stay in the same motels, ride the bus, eat breakfast, hang out any and everywhere they can to get access,” McGinniss added. “We want to read the work of someone who is as close to their subject as possible. That's called reporting.” But there is a private sphere even on a poiltical campaign. Reporters don’t camp out in the hotel room next to the candidate and put their ears to the wall.

In a statement, McGinniss’s publisher promised that he “will be highly respectful of his subject’s privacy as he investigates her public activities. Really? So respectful of her privacy that he invaded it? Plow through all the papers, interview all the sources you want. But seizing the opportunity to live next door is creepy.

The Yiddish word “mensch” refers to a decent person. I’ve always believed that it is possible to practice good, hard-hitting journalism and behave like a mensch. I’ll wait for the book to judge McGinniss’s journalism. It’s not too early, though, to conclude that he is no mensch.

By Ruth Marcus  | May 27, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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The poor man deserves a million dollars for having to do the job. Being that close to the moron, trailer trash bimbo must be painful.

Posted by: fare777 | May 27, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It is intimidation and a publicity ploy too that may backfire seriously and should.

Posted by: Wildthing1 | May 27, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

McGinnis isn't a stalker. Moving next door to the Palins was nothing more than a publicity stunt for his book and Mcginnis even received a gratuitous hissy fit by way of $arahs Facebook entry on the subject. She took the bait, swallowed it whole and continues to milk the episode for all it's worth by erecting an ugly fence that serves no purpose.

Posted by: lapeache | May 27, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Up close and personal. I love it! Now that Palin will be able to see McGinnis from her kitchen window, I suppose now she'll tout her literary skills. Oh, wait, she's already "written" her biggie. Now she's got a rogue living right next to her. I just love it!! Palin doesn't want to be an elected official of any kind. She wants to proclaimed Queen. Guess she'll have to find another country for that, because we don't have that kind of royalty here. As it is, she'll just remain a royal pain in the patoot.

Posted by: eal1 | May 27, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Being that close to the moron, trailer trash bimbo must be painful."

It would be far more painful to be close to trash like you.

Posted by: Azarkhan | May 27, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

sorry, lady, but I don't agree.

I'm a freelance writer who would not shove my pad or microphone into the face of a victim in the manner you describe, and have nothing but contempt for those who do so. At the same time, Palin has shoved her face in front of the cameras for personal gain for many years, and thinks nothing of waving her at the crowd whenever it will benefit her. She is more than fair game.

Posted by: micost51 | May 27, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

To all the anti-Sarah Palin commenters-what happened, forget to take your Midol today?

Posted by: Azarkhan | May 27, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Does Sarah Palin believe in a constitutional right to privacy? Granting that her public statements suggest she doesn't even know what is in the Constitution, I suspect not.

In addition, she has no regard for MY privacy. I happen to be a heterosexual, married, white male. What if I were gay? What if my wife faced the question of whether to abort a fetus? According to her, I have no such right to privacy. So, pardon me for feeling unsympathetic. When a political public figure advocates my right to privacy and his or her space is "invaded," then I will feel sympathy. When a political public figure not only denies my right to privacy but also cultivates the right-wing media to present an untrue picture of her, she deserves what she gets.

Posted by: greenm1 | May 27, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The poor man deserves a million dollars for having to do the job. Being that close to the moron, trailer trash bimbo must be painful.

Posted by: fare777
Have you always had this hostility towards women or just those who are independent and successful? I'm guessing you don't get out much but please leave your moms basement and stop the exclusive dating with Ham Hocks, it shows in your post.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | May 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If Joe can survive Jeff MacDonald, Janet Malcolm and Bob Haldemann, I don't think he has much to worry about with Sarah Palin.

Posted by: nanorich | May 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked, a person's right to privacy does not include a right to choose who resides on adjacent properties.

Posted by: madcow21 | May 27, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but this is a huge crock of bat guano.

McGinniss leasing a house next door to Palin's is not "invading her privacy". He has committed no crime, or committed any outrageous offense to the Palins or their property next door.

Until he actually does either of the above, I don't want to read or hear any petulant whining about it.

Posted by: h_clarke | May 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse


You sound fairly hostile yourself, although I agree with your sentiments towards the word "bimbo".

But I don't think of Palin as "successful" by any means. Wealthy, celebrity, yes... but she leaves behind a trail of enemies wherever she goes, and that, I submit, is not characteristic of a successful person.

Posted by: dougAthensGA | May 27, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

stalking is a matter of following people, or appearing wherever they are, with an intent to create intimidation, and/or fear and apprehension.

if you go to the trouble to buy a house and move in, that's not stalking. it's called residence. if it is stalking, it's one big hell of an investment in intimidation.

Sarah Palin made herself a public figure. she shamelessly paraded her family, and their 'family values', before the American people at every possible chance. she's been doing this for years, now.

she has no more right to privacy than anyone else--less, as a public figure--and to deny McGinniss the purchase and/or occupation of a vacant house on the market is discriminatory and pre-prejudicial.

(i've had neighbors i didn't care for, but i didn't try to start a campaign to get them kicked out.)

i doubt there'd have been a 'problem' if the new occupant had been someone from FOX News.

media reports on either the left or the right are, at times, prejudicial. This move is a unique opportunity for an independent, first-hand account of what has been reported as an 'all-American' family.

after all, it's not as if he's gonna crawl in through the kitchen window. people should get a grip.

Posted by: 0kami | May 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he just wanted the huge amount of free publicity that moving next door would generate for his book.

If so, he can check that item off his list as done.

Posted by: Gallenod | May 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Random House should be ashamed to promote such morally repugnant behavior. No, its not against the law for him to live there. Yes, it is morally WRONG. Here is the email to give Random House your opinion on the matter.

Posted by: washingtonpost_sucks | May 27, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

McGinnss is not unknown to Alaska. His book, Going to Extremes, depicted Barrow Eskimos as drunks. He neutralized Alaska journalists who might have complained by personal dedications to each one. This guy and Sarah are neighbors in more ways than one.

Posted by: steveconn1 | May 27, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

She is a public figure, but she has a right to privacy in her own yard, for Pete's sake.

What Joe did was just in bad taste. Did he legally have the right to do it? Sure. But it was bad taste.

The Palins built the fence to try and maintain some modicum of their private lives. Good for them.

Posted by: Uffda52222 | May 27, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

It's Lake Lucille.

Posted by: Uffda52222 | May 27, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal? She's never there, anyway, busy as she is with her speaking engagements. And she generally drags the kids along with her.

At least he was open about what he was doing. He could have rented the house and never said a word.

Posted by: lizgwiz | May 27, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

He didn't say a word. They noticed that he was watching them. That's when Todd went over and found out what was going on.

Posted by: Uffda52222 | May 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"He didn't say a word. They noticed that he was watching them. That's when Todd went over and found out what was going on."

I believe that as much as I believe $arah mow her own yard with a baby strapped on her back... which is to say I don't believe a word of it.

Posted by: lapeache | May 27, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"He didn't say a word. They noticed that he was watching them. That's when Todd went over and found out what was going on."

I believe that as much as I believe $arah mows her own yard with a baby strapped onto her back... which is to say I don't believe a word of it.

Posted by: lapeache | May 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Although you get your facts mixed up about Gov. Palin and her comments about the oil spill, you managed to get this right.

I certainly agree with you. Thanks for writing and keep it classy.

Posted by: Michigan1985 | May 27, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

McGinniss’s behavior within a “long journalistic tradition of wearing sources and subjects down until they surrender.” His examples include “knocking on the door of a grieving family to ask them, "How do you feel?” and “frequenting a subject’s favorite bar, place of worship, and subway stop until he cracks?

Is Jack Shafer insane - he's admitted that he hired Joe to shake down Palin. Why? Surrender what?? What has Palin got to "surrender" about? Shafer and McGuiness should both be brought up on charges of harrassment.

Or better yet. May I suggest that McGuiness move next door to Tom Cruise and "shake him down" until he "surrenders" the truth about his sexuality. Come on.. finally getting Tom to crack and admit he's gay - NOW that's a much better use of McGuiness "shakedown/stalking" talents!

Jack Slater and Joe McGuiness are both asshats!

Posted by: HarleyQuinn1 | May 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

McGuiness does not have his ear to the wall as this blog infers. He lives in a house next door (one that he didn't build). No more than Sarah is stalking Obama by commenting on EVERY POSSIBLE item she can think of to complain about. She, who can't do the work, won't do the work, can nitpik the President of the United States until death, but some writer moves into a house next to her, and it's the end of her world. Poor little Sarah. Not to worry honey, the media still loves ya. It's okay if they follow you everywhere, isn't that right? You betcha!

Posted by: Tourist | May 27, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

What Ruth Marcus seems to have missed is that Sarah Palin is no longer a politician, she's now a huge media star. She seems to have embraced that position with gusto ever since she quit her half-term as governor, and has millions of dollars to show for it.

By the standards of media celebrity, it's not unusual at all to have a journalist move next door to you, have paparazzi follow you around, thrust cameras in your face, and so on. Just ask Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Tila Tequila, or other people like Palin who are famous merely for being famous.

Sister Sarah can't have it both ways - if she wants to live in the media eye and make money off it, she can't whine when the press comes a-knocking.

Posted by: sambam | May 27, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

So Sarah couldn't pay the neighbor what she owed from the $12 million she's made since quitting her job as Gov?


And NOW they want a fence? Guess they welcomed the prying eyes of the previous neighbor.

Posted by: lokidog | May 27, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought Americans are free to move where they want. Anti-abortion protesters have the right to march up and down the sidewalks in front of doctors operating within the law. They use bull horns, picketing, obnoxious or aggressive behavior. Is that what's happening here? What ever happened to Freedom?

Sarah should use this to her advantage. Since she makes public pronouncements and endorsements about national politics everyday (in her noble attempts to maintain her "privacy"), she should give this guy the scoop and tell him what she plans to say every morning.

She complains about the Press? Now that she can see the press from her kitchen window, she'll become an expert. Maybe even be awarded the Pulitzer!

Posted by: thebobbob | May 27, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Generally I don't bother with this stuff, as I see it as a complete waste of time. Today I'm breaking my own precedent.
I'm a busy person. I work for a living. I proudly pay my taxes and a mortgage, share the household duties with my wife, and support her in realizing her dreams, as I am now doing as she goes round-the-world, the fulfillment of a lifetime ambition. I love where I live and, like my wife, do all I can to be a good neighbor and contribute to my community. I passionately believe in what I do for a living, the team I do it with, and the task we have been given, which is defend your right to travel freely, safely, and with as much dignity as a I can possibly pass on. I do the best I can with the world as I know it to be. And every day I take the advice of Voltaire seriously: "We must cultivate our own garden."
However, excuse me. I've run out of time. There are far more important things to do. But as I go forward, I wish you all well with this exercise in what I see not as commentary on a lone act of voyeurism, but a collective indulgence in group voyeuristic tendencies. A waste in every sense when there is so much of far greater importance that would require of you your noblest tendencies and best effort. But, have fun, have nice lives, best of luck to you all and know well " I (may not) agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Posted by: morty52 | May 27, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I see all these strange emotional comments by some of you in regards to Sarah's character. I don't get it.

She didn't say he was a stalker. She isn't doing anything but putting a fence up and making sure people know about it.

I have four kids. IF ANYONE was checking out my family through their windows and writing a book about us I would put up a fence too and spread the word in the neighborhood.

Posted by: cbluestar | May 27, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

It was beyond disgusting for Palin to imply that this man was looking in her daughter's windows or spying on them while they were playing. I get you don't like journalists moving next door but likening him to some sort of pedophile is beyond the pale. Just shows the lengths that Palin will go to be portrayed as the victim and how often she uses her children in the process.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | May 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Nobody reads between the lines. Her neighbor knew she could have paid more for the rental than McGuiness but rented to him anyway sending her a message. The same freedom Sarah spouts incoherently about losing allows him to do this frowned upon activity. Her freedom to talk about him is his to talk about her.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Within hours of discovering her new neighbor, Sarah Palin enlisted her husband and her friends, and had a fence already going up. After two days, it was complete.

Meanwhile, our federal government ignores pleas for help from the governors of Arizona and Texas, dismisses the Arizona anti-immigration law, refuses to send help to the border, refuses to build a fence, refuses to in any way stop the flow of illegal immigrants streaming across our border.

Kind of says alot about Palin's commitment, drive, sense of accomplishment and concern about her family's safety. It also says alot about Obama's lack thereof.

Day by day, Palin is showing more leadership skills, genuine know-how and personal integrity than Obama and all the goons in his administration put together.

Posted by: QuineGeology | May 27, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Palin is "Rightfully agrieved (sic)"? Then where was her outrage and where were her mama bear instincts between 2005 and 2008 when the very same house was used as a half way house for recently released prisoners with substance abuse problems? And why didn't she build a 14 foot fence then?

Posted by: WHill1 | May 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

QuineGeology writes:
"Day by day, Palin is showing more leadership skills, genuine know-how and personal integrity than Obama ...."

Wow - Sarah managed to get a fence built on her property while Obama was merely dealing with the biggest oil spill by her friends at BP, a diplomatic crisis with North Korea, pulling the economy out of the tailspin that it went into thanks to her party, trying to pass financial regulation over the obstructionism of her friends in the GOP ..... and Palin got a fence put up.

Don't these Palinbots know that their defense of Palin is becoming increasingly laughable with every petty rant and tweet that she puts out?

Posted by: sambam | May 27, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree with you more sambam. I almost spit my coffee out when reading QuineGeology's comment. Sarah Palin managed to get someone to put a fence up around her house in two days and that's considered skills equivalent to running the entire country. Jeez, who are these people that support Palin.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | May 27, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

wmwilliams---"Jeez,who are these people that support Palin"?

Jeez, who are these people who do not think McGuinniss is a creep and he crossed a line? or are you so politically blind you can't see what he's doing is sick?

QuineGeology, I couldn't agree more with you.

Posted by: Michigan1985 | May 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse


Your post would make sense if Obama was actually dealing with all the events you described, instead of campaigning for doomed candidates, taking a second vacation in the middle of the worst oil spill in history, cracking jokes about Arizona's serious illegal problem and giving standing ovations to foreign dignitaries who stand on U.S. soil and insult us.

Palin's fence may only be 18 or 20 feet long, but that's 18-20 feet longer than any fence - or anything - Obama has ever built, done, fixed, worked for, accomplished or achieved in his life. Oh pardon me. I forgot about the Nobel Peace prize he was awarded for being in office for 14 days.

"Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?"

The answer (as if we all didn't know) would be a resounding NO.

Posted by: QuineGeology | May 27, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

And again - - it may only be an 18-foot long fence, yet she had it up in two days, with the help of what, 4 or 5 people? Let's remember that Obama has the full arsenal of the Army Corps of Engineers, major construction firms, unlimited construction supplies, seemingly unlimited tax dollars, a construction worker base crying out for jobs and the full support of the state governors - not to mention 71% of the American public.

This should be a slam-dunk decision to "get 'er done", yet Obumbler continues to dither and preen, golf, loaf and play politics.

I have no doubt that if Palin were in the Oval Office, this fence would be halfway completed by now, and she'd be on the front lines herself in a hard hat, encouraging workers to give it their all and go faster. She wrote a best-selling book and went on tour in the time it took Obama to make the decision to commit 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, even while his generals were screaming for reinforcements.

He just does NOT HAVE IT in him to make executive decisions, and this is going to cost our country dearly in the months and years to come.

Posted by: QuineGeology | May 27, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

And finally.... I find it refreshing, inspirational and a bit endearing to know that a former state governor and vice-presidential candidate - with rock star status and a speaking and travelling schedule that would break anybody else - still mows her own lawn, jogs every day and babysits for her nephews.

Her positive, can-do, wholly American attitude inspires me to achieve more and be the best that I can be.

Obama?.... Not so much.

Posted by: QuineGeology | May 27, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, McGinniss moving next door is a little bit overboard, but I have no sympathy for Palin. I might better understand her complaints if she opened legitimate avenues for the media to have access, but the only journalists who can actually talk to Palin are the ones in Rupert Murdoch's back pocket. She makes herself completely inaccessible to the media and then whines when they're forced to go to extraordinary measures to get to her.

And then she implied that this award-winning writer is some kind of pervert who just wants to peep into her daughter's bedroom window. The woman has no shame.

Posted by: dubiouslygreat | May 27, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Palin has young daughters to protect and McGinnis is obviously a sick stalker. No doubt he will be making up stuff, that will have no basis in reality. Why are liberals such creeps?

Posted by: Bellamia | May 27, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

For goodness sake. They noticed a man in his underwear watching them through binoculars from the neighbor's deck 14 feet away. I'd be scared out of my wits too. I've lived in quite a few different places and no neighbor ever did anything like that.

As for the alleged unpaid debt. Why hasn't some intrepid reporter asked the neighbor what it was all about? None will because it's all a bunch of BS.

This stunt goes way past bad taste into the territory of stalking and worse. Palin should put a camera on the roof and take pictures of the comings and goings next door.

Posted by: erp617 | May 27, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Please, Bellamia, accusing liberals of being creeps?! Look in the mirror. It's conservatives that got us into a wasteful (lives and money) war in Iraq. It was conservatives friendly with business who made sure that the MMS always turned their heads when dealing with the oil industry, and now we have the debacle in the Gulf.

As to the Wasilla brouhaha, there is much more to the story:
Palin neighbor sought McGinniss as tenant, turned down National Enquirer (Ben Smith, Politico) -- "No one is stalking anyone," Joe McGinniss Jr., a novelist whose father is the nonfiction writer, wrote in response to an email from a Palin supporter who confused his email address and his father's. ... "A woman was renting her house and sought out the author because the Palins had crossed her (owed her money for renovations she had done at their request and never paid her for). So she knew McGinniss was writing the book and found him and offered him the house."

Posted by: alaskadale | May 27, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Sarah said,
"And you know what they say about “fences make for good neighbors”? Well, we’ll get started on that tall fence tomorrow."

Well, she should have understood that the Robert Frost poem "Mending Fences" had the OPPOSITE message than what she was suggesting.

GEEZ!! It you are trying to be literate, check it out first.

This reminds me of when the Republicans were using Bruce Springsteen's song, "Born in the U.S.A." to show patriotism to the war, when, in fact it was a protest song.

Posted by: Queserasera | May 27, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

it is sad to see what has become of Joe McG., a truly gifted writer and perceptive interviewer, back in the day. His portrayal of Colette and her children and their dreadful murder was searing.
but....issues with women, again. the Janet Malcolm dsembowling, and now this. watching a right-wing gadfly in broad daylight from a porch next door.
I feel for his family. I hope he gets help.
what is with the Palin derangement disorder and men? if you do not like her, you have/had the choice to not vote for her or buy her book or attend her speeches. it seems to drive "liberal" men especially insane, i.e. Jack Shafer.
the railing and keening is over the top. I have never seen this over-reaction to a public figure, except of course the thrashing Hilary received.
message received - Boyz Klub requested.
geez. get a grip. odder ducks have crossed the national stage - Perot? Nader? etc. - and were permitted to resume their 'normal' lives.
it seems many men are simply enraged that she exists, and makes more money. interesting.

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 27, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Ruth. There are still journalists out there who actually go out and report as opposed those who stay in the Beltway bubble trading conventional wisdom gossip with Cokie Roberts.

However feel free to sniff at McGinnis at the next Georgetown cocktail party. After all you left journalism and all of that riff-raff so long ago that you can't even see it in your rear view mirror anymore, so it's no skin off your nose.

Posted by: tblogg | May 28, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

You know, as a former journalist and an Alaskan, at first I thought he'd pushed it too far. But her hysterical response, which is full of her typical self-aggrandizing, snotty, poor-me BS, changed my mind.

He has done absolutely nothing that has intruded on her privacy or indicated he has any interest other than journalistic. She, on the other hand, built a ginormous house with huge windows right against the property line of her neighbor. Until now, it apparently has never caused her a moment's fear that anyone is peeping on her poor daughter or her as she winsomely and seductively mows her lawn in her shorts and sleeveless shirt. (I mean, please. Why on earth did she include such inane details if not to imply that she's so dang sexy that she makes ordinary men perverts? And Trig is in a backpack while she mows? Does she do that while she's using her chainsaw, too?)

Also, memo to Mrs. Palin. Your "swimming hole" is a public lake.

Then she insinuated nasty things about him and published a photo of him on her ridiculous Facebook page. So remind me again, who is invading whose privacy?

Palin has revealed yet again how she responds to crisis. She hyperventilates, attacks other people, sexualizes everything in sight including her own children, and whips her acolytes into the most over-the-top furor possible. Just the kind of temperament America hungers for in these times. Real leadership material.

She's not just a fraud. ("Do you love your freedom, everybody but Joe McGinniss?") She's nuts.

Go, Joe. I was always going to buy your book because regular journalists have dropped the ball on exposing her many, many falsehoods and abuses of her office. Now I'll be giving it away for presents because I know it will be well-researched.

And by the way, how about some real journalists paying more attention to the Associated Press's recent stories on how she and her aides steered $500 million to a Canadian company that will likely not do a d**n thing to build the gas pipeline for which she takes so much credit? Stop reading her foolish, empty Facebook notes and pay attention to her real offenses. Please.

Posted by: BlueDog1 | May 28, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Someone like Sarah Palin needs a gonzo-ubermensch journalist like McGinniss to give her a run for all that money she’s getting by running her uninformed mouth. Ms. Marcus had emphasized in past columns how ignorant Palin is. Other members of Palin's family, like daughter Bristol and Levi Johnston, seems to be addicted to bad behavior and bad judgement. Let's all wait patiently for McGinniss to do his job. Many "Lower-48'ers" look forward to the result.

Posted by: NeoConWatch | May 28, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Sarah...Has set herself up for this. She parades her family when ever needed to show what a great momma she is and chooses not do a sembalance of research on any serious issue. Just a winky, winky and then shoots her mouth off.

Posted by: ghhugh | May 28, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

The media should treat all figures at that level with the same degree of scrutiny. That means that she should be examined as distantly or as closely as, say, the Clintons, Gores, Bushes, Bidens and Obamas.

Posted by: SanchoPanza2 | May 28, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter if you like or hate Sarah Palin, the point is, the guy IS creepy.

He made a statement that said that he was only interested in her 'professional' life. But it takes a certain special chutzpha to declare you're renting the house directly next door to her while you plan on camping out for half a year.

What 'professional' information is to be gained by this? The truth is, none. Anyone just interested in her public antics could write a piece on her, living halfway across the country, let alone in a different one. It's not like she's hiding in a cave somewhere. He's lying through his teeth, and it's obvious.

The way to know what the right thing to do is in this case is to ask yourself, what if he moved in next door to you? I live in a boring area and have a boring life, but I still don't want someone with a pad and a pencil, peering at me from next door, taking note as to my family's private coming and going.

If you have any ethics, you don't suspend them for people that you don't like. Those who would have ethical issues in my book.

I think that he has some sort of personal issue with her, and that might not be a good thing and I'm not talking about worrying about some expose. Obsessions are rampant in this country and just because this guy is a published author, doesn't mean that he's not capable of stepping over the line. Celebrity of any rank doesn't make you immune from the human condition.

If I were her, I would absolutely be concerned. I would also probably remove my kids from the area. Too close for comfort, too weird to ignore, so I just wouldn't bother dealing with it. What would he do? Follow her?

Posted by: Geepers1 | May 28, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I bet McGinniss is so excited to see his name in print in the SAME article as Sarah Palin's, he's had it framed and hung on the wall so he can read and reread it ad infinitum, while salivating with one hand in his pants. Wadda GEEK!

Posted by: kenek | May 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Marcus, You left out the most disturbing part...according to Politico and McGinniss’s own son: McGinniss is obsessed with Palin. He really is a stalker !

McGinniss's own son, novelist Joe McGinniss Jr., when asked replied, "Sadly, she's right. We tried our best to intervene, but alas, the heart wants what it wants. We can only pray for him now. He's convinced that Todd will step aside and when the time is right, he'll be there, right next door, to pick up the pieces."

Are liberals going to denounce this sicko stalker ? What if he did the same to New York's Senator Kristen Gillibrand? or Hillary Clinton ?

Too many liberals and it now seems too many journalist (think Andrew Sullivan) are sick Palin-haters.

Posted by: pvilso24 | May 28, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

He's committed no crime, violated no local law. And the John Locke society should rush to his defense! It's private property and he can do as he pleases until he violates someone's civil rights....oh yea I forgot, those are liberal laws, Palin wouldn't support those laws.

Posted by: StacyC1 | May 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a celebrity. I'm not sure why she should be in a position to be a critic on EVERYTHING, but remain untouchable. I fault the media for even reporting the crap on her facebook page as if it is news. The media outlets should just start a daily Sarah column in ALL the papers so that she can send it in daily - save them the time of looking up facebook. Sarah wants to pi** with the big dogs, then she needs to pull up her big girl panties, and suck it up. She shoulda seen it coming. And the fence? Looks like crap.

Posted by: Tourist | May 28, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

fare777 said The poor man deserves a million dollars for having to do the job. Being that close to the moron, trailer trash bimbo must be painful.

Well first of all you elitist POS She has a beutiful house on a lake in Alaska and is worth millioms so your statement shows how stupid you are.

Secondly some people due to financial limitations have to live in a trailer I know some and they are far from trash. So take your biased opinion and shove it up your Obama.

Posted by: harley2002 | May 28, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Ruth Marcus for writing an open minded and fair comment on Governor Palin's 'new' neighbor. This is an obvious intrusion into her privacy and a publicity stunt for McGinnis.
Also, the other comments listed here are disgusting as to how much hate people have for those who do not agree with their own politics. The left especially has no room or allowance for dissent. So much for civil tolerance.

Posted by: reg5 | May 28, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

There is plenty of hate on both sides reg5, and Sarah has spewed plenty of it with her insinuations that McGinnis is a perverted peeping tom that is a threat to her children.

Posted by: lapeache1 | May 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the MSM outrage and the liberals reactions if a conservative writer moved in like this if this was Obama? WOW

Posted by: xfiler93 | May 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

It's truly abysmal that certain people automatically buy into the notion that Mr. McGinniss is creepy or perverted or a stalker. Where did that come from? Show me the picture please. You really think Mrs. Palin was mowing the lawn with a 2-yr-old strapped to her back? LOL... Show me the picture please. Want to know how far fetched her accusations are? Visit Palingates to see how she lies about damn near everything:

Ms. Marcus, I'm a woman. I have kids. If a well-known author moved in next door to write about me I'd be flattered and would make sure he knew he could come to me with any questions. I sure as heck wouldn't paint him as a pedophile and put up a ginormous dumb looking fence and get my followers to make death threats against him. But that's what our Sarah has done. She is not only not smart, she's self-destructive.

Posted by: Ennealogic | May 28, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wasilla is a very small town. He is writing a book about Palin and was offered the house next door. Why shouldn't he take it. He isn't misrepresenting himself or wearing a disguise.

Posted by: marycar | May 28, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

When is Sarah Palin going to grow up and stop acting like she is in middle school? At her age, temper tantrums are not becoming. Her reaction to this is disgusting. She's milking the media for all it's worth.

Mr. McGinnis has done nothing wrong, yet Ms. Palin is outraged and having a hissy fit. SHE interjected sexual imagery into her post. What's up with her constant accusations that everyone is interested in leering at her children?

I can understand her being uncomfortable that someone who is writing a book about her rented the house next door to her - but it's a free country. Her neighbor had every right to rent the house to Mr. McGinnis.

If Ms. Palin can't stand the heat - she should remove herself from the limelight. We would all benefit from that. And if she were a good parent, she would stop dragging her kids into her theatrics.

Posted by: cricket456 | May 28, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he will get tired of living next to the Wasilla hillbillys and become a half term quitter and go on to make himself $12 mil.

Posted by: zanytothemaxx | May 28, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he will get tired of living next to the Wasilla hillbillys and become a half term quitter and go on to make himself $12 mil.

Posted by: zanytothemaxx | May 28, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

With Palin it's all about the manufactured drama and using her children as p.r. tools for ratcheting up the ignorant and uninformed side of the right wing. Why else would Palin create all this hype now but it was okay for recovering addicts in some cases right of prison to live next door for three years while this same building was a half-way house? Conveniently forgetting all those nasty facts about past history and the real truth? You betcha!

Posted by: DavidHunter1 | May 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter who she tolerated living in that house before without a fence. None of these people moved in because they were planning to write a book about her.

If her reaction is manufactured drama then you can thank McGinnis for giving her that opportunity.

Posted by: Candace5 | May 30, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

if ya can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen

sarah paylin made her bed, now she gets to sleep in it

friends don't let friends vote republican

Posted by: nada85484 | May 31, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

McGinniss has followed Sarah Palin for some time now, from showing up on her doorstep last winter, bidding over $60,000 for a military charity auction dinner with her, writing hit pieces, attending at least one Outside book event, etc

The man definitely has an unusual fixation with the Palin family.

If Joe McGinniss wanted to write a book, he could certainly do that without moving in next door to the Palins. In fact, it's hard to figure what Joe McGinniss would learn from that kind of physical proximity that has anything to do with politics or activism that couldn?t be learned through regular research and footwork.

The man could have moved to Wasilla, Alaska to almost any neighbornood, but to rent a house 15 feet from the Palin's is a bit over the top and I would consider it stalking or peeping tom like.

He lives in Massachusetts, by the way. Well, he did--until he moved into the Palins' backyard.

Posted by: kevint2 | June 3, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

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