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Inside my Palin mailbag

My post Tuesday on the irresponsibile nature of Sarah Palin's grudge against author Joe McGinniss inspired more mail than anything I've written here. I'll post some while protecting the names of the authors, to give you an idea of the response I got and to answer the questions and deal with the controversies.

I have an idea.

I will rent the apartment next to yours for 6 months and announce I am doing an expose on all the sexacapades going in and out of your home, I will be noting every license plate of every visitor, I will follow you to work, I will dig through your trash, I will find how who you sleep with now, who you used to sleep with, whether your kids are yours (you are a breeder aren't you, or are you a homo who picks up teenagers?)

I will review every parking ticket you ever got, every article, interview everyone who knows you and inquire as your biases, I will threaten to investigate them if they refuse to talk with me or if they won't give me some dirt on you,

I AM SURE WE CAN FIND SOMETHING YOU HAVE DONE YOU OR SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY OR YOUR FRIENDS ARE ASHAMED OF...

DOI YOU LIKE WHAT McGINNIS IS DOING NOW, YOU IDIOT?

I think this letter-writer misses some important points. First, I am not a public figure. Yes, I write for a mass audience. But I have never been elected to office, have never run for national office, do not host a TV show, and have not co-written an autobiography. We have a pretty good definition of what a public figure is, and Palin fits it. And the anger Palin fans feel toward journalists who want to write about her is mystifying to me. This is a one-way conversation, I suppose, but I want to ask this letter-writer -- does he think Barack Obama was "not vetted" by the mainstream media? Does he think we'd have been better off had some journalists embedded in Hyde Park and Hawaii and gotten the straight story on his church, his ties to Bill Ayers, and all the rest. I'd guess so. So why so much anger at journalists who want to investigate Palin?

Jesus wept, Wiegel, cry me a freaking river!

Do you people understand why you in the MSM are held in increasing contempt and slight regard? This episode is an eminent example. McGinniss could have acted like an adult and rented a place in town somewhere, but he wanted to pull a stunt and possibly provoke Todd to do something stupid so he could sue the family and drag them into court.

Sure McGinniss has a right to rent where he wants to. That doesn't mean he's showing good judgement or good tastes, or doing something that is a credit to the journalistic trade.

One thing we DO know as conservatives: McGinniss would NOT be doing this to any prominent liberal Democrat. Period. This is why we don't trust the news media, and why the news media is held in deserved contempt and slight regard.

If McGinniss wants to write a Palin hit piece, go right ahead. It's a free country. The Obamist Personality Cult has thrown everything it has at Sarah, and she's still coming at them with both barrels blazing. So one more book won't matter.

However, Palin was right to call out McGinniss for his attempted intimidation tactics, and Weigel, you need to stop your whining and rationalizing for McGinniss' conduct. It's beneath contempt. And so is the WaPo for publishing this pathetic apologia for McGinnis.

Even if McGinniss "pulled a stunt," why is he not allowed to do so when researching a public figure who maintains an extremely one-sided relationship with the media? I don't think you'd do it, letter-writer, but if you were covering a politician or a CEO or a celebrity and he/she wanted you to go away, would you like him/her to write a press release implying that you were a sexual pervert, including a photograph of where you staying, and turning it into the kind of national news that might make it impossible for you to do your job?

Lets turn the tables and put a journo next to Pelosi in SF, or Kennedy in Palm Beach, or next to you and your family..if you have one. The hate you all have for this women is amazing. This is why you and your liberal buddies hang with low life union thugs and community organizers. Let me guess...you were born middle to upper middle class...Really safe public or private schools and Ivy league college.

Yes it really is sick that Joe rented a house next to Sarah and her family. And I thought she was pretty darn funny but spot on about what his desired view was. If I was Todd and fellow neighbors I would pull a union tactic every time Joe was at his rental.Your hate for this women is unreal and that's why you're so out of touch with the majority.
I'm so sorry that you are reduced to writing this stuff..your parents must be so proud!

For what it's worth I spent most of my education in public schools that were racially diverse thanks to school busing programs, spent the final two years in a private school in England because my family was living there, then went to a non-Ivy League, Big 10 college in the Midwest. I'm not sure what "majority" I'm out of touch with. The 7 in 10 Americans who think Palin is unqualified for the presidency? No, you're probably talking about something else.

Do you have kids? In particular, do you have a teenage daughter? I think the Palins are wise to put McGinnis on notice. He's writing a book on them and just happens to rent the house next door with a porch that overlooks the Palin property/house. Why exactly does he need to get that close to the Palins. It is borderline stalking and creepy when you consider all the crap the Palins have had to put up with from liberal bloggers. But I suspect you don't have a teen daughter...or you are just another liberal.

Actually, Palin was totally within her rights to put McGinniss on notice. There were many avenues available to her if she wanted to make sure McGinniss -- who, I'll reiterate, is not some creep but a bestselling investigative journalist -- did not make her family feel uncomfortable. But immediately issuing a press release that implies, to the world, that McGinniss is a pervert and a stalker?

You actually managed to undersell your characterization of Palin's complaint about the journalist in question. She isn't just whipping up her mob to go after him, she's plainly implying he is an incipient child molester and all around pervert.

It isn't even subtext - it is clear as day. And that is far more despicable than motivating her slack jawed, gullible hordes to make his life miserable. Armed with the knowledge that fair Sarah and her daughters are in imminent danger, she is attempting to incite violence against him.

I'm not endorsing all of this letter, but yes, that is my problem with this. As a celebrity, Palin has a lot of power over her fans. That she is using that power to incite anger -- anger that could take any form, but anger that means at least a bevy of angry threats against a journalist and his publishers -- strikes me as incredibly irresponsible.

I am as conservative as anyone and I say **** you,,Sarah speaks for most of us,,you wennie looking *** wipe little twerp, oh almost forgot, me Marine Corps Veteran 69-70.

He didn't actually say "****."

Hey, tough guy! How'd you like someone who's an avowed opponent of yours, who's working on a publicized "investigative" hit-job on you, to move next door to you and have an overlook of your wife and kids. Guess you'd be upset, right? And we should be "appalled" at your reaction, right?

You people are so sanctimoniously full of crap! You and your fellow travelers in the lamestream media have thrashed and fileted this woman and her family for now nearly 3 years. Disagree with her politically all you want; no one's concerned about your politics. But your antics and tactics are downright disgraceful, as you justify continuous persecution of her family. You'd never tolerate conservative media going after the family of your anointed Messiah, right? Can't even investigate Barry's past, can we? That would be "hate-filled", right? But, Palin, her past, and her family are fair game.

That's why we detest you, your publication and all of the lamestream media. We relish in your demise. We rubes who you disdain are the ones not buying your papers and rag magazines, watching your network newscasts, and watching the regime's cable propoganda outlets. Better hope you get that "bailout".

I select this letter because it's just so wonderfully self-negating. Who's saying we "can't even investigate" Barack Obama, and why is any attempt to write about Palin a "hit job." Another way of asking that -- how would this person have reacted if, in 2008, the Obama campaign responded to Brian Ross's report on Jeremiah Wright or Rush Limbaugh's flirtation with the birth certificate conspiracy by issuing a press release telling supporters that these journalists were stalkers who put the Obama family in danger?

You are disgusting! This guy is a weirdo and his own son is on the record as saying so. Get your facts straight and look into the guy. She has every right to call him on his stalking because that is what it is, for her familys sake. She has every right to draw attention to the likes of anyone who feels the needs to peer into her yard for 5 mos at a time to write a book on her. Really, that simple huh. The idea that you dont see anything wrong with this is just sick or that you feel the need to defend this guy in writing, in your paper. Im sure you would enjoy such attention of your hse by your foes while your children were playing outside.

I select this letter because a number of people have referred to the e-mail Joe McGinniss's son, the novelist Joe McGinniss, Jr, wrote to Ben Smith: "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." I have trouble understanding anyone who doesn't get the joke here, but I have trouble, generally, understanding the status Palin has for her fans. Maybe I don't want to understand it. Many of the people who wrote me pine for the death of the media, and they do so because they are angry that a politician they like is covered critically. I would encourage them to think harder about this impulse.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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