All heck has broken loose in the gladiator clash between the creepy writer McGinniss and Palin the neighbor. See Joe McGinniss’ Today Show interview in which he claims his proximity to Palin is a coincidence while comparing her to a Nazi. See the video and tell us what you think about his conversation with Matt Lauer in the comments.

author McGinniss Palin
Photo: Joe McGinniss from Sarah Palin’s Backyard


The video is a quite interesting textbook lesson in what a journalist should not say in a recorded interview. Joe McGinniss lost his professional writer’s guard and let his bias show through loud and clear. Seething contempt for the subject of his writing burned through to the audience, and that subject in his quite personal cross-hairs is Sarah Palin.

Already forced to defend his presence several feet from Sarah Palin’s porch, his Random House publishers have been thus far silent about the interview but cannot be happy campers. Although any publicity is generally considered good publicity for a forthcoming book, the pretense of objectivity has been lost and along with it the publishers’ most valued assets: professional objectivity and academic respectability.

McGinniss appeared on the Today Show in a Matt Lauer interview broadcast on June 1st, 2010. Lauer brought an obvious dose of incredulity to the interview, echoing the majority of public sentiment, but he mainly let Joe McGinniss dig his own hole.

And dig it deep he done did. You can listen to the entire interview but note the most creepy part. McGinniss compared Palin and the general public to Nazi Germany for daring to question his location next door to Palin’s home. Oh right. He actually said his is not comparing Palin to Hitler, but then went right ahead in the next breath and did it anyway.

“She has pushed a button and unleashed the Hounds of Hell, and now that they’re out there slavering and barking and growling. And that’s the same kind of tactic and I’m not calling her a Nazi, but that’s the same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the ’30s.”

Right, Joe.

McGinniss claims that his rental of the adjacent neighbor’s property was mere coincidence. He wanted to live in Wasilla for a while to interview people who know the Palin family, and that was just the best deal around town. His wife and grandchild are coming up there to enjoy a nice vacation, don’t you know.

You can find reactions here and here.

Even Sarah Palin’s hometown newspaper is apparently appalled by his actions. In an amusingly understated way they penned an editorial on Tuesday which reminded McGinniss that “Alaska has a law that allows the use of deadly force in protection of life and property.” Read it here.

That their writer, McGinniss, and Palin have become very public neighbors was embarrassing enough, even prompting ‘boycott Random House’ whispers in some conservative circles. Whether such an idea attains critical mass remains to be seen.

Now see the video of Joe McGinniss on the Today Show and tell us what you think in the comments, my dear readers.


Joe McGinniss – Palin Today Show Video