Joe McGinniss is the Robert DeNiro of nonfiction writing

A long time ago, Joe McGinniss wrote good books, including “The Selling of the President” and “Fatal Vision.” A long time ago, Robert DeNiro made great films such as “The Godfather Part II,” Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” DeNiro got lazy though, and started taking big paychecks for mediocre films. One of his more recent paychecks, “Little Fockers,” was trash for cash. McGinniss has become lazy, fat and old, and he’s cashing in with his own bookish “Little Fockers,” titled “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.”

I haven’t read “Rogue,” but then I haven’t seen “Little Fockers” either. Read the reviews. It’s painful to watch an actor or author you’ve once admired willingly step into quicksand. The New York Times’ Janet Maslin has read “Rogue,” and did an admirable job (read) noting McGinniss’ sloppy, virtually-without-sources biography that depicts Palin as a racist, friendless, uncaring, adulterous, drug-using, children-abusing sociopath. He makes Kitty Kelly look like Theodore White.

A well-researched biography of Palin would be a fascinating read. Palin is a mixture of talent and flaws, with an impulsive trait that makes it possible she could enter the GOP presidential race as late as Thanksgiving. She has helped galvanize a movement of political activism not seen since the 1890s. Like many Palin fans, I read just about everything she writes yet I am also frustrated that she uses easy Fox News or reality TV platforms rather than going out and confronting her political opponents via debate engagements or a TV show like the old “Firing Line.” No doubt many sufferers of Palin Derangement Syndrome are chortling, but she would meet any liberal heavyweight on even terms.

One irony is that McGinniss’ book, along with another crayon Palin tome from Levi Johnson and a widely panned anti-Palin film, “Sarah Palin, You Betcha,” has earned the former GOP VP nominee some positive press of late (read). That’s not a surprise. Despite a perception of anti-Palin bias, most media knocks against her come from the opinion press, such as columnists, bloggers, conspiracy addicts such as Andrew Sullivan, smirking chatterers such as Bill Maher or David Letterman, liberal comedy shows and celebrities.

McGinniss’ book reeks of hypocrisy, misogyny and racism in its charges against Palin. It’s unsubstantiated smears will be cited by Palin-haters long after the author has cashed his advance. In this case, however, most of the media will defend her.

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12 Responses to Joe McGinniss is the Robert DeNiro of nonfiction writing

  1. Rick Patel says:

    Creeper Joe McGinniss is just a dirty old man, lurching from irrelevance to oblivion. He isn’t fit to clean Sarah Palin’s hunting boots.

    • Jeanabella says:

      Joe McGinniss is an award winning author. He isn’t “irrelevant” as you say, but famous for his 40 yrs of investigative writing. Just because you don’t like the subject, you can’t have your own “facts” when it comes to the author.
      Palin is a fraud and an embarrassment to women.
      If she wasn’t attractive, you wouldn’t even be talking about her at all.

      • Erick says:

        I think that’s the bottom line. Palin hasn’t garnered attention because of intelligent things she has said, or because of impeccable track record, or for proposing meaningful policies. Rather, she was simply a distraction that McCain bet on thinking he could make an end run for the Whitehouse while everyone was focused on Palin. Even though everyone saw the sneak from a mile away, there is still a subgroup of people that want to remain distracted by Palin.

  2. Pingback: How Palin Haters Help Palin – Daily Beast | sarah-palin.net

  3. Jeanabella says:

    Hey Doug,
    You admit you haven’t read the book and yet you want to write a review based on other reviews.
    Where’s your cred.?
    Anyone who did any fact checking on what comes out of Palins mouth knows she has lied about everything from her home life to her political success. She uses verisimilitude as you have done in your post here.
    Sorry, but the world is laughing at our so called journalists who were unwilling to do the digging on this fraud and let her get as close as she did to the power of the USA.
    She’s not fooling anyone except the likes of you!
    We have seen the lawsuits from public figures who have been lied about. Where is the suit from the Palins?
    The AP released a statement from a Brad Hanson re an affair Palin had with him. The reporter asked Hanson about the statement and he knew nothing about it. That’s how the Palins roll.
    The fourth estate is not doing their job.
    The American people suffer for it.

  4. Mikey B says:

    “Got lazy and started cashing in.” Alright, I’ll admit Bobby De Niro hasn’t starred in good quality movies for a while now, but he HAS made some very good performances that are always overlooked; I say it’s mainly due to the quality of the films he starts in, thus, no one cares to give him praise since they are bad films. But I’ll tell you this, when you’re close to 70, have NOTHING left to prove, have given a BIG AND LONG body of work to cinema, in terms of acting performances, and masterpiece films… what’s left? Seriously. If you’ve seen all the film masterpieces he made in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, you’ll see no other actor in history of film has something like that. Some may come close, but the body work of De Niro’s great films… is immensely impressive! Now, he has made more bad films this past decade than good ones, but who can touch his great work? no one. And I don’t mean just the Scorsese films he starred in. No. He has some of the best ever made. Okay, now if only you could ask yourself why hasn’t any GREAT director given him a part, then maybe you’d shut up. I doubt he would turn down any of those parts.

  5. Bob Becker says:

    “I am also frustrated that she uses easy Fox News or reality TV platforms rather than going out and confronting her political opponents via debate engagements or a TV show like the old “Firing Line.” ”

    There’s a reason she stays with the Fox softball shows, Doug. Going elsewhere, she might run into people who’d ask her unfair sneaky questions she hadn’t prepared for. Like “What newspapers do you read?”

    Sarah Palin on Firing Line. Bill Buckley engaged in reasoned discourse with Sarah Palin. Ah, now there’s a proposal for a Saturday Night Live sketch that just about writes itself. [Tina Fey, call your agent!]

  6. Steve says:

    So this is a review of a book the reviewer admits he hasn’t read but insists he doesn’t like. I haven’t read the book either and I’m not inclined to. So if I say that it’s a masterpiece deserving of a Pulitzer and National Book Award and that McGinnis should be shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in literature on the strength of this book alone, then my review should carry about as much weight as this one does.

  7. Neal Cassidy says:

    Apparently the big bad evil New York Times which conservaties love to bash now is the source for your condemnation of the Mcginness book.How many blogs and print articles have you written over the years demeaning the Times? I haven’;t read the book and am unlikely to do so but i will not let that troublesome little fact stop me from praising the writing and the author. Have you forgotten that you claim to be a newspaperman? You know, one of those pesky fellows who do research and asks questions on a subject. Get back to your claimed purpose as a reporter. You are just being lazy. Certainaly in Utah praising Palin and

  8. Neal Cassidy says:

    Apparently the big bad evil New York Times which conservaties love to bash now is the source for your condemnation of the Mcginness book.How many blogs and print articles have you written over the years demeaning the Times? I haven’;t read the book and am unlikely to do so but i will not let that troublesome little fact stop me from praising the writing and the author. Have you forgotten that you claim to be a newspaperman? You know, one of those pesky fellows who do research and asks questions on a subject. Get back to your claimed purpose as a reporter. You are just being lazy.

  9. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Sarah Palin’s water breaks in Dallas at a Rick Perry sponsored event; she waits 8 hours to give a speech; announces her water has broken on child #5; boards 2 Alaska Airlines flights separated by 2 hours in Seattle; drives past high risk hospitals in Anchorage to Wasilla to deliver Trig with Down’s Syndrome. Nobody from Republican Governors at the meeting to Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants to her own staff even knew she was pregnant. This creature wants to be president but should be in jail for reckless endangerment of a child.
    “The View” at 11:45 9/21 put McGinnis on the show to promote his tell all book; the only fact he got wrong or left vague was Trig is not Sarah’s baby. The ears are not even close to the baby pictures taken in Wasilla at the birth. If people knew Bristol had 2 out of wedlock children while living at home and under 18, and they knew who the fathers were, Sarah would be seen as the monstrously fake Christian she really is.
    Mark Twain said “Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction must stick to possibilities where truth does not” Unfortunately, this story is factual.

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