Literary Corner Cafe

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coming Up - Sarah Palin Can See Joe McGinniss From Her House


Super author Joe McGinniss is writing a book about super party crasher Sarah Palin, and to help with his research, he's rented the house in Alaska right next door to her's. If you don't know who Joe McGinniss is, you should. He's probably most famous for his book, Fatal Vision about convicted family murderer, Jeffrey MacDonald. Fatal Vision is one terrific read, whether you're "into" true crime or not. The tentative title of Joe's book about Sarah Palin is: Sarah Palin: The Year of Living Dangerously. It's due out in the fall of 2012.

Now, every good writer (and some who aren't writers at all) know that in order to write well about a subject, one has to know that subject. McGinniss actually moved in with MacDonald in MacDonald's southern California condo in order to write about him. He attended every day of MacDonald's trial. MacDonald, of course, was shocked and mortified when McGinniss came to the conclusion that he (MacDonald) was guilty. (I have to add, I don't see how anyone with even a smidgen of intelligence and critical thinking skills could come to any other conclusion.)

Despite MacDonald's shock, I think McGinniss played fair. He didn't promise MacDonald that he was going to write a book about him that would glorify him and come to the ultimate conclusion that MacDonald was innocent of the murders of which he'd been accused. In fact, McGinniss' written contract with MacDonald stated very clearly and explicitly that McGinniss would write the facts surrounding the MacDonald murders and Jeffrey MacDonald, himself and that he (McGinniss) would be free to come to any conclusion he felt the evidence supported, i.e., MacDonald's innocence in the murders of his pregnant wife and young daughters, MacDonald's guilt in the murders, or the fact that it was impossible to come to any conclusion either way. As far as I can see, and I've read Fatal Vision several times and watched the movie adaptation, every conclusion Joe McGinniss comes to in his book is supported by very strong, almost indisputable evidence that MacDonald is, in fact, guilty.

There are those who point to MacDonald's civil suit against Joe McGinniss, those who never tire of saying that MacDonald "won" that civil suit. No, he didn't. The jury was hung, and McGinniss' publisher offered MacDonald a settlement rather than face a long, drawn out legal battle, something publishers often do. MacDonald took the settlement, but he didn't even see most of the money. Most of it went to Mildred Kassab and Dorothy (Perry) MacDonald, the first the mother of Colette Stevenson MacDonald and both the grandmothers of the MacDonald children. Jeffrey MacDonald would have made out far better financially if he would have just stood by his written contract with McGinniss.

Sarah Palin, who, remember, has an undergraduate degree in journalism, must not have read Fatal Vision and must not be aware of Joe McGinniss' track record of "playing fair." (Remember, Joe McGinniss did not promise to write a flattering book about Jeffrey MacDonald, and Jeffrey MacDonald knew that. He promised to write the facts as he saw them.) Well, Sarah's now accusing McGinniss of "stalking her." My goodness. The last time I checked, Joe McGinniss had every right to rent a house next door to Sarah Palin. He hasn't been seen peering into the Palin's windows, trespassing on the Palin's property, or removing mail from the Palin's mail box. He's simply...living and working in close proximity to Sarah, herself. And I think he's only going to stay for five months. As long as Sarah's not doing anything (else) to be ashamed of, what does she have to worry about?

Besides stalking, Sarah likes to accuse McGinniss of "yellow journalism." Sarah, despite her undergraduate degree in journalism, believes a story is untrue if she, personally, dislikes it or disagrees with it. Hmmm. I thought "yellow journalism" was something different, but then, what do I know? I can't see Russia (or Joe McGinniss) from my house and I studied drama and French in college, not journalism.

So far, I've heard nothing at all from Joe McGinniss about Sarah Palin, but I've heard plenty from Sarah Palin about Joe McGinniss. Sarah and Company have taken to her Facebook page and posted a photo of Joe McGinniss standing on the deck of his very own rented home, minding his very own business and not intruding on anyone. Sarah has implied, several times over, that McGinniss is a voyeuristic borderline pedophile. (Oh, my goodness, I don't think anything could be further from the truth.) Now, Sarah might not like Joe McGinniss living next door to her for the next five months, but by posting the implication that McGinniss is a criminal or at least has criminal and sociopathic tendencies, Sarah is, herself, engaging in "yellow journalism" of the brightest hue.

And who's stalking who here? McGinniss simply moved into a house in Alaska, a house that was for rent. It's Sarah Palin who's blogging obsessively about Joe McGinnis. It's Sarah Palin who's posting photos of Joe McGinniss and invading his privacy. It's Sarah and the former "first dude" of Alaska, "the Todd" who erected a fourteen foot fence along their property. I wonder why they did that? I do not know, but I think, come autumn 2012, we all shall see.

Why is Sarah Palin so uncomfortable with Joe McGinniss living next door to her for the next five months? What has she got to hide? Is she afraid he won't find her attractive in her running shorts? Is she afraid he won't keep a supply of sugar on hand so she can borrow a cup for homemade chocolate chip cookies? Or is she afraid that McGinniss will produce a book that tarnishes her "Mom, America, and apple pie" image? A book that, like Fatal Vision is backed up with irrefutable evidence and facts? And why doesn't Sarah, if she has nothing to hide, simply sit down with Joe McGinniss and talk to him? After all, in my humble opinion, the woman is a publicity hound, and Joe McGinniss is one terrific writer, who wants to give her some extra publicity and face time. We should all be so lucky. It seems Sarah, who says she's so sure of herself and her "Tea Party" friends, would welcome the book, especially with elections coming up, instead of doing everything she can to avoid its author.

And it isn't like Joe McGinnis is going after some babe in the woods, either. Sarah Palin chose the limelight when she chose politics, and according to her, her entire family was "on board." And furthermore, she not only allowed, but welcomed, being thrust into that limelight when she accepted the Republicans' offer to be John McCain's running mate on the 2008 ticket. You choose to live in the limelight, your life is "fair game." McGinniss isn't stalking Sarah Palin or any member of her family. He isn't lying about her. But I think Sarah Palin is coming perilously close to stalking and lying about Joe McGinniss.

In closing, I do know one or two other things. I know I trust Joe McGinniss to give me the truth, and I trust him to back up that truth with evidence and facts. I also know I'm going to be first in line to buy Joe McGinniss' book when it comes out in 2012. Honestly, I can't wait. If I'm really lucky, maybe he'll send me an autographed copy.

Wish me luck!