Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Joe McGinnis looking bad?

Ed here: I hope the following isn't true. Way back in the Sixties Joe McGinnis wrote The Boys in The Bus, his adventures in covering the Nixon campaign. Hunter Thompson created one kind of political sub-genre, McGinnis another. Since then he's had a successful if spotted career. Some of his books I didn't care for but I never doubted his scruples. If this is true, I'm disappointed. Or am I being naive? In truth I'd rather read the other guy's book anyway. He actually worked for the dragon lady.

Huffington Post:

JUNEAU, Alaska — The author accused of helping leak an unpublished tell-all on Sarah Palin is releasing his own book on the former Alaska governor this summer.

Amazon.com lists a Sept. 20 release date for author Joe McGinniss' "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin."

McGinniss made headlines last year when he moved next to the Palins in Wasilla while researching the book. The move prompted complaints by Palin, who extended the fence between their properties.

More recently, McGinniss has been accused of helping leak a draft of an unpublished tell-all by former Palin aide Frank Bailey.

McGinniss didn't immediately return messages Tuesday. His book agent, Dave Larabell, told The Associated Press that McGinniss wasn't the only person in the publishing world to see the manuscript. He declined further comment.


Fred Blosser said...

Ed, McGinniss actually wrote THE SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT, about the 1969 Nixon campaign, and Timothy Crouse wrote THE BOYS ON THE BUS about the 1972 primaries. I suspect Sam McCain owns autographed copies of both books -- classics.

Ed Gorman said...

From now on I'm checking everything with you. McGinniss was embedded with the Nixon campaign. That's a light bulb you see going off over my head. Any time you need unreliable information try new improved gorman. Joseph Stalin did too play for the Yankees.

Thanks, Fred.

Christopher said...

McGinniss seems to have lost his mind when it comes to Palin. I thought moving across from her was failry creepy also.

Ed Gorman said...

I agree. I guess he thought it was a cool publicity stunt. To me it bordered on invasion of privacy and made him look desperate if not unhinged.

Mike Doran said...

The mention of Selling of the President reminded me of this story.

In 1968, Joe McGinniss was freelancing for magazines. He got an assignment from TV Guide to do a story on Merv Griffin, who was then doing his talk show for Westinghouse (the one with Arthur Treacher).
Griffin owned the theater in New York where he did his show, and the week McGinniss was there, the Nixon campaign rented it to do some promotional programs.
McGinniss became friendly with members of Nixon's team, and when he'd completed the TV Guide assignment, he asked the Nixon people if he could tag along and watch them at work. The nixon people readily agreed, thinking they were going to get a puff piece.
A year or so later, Selling of the President came out.
For reasons unknown, Nixon always blamed Merv Griffin (an avowed Republican) personally for introducing McGinniss to his people in the first place.

Well, I think it's a good story ...

Matt Paust said...

It is a good story, Mike. Don't be so damned defensive! ;-|

My favorite McGinnis story is the one he told on himself in the book he published after Selling. I forget the name of it, but he went around dropping in on famous people and spending a day or two with them. One of his victims was William Styron. The two stayed up most of the first night gabbing, but Joe got up next morning before Styron and fixed a couple of omelets using some canned crabmeat he found in the cupboard. Styron was furious, ranting about how precious the crabmeat was, that he'd brought it up from Tidewater Virginia to be saved for special occasions. McGinnis said Styron did eat the omelet and eventually calmed down and the two spent the rest of the morning walking on the beach - it was at Martha's Vineyard - and parted on friendly terms.