David Weigel Doesn’t Get It; Updated

Anyone who got out of bed yesterday, is no doubt by now well aware of the now infamous stalker who has decided to build up camp outside Governor Palin’s house in Wasilla, Alaska. Much has already been written about Joe McGinniss. Among the many, C4P’s own Adrienne Ross exposed him here, Stacy Drake here, Gary Jackson here, and our friends at The Right Scoop have video of Glenn Beck discussing it here.

From the left, among the many, you have Jason Linkins at the HuffPoCorky Siemaszko at the NY Daily News, and the AP here.

If you’re wondering what’s with all those links to those who don’t like Governor Palin very much. Well, you see even those people who usually go after her with the full might of Alinsky rules were smart enough to realize that Joe the Stalker has gone too far this time. Just to give you an idea, this is what Jason Linkins had to say:

For her part, Palin is taking the news that she’s now being neighbor-stalked in humorous stride, actually, “welcoming” McGinniss to the neighborhood


This isn’t the first time McGinniss has gone to extremes to gain proximity to Palin. Last fall, when Palin was auctioning off the chance to have dinner with her for the Ride 2 Recovery charity,McGinniss jumped into the fray and attempted to win the auction. At one point, McGinniss had offered to pay $60,010 for the privilege (he eventually lost to Palin fan Cathy Maples, whose winning bid was $63,500).

Not so was the case for one writer who describes himself as a “libertarian who hates partisan politics”. So annoyed by this “partisanship” that he felt sorry for our stalker and decided to defend him. I’m talking about David Weigel who writes for the Washington Post. Following is his take:

I saw Ben Smith flag this earlier today but did not really appreciate how strange and, frankly, immature Palin’s post was until I read it.

Palin informs her readers that McGinniss is “overlooking my children’s play area” and “overlooking Piper’s bedroom.” Alternately sounding angry and mocking, she refers to “the family’s swimming hole,” which at first reference sounds like she’s accusing McGinniss of checking out the Palins in their bathing suits, until you realize the family’s “swimming hole” is Lake Lucille. And she posts a photo of the space McGinniss is renting, captioning it, “Can I call you Joe?”

Can somebody explain to me how this isn’t a despicable thing for Palin to do? She describes McGinniss as the author of “the bizarre anti-Palin administration oil development pieces that resulted in my Department of Natural Resources announcing that his work is the most twisted energy-related yellow journalism they’d ever encountered.”

Another way of putting it would be that McGinniss is an investigative journalist who wrote his first best-seller at age 26 and was shopping a book about Alaska and the oil industry when Palin was named John McCain’s running mate. And another way of describing those “bizarre” pieces is that no one has ever challenged the facts in them.

Not only did Weigel defend a documented plagiarist as an investigative journalist, but he also thought it appropriate to turn this into a hit piece against Governor Palin.

Strange? Immature? Has Mr. Weigel gone completely crazy? Maybe he wouldn’t mind someone moving in next to him for the sole purpose of following him and documenting his every move so they could write a book and profit from their biased actions. Governor Palin only needs to get out of bed in the morning to get attacked, her home is her sanctuary. It’s the only place where she, Todd, Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, Trig and Tripp can get some peace of mind. It’s the place where they cook, clean, play, pray and, yes, mow the lawn, sometimes in shorts and a t-shirt. Every normal person understands that this place should be off limits to anyone, even to an“investigative journalist”. If McGinniss really felt the need to be close for his “research” has he ever heard of a hotel?

Had David Weigel done a little bit of “investigative journalism” himself, he would have learned what a two face creep Joe McGinniss really is. When he uses a subject in his books he convinces them that he is their friend and how he believes they are innocent. He manipulates them in confiding in him and providing him with all personal documentation. With everything in hand, he double crosses them and portrays them as murderous psychopaths.

I don’t consider myself a journalist, far from it, but with just a chat with friends and a couple of clicks I found all I needed. Nancy Scola reminds us of this episode:

McGinniss also happened to the subject of writer Janet Malcolm’s controversial 1990book The Journalist and the Murderer . That book detailed how McGinniss, in Malcolm’s view, maliciously betrayed MacDonald as he told the latter’s story. McGinniss wrote fawning letters to the doctor, detailing the depth of his belief of the doctor’s innocence in the crime of killing his family. Only at the same time, McGinniss was writing a book depicting MacDonald as a murderous psychopath.

McGinniss’s record of dishonest reporting and hit pieces have been well documented here and here

Mr. Weigel has a history of going after the Governor. For instance in an April 26 article, where he reported on Gabriel Sherman’s New York Magazine Hit piece, he flat out lied. The article by Sherman stated the following:

The only real blip concerned her ghostwriter, Lynn Vincent, a writer for the Evangelical World magazine, whom Palin chose from a short list of candidates presented to her by HarperCollins. After news of Vincent’s selection leaked, critics seized on a January 2009 pro-life piece she had written for World titled “Black Genocide”—as well as her association with the co-writer of her 2006 book Donkey Cons, former Washington Times writer Robert Stacy McCain (no relation), who had a history of racially charged statements and associations—to claim that Vincent was racist. Vincent, who had collaborated on a New York Times best seller about racial reconciliation, told me that she was deeply hurt by the racism allegation and considered suing the Daily Beast for a piece by writer Max Blumenthal headlined “Palin’s Noxious Ghostwriter.” But when the media shifted its focus to Palin’s next adventure, Vincent dropped the lawsuit idea.

This is how Weigel reported it, Conveniently twisting the story of Lynn Vincent wanting to sue the Daily Beast, to Vincent considering suing Governor Palin.

According to Sherman, Palin writes her own Facebook posts. That shouldn’t be news, but Palin hired a ghostwriter to finish “Going Rogue”– and some of her early posts, festooned with footnotes, don’t sound like her. According to Sherman, said ghostwriter considered suing Palin over an article by Max Blumenthal that made hay of her collaboration with conservative reporter Robert Stacy McCain.

After being attacked on twitter and by email he corrected the article claiming it was a typo. Interesting typo, don’t you think?

To prove the point of Mr. Weigel’s negative intentions towards the Governor, as I was typing up this post, this came in, Weigel’s report on Vaughn Ward’s loss in the Idaho primaries in: We need go no further than the Headline:

Palin-backed, Obama-plagiarizing GOP candidate loses in Idaho

What does Governor Palin have to do with Ward’s plagiarism? She probably didn’t even know about it until it conveniently popped up shortly before election day. Blaming Governor Palin for a candidate she endorsed who lost an election is more than ridiculous. She doesn’t run their campaigns; she doesn’t advise them and, in most cases, doesn’t even know what’s going on in their campaigns. Governor Palin endorses someone based on their record at the time, if a scandal arises after the endorsement has been made all she can do is stay put and with the rest of us watch how it plays out.

To date Governor Palin has endorsed 17 candidates, and although the Governor will do her utmost to help the candidate, she is well aware that some may not prevail. Candidates who receive her endorsement can’t rely only on that; they have to run an effective campaign too, which was obviously not the case with the Vaughn Ward’s campaign

If we’re going to blame Governor Palin for mistakes made by the Ward campaign after she endorsed him, I find it only fair to blame President Obama for Rob Blagojevich’s corruption, after all Obama endorsed him for Governor and spoke very highly of him.

While on the subject of plagiarism, is it really that bad? Or is it only considered wrong when the accused is a conservative candidate endorsed by Governor Palin? Some in the media – sorry EVERYONE in the media – seems to have forgotten about thisthis and this.

(As a side note, Vaughn Ward explains the plagiarism charges here)

What follows may explain Mr. Weigel’s full frontal attack on Governor Palin. On April 27th he appeared on MSNBC Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” to defend the Governor against a meme ginned up by the Trig Truther blogs that the Governor had supposedly perjured herself in the trial of Democratic e-mail hacker David Kernell . That evening I tweeted David, thanking him for defending the Governor. After all, I had attacked him earlier in the day for the “Vincent suing” story and thought it appropriate to thank him when he did something right.

The next day he got caught up in a case of PDS when the Trig Truthers went after him for defending the Governor (I too got caught in the mix for sending him the above mentioned tweet; the haters suggested that Mr. Weigel and I where involved in some conspiracy to commit perjury). He understood that it wasn’t “strange and immature” for him to respond to disgraceful bloggers, sitting in their parents basements in their pajamas, their only goal to destroy Governor Palin. Of course he didn’t because in this case it was HE that was on the receiving end of the attacks.

It appears however, that this episode got to him and out of fear of being attacked again and in order to make peace with those bloggers, Mr. Weigel has joined them in their cause in attacking governor Palin at all times and at all cost. I could be wrong though because, as far as Mr. Weigel is concerned, having someone peeping into your nine year old child’s bathroom and bedroom twenty four hours a day, keeping a log about everything they see, is OK. Mr. Weigel finds it appropriate to go after a private citizen who holds no public office and who, incidentally, is not currently running for any public office, but he finds it appalling when he as a private citizen is merely criticised.

Update by Doug: In Wiegel’s original post to which Sheya linked above, Weigel wrote the following:

Another way of putting it would be that McGinniss is an investigative journalist who wrote his first best-seller at age 26 and was shopping a book about Alaska and the oil industry when Palin was named John McCain’s running mate. And another way of describing those “bizarre” pieces is that no one has ever challenged the facts in them.

This paragraph is worth further exploration. First, Weigel seems to be implying that since McGinniss “wrote his first best-seller at age 26”, his bizarre behavior is deserving of our respect or something. Even if this made sense (it doesn’t), that was 41 years ago. Joe Namath led the New York Jets to a Super Bowl victory in 1969 too. So what? Other than a semi-popular book about Alaska in 1980, what has McGinniss done since? This latest stunt is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to revive his flagging career by sparking interest in this latest “treasure” he’s writing.

Weigel also makes the ridiculous statement that “no-one has ever challenged” the facts in the hopelessly dishonest hit piece McGinniss wrote on Governor Palin and AGIA for Conde Nast Portfolio which, I hasten to add, has since gone under. C4P contributors produced several posts exposing the utter idiocy of Mr. McGinniss and his article. I’ll quote from one such post, by R. A. Mansour with updates from Tim Lindell (a.k.a. VO), on March 25, 2009:

Last week, Gov. Palin once again proved herself to be a woman of charity and grace when she refrained from calling the writer Joe McGinniss an idiot. She simply stated that the headline of his ill-informed hit piece in Condé Nast Portfolio is “idiotic.” (I would have called him a lying smelly toenail fungus, but that’s probably why I’ve never been elected to higher office.)

McGinniss was interviewed by John Roberts on CNN. Dermot Cole has the story.

We’ve covered McGinniss’ idiocy hereherehere, and here. The real kicker is the press conference that Gov. Palin gave last week to discuss AGIA. Listen to it here.

I’m not going to rehash what we’ve already covered. Suffice to say — she’s right; he’s wrong. Any questions? Follow the links.

UPDATE by VO: Jim Geraghty of National Review has an extensive article out today on McGinnis’ hit piece. It’s great.

UPDATE II by VO: One thing we should have mentioned – Dermot Cole at the News-Miner reveals that McGinniss has been lying about his interview and photo requests to the Governor. For instance, he’s been saying that Palin would not cooperate with him unless she got a guarantee the piece would be favorable. Sharon Leighow, Mr. Bill’s deputy, released the actual e-mails in question, and they reveal that Joe McGinniss is full of crap.

Research is your friend, Champ. Weigel, amazingly, claims to be a conservative. Apparently he’s a conservative in the sense that David Brooks and Christo Buckley are conservatives. Today Erick Erickson noted that it’s impossible to take anyone’s claim to be a conservative seriously when said person voted for Ralph Nader, John Kerry, and Barack Obama. Hard to argue with that.

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