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As Sarah Palin threatens to sue, publisher stands by 'The Rogue'

September 27, 2011|By Michael Muskal | Los Angeles Times
  • Donald Trump makes a point as he walks with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in New York City as they make their way to a meeting in May.
Donald Trump makes a point as he walks with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin… (Craig Ruttle / Associated…)

The publisher of an unfavorable biography of Sarah Palin is standing by the work by Joe McGinniss in the face of a lawsuit threat by the former governor of Alaska and potential presidential candidate.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Crown Publishers backed McGinniss and his recently published book, “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin.”

“We are confident that the reporting in “The Rogue,” is solid, reliable, and well-substantiated. We stand by our publication and our author," spokesman Stuart Applebaum said in an emailed statement.

On Monday, Palin’s Alaska lawyer, John Tiemessen, sent Crown a letter threatening to sue the publisher and author over the book, which has been panned by several leading book critics.  Tiemessen, who did not return telephone calls, asked the parties to refrain from destroying any documents and email correspondence that could be used in a suit against Crown, which is owned by the German media firm of Bertelsmann AG.

“This book contains a series of lies and rumors presented as fact and combined with ‘anonymous' sources,” said Tiemessen’s letter.

Palin, the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee in 2008, has kept her current political plans within her family and advisors. Though a possible  presidential candidate, she has not said she would run, but has left the door ajar for a possible bid in remarks at several campaign-style rallies.

Even as she mulls her future, Palin’s standing with poll respondents has been falling. The latest CNN/ORC poll concerning the GOP White House candidates has her at 7%, tied with Herman Cain and well behind the leaders, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

McGinniss, a well-established author whose “The Selling of the President 1968,” made him a star political writer, has defended his methodology in the Palin biography despite condemnation of some of his methods.

“The final work that was published contains most of the stories that Mr. McGinniss complains were nothing more than ‘tawdry gossip’ that amounted to the wishful fantasies of disturbed individuals,” Tiemessen wrote to Crown. “Since both your company, and the author, clearly knew the statements were false, admitted they had no basis in fact or reality, but decided to publish in order to harm Governor Palin’s family, you and Mr. McGinniss have defamed the Palins.”

For his work, McGinniss moved next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska.

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