Monday, September 6, 2010

Things I've Learned from Real Journalist Dan Joling

The now-infamous Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin by Michael Joseph Gross had barely been published before even reliably Palin-unfriendly reporters, writers, pundits, editors, sources, and even -- believe it or not -- Newsweek were taking issue not just with its accuracy, but also with the utter shamelessness of its personal attacks and other insinuations. As Julia Baird, deputy editor of Newsweek, wrote, "[L]et’s stick to a desperately needed scrutiny of [Palin's] inflammatory politics and steer clear of this kind of rubbish."

When even the magazine that "triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which at least 15 people died" because of its own inaccurate reporting calls you out for "shameful" journalism, that's pretty much game over. Fortunately, however, Real Journalist Dan Joling with the Associated Press has come to the rescue of Palin critics everywhere who aren't content simply to disagree with her politics be done with it:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sarah Palin can take down the fence. Palin's neighbor of three months on Wasilla's Lake Lucille, author Joe McGinniss, is packing his bags and notebooks and leaving Sunday for his home in Massachusetts to write the book he has been researching on the former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate.

His arrival in May made headlines and drew an indignant reaction from Palin and a visit from her husband, Todd. The Palins even tacked an extension onto an 8-foot board fence between the homes, leaving only a part of their second-story home visible from McGinniss' driveway.
I learned many things from reading this piece by Real Journalist Dan Joling. Let me share a few:

1) The Associated Press does not provide its Real Journalists with a telephone. Because if they did, a Real Journalist like Dan Joling would have picked it up and called the Palin camp for their response to Joe McGinniss' claims and accusations. Instead, those AP penny-pinchers limited Real Journalist Dan Joling to sending a single e-mail, on the Saturday of a holiday weekend, to the Palins requesting their comments for an article that was being published that same day! Give your Real Journalists a phone, Associated Press!

2) Joe McGinniss didn't "seek out" the rental home next door to Sarah Palin, the subject of his current book. The homeowner "sought him out" and, apparently, made Joe an offer he couldn't refuse. Joe McGinniss had no choice but to move in next door!

3) Joe McGinniss, a best-selling author who has admitted putting words in the mouths (and thoughts in the minds) of people he has never even interviewed (to "distill an essence") and who is making you the subject of his next book is no different than any other average, run-of-the-mill neighbor. Former Governor Palin, tear down that board fence!

4) Sarah Palin has an actual button she can press that creates hate among her followers. Or maybe just the distilled essence of a button. Either way, Joe McGinniss has received ugly, vile e-mails from Sarah Palin supporters, which is telling, because Sarah Palin has certainly never been on the receiving end of any vile ugliness, or Real Journalist Dan Joling would have mentioned that for context. America cannot afford Sarah Palin's finger on the button!

5) Thirty-five years ago, Joe McGinniss lived in Alaska. Since then, however, he has been mysteriously prevented from ever returning to the "place he loves" unless he wrote a book about Sarah Palin, which is Joe McGinniss' only interest in her. Joe McGinniss just wants to see his beloved Matanuska-Susitna Borough again, Sarah Palin!

5) Unlike Todd Palin, Joe McGinniss is awesome!

I can't wait for Real Journalist Dan Joling's next piece.