The left's latest one-two literary punch against Sarah Palin is proving to be an ineffective combination that misses its mark. Disgraced author Joe McGinness' The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin and Caribou Country clown Levi Johnston's Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs were both released on Tuesday, but the book-buying public apparently couldn't care less. At the time of this writing, McGinness' hardcover hit job is sales-ranked #74 by Amazon and #208 at Barnes & Noble. Johnston's joke of a book fares even worse, at #888 in sales at Amazon and #20,049 at Barnes & Noble.
It's not like both books and their respective authors suffered any from lack of promotion by their publishers and left wing advocate bloggers. Random House/Crown conducted a major roll out campaign for The Rogue, lining up appearances for McGinnis to promote his book on NBC's "Today Show" and ABC's "The View," among other small screen venues. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau even signed on to a rather unique agreement to excerpt McGinness' drive-by character assassination of Sarah Palin in his "Doonesbury" strip. And The Rogue also got featured reviews by liberal newspaper mainstays The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Granted, the reviews were much harsher than Random House had expected, but as they say in the PR world, any publicity is good publicity. And speaking of publicity, McGinness and his 300-plus pages of Palin smears is currently in the vortex of a major controversy of firestorm magnitude, yet sales still remain tepid at best.
The massive hype surrounding McGinness has overshadowed the promotional effort for Johnston's Deer in the Headlights, but both Palin character assassins benefited from friendly television venues where they hawked their books, and nutroots left blogs have hyped both volumes as the knockout punches that would surely spell the political end of the first woman to govern Alaska and campaign as the Republican Party's vice presidential candidate once and for all. Yet despite all of this, both books have failed. What went wrong?
The left is already deep into the spin cycle, attempting to explain away the poor performance of the McGinness and Johnston books as a waning of the public's interest in all things Palin. But the Wasilla Warrior's name in the headlines still draws viewers to their television screens, sells magazines and guarantees web page traffic, so that excuse doesn't hold water. We submit that the public has not lost interest in Sarah Palin, but it recognizes a smear job when it sees one. The left, which can always be counted on not to learn a thing from history, has been to this well so many times that John and Jane Q. Public are no longer buying the lies.
A similar one-two combination was tried against Sarah Palin in the spring, and it was an utter failure then, as Steve Flesher wrote May 29 at American Thinker:
Palin-flamethrower, Geoffrey Dunn of the Huffington Post released The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power May 10th and Frank Bailey, former Aide to Palin, teamed up with Palin critic Jeanne Devon to release Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years on May 24th. Ardent opponents of Sarah Palin have been highly-anticipating these books which promised to tear down Palin's public image for the long-term.The Rogue was supposed to have found success where the Dunn and Bailey efforts met failure, but McGinness made a fatal mistake. The author bet his book on hollow promises from an Alaskan blogger who fed McGinness a long list of juicy allegations, but few real people were willing to put their names behind the rumors. McGinness claims that the reason for the lack of any compelling evidence in his book is that people were fearful for their very lives. Were this the case then why are Jesse Griffin and the members of his gang of Palin-hating bloggers still alive and well in Alaska? No, the reason that McGinness' book is such a joke is that there's literally no there there. The rumors are anonymous and unsubstantiated because there's no truth to them, much less a single shred of compelling evidence to support them. Even liberal reviewers, who would otherwise be favorably disposed toward McGinness in his attempt to take down Clan Palin, recognize a lack of substance when they read it. Like the Dunn and Bailey assaults on Sarah Palin in May, the attempted September slayings of the Mama Grizzly by McGinness and Johnston are doomed to be abject failures.
Interestingly, Geoffrey Dunn's book has not even hit Amazon's top-100 list since its release; and after a week of media coverage including appearances on NBC, ABC's The View, Fox News, CNN, and many more, Frank Bailey's "memoir" disappointingly debuted at #40 and has already fallen to #75.
While reasonable voters notice that perhaps Americans are beginning to tire of the anti-Palin volume, others are sure to argue that Americans simply don't care about her at all, even though the latest headlines which seem to be tracking her every move impeccably could be enough to put that idea to rest.
One thing is sure for Palin as she moves toward making her 2012 decision. She enjoys the luxury of knowing she has been thoroughly vetted and scrutinized for the last two years. While anti-Palin readers have lined their ammunition up one year before a presidential campaign, her supporters are left wondering who is left in Alaska to interview. Because on the basis of Geoffrey Dunn's and Frank Bailey's accompanying Palin-bombs, what they've come up with so far doesn't seem to be effectively extinguishing the grassroots energy Sarah Palin has uniquely created and maintained.