For Immediate Release
Going Rogue With the Facts?
Ari Rabin-Havt, Media
Matters for America
rogue with the facts?
Monday, November 16,
Tomorrow, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah
Palin's memoir Going Rogue: An American Life
will hit bookshelves across the country, and conservative media figures, including commentators from
Fox News, are already lining up to help Palin promote it.
host Rush Limbaugh called it "one of the most substantive policy books I've
read" -- a claim at odds with statements by Fox News'
Carl Cameron, who said that the book "largely steers clear of politics and
policy." Greta Van Susteren devoted the opening
segment of her prime-time
program to Going Rogue without
mentioning that her husband advised Palin during the presidential campaign.
Palin is also reportedly set to make the rounds on Fox News, appearing on Van
Susteren's show as well as The O'Reilly
Factor and Hannity. In
her book, Palin returns the favor, thanking several Fox News
personalities by name as "bold and patriotic, fair and balanced media folks"
who "mak[e] the idiots' heads spin."
While the book is generating excitement and buzz within the conservative echo
chamber, it is riddled with factual inaccuracies. The book is also co-authored
by an extreme conservative figure who has a troubling history of launching
vicious attacks against the gay community and a checkered literary past marred
by shoddy scholarship, falsehoods, and over-the-top invective aimed at
Media Matters for America has been examining a copy of the book obtained in
advance of its release as part of its new "Right-Wing Book Watch"
project with the Progressive
Book Club and found that it contains a number of falsehoods:
Palin's co-author, World
magazine features editor Lynn Vincent,
has a record of stridently attacking the gay community, likening gay people to
communists, and suggesting
that homosexuality is a mental disorder. Examples include:
activists seeking to
make "deviance" appear "normal." [World, April 25, 2009]
Psychiatric Association should still call homosexuality a disorder.
[World, June 15, 2002]
people are like communists, seek "sexual gratification without
responsibility," wear dog collars. [World, April 10, 1999]
as "Black Genocide" [World, January 17, 2009]
Matters also examined Vincent's previous book Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the
Democratic Party which she co-authored with Robert Stacy McCain, and found that the book is
marked by shoddy scholarship, falsehoods, and over-the-top invective aimed at
Democrats. Examples include:
Republican "culture of corruption." In Chapter 1, Vincent
and McCain dismiss out of hand the idea of a Republican "culture of
corruption" and openly mocks the idea that Democrats would be able to
retake control of Congress in 2006 by campaigning against Republican
a "puppet" of Stalin. On Page 100, Vincent and McCain
If anything was red and scary, it was the scab of
treachery that [Whittaker] Chambers peeled back to reveal a Democratic
administration teeming with a Communist infection, and despite repeated
warnings, doing nothing. One member of the HUAC [House Un-American Activities
Committee], a Republican congressman from California named Richard Nixon, believed
Chambers. His dogged pursuit of the truth ultimately revealed the extent to
which Joseph Stalin was pulling Roosevelt's
strings like those of a hapless puppet.
- Iraq's really real WMD programs. Vincent and
McCain repeatedly assert that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had a "WMD
program" that he was hiding from weapons inspectors prior to the 2003
invasion by American-led forces. On Page 105, they rebuffed the allegation that
no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.
"perilously close" to committing "treason."
Vincent and McCain wrote on Page 107:
Democrats want to have it both ways: they want to
whine that they were gullible dupes apparently incapable of their own competent
intelligence analysis and they
want to be put in charge of the country and the national defense. For the
basest of reasons -- to win a majority power in 2006 -- congressional Democrats
at this writing are misleading the American people, lying to them in time of
war, sowing doubt among American forces, twisting daggers in the hearts of
parents who have lost children, and shilling for the enemy. Constitutionally, that may not be treason. But it
appears perilously close.
- Clinton intentionally started Lewinsky scandal. On
Page 199, Vincent and McCain wrote that there is "merit" to the allegation
that the Clinton White House used the Monica Lewinsky scandal to intentionally
distract from the so-called "Chinagate" campaign finance
As Palin travels the
conservative talk show circuit this week, Media
Matters will continue to debunk the former governor's false
assertions. For more information on Palin's memoir, please see:
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.