If you are trying to sell books or magazines or get clicks for your website, Republican Party star Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps giving.
This week, two new offerings provide glimpses of the former Alaska governor who generally avoids one-on-one interviews with the national political press. Vanity Fair has just released a lengthy, critical article from its forthcoming October issue titled, “Sarah Palin the Sound and the Fury."
The exhaustive article appears the same week as Meghan McCain is promoting her new book, “Dirty Sexy Politics.” The first-time author offers an outspoken daughter’s view of her father’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.
Of the two documents, Ms. McCain’s is the kinder to Ms. Palin, who emerged on the national scene after Sen. John McCain named her his vice presidential running mate. Palin is now a high profile commentator for Fox News and makes scores of highly paid speeches nationwide.
Speaking to George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday’s “Good Morning America,” Ms. McCain said, "I'm speaking out now because I do have conflicting feelings about her.” Ms. McCain, who blogged and Tweeted during the campaign, told "Good Morning America" that Palin “brought so much momentum and enthusiasm to the campaign. You saw the crowds double and you saw a lot more women coming to the rallies."
But as Mr. Stephanpoulos noted, “You also wrote that she brought 'drama, stress, complications, panic, and loads of uncertainty.' ”
The Vanity Fair article by Michael Joseph Gross is largely accusatory in tone and, when printed out, covers 18 double spaced pages.
“Even as Sarah Palin’s public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her,” the article begins. It claims that Palin now inhabits a “surreal new world … a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family.”
Details range from Palin’s alleged reliance on “prayer warriors” to protect her from opponents to the charge she billed the McCain campaign for Spanx girdles.
Douglas McMarlin, a spokesman for SarahPAC, said, “the article is a collection of lies cobbled together by an outlet without standards. As the message continues to succeed, the messenger will continue to be attacked by yellow journalists seeking to increase sales."
[Editor's note: Mr. McMarlin's quote was added when he responded to a Monitor request for comment after the story was published.]
Vanity Fair’s Palin coverage has ranged widely. In August 2009 it ran a perceptive, beautifully written political analysis, “It Came from Wasilla” by Todd S. Purdum. The magazine also published “Me and Mrs. Palin,” the musings of Levi Johnston, who fathered a baby with Bristol Palin, the former governor's teenage daughter.