Editorial by John Ziegler

About that Sarah Palin Cover Story in Newsweek..


I read with great interest the glowing article in the current Newsweek which features a rare "mainstream" interview with Sarah Palin. This was hardly just because the take away line from the story is "I can win," though I will address that first.

Sadly, Sarah Palin, as I have written extensively before at great personal cost, is dead wrong in such an assertion. I have no doubt that she really does think she can win as I have learned that she usually is not prone to saying things she doesn't actually believe, but in this case her sincerity is no virtue. I would actually feel better if she was lying like most politicians do.

While the interview appears to have been done before either of the two newest polls from Alaska came out showing her losing to Obama and with deeply under water popularity there, it is currently hard to see how she even wins her home state.

This seemingly shocking (to those who haven't been paying close attention) reality is not just devastating because it is the state where she was governor two years ago and one where any conservative should easily defeat Obama. The real significance of this is that Alaska is way ahead of the curve on the issue which would easily bring down any Palin candidacy in a general election: her resignation.

While the rest of the nation has largely forgotten about her quitting, Alaska obviously has had a far more intimate experience with her decision which, at least to the average person, can only be understood when seen as a bid to get rich and remain famous.

When I get ripped by Palin fans for having the gall to raise this perilous issue and its obvious consequences in a 2012 general election, I often feel as if I am arguing with the same people who thought OJ Simpson was innocent.

How in the world are we even discussing whether someone out of office, already with 99 percent name recognition, 60 percent disapproval rates, and losing numbers in their home state can beat an incumbent media darling like Obama?!

And yet the stunningly sycophantic Newsweek article (by normal mainstream media Palin standards it makes an average Larry King movie review seem critical) makes no mention of these realities and will surely only feed the delusion that Palin is correct in her electoral assessment.

But despite my well-known interest in chronicling Palin-related media coverage, the remarkably softball nature of the article was not the most noteworthy element of the article to me. Instead, it was that it was written by Peter J Boyer.

After my essay "The Sarah Palin I Know" ran in the Daily Caller, Boyer emailed me and asked me to call him. He wanted to discuss the story of my two years on the fringe of Palin's world, having produced the only film for which she ever did an interview and been an informal advisor to her for a period of time.

Over several days we talked for well over three hours. He never told me exactly what story he was working on, but he strongly led me to believe that the article would focus on my experiences and crusade to tell the truth about Palin (both good and bad). You wouldn't know it from the story he ended up writing, but he seemed to totally understand how absurd it is to think she could be elected president in 2012. Numerous sections of it appeared written by a completely different person than the one I spoke to all that time.

As is almost always the case with reporters, I figured he would eventually either wimp out or screw me, so my expectations for what he would do with our discussions were low (if you wonder why I would bother to even talk with someone I expected to do me wrong, you are obviously smarter than I am). So when he went silent for awhile I figured the story was dead. When he emailed me saturday morning and laughably claimed that my narrative, though interesting, required more space than he had, I chuckled to myself and emailed him back that he was full of crap (I wish people just had the balls to tell you the the truth when they are doing you wrong).

But when I read his article on Palin I was truly outraged (keep in mind, having been treated almost universally horribly by reporters in my career it is almost impossible for me to be outraged by anything these jackals do). Not because my story is not mentioned (who in the world wouldn't ditch my tale after getting a one on one with her?!), but because it seemed pretty clear to me that Boyer had probably secured his interview with Palin at least in part by lying to me.

You see, at the end of one of our very long phone calls Boyer asked me to forward to him the last email I sent to Sarah and Todd before my Daily Caller essay ran. Since it appeared he was doing a feature on my experiences such a request made perfect sense and after several hours on the phone I stupidly started to trust him. When I forwarded the email I did so under the condition that he not use or disseminate their addresses.

While obviously I can't prove in court that he broke this promise (which he agreed to via email), the idea that within a couple of days of getting Palin's email he went from seemingly doing a story on my attempts to educate conservatives on why she can't win and making zero mention of having had any contact with her or her people, to suddenly doing an exclusive interview with her and Todd in Iowa and an extremely positive story on her, would be a coincidence of biblical proportions.

When I called him on it via email (surprisingly he did not return my phone call), he denied it, but absent an alternative explanation I will remain convinced he lied to me, especially since he was clearly deceitful during other elements of our interaction.

I realize that a reporter breaking an agreement and misleading a source to land a big interview is barely worthy of mention in our increasingly immoral society, but I am clearly a dinasour in this realm. Of course the ultimate irony here (or perhaps just proof that couldn't pick the winner of a one horse race) is that after spending most of the last three years of my life fighting against unfair coverage of Palin and paying a heavy price for doing so, I am still getting the short end of the stick even when she suddenly is getting news treatment far better than her increasingly likely presidential candidacy deserves.

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