The Sarah Palin I Know
The controversial feature piece in on the Daily Caller website is just part of John Ziegler’s remarkable stash of untold stories from the past three years of documenting the media coverage of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. There are still many explosive revelations to come, but for reasons that will eventually become clear, in order to view them when they soon become available you MUST provide your e-mail address in the slot below. We promise that you will never receive any spam!
John Ziegler’s preemptive rebuttal to his critics for his Daily Caller piece:
I am very sure that I will be attacked for the piece by Palin supporters, even though it is largely extremely positive and very respectful of her and her family. It also happens to be 100% true. Anticipating the most likely charges against me, here are my preemptive responses.
I did this because I was not hired by the Palins. Before I decided to publish the piece my last significant contact with the Palins was a phone call from Todd where we discussed me working on a possible campaign. After the many revelations/events that occurred after that call I sent them an e-mail saying that I no longer thought me working for them was a good idea. I did make a proposal of various things I could do for them in late 2009 (including a new movie similar to the one about to be released) but I am not even 100% sure they got that and after she later decided to work for Fox News those options were no longer viable or interesting to me. Late in 2010 Todd proactively asked me about working on an unknown project but I never actively pursued it and he never followed up. In short, these matters are totally unrelated to the article and in reality, the piece effectively ends an opportunity that was effectively still at least somewhat still on the table.
I am doing the work of another campaign. While, as I say in the piece I believe that Tim Pawlenty is the best option to try and beat Obama, I am not part of his organization and have no plans to be part of anyone’s campaign in 2012.
I am doing this for profit or as a career boost. I have made no secret of the fact that the wars I have fought on Palin’s behalf have greatly harmed my career and made it extremely difficult for me to even change careers. However, this action is not likely or intended to correct that. The movie, while still available in various forms, and very relevant because over half the movie is on Obama who is obviously running for reelection, has pretty much run its course and this piece will likely only harm its perception among the people most likely to support it. Also, while I had the opportunity to be paid a significant amount for this piece, I chose instead to make it available for free and receive zero compensation for it so that I could control the content, get as many conservatives as possible to read it, and so I wouldn’t be accused of just trying to make a buck. If this was motivation, I am far dumber than even my worst critics ever suspected. Had profit been my main motive since the start of this I would have done thousands of things differently, none of which would have been in Palin’s best interests. Heck, I didn’t even accept advertising at www.howobamagotelected.com when it was one of the most trafficked sites on the web.
I am doing this because Palin blessed another documentary on her. This charge also couldn’t be more false. I have already been quoted in Politico as supporting the new film. More importantly, its producer recently called me to ask for help on an issue that could be extremely detrimental to its success and I went out of my way to attempt to help them through it, apparently successfully. Also, most people don’t seem to realize that there is almost no overlap in the subject matter of the two films and that Palin does not actually participate in this new one as she did in mine. I did express to the Palins that it would have been nice to be given a heads up that it was happening, partially because I could have been very helpful, but I have neither the resources nor the inclination to do a film of this type which has the potential to be a commercial disaster, especially if she decides she is not running. My biggest problem with the new movie is that it includes the participation of at least one person who I know is no fan of Sarah Palin and is not to be trusted.
I am contradicting my past writings about Palin and a possible campaign. I can understand how people may conclude this because it would require a very detailed look at what I have said and the exact timing of those statements in order to fully realize that this allegation is completely false. For instance, when I wrote for Mediaite that I had “changed my mind about a Palin presidential run” (a headline I did not write) a close reading of that column indicates that I had come to the belief that she WOULD run, not that she would win. Plus, numerous things have occurred since then which have altered both the political landscape and my perceptions of Palin and my experiences in her world. The last three years has been a rollercoaster ride and obviously the perspective changes based on the current circumstances, but my views here have actually been remarkably consistent.
I am a hypocrite for criticizing her when I have gone after other conservatives for doing the same. My position on this, which was misrepresented by Keith Olbermann among others, is that it was wrong for conservatives to attack Palin based on media falsehoods and to do so clearly as career move. I am not coming close to doing that here. I am simply pointing out facts (real ones, not media creations) that render a presidential run by her very dangerous to the cause of beating Obama. Doing that now, when that threat can still be averted is totally different than what those “conservatives” who took part in Palin’s “assassination” in 2008 based on myths and a desire to get booked on major television shows, which helped get Obama elected. I am clearly not doing this to boost my career and I am taking the most low-key avenue possible to spread this message.
If my story was really that significant I would have released it to a major publication or written a book instead of a website. As I have already stated, I did not want to profit from this story and I wanted as many conservatives as possible to read it. I also wanted control over the content and because the story is extremely long that was going to be almost impossible at a major publication, something I quickly learned when one very prestigious outlet came close to making it a cover story. The unusual way I released this story should actually augment my credibility, not diminish it.
That this story is more about me than it is about Sarah Palin. I fully acknowledge that this is technically true, but the whole point is for the reader to learn something about Sarah Palin by getting special insight into one person's perspective on a unique relationship through a story that is both informative and entertaining. I am well aware that people will mistake this technique for me thinking that I am somehow important. Quite to the contrary, I actually have no problem revealing many aspects of this story that are frankly embarrassing to me and which certainly don't put me in the best light. In one final, related, note, it is important for me to point out that I chose to take on most of the situations in this story on my own. I am not trying to imply that Sarah Palin did me wrong and a reasonable reading of this story clearly shows that I have far more good things to say about her and Todd than bad. I take no joy in the conclusions I make here. In fact, they are as incredibly depressing as they are true.
More to come...