Dear Diary: On Literary Stakeout In Wasilla, Joe McGinniss Can See Sarah Palin's House!

“The former Alaska governor has complained on her Facebook page that [writer Joe] McGinniss is spying on her famous brood as writes a book about her while living next door in Wasilla, Alaska. She says McGinniss can see into her daughter’s bedroom and into her garden as he works on the tome with the working title: Sarah Palin’s Year of Living Dangerously.” The Canadian Press, May 26, 2010.

May 19, 2010: I’ve arrived in Wasilla, Alaska, home to Sarah Palin! But it’s clear she’s already prepared an unfriendly reception. When I told the cabbie “I’m Joe McGinniss, the best-selling author,” he tried to act like he didn’t even know who I was. Well, if these hillbillies think they can fool this newshound, they’ve got another thing coming!

May 20, 2010: Delighted to find indoor plumbing and electricity up here. Took a break from unpacking to check out the new place’s view. As soon as Bristol saw me, she shut her curtains – as if a few strips of cloth are going to protect her deceptions from exposure! Next, I tried from every angle to see Russia from here but it simply can’t be done. Just one day on the ground and already I’ve uncovered another Palin lie – Chapter Five has already written itself! Think I’ll call it “Hoop Dreams…”

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May 21, 2010 (10 a.m.): Walked around town today. I asked a local where the nearest Whole Foods was and he just stared at me. I sat down at a diner and asked if the mushrooms in my omelet were shiitake. The owner told me, “This is a family place and we don’t use that kind of language.” I told him, “Well, that language was Japanese, sir, and where I come from – Massachusetts – we don’t appreciate racism!”

My 21, 2010 (10:15 a.m.): The cops are in on it too. Apparently, in this backwater a business owner can just ask you to leave if he decides he doesn’t want you in his diner. Amazing. And the Wasilla Police won’t listen. I pointed out the smokers just puffing away – nothing. I showed them salt shakers right out there on the table where anyone could use them – they acted like that was perfectly okay.

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Thanks for the newsflash, flatfoot – I certainly am aware that “This is not New York City.” Oh, I’ll “just move along” for now, but payback’s coming and it’s titled “Chapter Six: Fascism Lives In Wasilla!”

My 21, 2010 (11 a.m.): Went to the small library for solace, but the climate of fear lingers in there as well. I looked around and, seeing the coast was clear, went up to the librarian and whispered that I understood the pressure she’s under, what with the book burnings and the evangelicals’ reign of terror, and that she no longer had to be afraid.

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Yet the soul-crushing effects of Palin’s regime were in evidence again as the librarian tried to act as if she didn’t know what I was talking about, and beat a hasty retreat. I understand, sister – remember, I support your resistance. Solidarity! El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido! if you can understand that up here in Alaska!

May 21, 2010 (3 p.m): Bingo! Todd is in the backyard with a shovel. This is going to be good!

May 21, 2010 (3:15 p.m): Digging!

May 21, 2010 (3:30 p.m): Still digging!

May 21, 2010 (3:45 p.m): Okay, he’s planted a tree. But the question is….why?

May 21, 2010 (8 p.m): Boo-yah! First line, Chapter One: “Sarah Palin’s family’s veneer of normality is itself the most compelling evidence of its deep, hideous deviance.” Eat your heart out, Tolstoy. Oh, Joe – you have still got it!

May 22, 2010: Jeffrey MacDonald called collect. How did he get this number? Anyway, I didn’t accept the charges – that guy really needs to move on.

May 23, 2010: Got a look at the lady herself, walking around her backyard like she owned the place. Well, sister, justice is here and its name is Joe!

May 24, 2010: Bristol’s curtains are still drawn. Is there anything that Palin women won’t do to frustrate the people’s right to know? Wait, that’ll be a great theme for Chapter Seven! This book is practically writing itself!

May 25, 2010: I saw a caribou and a moose, which I now understand are different things. Also, wolves got into my trash can last night. This place is like that safari I took in Kenya except colder and with more flannel.

May 26, 2010: Sarah’s fascist tendencies are on full display AGAIN! Now she’s gone and built a 15-foot fence between our houses. This woman’s gall knows no bounds. She has zero respect for my rights and prerogatives. I’m a member of the media, not some schmuck on the street! This kind of shameless manipulation of the press smells of the influence of Karl Rove, who I think I saw disguised as a pizza delivery guy. But she will not succeed! Tomorrow, into town to buy myself a ladder!

May 27, 2010 (Morning): Back to town again. Palin’s clearly gotten all her local pals behind her. I went into the hardware store to buy a ladder and the guy at the counter wanted some ID when I handed over my credit card. “I’m Joe McGinniss, the former best-selling author,” I said, but he totally pretended not to even know who I was. Do they really think they can hide this conspiracy?

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But I have to say that the pressure of her relentless campaign against me is starting to take its toll. Who besides Al Pacino knew the days were so damn long up here?

May 27, 2010 (Evening): Andrew Sullivan called to ask me to try and get him some DNA samples. He really perked up when I told him that the big event in Wasilla this week is the opening of bear season.

May 28, 2010: Sullivan arrived this morning. His initial enthusiasm turned to disappointment when I explained that he misunderstood what I meant when I said “bear season.” He seems restless and out of sorts. First he suggested that I call Levi Johnston and see if he wants to come by to “hang out,” and now he wants to “go out on the town find us some real live lumberjacks.” I’m kind of tired and I think I’ll turn in early. Will I hurt Andrew’s feelings if I lock my bedroom door? Life in PC America is so complicated…

May 29, 2010 (Evening): So, I’m pawing through the Palins’ garbage and suddenly it hits me – paper, aluminum, glass, all together in one can. The woman refuses to recycle! I think I just found the smoking icepick.

May 30, 2010: Bingo! I’m fast asleep at quarter to ten this morning with all the shades drawn and I hear a ruckus next door. I drag myself out of bed and look into their front yard and the whole brood is dressed up and piling into their SUV. Where the hell would a family be going together early on a Sunday morning when good Christian souls and Holy Cross graduates are home sleeping? I don’t know – yet – but my reporter’s instincts are tingling!

May 31, 2010: What’s with all the American flags today? Probably some pogrom against illegal immigrants. The atmosphere of hatred is almost tangible. I think I may be losing my grip on reality under the relentless pressure and this goddamned sunlight…

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June 1, 2010: Stupid wolves got into my trashcans again. Geez, can’t someone do something about these damn pests? What do they think this book is going to be titled — The Call of the Wild?

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