Early Tuesday morning, former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posted a weird rant on Facebook about author Joe McGinniss, who is writing a book about Palin and has rented the house next to hers to use while he writes. In her Facebook post, Palin suggested McGinniss is peering in her nine-year-old daughter's bedroom:
Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?
That's a grotesque allegation. Just absolutely disgraceful. As the Washington Post's David Weigel has explained:
Palin informs her readers that McGinniss is "overlooking my children's play area" and "overlooking Piper's bedroom." Alternately sounding angry and mocking, she refers to "the family's swimming hole," which at first reference sounds like she's accusing McGinniss of checking out the Palins in their bathing suits, until you realize the family's "swimming hole" is Lake Lucille.
Can somebody explain to me how this isn't a despicable thing for Palin to do?
Politicians don't have veto power over who gets to write about them, or how they research their stories, as long as they're within the bounds of the law. It's incredibly irresponsible for them to sic their fans on journalists they don't like. And that's what Palin is doing here -- she has already inspired Glenn Beck to accuse McGinniss of "stalking" Palin and issuing a threat to boycott his publisher.
No one in the media should reward Palin for this irresponsible and pathetic bullying.
That's where Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz comes in: rewarding Palin for this "irresponsible and pathetic bullying." In his column today, Kurtz quotes National Review writer Daniel Foster accusing McGinniss of "a certain creepiness," then agrees with his assessment of McGinniss: "It does feel awfully intrusive and kinda unfair."
"Kinda unfair" is an understatement -- but it applies to Palin's suggestion that McGinniss is trying to peer in a nine-year-old's bedroom, not to McGinniss. But Kurtz doesn't say a single critical word about Palin's behavior.