Here is a fellow writing about how Joe McGinniss conducts his research:
So a single girl had sex with a single guy more than 20 years ago. I’m, uh, shocked or something. Presuming it even happened, which given McGinnis’ track record it probably didn’t.
I have my own history with Mr. McGinnis. I have no idea if this actually made it into the book, but McGinnis contacted me in 2010 while he was trying to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath. Back in the 1980′s Heath was a teacher/coach in the Wasilla public school system at the same time a teacher by the name of Walter Koenig was arrested for molesting several girls, one of them my sister. The revelation of Koenig’s crimes came at the time that public schools in Alaska were being rocked with revelation after revelation of molestation.
My father, an Alaska State Trooper at the time, investigated these cases though once it became clear that my sister was involved in Koenig’s case he handed it off to another investigator.
Regardless, Koenig confessed his crimes and was convicted. At the time, though, there was a scandal in the community over the firing of a school principal to whom students had complained about Koenig. The principal, who later regretted his decision for obvious reasons, didn’t take their complaints seriously. At the time there were no mandatory reporting laws in Alaska requiring teachers, etc. to report complaints of abuse to law enforcement. My father investigated the matter and ultimately found that no laws had been broken.
Regardless, the school superintendent still chose to fire the principal. This caused some uproar in the community as some, including Sarah Palin’s father Chuck Heath, felt that while the principal made a mistake it shouldn’t cost him his career. The controversy escalated to the point where the superintendent reported having his tires slashed, though ultimately after my father investigated that incident it turned out that the superintendent had slashed his own tires so he could get new winter tires at the expense of his insurance company (my father arrested him for the crime).
McGinniss’ angle was to attempt to make Chuck Heath out to be some sort of apologist for a sex predator. That wasn’t the case at all. Heath simply felt that the decision to fire the principal was wrong. A debatable position (my family certainly disagreed), but hardly one that reflects on Heath’s character. Indeed, my family and the Heaths/Palins remain friends to this day.
My response to McGinniss was to politely decline to comment on the matter, saying that it was a long-dead issue with no bearing on Sarah Palin or her political career (she was in high school at the time) and that my family considers the Heaths/Palins to be fine people and friends. In response, McGinnis sent me another email with a concocted narrative making Chuck Heath out to be some sort of enabler of pedophilia and my father as someone willing to tolerate it even as his own daughter was victimized. McGinniss told me that if I didn’t share my version of the story, this was the version he’d have to run with.
The modus operandi of McGinniss is clear. He picks up a rumor or weaves together a salacious story and then asks the people he targets to give their side of the story. If they refuse to cooperate he tells them that he will run the rumor/ concocted story as presented.
This creates problems for people like Palin and Rice who don't want to be involved, in any manner, with a waste of human skin like McGuinniss. McGuinniss is simply playing the old LBJ game:
There is a story in politics, commonly attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson, about how LBJ wanted to circulate a rumor attacking his opponent in a Texas election. Johnson, it's said, wanted to spread the story that his opponent liked to have sex with barnyard animals. One of LBJ's aides said, "We can't prove he's a pig f----r."
"I know that," replied Johnson. "I just want to hear him deny it."
The best thing to do when muckrackers and fabulists swarm around you like zombies from a night of the living dead is to not dignify the accusation with a response.