One of the more amusing aspects of observing today's left-biased establishment media environment is seeing agenda-driven journalists directly or indirectly convey a clearly inflated sense of their outlets' self-importance.

A recent example of this came Friday from Jacob Silverman at Politico Magazine. In his writeup on conservative firebrand Charles Johnson, Silverman employed the comparative version of a word - "fringy" - rarely used in the political realm. Silverman described Breitbart and The Blaze as "even fringier" than ... well, let's try to figure that one out.

Leftist author Joe McGinniss drew several more warm obituaries from the national media. In Wednesday’s Washington Post, on the front of the Style section Gene Weingarten began with a gush: “Joe McGinniss, author of one of the best nonfiction books ever written, died yesterday.”

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik filed an entire story on McGinniss (and it was no Harold Simmons hatchet job on political attack ads). Folkenflik went easy on the last slimy McGinniss book, his full-throttle, fact-challenged attack on Sarah Palin:

CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."

However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:

It’s terrible that an author got death threats, even if he’s a sleazy hack who invaded the privacy of a prominent conservative politician. It’s equally terrible that prominent conservative donors received death threats for how they choose to use their money. But according to NBC, only one of those two stories is worth telling.

In the first case, the network was warning in 2010 of death threats against Sarah Palin-sliming author Joe McGinniss. As for the second, NBC ignored reports of death threats against the libertarian Koch brothers and members of their foundation. 

In 2008, NPR's All Things Considered tried to take apart the "swift-booking" of Barack Obama by conservative author Jerome Corsi, insisting in several places "we know" Corsi's reporting wasn't factual. On Friday's All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik took a looser standard in publicizing the Palin-bashing book by liberal author Joe McGinniss. Folkenflik eventually found book experts who disdained the difference between a "warts and all" book and an "all warts" book. But none of the book's claims were held up individually as false. It just on the whole "felt unreliable."

This leads the listener to wonder what might be true: Palin's cocaine-snorting, the premarital sex with NBA stars, the neglect of her children? Which? Folkenflik brings up McGinniss's tawdry publicity stunt, renting right next to the Palin home in Wasilla, running some mini-soundbites of outrage from conservative talkers like Sean Hannity ("creepy") and Bill O'Reilly ("immoral"). But Folkenflik tweeted Friday "How rascally is the writer behind 'The Rogue'?" All in all, the stunt was a plus:

For the second week in a row since returning from his summer hiatus, it didn't take HBO's Bill Maher long to begin attacking conservatives.

Roughly one minute into his opening monolog on Friday's "Real Time," the host mocked Texas governor Rick Perry's performance at Thursday's presidential debate and disgustingly quipped, "Sarah Palin was watching and she said, 'If only he was black, I'd f--k him'" (video follows with transcript and commentary, vulgarity alert):

While CNN gave two tough interviews to Palin-bashing author Joe McGinniss, HLN's Joy Behar joked around with him on her Wednesday show. She referenced his newest tome on Sarah Palin and her family, full of nasty gossip and rumors, and jokingly asked "What, do you have a death wish, Joe?"

In the previous segment, Behar had made fun of Rush Limbaugh's past drug abuse in her interview with Levi Johnston. "Your mother was selling Oxycontin?" she asked Johnston. "What's she – what's up with that? Does she know Rush Limbaugh?"


On Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight, author Joe McGinniss blamed Sarah Palin and her family for inciting the death threats made against him. After he moved in next door to the Palins, something he called a "non-issue from the start," he claimed that Sarah Palin "incited that hatred" of death threats made against him for writing a critical book of her.

"The Palins march right up to the border of inciting violence, and stop there and then stand back and say, we had nothing to do with it, if anything happens to anybody," McGinniss told Piers Morgan. CNN granted the author almost 20 minutes of air-time in two separate interviews Monday and Tuesday.

Palin-trashing author Joe McGinniss is booked for several TV interviews this week.  The New York Times reports the list includes Morning Joe, The View, The Joy Behar Show, and The Colbert Report. On CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz added Piers Morgan Tonight. "TV seems to have the idea that if it's a book, if it's between hard covers, it has a certain stature that allows it to be covered, but there are a lot of crappy books out there."

Wrong. Tabloidish books about Barack Obama have generally not been featured like McGinniss. But Steve Roberts, a former Washington bureau chief of The New York Times and husband of TV journalist Cokie Roberts, actually argued on CNN that Palin somehow "bears some guilt here" for these tabloid tales, since she's become a celebrity and starred in a reality TV show: 

NBC may have lowered itself to an "exclusive" interview with author Joe McGinniss today -- something they did NOT do in 1993 when McGinniss drew universal condemnation for a sleazy Ted Kennedy biography titled The Last Brother. But Garry Trudeau has devoted almost a week now to spreading McGinniss gossip in his Doonesbury comic strips, with all the worst charges: she slept with NBA star Glen Rice, she fired all her "dark-skinned" employees, she wore push-up bras to get what she wanted, and she was an airhead who wanted to shop all day.

This tabloid sleaze is not new for Trudeau: twenty years ago, he devoted his strip to recounting allegations made by a prisoner named Brett Kimberlin (also known as "The Speedway Bomber") who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle marijuana in the 1970s. Trudeau didn't care that Kimberlin was convicted of perjury in 1974 for lying about -- drugs. Notice how Trudeau's strips again have a misogynist anti-Palin flavor:


NBC's Today touted an "exclusive" interview Thursday with Sarah Palin stalker and author Joe McGinniss, smearing the former governor with unsubstantiated allegations. NBC didn't try to prove them. They just spread them. Fill-in co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book. Is she really the hockey mom she claims to be? How strong is her marriage to Todd?...Does she use her children as props?" [Audio available here]

McGinniss, promoting his newly released book that amounts to an anti-Palin screed, declared the former Alaska governor to be "An utter fraud. An absolute and utter fraud." Guthrie responded: "You call her a tenth grade mean girl." McGinniss went further: "Oh, that's – those are kind words compared to a lot of what you would hear in Wasilla today. The thing that I found, Savannah, that really surprised me, was that the people who know her best like her least."

View video after the jump

For those of you who don’t know Joe McGinniss, he’s the “journalist” who– unaware of the difference between Dian Fossey and Bob Woodward —  made the ridiculously creepy decision to move in  next door to the Palin family in order to intimidate and gain attention for himself research his upcoming hit-job “The Rogue.” According to Politico, he’ll be one of many during this campaign season using the obscene tactic of weaponizing Palin’s very own children as political bludgeons against her.