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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Todd Palin talks to Kathleen Turner of WaPo regarding Joe McGinniss

Sarah and Todd Palin may move their family out for the summer, thanks to their new “creepy” neighbor, writer Joe McGinniss. So said Todd Palin in a telephone interview with me as he described the strange events unfolding around his family’s backyard.

McGinniss is renting the house next to the Palins, from which he can keep a close eye on the former governor’s comings and goings. Regardless of one’s political views, anyone with any remnant of respect for others’ privacy can sympathize with the Palins. As Todd put it: “This is a non-partisan issue.”

Hence, our conversation. Todd called me on the recommendation of a mutual friend.

Todd comes across as the regular guy’s regular guy. He has an easygoing, laid-back manner, to be sure. But he’s also a husband and father, protective of his family and cautious with strangers. Especially -- and understandably -- with media strangers.

I asked how events unfolded.

By his telling, Sarah Palin was going out to mow the grass with Trig in a backpack when she noticed that there was someone in the previously vacant house next door. The Palins had rented the house themselves the previous summer for some of their guests. Or, rather, they did some remodeling in lieu of payment, which is now apparently a matter of dispute.

Todd decided to check out the new neighbor and walked over to introduce himself. He and McGinniss had a brief conversation, during which Todd challenged McGinniss about a magazine article he had written that was critical of then-Gov. Palin’s handling of a gas pipeline project. Todd was unconvinced by McGinniss’s claim that he only wanted to be a good neighbor: “What we read is he’ll nice you to death and then stab you in the back.”

“It’s very creepy. Knowing that someone is going to be writing a hit piece, and he’s 15 feet away from you.”

The invasion of privacy has ruined the Palins’ summer.

“This [summer] is what we live for. We like to be outside and do family activities, and big brother is watching.”

As everyone knows by now, the Palins have added on to their fence, but even that may not be enough. They’ve talked to their lawyers about options.

While McGinniss is hitting the talk show circuit, purportedly in his own self-defense, Todd is trying to keep his cool, watching his words. He’s aware that whatever he says or does, “coming from me, people twist it and turn, and before I know it, I’ve threatened someone.”

“The media would love for me to go out and hit somebody.”

He’s probably right, but it sounds like everyone needs to cool their jets and that someone needs to leave the neighborhood. It shouldn’t have to be Todd and Sarah Palin. (Source)

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