Joe McGinniss Becomes Palin's New Gotcha-Journalist Neighbor

Lots of different journalists choose to cover the ever-evolving celebrity of sometime-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in lots of different ways, but only one man -- author Joe McGinniss -- has gone so far as to actually rent the house next door to the Palin's residence in Wasilla, Alaska. From that perch, McGinniss will study the Palin family's comings-and-goings for a book he's writing on the subject, which I guess has sort of taken a "Northern Exposure meets Rear Window" turn?

For her part, Palin is taking the news that she's now being neighbor-stalked in humorous stride, actually, "welcoming" McGinniss to the neighborhood on her Facebook page:

We found out the good news today. Upon my family's return this morning from endorsement rallies and speeches in the Lower 48 states, I finally got the chance to tackle my garden and lawn this evening! So, putting on the shorts and tank top to catch that too-brief northern summer sun and placing a giddy Trig in his toddler backpack for a lawn-mowing adventure, I looked up in surprise to see a "new neighbor" overlooking my property just a stone's throw away. Needless to say, our outdoor adventure ended quickly after Todd went to introduce himself to the stranger who was peering in...

Joe announced to Todd that he's moved in right next door to us. He's rented the place for the next five months or so. He moved up all the way from Massachusetts to live right next to us - while he writes a book about me. Knowing of his many other scathing pieces of "journalism" (including the bizarre anti-Palin administration oil development pieces that resulted in my Department of Natural Resources announcing that his work is the most twisted energy-related yellow journalism they'd ever encountered), we're sure to have a doozey to look forward to with this treasure he's penning. Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?

(By the way, Alaskan geography isn't exactly my forte, but did Palin just refer to Lucile Lake as her "family's swimming hole?")

This isn't the first time McGinniss has gone to extremes to gain proximity to Palin. Last fall, when Palin was auctioning off the chance to have dinner with her for the Ride 2 Recovery charity, McGinniss jumped into the fray and attempted to win the auction. At one point, McGinniss had offered to pay $60,010 for the privilege (he eventually lost to Palin fan Cathy Maples, whose winning bid was $63,500).

Anyway, keep checking your bookstores for this fascinating on-the-scene account of Sarah Palin's lawn-care activities.

Annals of journalistic enterprise [Ben Smith/Politico]

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