Does Sarah Palin know how to tell the truth? A growing chorus of critics — Republicans, Democrats and non-partisan organizations — are using words like "fabrications," "fiction," and "lies" to characterize Palin's version of events in her new book. The AP fact-checked the volume and noted that she had "gone rogue with the truth." Palin insists that "Going Rogue" is "fact," but given the increasing evidence of disingenuousness, the question arises: Does Sarah Palin have a lying problem? (Watch an MSNBC report about Sarah Palin's claims)
It's an enormous scandal waiting to happen: Sarah Palin is "a delusional fantasist," says Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic, and her book is similarly full of 'fabrications and delusions'—a hopelessly entangled 'work of fiction and fact.' And since this "pathological liar" is now "the leader of the Republican party and a potential presidential candidate," parsing Palin's lies from her occasional facts is "an important civil responsibility" and the results could create a "huge scandal."
"To our readers"
Palin just describes things as she sees them: Sarah Palin has a bright future as an "unapologetic" conservative champion, says Mary Matalin in CNN.com. It's true that McCain campaign aides have called parts of her account "fiction," but that "does not make her a liar." In the intense and emotional world of a presidential campaign, "perception is reality," and she wrote about events as she perceived them.
"Sarah Palin’s publishing and political worlds in collision"
Maybe there's a medical explanation: All politicians lie, but Palin's "level of dishonesty" is "remarkable" and "gratuitous," says Michelle Goldberg at The Daily Beast. She "lies when there’s little to be gained by lying, and she lies when everyone knows the truth" -- "if Bill Clinton were a Palin-style liar, he’d still be insisting that his relationship with Monica Lewinsky was entirely chaste." One possible explanation is "narcissistic personality disorder," a psychiatric condition characterized by "chronic lying."
"Palin's ego trip"
She's being treated unfairly: Why didn't the media assign an army of fact-checkers to Obama's book "Dreams of My Father"? asks Janet Turley at Huffington Post. By definition, an autobiography is the author's side of story. "Reserving such intense scrutiny for Palin's book stinks of ill-informed bias," and only hardens the perception among Palin supporters that the media won't give her a fair shake.
"Going rogue with fact-checking"
All this fact-checking only makes her stronger: I’m not Palin’s biggest fan, says Megan McArdle in The Atlantic, but even I think there’s "an unhealthy obsession with tearing her down" in the media. Call it "Palinoia" — Newsweek’s sexist Palin cover and the AP sending 11 "fact-checkers" after her book just validates her "whole schtick about how the media is just a bunch of elitist hooligans who are out to get her." If you lay off, she’ll bring herself down.
SEE THE WEEK's LATEST COVERAGE OF SARAH PALIN:
• Palin for President in 2012?
• Fox News: Inflating Palin's crowds?
• Newsweek's 'sexist' Sarah Palin cover
• Grading Palin's Oprah interview
• Does the media hate Sarah Palin?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Gamergate might be gaming sexism's Waterloo
Subscribe to the Week