Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Journalist Joe McGinniss, who is working on an unauthorized biography of Sarah Palin, has moved next door to his subject.
The Palins had just returned to Alaska after attending rallies in other states. She went outside in shorts and tank top to enjoy a little sun, a rarity in the far north, and noticed a strange man on her neighbor's deck. Her husband walked over to introduce himself and learned that the "peering stranger" was the journalist, normally based in Massachusetts, who has rented the house for five months.
I am not a fan of Sarah Palin, and that's a colossal understatement because I try to keep my sailor's parrot rants to a minimum on this blog. But I really think this is taking First Amendment rights too far. While McGinniss is not breaking any laws, he is totally intruding on her privacy and her family's. His action offends my sense of the sanctity of ones home. While his dedication to his work is impressive, scrutinizing anyone and her entire family under a daily microscope is wrong, no matter who she is or what she stands for, and is tantamount to stalking.
It makes me uneasy because he could as easily be a sniper. We live in a free country and I am extremely grateful for this in all its ramifications. But I think that with such freedom should come responsibility not to abuse it by trampling on the rights of others. The families of celebrities should not be considered fair game, or fodder for a journalist's pen. A line has been crossed here, but it is admittedly a nebulous one. McGinnis has done nothing explicitly "wrong" but implicitly he has committed a wrong, in my view, no matter how indefinable it is.
It's easy to write off his actions as amusing if one does not care for Palin. But if we truly believe in the equality we tout so proudly, it must apply across the board, both to those we like and those we do not. What are your thoughts on this? I'd really like to know because I am always open to other views. Let's talk.
UPDATE: May 27 - Mr. Sarah and his buddies have erected a 14-foot fence around the property. Now McGinnis will have to buy a giant crane.