Dec 08

Much of the news surrounding the whirlwind book tour of Sarah Palin has concerned the media itself, and Palin’s open disdain for it. Press coverage that gathers large crowds at book signings and speeches, apparently, is good. Press coverage that takes issue with any aspect of what Palin says or does at those book signings and speeches, apparently, is bad.

For instance, some members of the press took issue with the seeming contradiction between Palin’s use of a private jet as transportation between book signings and speeches, and the grass roots image she’s wanting to perpetuate by rolling into each of her public appearances on a bus. Palin interpreted that as a personal attack, and used her own new media outlet – her Facebook account – to counterattack, berating the media for raising the question at all. “The media showed the same out-of-proportion obsession with my personal arrangements, clothes, and hairstyles last year instead of focusing on the crucial issues involving the election,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page before poking a specific barb at CBS and “whatever professional integrity it still has.”

While Palin believes that media attention should be restricted to “crucial issues,” she didn’t hold her own memoir, “Going Rogue” to the same high standard. In this literary communication which was under her own control, Palin used approximately 100 pages, or nearly 25%, of the “Going Rogue” memoir not to address those “crucial issues,” but rather to air grievances she harbors against the McCain campaign team in particular and, of course, the media in general.

Seemingly from Palin’s perspective, when media coverage of her patriotism and family values is reported, the media has integrity. But when media coverage questions the disparity between her public image and her private actions, the media is unfair and obsessed. Palin is hardly the first celebrity to curse the source of their fame, while enjoying all the positive benefits of it at the same time. Reportedly Palin has seven million reasons to be grateful that anyone with press credentials ever got obsessed enough to make her a household name.

“We’re seeing this argument take shape where anyone who’s critical of Sarah Palin is portrayed as launching unfair personal attacks on her,” said Betsy Reed, co-editor of the Palin counter-memoir, “Going Rouge.” “It’s really important to tell the other side of her story… and not to fall prey to the Sarah Palin branding machine,” said Richard Kim, the other co-editor in a recent interview with the online political publication, “TruthOut.”

The Kim-Reed book about Sarah Palin is actually a collection of essays that was gathered as a biographical anthology, and released in book form on the same day as Palin’s own memoir. This counter-memoir, “Going Rouge,” initially gained attention due to the similarity of the titles and the satire of the book’s cover. The “Rogue” cover depicts Palin as a patriotic dream in front of blue skies, while the “Rouge” cover depicts Palin as an American nightmare in front of stormy skies.

"Going Rouge: An American Life" is the Memoir About Sarah Palin "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare" is the Counter-Memoir About Sarah Palin

“Although the cover has an element of satire, the book is not a parody. Our goal was to present a serious appraisal of Sarah Palin’s record and an assessment of her role in American politics,” Reed told “TruthOut.”

“She is a very well-packaged celebrity at this point, so we felt it was important to show her beneath the gloss,” said Reed.

“Going Rouge” has also been receiving major mass media coverage along with “Going Rogue” not just because of the media’s mistakes with talking about one book while showing the cover of the other, but also because it is the nature of free speech to find and express opposing views. For every point there is a counterpoint, and reporting the yeah-but side of any story is a pretty big part of the whole free speech paradigm.

No matter how diverse their politics, most American citizens can find common ground in the First Amendment. Despite individual opinions, there is a fundamental acknowledgement that the whole truth is not really found in any left-wing blog, right-wing television network, self-promoting Facebook page, carefully crafted memoir, or cleverly edited counter-memoir. The truth, most Americans agree, is found in the silent spaces between the noise of those who are arguing the loudest with each other to defend their own position.

As long as there is still is a right to free speech in the U.S., it is safe to say there will be a tabloid story for every celebrity, a negative news report for every politician, and a “Going Rouge” for every “Going Rogue.” And as long as there is a desire for the expansive existence that the uninhibited search for truth affords, the world has a need for them all.

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Jul 30

Attention has resurfaced this week for the infamous “Long Island Lolita” incident that fueled a media frenzy back in 1992 in response to the release of Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s new book, “Getting It Through My Thick Skull.” Even though it’s been almost two decades since her ex-husband, Joey’s teenage mistress, Amy Fisher, shot Mary Jo in the head, the attention that the book and its author have received proves that the fascination with her story is still strong.

Why does the media and the public still care about a crime that happened so long ago?

Interviewers are finally asking Mary Jo the questions that the public has also been asking for 17 years. Why did Mary Jo stand by her husband and stay in her marriage for so long? What was it like for her to be in the middle of an international media circus while recovering from a life-threatening attack? What motivated her to publicly forgive Amy Fisher? And why is she writing a book about all of it now?

Mary Jo answers these questions in depth in “Getting It Through My Thick Skull,” which is not only Mary Jo’s first book about the incident, but also the first time she has stepped out of the shadow of her ex-husband, Joey, to tell the story from her own perspective. Mary Jo wrote the book not only to address the unanswered questions about her life, but also to shed some light on the behaviors of her husband, which she has come to believe are sociopathic.

Readers will get Mary Jo’s complete responses to 17 years of unanswered questions in her book. Here’s some of the conversations that’s she’s been having with the media about it this week:

Mary Jo’s Television Interviews:

Mary Jo’s Print Interviews:

Mary Jo’s Radio Interviews

Internet Stories About Mary Jo Buttafuoco And Her Book:

Book Reviews of “Getting It Through My Thick Skull”

More information about “Getting It Through My Thick Skull”

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