The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Letter to a Damned Fool

Posted on | December 4, 2010 | 13 Comments

Tim Rogers, executive editor of Dallas magazine, decided that my flame war with Barrett Brown (which has provoked the threat of legal action) was a fit subject for a blog post that linked Max Blumenthal — of all people — as the authoritative source on me. Which is damned foolish, considering that I’m rather authoritative about myself. At any rate, the folly of Tim Rogers seemed to require correction, which I provided in an e-mail sent at 11:16 a.m. today:

You really, really need to learn a thing or two about journalism standards. Or at least learn to use Google. Also, your reading comprehension skills seem less than adequate.
“From what I’ve read about McCain” — and then you link to an error-riddled article by that notorious idiot Max Blumenthal and call me “one of the ghostwriters of Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue“? Time does not permit the refutation of every error made by Blumenthal, a leading contender for the world championship of producing fact-impaired nonsense. It might be simpler to say, as Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, that every word Max writes is a lie, including “and” and “the.” But two important facts ought to be made clear:
1. Sarah Palin didn’t have a “ghostwriter” on Going Rogue. Palin had a collaborator, Lynn Vincent, a professional journalist and author who has collaborated on many books, including two New York Times bestsellers. The difference between a collaborator and a “ghostwriter” is vast and important, in that the latter term suggests a species of deception.
2. I had no role in Going Rogue. I have only met Sarah Palin in person twice, very briefly, once in Pennsylvania while covering her during the 2008 campaign, and once while covering the March 2010 Tea Party rally in Searchlight, Nevada.
However, I suppose I might claim some small credit. My blog on January 26, 2009:
Clark Stooksbury at The American Conservative suggests me (tongue-in-cheek) as ghost-writer for Sarah Palin’s $11 million book. Actually, I’d think my Donkey Cons co-author Lynn Vincent might be ideal for the job, since she’s already co-authored the bestseller Same Kind of Different As Me. 
As I later learned, Lynn saw that blog post, had her agent put her in for the job and was selected from among the many top writers vying for it. Lynn’s contract with Harper Collins, of course, included a confidentiality clause and so Lynn has made little or no public comment about her work with Governor Palin since then.
Max Blumenthal’s article at The Daily Beast was an attempt to do a third-hand guilt-by-association smear on Sarah Palin, using “white supremacist” accusations against me that I have addressed at some length elsewhere. To summarize briefly: I am a conservative, which means that I disagree with liberals about everything, including their dogmatic fanaticism about race. In the course of discussing these disagreements, I have sometimes unwisely written things that have been malevolently misinterpreted by others, who have attributed to me hateful sentiments that I neither feel myself nor advocate to anyone else. “White supremacy” and “racism” are terms that have actual definitions, neither of which could be properly applied to me.
In the age of Obama, many Americans have grown tired of the lazy imputation of racism to everyone who disagrees with liberalism. I’ve made a running joke of this: “There are 5 A’s in ‘raaaaacism!‘” I have learned to be indifferent to the damage done to my reputation by such nonsense. “With enough courage, you can learn to live without a reputation,” as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara. Yet I cannot permit lazy writers such as yourself to inflict political damage on innocents by repetition of the cheap guilt-by-association smears employed by Max Blumenthal and others.
Over the course of a journalism career now spanning nearly a quarter-century, I have “associated” with thousands of people — colleagues and acquaintainces, politicians, activists, authors, etc. — of every race, creed and ideological orientation you could possibly imagine. For you or others to play a six-degrees-of-separation game, attempting to make me an instrument of journalistic prestidigitation that falsely attributes to some people the controversial beliefs of other people they’ve never even heard of, is shabby and unprofessional. I’d call it “McCarthyism,” were it not for my concern about unfairly maligning the late senator from Wisconsin.
If you had bothered to do any research, Tim, you might have learned all this yourself. My e-mail address is publicly available on the “about” page at my blog,, and I would have been only too happy to clarify any misunderstandings. As it is now, I hope that you will do me the kindness of publishing this communication in full.

Robert Stacy McCain
Co-author (with Lynn Vincent) of
DONKEY CONS: Sex, Crime & Corruption in the Democratic Party

Thanks to Dave at Point of a Gun for the e-mail tip about this idiot Rogers. And a friendly reminded to readers that they can contribute to the “F*** You, Barrett Brown” Legal Defense Fund. In the 99% likelihood that my legal expenses in the case of Brown v. McCain are exactly zero, proceeds will go to help repair the deer-damaged KIA and buy my six kids Christmas gifts.


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