As Joe Windish pointed out earlier, a cadre of villainous progressives are apparently launching a book of their own on the same day that Sarah Palin’s memoirs, Going Rogue, will hit the shelves. Titled “Going Rouge,” the jacket has an almost identical cover picture of the half term Alaska governor and the only other change to the text is the substitution of “An American Nightmare” in place of “An American Life.” (While we’re on the subject, isn’t that actually a picture of Tina Fey on the cover of the second book?)
As one would expect, this has resulted in yet another flurry of media snowballing which benefits almost nobody politically, but does serve to put even more money in the pockets of both Palin and the folks at The Nation who assembled the competing tome. But is it dirty pool in some way? Is it fair to describe it, as our friend Ed at Hot Air did, as being “wrapped in a deceptive cover, intended to confuse consumers into buying the wrong book? ”
Personally, I think the odds of this happening in any serious numbers are slim. The small sub-set of our population who actually follow politics closely enough to break out their wallets and pay for this type of book are probably also tuned in to the blogs, Fox or MSNBC. (Or, perhaps, one of the real news outlets.) They are doubtless already being informed of the doppelganger and will be on the lookout. And if a few shoppers with poor eyesight do happen to pick up the wrong one, it’s just as likely that some confused consumers, having heard about “Rouge” from Jon Stewart, will pick up the actual Palin book by accident as well. Either way, neither will complain about selling a few extra copies since that’s what this is all about anyway.
Some may also be upset that the copycat book will paint Palin in a harsh light. Well… there’s a shock for you. Like it or not, perceptions form easily among the public and are hard to shake once they take root. It’s just a risk you take when you step out into the public eye. For better or worse, Gerald Ford will always be remembered as the klutz who hit people will golf balls or fell down a ski slope. In reality, Ford was one hell of an athlete, but a propensity toward a slight hook resulted in him beaning a couple of looky-loos who were crowding the fairway and Saturday Night Live cemented that as his defining characteristic.
Bill Clinton will forever be the butt of tawdry sex jokes and be associated with the phrase about what the definition of “is” is. And Sarah Palin is going to remain known for jokes about, well… Sarah Palin. When her coaching staff decided to keep her under nearly as much of a cone of silence as Joe Biden, Tina Fey took to the air and defined the candidate for us. And that’s now how we remember her. The fact that Tina barely had to change the original script – if at all – for the jokes to work certainly didn’t help Palin’s case any.(For the record, yes… Joe Biden probably did less interviews than Palin, but there’s a difference. He’d been around for decades and was a well known fountain of gaffes. If he produced another, he’d just laugh it off, as would the press, and the media beast would have moved on in search of its next victim.)
The folks putting out “Going Rouge” may be accused of poor taste, but they’re also in this game to make money. It’s hardly shocking that they would jump at a chance to climb aboard this cash cow waiting to spill out the dollars on Nov. 17. Buy whichever you like, folks. Personally I won’t be laying out money for either one, but I don’t begrudge either for making some coin.