By Adam S. Levy - Radar Staff Writer
Joe McGinniss, author of the controversial new book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, rips the Alaskan Republican's character in an interview with The Today Show on Thursday, claiming that she acts like a “tenth-grade mean girl’’ and that "the people that know her best like her the least."
As we previously reported, the book is already generating heat on its’ claims Palin has used cocaine and had a roll-in-the-hay with former NBA 3-point shooter Glen Rice.
McGinniss, who lived next door to the Palins' Wasila, Alaska home for four months while researching for the book, interviewed hundreds of locals; he said that "the thing that I found that really surprised me, was the people that know her best, like her the least."
McGinniss called Palin "an utter fraud" in the sweet, maternal image she puts out to the public, as he claimed she’s an absentee mother.
McGinniss also claims that Sarah had used cocaine in the past, as he spoke to people who "snorted it with her” -- same for her husband Todd, who he said had "been on the end of the straw frequently in his youth."
As for her performance in office, McGinniss called Palin a "ruthless political hypocrite" who was hands-off in her management style and misrepresents herself as a fiscally conservative spender.
"At best she's a hypocrite -- at worse she's a vindictive hypocrite," the writer said.
Asked if he believes he gave Palin a fair shake, McGinniss said, "I think I was as fair as I could have possibly been given the fact that she told all the people she's close to not to talk to me."
McGinniss said he doesn't believe Palin will mount a serious run for the oval office in 2012, predicting she'll go where the "easy money" is and "take the path of least resistance."
On Wednesday, struck back at the scribe, issuing a statement to NBC News that read:
“This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us. He traffics in innuendo and falsehoods ... he’s spent the last year interviewing marginal figures with an axe to grind in order to churn out a hit piece to satisfy his own creepy obsession with my wife. I'd ask that people consider these facts when evaluating his latest lies.
"I'd ask the fathers and husbands of America to consider our privacy when one summer day I found this guy on the deck of the rental property, just 18 feet away next door to us, staring like a creep at my wife while she mowed the lawn in her shorts, unbeknownst to her that he was prying. As well as our teenage daughters while they tried to enjoy our traditional Alaskan summer days outdoors."
The Rogue hits bookstores September 20.