Robert Stacy McCain Responds to Gawker, Defends Palin Collaborator Lynn Vincent
John Cook at Gawker is going after Sarah Palin for collaborating with Lynn Vincent on her forthcoming book “Going Rogue.” As Charles Johnson noted, and as I reported back in May, Vincent has previously collaborated on political book with Robert Stacy McCain, a former Washington Times reporter who was characterized by a former co-worker as an “ill-tempered racist,” and was quoted as once saying that “reasonable people” react to images of interracial couples with “altogether natural revulsion.”
I called up McCain, whom I know pretty well from years of covering the conservative movement, to ask about the connection. McCain, who is traveling through Clay County, Ky., reporting on the possible murder of a Census worker, laughed at the Gawker post.
“Are they linking me?” he said. “Can they send me some traffic?”
McCain brushed aside the charges as smears against a good journalist. “Lynn Vincent has known me since 1981 or 1982, when we went to college in Alabama,” said McCain. “People are making assumptions about me and Lynn Vincent based on bullshit they read on the Internet the same way they made assumptions about Clay County, Ky. She is a person who is a lot more progressive about her views than a lot of people who don’t know her would give her credit for. It was her idea to write ‘Donkey Cons’–she asked me to help her because I’m knowledgable about political history. She was the organizer of the project, she had the agent, she made the executive decisions.”
McCain does have his own connections to Palin. During the 2008 campaign he “briefly encountered her in Shippensburg, Pa.,” he recalled. “She autographed my notebook. She gave me a wink and a nod, little knowing that she was speaking to an agent of the Vlaams Belang.”
Earlier this year McCain got an exclusive quote from Palin, via email, about rumors that she was divorcing her husband Todd. “Have you seen Todd?” said Palin. “I may be just a renegade hockey mom, but I’m not blind!”
“Any accusation against me, I can always plead insanity,” McCain said. “Whatever you say about me, I will always say I’m crazy.”
McCain admitted that he has made himself “vulnerable to guilt by association smears” because he’ll “send an email without thinking” about what’s in it. For a long time, he was not allowed to talk about the rumors that dogged his Washington Times career. “I spent years biting my tongue while this stuff went viral over the Internet,” said McCain. “I’ve just learned to live with a bad reputation.” On the interracial couples story: “I know lots of interracial couples. They’re attributing that to me based on something they don’t know anything about.”
McCain predicted that the whole story would “blow over in two days,” and that it was a shame that the Internet had “empowered a lot of people empowered a lot of third-rate morons who think they’re journalists.”
“It’s just going to be some asterisk in Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page,” said McCain.