Your Oct. 7 editorial, "Palin Book: Already No. 1," contains factual errors which are defamatory and potentially libelous, to wit: "In 2006, Vincent teamed up with white supremacist Robert Stacy McCain to write a shrill book titled Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime and Corruption in the Democratic Party . . ."
Leave it to critics to judge whether or not Donkey Cons is "shrill" -- I suspect your editorial writer has not bothered to read it -- and ask yourself what authority there is for your assertion that I am a "white supremacist." Were this true, it would certainly come as a surprise to my numerous colleagues and friends, who are quite a panorama of diversity.
In the fourth paragraph of the aforesaid editorial, your writer was at least clever enough to cite two authorities for this defamation:
- A "former Washington Times reporter," whom we need not name, and whose personal problems -- divorce, unemployment, etc. -- might be considered relevant to his motives for maligning me and for the veracity of his accusations.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center, which began attacking me in 2000, after I published a feature article based on an interview with Kansas author Laird Wilcox ("Researcher Says 'Watchdogs' Exaggerate Hate Group Threat," 5/9/2000, Page A2, The Washington Times).
When these accusations were first made, during my employment at The Washington Times, management decided not to respond, as to do so would tend to suggest that the accusers had some credibility. Therefore, I was required to maintain silence, rather than to make any rebuttal. By the time I resigned from the newspaper, in January 2008, to undertake a research trip to Africa, the appropriate time for explaining several falsehoods and misunderstandings had certainly expired.
Over the years, this malicious campaign against my reputation has metastasized spectacularly on the Internet, as individuals and organizations with various political or personal motives have elaborated and repeated them. Some of the original sources for these accusations (e.g., a column by Michelangelo Signorile) contained factual errors, which have been incorporated into the urban-legend mythology, producing a Gordian Knot of non-fact that is not worth the effort it would take to unravel it. Like ancient Alexander, however, I am prepared to swing the sword. Retract, please.
These charges have, as I say, taken on an Internet life of their own. However, never before have they been published in a print newspaper. Whatever malice against the former governor of Alaska inspired your publisher, editors and writers to undertake this false and dishonorable guilt-by-association smear, it was a most foolish blunder. Retract, please.
Having worked as a professional journalist since 1986, I have never forgotten the motto often repeated by those old-school editors who taught me the craft: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.
Hoping for warm friendship in the future, I remain sincerely
Your most humble and obedient servant,
DONKEY CONS: Sex, Crime & Corruption in the Democratic Party UPDATE: "Gee, Stacy, where did you learn this thing about letters-to-the-editor as a literary genre?" Like I say, sometimes you must ask yourself: Monique Stuart:
Now, for the most part, Stacy is staying above the fray. And, I applaud him for that. He shouldn’t have to defend himself against such wild accusations. And, the truth is, he doesn’t have to. . . .Read the rest. And don't ever get on Monique's bad side.