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It’s Getting So a Stalker Can’t Have a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Anymore

By Doug Powers  •  November 6, 2010 10:04 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Remember Joe McGinniss, Todd and Sarah Palin’s creepy stalker neighbor guy who moved in next door until the end of summer, in order to finish a book he was writing about the Palins?

It seems that McGinniss is distraught at his inclusion in the show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

From Dave Weigel at Slate:

McGinniss’s attorney Dennis Holahan has requested that McGinniss’s image be removed from the show as “he was not aware that any camera crew was in fact videotaping him,” and the description of him in the show was “defamatory.” (McGinniss has repeatedly objected to Palin’s assertion that he could, or even wanted to, spy on her kids from the house — an assertion she made again in the show.)

I understand McGinniss’s objection to being defamed… because if I was working on a book about somebody’s family and I moved in next door to them while I completed the book, I’d expect nothing short of complete acceptance and high praise.

Here’s a portion of the letter to the company producing Palin’s show, under the subject line: “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” // Invasion of Privacy of Joe McGinniss”:

This law firm represents Joe McGinniss. It has come to our attention that the first episode (titled “Mamma Grizzly”) of the above referenced television show, scheduled to air on Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 9:00 PM on TLC, contains unauthorized videotaped images of Mr. McGinniss which were obtained without his knowledge or consent. In addition, you have already placed a video clip containing this image of Mr. McGinniss on your website and it has been picked up and reproduced by the Huffington Post and many other online sites.

Mr. McGinniss was not asked if any production crew could videotape him as he read a book on the secluded deck of the house he was living in at that time. He was not aware that any camera crew was in fact videotaping him. Mr. McGinniss had a reasonable expectation of privacy under those circumstances. The mere taking of the video therefore gives rise to an actionable claim for invasion of his privacy.

The letter goes on… you get the gist.

The Palins were harassing McGinniss to such an extreme degree that Todd and Sarah were forced to erect this fence to prevent themselves from spying on poor Joe:


I’m not a lawyer, but, as for Sarah Palin’s response to McGinniss’s lawyer’s letter, is “the jerk was asking for it” a valid legal defense?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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