In the October issue of Vanity Fair now on newsstands, Michael Gross reverts to junior high school to issue gossip-girl digs at Sarah Palin. Next up in Vanity Fair: “Sarah Palin Super Stuck Up; Thinks She’s All That.”

Gross dramatically reveals, for example, that her speech in Wichita, Kan., was “basically the same speech she gave 18 hours earlier to the Tea Party group in Independence (Mo.).”

A politician repeated lines in a speech? You must be kidding! Hello, Ripley’s? No, you cannot put me on hold. This is a worldwide exclusive. I’m sitting on a powder keg here.

Gross also apparently believes Vanity Fair readers will be tickled, rather than appalled by this story about Palin:

“Sometimes when she went out in public, people were unkind. Once, while shopping at Target, a man saw Palin and hollered, ‘Oh my God! It’s Tina Fey! I love Tina Fey!’ When other shoppers started laughing, the governor parked her cart, walked out of the store, and drove away.” (That jackass was lucky Sarah didn’t have her moose rifle with her.)

A random encounter with a rude, abusive jerk in public is supposed to make her look bad? Liberals have really lost their minds about Palin. They’d laugh if someone hit her with a baseball bat.

Gross also includes a strange exegesis about Palin’s tipping. It seems an unnamed bellman at an unnamed Midwestern hotel “waited up until past midnight for Palin and her entourage to check in — and then got no tip at all for 10 bags.”

First of all, what does Gross’ imaginary bellboy think the entire Palin family and their assistants and aides were doing until after midnight? Bowling? Playing beer-pong at a local pub? They’ve been traveling — with kids — all day, arriving after midnight, and the only thing he can think about is how he had to stay up late before going home to sleep in his own bed.

Assuming the story is true, which I do not, why is it Palin’s fault no tip was given? According to the bellboy, there must have been at least half a dozen people in her group. Palin is the “talent.” Other than Trig, she’s the last person who should be held responsible for the tip.

Gross was just getting warmed up with the bellboy. “The same went for the maids who cleaned Palin’s rooms in both places.” In a worldwide exclusive, he reveals: “no tip whatsoever.”

I think most normal people reading that aren’t thinking about Palin, they’re thinking, “Wait — do I tip maids?”

I don’t on principle, unless I’ve stayed several nights or left a dead body in the room. Even then, it depends on the size of the body. I also don’t leave a tip for the guy who put batteries in the TV remote, the hotel buyer who chose the nice soaps, or the interior decorator who designed the room. That’s what I’m buying: a clean, functional room for one night.

Also fantastic is Gross’ conspiracy theory on why no one in Alaska will talk to him about Palin.

In part, this is the typical, head-up-the-butt, New York reporter’s view of Alaska. Gross assumes everyone in the state personally knows Sarah Palin and if they don’t talk to him … they must be hiding something!

Thus, according to Gross, “(t)hey don’t want her to find out they have talked with a reporter, because of a suspicion that bad things will happen to them if she does.”

Why else wouldn’t people talk to him? It’s me — Michael Gross from Manhattan! Everyone in Alaska should want to hang with me! The fact that they don’t is evidence of a conspiracy.

Another explanation is that not everyone in Alaska, not even everyone in Wasilla, personally knows Sarah Palin. Nor are they in awe of Manhattan or Vanity Fair. In other words, maybe Alaska is remarkably like other places.

Most psychotically insane is Gross’ rumination on why the Palins would leave their home on, I quote, “the anniversary of Sarah’s resignation.”

This is the kind of “anniversary” celebrated only by Keith Olbermann and other Palin obsessives. It is not yet, as we go to press, an anniversary celebrated by Hallmark.

The fact that Michael Gross imagines the date Palin resigned is an “anniversary” anyone else in the world would notice proves only that he is a head case.

He discusses the Palins’ absence on this momentous day (in his own mind) with his fellow obsessive, Joe McGinniss — the man who moved into the house next door to the Palins for more convenient stalking.

On and on the two nutcases speculate about why the Palins are gone — because, you see, THERE MUST BE AN EXPLANATION!

Perhaps “the Palins would want assurance that no curiosity seekers would trespass,” Gross offers. But why, he asks himself, “make such a long flight”?

In the climactic scene of the article, Gross asks McGinniss, “Wouldn’t it be easier to hire a guard?”

Before giving the reply, Gross notes that McGinniss has put himself “in the frame of mind of his subject — where everything is fungible, and everyone is suspect.” So McGinniss speaks with authority. And he says: “A guard would have a story he could sell.”

Yeah, like the Midwestern bellboy. But the reader is supposed to be gasping at the strangeness of the Palins, not the strangeness of the two reporters, standing alone, staring at the Palins’ empty house on an imaginary “anniversary,” postulating theories on why the Palins aren’t there.

It turns out the Palins had simply flown to Todd’s parents’ house for the weekend. No “curiosity seekers” showed up at the house to gawk — other than the two reporters, who are utterly oblivious to the fact that the only paranoids in this story is them.

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