Confidential response of Sarah Palin's book editor to the first draft of her coming memoir, "Going Rogue":
Thank you for turning in the manuscript so quickly. I thought only Stephen King could crank out 400 pages in four months! Seriously, there's some terrific material here, and all of us at Harper Collins are thrilled to be publishing your life story.
Before we move ahead, the fact-checking department has asked me to pass along a few notes and comments that may require some revisions on your part.
1. Eric Clapton spells his last name with a C.
More significantly, his publicists tell us that you were not the inspiration for "Layla," and that he doesn't recall ever having an affair with you. Is it possible you've got him confused with another rock star?
2. The mainland of Russia is indeed visible from parts of western Alaska during favorable weather conditions in the Bering Straits. Considering the ridicule you endured over this issue during the campaign, your desire to set the record straight is understandable. Still, 78 pages is a big chunk of the book. Perhaps it's possible to deal with the I-can-see-Russia controversy a bit more succinctly.
3. Our researchers can find no evidence that Tina Fey belongs to the Taliban. Could you send us the sourcing for that reference?
4. John McCain's campaign staff is vehemently denying the incident you describe in Chapter 13. Perhaps you could provide our legal department with the names of persons who actually witnessed the senator placing the duct tape over your mouth.
5. Even though you quit with 18 months remaining in your term, your achievements as Alaska's governor will be of great interest to your readers and political supporters. How about expanding that section of the book to a full chapter?
6. On Page 107 of the manuscript, you describe a frisky interlude with Todd as taking place on a John Deere Cyclone 340 snowmobile. However, that particular model has been out of production for several years. Is it possible that you two were cavorting on a Sprintfire?
7. Our researchers can find no evidence that Katie Couric is secretly financing the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Could you send us the sourcing for that reference?
8. Although the passage about moose-shooting from helicopters is certainly provocative, perhaps it could be repolished to focus more on your cooking recipes — which look very yummy, by the way — than on the preferred field techniques for skinning and gutting.
9. Our copy editors are still struggling to sort out the many colorful characters in your manuscript. In one chapter, the children are called Bristol, Piper, Track, Willow and Trig, yet only 44 pages later they appear as Caribou, Cessna, Herring, Juniper and Scrod. Maybe you could check with Todd and get back to us on that.
10. "Mexican" is not a language. (See manuscript Page 188.)
11. Our researchers cannot verify that David Letterman is "heavily involved" in the opium trade in eastern Afghanistan. Could you provide the sourcing for that reference?
12. The details of your high school basketball career are inspirational, but would it be possible to condense that section from three chapters to one? Just a thought.
13. John McCain's office says that it was the senator, not you, who came up with the "two mavericks" campaign theme. He claims you originally proposed a slogan saying, "One Creaky Elder Statesman, One Hot Young Maverick — but don't worry, folks, she knows CPR!"
14. Tony Blair was the prime minister of Great Britain. Tony Orlando is an American pop singer. (See manuscript Page 341.)
15. Levi Johnston emphatically denies that Mitt Romney paid him to seduce and impregnate your oldest daughter. Furthermore, he claims that you personally offered him $50 to moon Joe Biden during the vice presidential debate.
Our legal department has suggested removing any mention of this young man (including those beer-pong photos) from the manuscript. What do you say?
Finally, on a personal note, I'm sorry you're having so much difficulty reaching the ghostwriter we assigned to this project. After your first meeting, she left me a rather frazzled message saying she "needed to take a break and do some soul searching."
We've tracked her to a sweat lodge down in Taos, N.M., and I'm pretty confident she'll be back on the "Going Rogue" Express in no time.
Meanwhile, keep up the great writing, Sarah. We can't wait to read the finished book!