Sarah Palin’s Brother and Father Tell Us They’re Mistreated Just For Being Related to Her [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Sarah Palin's father, Chuck Heath, and her brother, Chuck Heath Jr., say warm, friendly people frequently turn rude -- sometimes belligerent -- after learning who they are.
The Heaths were wrapping up a national tour promoting their book, "Our Sarah: Made in Alaska," in southeastern Washington State on Wednesday before returning to Alaska. During interviews with us at Townsquare Media Tri-Cities, they were asked how the tour went.
Chuck Jr. said an experience the night before was typical. He and his father were using the Internet at a Starbucks when they got stuck loading a photo onto Facebook. A friendly pregnant woman offered to assist. When Chuck Sr. said, "Do you know who you're helping? He's Sarah Palin's brother," the woman gave them "the look of death," slammed her books down, gathered her things, and moved.
They say they wrote the book to counter the lies and mistreatment Palin receives in the media.
"120 books have been written about Sarah, and only four are totally factual," Chuck Sr. said.
They were not expecting to be mistreated themselves.
In New York City, the two said it was common for people to turn hostile after they introduced themselves. Chuck Jr. said he had to restrain his father physically several times to keep him from engaging with people -- especially when they criticized Palin's children. After making acquaintances during their travels, Chuck Jr. said they learned to feel people out on politics before introducing one another. And it hasn't been only during the tour:
"We don't know what it is... the ugly comments... is there that much hate in their heart? For us, you know, we're getting a thick skin. And Sara, obviously, is tough as nails, except for when they're going after the kids, that's real painful. But my poor mom... it just breaks her heart, she's just the sweetest lady," Chuck Jr. said.
While New York City is a mandatory stop on any book tour, the two said they would never consider visiting areas like Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco.
Richland, one of the Tri-Cities, is the smallest market the two stopped in for a book signing, but it also offers home-court advantage. Chuck Heath Sr. attended Columbia Basin College in nearby Pasco on a football scholarship from 1957-58. It was there he met Palin's mother, who lived in Richland. When Palin came to Richland for a book signing of "Going Rogue" in 2009, 2,300 people turned out in freezing temperatures. In 2010, Palin had to bow out of a Thanksgiving Day run in neighboring Kennewick after a large crowd gathered at the finish line.
Hear the live interview from this morning on KEYW FM in Pasco, Washington: