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‘Rogue’ or ‘Rouge’? Many are mixing the two up

That old saw “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is taking on new meaning: A number of major media outlets have confused Sarah Palin’s memoir “Going Rogue" with the similarly-covered “Going Rouge," a collection of essays critical of Palin.
/ Source: TODAY staff

That old saw “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is taking on new meaning: Two Sarah Palin books that look alike on the outside but are very different inside have some of the public — and the media — seeing red. Or should that be rouge?

“Going Rogue” is Palin’s memoir, which had a huge initial print run of 1.5 million copies. “Going Rouge,” on the other hand, is a collection of essays critical of Palin, compiled by the editors of The Nation magazine.

Both books were released Nov. 17, and before they were, some wags predicted they would befuddle readers. After all, both covers show a smiling Palin dressed in red. But “Going Rouge,” subtitled “An American Nightmare,” shows dark, imposing storm clouds in the background, while Palin’s shows a bright blue sky.

Rogue or rouge?
The superficial similarities have even mixed up mainstream media outlets.

“There’s been major confusion — from TV companies putting up the wrong book on screen, to radio shows asking us if Sarah Palin would like to come on as a guest,” Colin Robinson, the co-publisher of “Going Rouge,” told “A security service in Indiana even asked us about hiring them to protect Ms. Palin while she was in their state.”

And the rouge-colored muddle doesn’t stop there:

  • CNN’s political ticker quoted Obama advisor David Axelrod as saying he’d borrow David Plouffe’s copy of “Going Rouge.” But actually, Axelrod told the network’s “State of the Union” host John King that he would borrow “Going Rogue,” because he didn’t intend to buy it.
  • USA Today’s The Oval section posted an image of “Going Rouge” on a review of Palin’s “Going Rogue.” The newspaper later ran a correction about the error.
  • Fox News Channel apologized for showing the wrong book cover on screen while discussing Palin’s memoir.
  • The owner of the New York City nightclub where the “Going Rouge” launch party was held last week thought Palin would be showing up at the event, according to Robinson.

“The level of confusion is breathtaking,” Robinson said, though he added that, so far, his publishing company, OR Books, has received only one complaint from a customer who bought the wrong book.

“It never occurred to us that customers might be hoodwinked by us,” Richard Kim, co-editor of “Going Rouge,” told in an earlier interview. “It wasn’t our intention to fool anyone.”

The New York Post reports that “Going Rogue” publisher HarperCollins is dealing with the confusion by taking out ads directing buyers to Palin’s memoir.

The mix-up doesn’t seem to have affected the sales of “Going Rouge,” Robinson said.

And it doesn’t seem to have dampened the sales of “Going Rogue,” either. HarperCollins announced that Palin’s book sold 300,000 copies its first day out, and increased the print run from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.