Dissing 'The Manchurian President' Update
First, we have an insightful response to yesterday's See which media stars diss book exposing Obama ‘unread.’ Editors, reporters trash Obama project as ‘sensational rubbish’.
WND, the author of the original article, reported:
- Members of the news media, including from such publications as Time and Newsweek, reacted harshly to the announcement of a new book investigating President Obama, rejecting it before receiving a copy of the work, with multiple reporters sending expletive-laden e-mails to the author’s publicist.
How harshly, you ask? Well, Maria Sliwa, publicist for The Manchurian President, co-authored by WND's Aaron Klein and myself, was "stunned" on the receiving end of what she termed “'unprecedented' e-mail replies" in response to the announcement of the book's upcoming release and offer to provide the customary review copies:
- "Ridiculous crap,” retorted John Oswald, news editor for the New York Daily News.
“Never, ever contact me again.” wrote Time Magazine senior writer Jeffrey Kluger.
Newsweek deputy editor Rana Foroohar quiped,”This is sensational rubbish that is of no interest to any legitimate publication.
“Absolute crap,” replied Evelyn Leopold, a Huffington Post contributor who served for 17 years as UN bureau chief for Reuters until recently.
Nancy Gibbs, editor-at-large for Newsweek, fired, “remove me from your list.”
David Knowles, AOL’s political writer, responded, “seriously, get a life.”
Ben Wyskida, publicity director for The Nation, claimed Klein’s book is “so offensive” and “so far afield.”
Rudi Stettner, who headlines at IndyPosted with “The Manchurian President” Triggers Hate From Prominent Reporters, writes:
- Whether you agree with it or not, “The Manchurian President” is big news. At #1 on the Amazon non fiction best seller list and #4 on the general best seller list, the people have spoken. The book has become a legitimate story. [...] The book has triggered an unprecedentedly partisan response from reporters who are supposed to maintain a guise of neutrality.
Stettner cited the list of media responses above and adds:
- The above responses were letters refusing a review copy. They were not responses from reporters who had read or received the book, which bills itself as listing more than 800 references to President Obama’s radical associations and influences.
If the reporters who told a publisher to “never contact them” thought that the “Manchurian President” was dangerously misleading or false, they could have given it a bad review. They could have cited instances in which allegations of Obama’s radicalism were false, misleading or taken out of a context.They could have attempted to prove that the quotations cited by Klein are benign in a larger context. Instead, they reacted in a partisan manner, using their positions as gatekeepers of public discourse to shape the news rather than to report it.
Sad to say that the media's response mirrors similar comments found in the Customer Reviews" section of Manchurian at Amazon. Some "reviewers" have gone so far in voicing their negative opinion of the book -- after NOT having read it, mind you -- as to position their ratings at the 5-star level (highest rank) while providing a 1-star statement.
Needless to say, this transparency of Obama proportions fooled no one.
Nor did Simon Maloy's pitiful unimaginative assessment at the George Soros-funded Media Matters, Ten reasons why Aaron Klein's The Manchurian President is "ridiculous crap", echoing New York Daily News editor, John Oswald.
It has been suggested that I dissect Maloy point-by-point. As tempting as that is time prohibits. In all honesty, only one rebuttal is necessary.
- 1. The front cover
The cover to Klein's book is elegant in its simplicity, dominated as it is by a shade of red usually found draped over the arms of matadors, and giving the unmistakable impression that the President of the United States is peering out at you from behind a keffiyeh ...
Anyone with half an ounce of common sense can clearly identify a sheet of paper with a printed red marble design that has a strip torn out. The mismatched edges are clearly visible.
Who knew there was such a thing as Toreador Red?
And then we have the reference to a keffiyeh, which is a "traditional headdress typically worn by Arab men made of a square of cloth (“scarf”), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head." Perhaps Maloy should have taken the time to do a bit of research. Maybe he meant a Tagelmust (left), which has "the appearance of both a veil and a turban."
Close but no cigar? Not even.
As luck would have it, after learning what the book's cover would be, I came across and saved a picture of a near clone to Manchurian's cover. Judge for yourself.
Update 5/6/10 9:45 am: Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones, after detailing other recent snubs suffered by WND, writes, "Still, none of that is any reason for journalists to respond with such hostility to a free book. As with most the books they get every day from publicists, they don’t have to read it."
Update 5/6/10 2:10 pm: The Washington Post Co. is putting Newsweek up for sale. Poetic justice. First they sell out, then they're sold.