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A Tale Of Two Books

real-mccain.jpgOnce upon a time, two authors wrote two books that heavily attacked two presidential candidates.

The first author stuck to known and rock-solid proven and provable facts for the most part, complete with on-the-record witnesses. The second author lied like a rug.

The first author’s book was largely ignored by the national media and so never made any best-seller lists. The second author’s book currently sits at the top of the NYT’s Best Seller list, and was put there by heavy media publicity.

The difference? The first book, Cliff Schecter’s The Real McCain, is about a Republican; the second book, Jerome Corsi’s The Obama Nation, is about a Democrat.

So when somebody like the LAT’s Tim Rutten, in discussing how a fringe freak like Jerome Corsi could have a bestselling book, ignores the roles played by his media buddies and himself in boosting Corsi’s bilge over Schecter’s truth, it makes me want to scream:

"The Obama Nation" was written and printed because major American publishing houses have decided that there’s money to be made in funding right-wing boutique imprints modeled after the Washington-based Regnery, which has made a small fortune stoking the hard-right furnace with combustible prose. Corsi’s book is published by Threshold Editions, a division of Simon & Schuster, which hired right-wing political operative Mary Matalin to edit the imprint. Random House has a similar imprint in Crown Forum, and Penguin Group USA has Sentinel. Their business model — and this is all about business — is predicated on the existence of an echo chamber of right-wing radio and television shows willing to promote these publishers’ products — however noxious. Beyond that is a network of conservative book clubs and organizations willing to place the sort of advance bulk orders for controversial books that will guarantee them a place on the bestseller lists.

Sorry, but that’s horsepuckey.

If it was all about business and the free market, Corsi’s book — propped up by the right-wing sugar daddies behind the bulk sales that create bogus "best sellers" — would never have been published. If it was all about business, then publishers would be seeing the huge ratings that Olbermann, Stewart and Colbert garner on TV (and sales at the bookstore) and want to cash in by getting more progressive books out onto the shelves.

No, this beastie is a product of wingnut welfare, as well as the publisher’s desire to placate the Republicans and McCain in particular — as our own David Neiwert noted, McCain’s campaign has allegedly gone round and threatened to punish any newspaper, radio or TV network that so much as mentioned The Real McCain, much less reviewed it.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is just one reason why I refer to the Republican Party and its "mainstream" press stenographers as The GOP/Media Complex.

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