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.
Maria Sliwa, publicist for the book by Aaron Klein of World Net Daily fame was stunned at the outpouring of hatred she got from prominent reporters in replies to her announcement and accompanying offer of an advance copy of “The Manchurian President, Barack Obama’s Ties To Communists, Socialists and Other Anti American Extremists”. The book has triggered an unprecedentedly partisan response from reporters who are supposed to maintain a guise of neutrality.
What kind of response did Maria Sliwa get that stunned her so ? Consider the following.
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 quipped,”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 U.N. 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.”
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.
“The Manchurian President” seeks to alert the American people to what it sees as Obama’s stealth radicalism. In attempting to spike a legitimate news story of a non fiction best seller, the reporters who replied with such sophomoric hatred to Maria Sliwa have created yet another story. The reporters who were bravely quoted by Maria Sliwa have alerted the public to a powerful and overt bias that is conduct unbecoming for a journalist. We should all be concerned about this journalistic abdication of duty. Because it affects us all.