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June 02, 2008

Shocker of the Day: Scottie McClellan's Book Proposal Defended Bush, Attacked the Liberal Media

But the trouble with such a book is that people with far more credibility and talent have been pumping them out for years.

The best Scottie McClellan could hope for with such a book -- assuming some soft-hearted conservative gave him a break and bothered publishing it all -- would be mostly heavily discounted "sales" basically given out freely to people who attended his mostly-skipped speeches at conservative conferences. "Sales," mostly at a bargain-basement practically-giving-them-away price, that would number in the tens of thousands... if it was a halfway decent book.

Which it probably wouldn't be.

But a purported takedown of the president... a tale of duplicity and impeachment-level crimes and misdemeanors from a "Bush insider"... well, that would sell like gangbusters on the left, wouldn't it?

Scott McClellan could not easily sell his book to conservatives, who basically considered him, at best, an amiable incompetent, far removed from any serious policy decisionmaking and with nothing terribly interesting to say. It's not that we wished him ill. It's just that we pretty much regarded him precisely the way the liberal media regarded him, as a nebbishy dunce who could barely string three talking points together, nevermind a whole book.

But change the audience, write the exact opposite of the book you first pitched to publishers, and you've got a chance at a bestseller.

[I]nstead of whacking the press for not digging deep enough into the Bush administration’s rationale for war, as he does in his memoir, the proposal dings the press for a left-wing bias. “Fairness is defined by the establishment media within the left-of-center boundaries they set,” he offers. “They defend their reporting as fair because both sides are covered. But, how fair can it be when it is within the context of the liberal slant of the reporting? And, while the reporting of the establishment media may be based on true statements and facts, is it an accurate picture of what is really happening?”…

“I will directly address myths that have been associated with [the president], some deliberately perpetuated by activist liberals and some created by the media, and look at the reality behind those myths,” he writes. His book, as published, would seem to indicate that after looking behind those myths, he apparently decided many of them were accurate.

McClellan also promises to “get into the influence of activist liberal reporters, like Keith Olbermann, Nation Editor David Corn, and Washington Post blogger Dan Froomkin, and activist liberal media personalities like Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington.”

Instead, he did a 50-minute turn with Olbermann on his MSNBC program Thursday night — an interview in which Olbermann described McClellan’s book as the “Rosetta Stone for understanding the last seven years of American history.”


McClellan promises plenty of material on the media and even offers a chapter on NBC correspondent David Gregory. “I will take a look at notable personalities in the White House Briefing Room, including David Gregory and Helen Thomas. I anticipate an entire chapter about the former,” he promises.

So, Scottie's book proposal promised an attack on Olbermann and a (qualified) defense of Bush. Instead, it was, um, "tweaked" to rip Bush and give Olbermann a Matthews-level thrill up his leg.

And it sold, of course.

Conservative publishing houses are very cheap, from what I've heard, and very focused on the bottom line. Liberal publishers -- by which I mean all other publishers not expressly conservatives -- have a lot more money to just give to liberal favorites whether or not their stupid books will sell more than a couple of dozen copies.

I guess we need a big, big publisher that can afford to pay shameless incompetents like Scottie McClellan sizable advances for books that won't sell. That will at least immunize them against the blandishments of the deep-pocketed liberal media machine.

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posted by Ace at 06:59 PM

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