Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Conservative Press

A new book out, The Obama Nation, has shot up to number one on the charts and is causing quite a stir, not least because of its factual inaccuracies. Of course, this is not the first time its author Jerome Corsi has been in the spotlight. He...

...rose to prominence as the co-author of a book attacking 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, penned another tome asserting oil is a nearly infinite resource that continues to generate naturally, and posted a series of online comments through 2004, including suggestions that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a lesbian and Muslims worship Satan.

Not surprisingly the publisher is not concerned about pesky things like "facts."

Ordinarily, when an author or an editor discovers errors in a book's text, he or she arranges to correct them in the next printing. I've done this myself. But neither Corsi nor Matalin responded to e-mails from me asking whether they intended to correct any errors in The Obama Nation—it would be a miracle if there were none. In the Times, Corsi brushed aside the Media Matters critique because of its politics.

And why do these books get printed? Take a guess.

Quite the contrary. Simon & Schuster and the other big publishing houses have started conservative imprints, at arms' length and with noses held, because they recognize them to be a gold mine. The Obama Nation, the Times reports, will debut on its best-seller list this Sunday at No. 1. But part of the deal, clearly, is that conservative imprints aren't required to adhere to the same standards of truth as the grown-up divisions.

This is one of my major beefs with the modern conservative movement. Too many conservatives are wedded to the Republican party at the expense of their principles. Look at all the people who still support George Bush. A principled person - conservative or liberal - would care more about their political beliefs than the political party. Sadly, most people seem to treat it like sports. No matter how bad your team is, you still root for them.

If only people would remember that politics is not a game, but an activity that has far-reaching impacts on everyone. I know that's asking a lot, though. It's much easier to close your eyes and loudly cheer for your team.

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