LA Times columnist Tim Rutten explains right-wing books:
"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.
The unspoken assumption beneath this reasoning is that it's impossible for the right wing to be honest and fair. They must smear their opponents to succeed, thus they build "echo chambers" that promote their ideas to unsuspecting Americans.
You'll note that there is never any talk of "left-wing" publishers. In America left-wing publishers are called publishers, just as left-wing media are called the media. The left is considered the norm, the uncontroversial standard against which all lesser ideas are judged.
Conservative book clubs are actually willing to place advance orders on controversial books. Imagine such a thing happening in America! Publishers that don't conform to PC standards like civilized people who have been trained in universities to think acceptable thoughts. And these right-wing publishers crank out these controversial books just to make money because controversy sells.
To Mr. Rutten there is something wrong with the profits these firms make. There must be because they're right-wing. Only the liberal-left is in possession of truth and morality. Only the liberal-left can be trusted with something as important as book publishing.
In Mr. Rutten's perfect world, there would be no "controversial books." The left would make its case and that would be the end of the argument. Maybe he would be happier working at Pravda. Or is the Los Angeles Times close enough?
PrestoPundit explains the importance of The Obama Nation and books like it.
Right wingers who haven't read the book but who are trashing it based on misleading information they've gotten via the Obama campaign need to take a step back and read the book. They'll learn much more about Obama reading the book than they've ever learned about Obama combing through the NY Times and Washington Post for the last two years. Really. Much, much more.
The only thing that would have come close for content on the life of Obama is to have been a regular reader of PrestoPundit. And if you're a PrestoPundit reader, you'll know that Corsi is routinely and overwhelmingly on track, and only rarely fumbles. A very good record when your subject is the life of someone as secretive and dishonest as Barack Obama.
One reason Corsi's account of Obama seems so relatively complete to me -- beyond his own extensive reporting -- is perhaps because Corsi has been familiar PrestoPundit and my Obama postings, and he's clearly combed through this and many other blogs for links and information about Obama. Corsi is conversant with what the smartest bloggers have discovered in the Chicago papers and from international sources -- as well as in Obama's own memoir.
These "right-wing" books have value because left-wing publishers and left-wing media, better known as the publishing industry and the media, cannot be depended upon to report the truth about Obama or to explore anything remotely controversial about "the One." If it were up to the media, there would be nothing but puff pieces and bland stories all the way up to Obama's coronation day.
It seems that the only lesson the left learned from the 2004 election is that they must do everything they can to delegitimize right-wing propaganda. The Swift Boat attack traumatized the Democrats. The lesson they should have drawn is that they need to field a better candidate; he needn't be John Wayne, but perhaps they could find a candidate who didn't throw away his medals and compare our troops to Genghis Khan. Is that so much to ask?
Yes, it is too much to ask of a radicalized party, a party that has moved so far left in the last 40 years that Joseph Lieberman is now reviled. The "Scoop Jackson Democrats" are a distant, fading memory.
Remember, being a leftist means never, ever learning from your mistakes. Why learn when you can just blame the right wing and everyone you know will nod in smug moral approval?