(updated below - Update II)
My new book, Great American Hypocrites, will be released tomorrow. Much of my time and focus this week will be devoted to various interviews and events surrounding the book. Amazon and other online booksellers now have the book ready to ship, and virtually all bookstores, beginning tomorrow, will have it available as well, including independent bookstores (and you can find the nearest independent bookstore here).
There are several new, interesting reviews of the book which are worth reading in their own right, including from:
- Digby, who will be reviewing the book in a series this week
- Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon
- Daily Kos (including with an interview conducted by Joan McCarter)
I will be on the Rachel Maddow Show, in studio, tonight at 7:20 p.m. EST. Live audio feed and local listings can be found here. Also tonight, at 11:00 p.m. EST, I'll be in studio for the Alan Colmes Show. Live audio feed and local listings can be found here.
Tomorrow morning, I will be in studio for Democracy Now with Amy Goodman at roughly 8:40 a.m. Live audio feed and local station listings are here. And a couple of days ago, I was interviewed by AntiWar Radio's Scott Horton, always a superb interviewer, about the book as well as matters concerning Mukasey and John Yoo. That can be heard here.
Confirmed public events this week including a discussion this Wednesday, April 16, at 7:00 p.m. at Olsson's Bookstore in Dupont Circle, Washington DC. That will be followed by an event jointly hosted by FDL, Drinking Liberally and The Seminal at the 17th Street Cafe. The following night, Thursday April 17, I'll be speaking at the University of Maryland-College Park, at 6:30 p.m. I will be at the FDL Book Salon for an online discussion of the book this Sunday, April 19 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Finally, an excerpt of the book, regarding the media marketing package for John McCain, was published last week by The Huffington Post, here. Other excerpts will be running throughout this week and next week in various venues.
I will try to maintain normal blogging activities this week, but it may be difficult. Feel free to use the comment section of posts relating to the book for discussion of whatever topics merit discussion. Purchasing the book online now -- either by itself or packaged with the newly released paperback of my last book, A Tragic Legacy -- means that the book will ship immediately, and it will be available in all bookstores beginning tomorrow.
UPDATE: When I'm traveling and staying in hotels, as I have been the last several days, I'm subjected to far more television news programs than normal. In many respects, this week is an ideal one for the book's release, as the content of "political news" over the last week or so illustrates quite vividly several of the book's themes.
There was virtually no discussion, at least on any of the news shows to which I was exposed, of the obviously consequential revelations of the President's direct involvement in the creation of America's torture regime. Instead, the vast bulk of attention was paid to depicting Barack Obama as an effete, elitist, deceptive enemy of the Regular Guy -- exactly the way that every national Democratic politician in recent memory has inevitably been depicted (including Hillary Clinton, particularly when the media and the Right thought last year that she would be the nominee).
Our elections are dominated by the same tired personality script, trotted out over and over and over. Democrats and liberals -- no matter how poor their upbringing, no matter how self-made they are, no matter how egalitarian their policies -- are the freakish, out-of-touch elitists who despise the values of the Regular Americans. Right-wing leaders -- no matter how extravagantly rich they are by virtue of other people's money, no matter how insulated their lives are, no matter how indifferent their policies are to the vast rich/poor gap -- are the normal, salt-of-the-earth Regular Folk. These petty, cliched storylines drown out every meaningful consideration and dictate our election outcomes, and they are deployed automatically.
It doesn't matter what the candidates actually say or do. The establishment press just waits for the right episode and then reflexively and eagerly fills in the gaps in the shallow script -- the script with which they are intimately familiar and which serves as their only framework for talking about and understanding political disputes.
UPDATE II: The Democracy Now segment has been re-scheduled from tomorrow for a later day this week, which I'll post once it's confirmed.
On a note somewhat related to all of the above issues, on Friday I recorded a BloggingheadsTV session with Megan McArdle of The Atlantic, which can be viewed here. The issues we covered were much narrower in scope than the exchange we had last week. The discussion principally focused on the question of whether journalists and media companies have any obligations or duties besides acting to maximize their ratings and profits.