Wanna write a bestseller? Just bash Obama

Several new anti-Obama books are flying off the shelves.

Published August 6, 2008 7:32PM (EDT)

Apparently, Obama-bashing is good for business.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported on a wave of recently released books critical of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama that are, so far, enjoying brisk sales.

The titles read like a TimeLife collection of Obama-hating favorites. "The Case Against Barack Obama," by National Review Online reporter David Freddoso, was just released, and Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality" also recently hit store shelves. Finally, former Bill Clinton advisor Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, coauthored "Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It." (This may qualify as the longest and most convoluted subtitle of all time. We're checking with Guinness.)

All three books have shown strong sales numbers so far and, as of this post, they're all in Amazon.com's list of its top 25 bestsellers. For insight as to why the books are selling so well, the AP turned to Peter Osnos, founder of PublicAffairs, the publisher of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's recent book. "Obama is a fresh subject -- it's all new ground," Osnos said. "McCain doesn't have the same kind of resonance, it's nothing in comparison, because you can still shape people's view of Obama, but it's way too late to shape their view of McCain."

Of course there may be another good reason for the books' success -- namely, a push from right-wing media. Sean Hannity has already had Corsi, Freddoso and Morris on his show on Fox News to discuss their work.

Similar books denouncing John Kerry appeared in August 2004. In fact, Corsi coauthored 2004's "Unfit for Command," the book that launched the infamous Swift Boat campaign that attacked Kerry's military service record.

Does this mean Obama is in for the same treatment Kerry received in 2004? Maybe. Or maybe not. When Corsi appeared on MSNBC Tuesday to promote his book, anchor Contessa Brewer challenged him about a copious list of factual errors in the book documented by liberal media watchdog Media Matters. At one point, Brewer challenged Corsi, asking why he should be given any credibility if he had made any such errors.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections Barack Obama John Mccain R-ariz.