The GOP Race for the Presidency: The greatest Book-Selling Scam ever

December 9, 2011

The race to the GOP nomination has very little to do with actually winning the Presidency, and much more to do with selling books. Just about every GOP contender has a new book, or books out, as well as other Republicans connected with the GOP race.

A quick rundown:

Newt Gingrich: “The Crater” & “A Nation Like No Other”

Callista Gingrich: “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Mitt Romney: “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness”

Rick Perry: “Fed Up”

Herman Cain: “This Is Herman Cain! My Journey To The White House”

Donald Trump: “Time to Get Tough”

Ron Paul: “Ron Paul Family Cookbook”

Michele Bachmann: “Core of Conviction”

President Barack Obama had success weaving his books – including “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” – into his 2008 run for President. But the Republicans have taken it one step further, with all of them incorporating book signings into their campaigns.

Basically, the GOP field and assorted hangers ons and spouses, have used the Republican Presidential race  as a way to sell books and line their pockets. George Will - “Mr. Cain, who used this as a book tour, in a fundamentally disrespectful approach to the selection of presidents.” – hit the nail on the head regarding Cain. But the fact is, all the candidates are doing it.

This isn’t a political campaign any longer for the GOP. It’s a book-selling scam.

–WKW

“Blowing Smoke” Blows Away Right-Wing Narratives

October 19, 2010

Following the election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States, writer Michael Wolraich surveyed the political aftermath and came to a simple conclusion – the Right-Wing has gone utterly mad.

Wolrich’s new book “Blowing Smoke” (longer title: “Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual”) takes an in-depth look at what Wolraich calls “Persecution Politics,” and how the right-wing has worked overtime for years to create a brotherhood of victimhood for Conservatives.

“There’s a reason that only one percent of Tea Party supporters are black and only 41 percent believe that Obama was born in the United States. For over three decades, the right wing has been developing a powerful narrative according to which an alliance of liberal elites, racial minorities, and other marginal groups seek to persecute white, Christian conservatives,” writes Wolraich, founder of the popular blog “Dagblog”.

[Read more]

Good bye, Jon Swift

March 3, 2010

Blogger Jon Swift died on Feb. 27. His mother left this comment on his blog:

I don’t know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join “Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!” It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)

Jon/Al was the best political satirist on the Internet, bar none. His wit and intelligence made his blog a must-read for so many of us. I was fortunate enough to at least share several e-mails with him, and he was always nothing but friendly, kind and supportive. If I needed a favor from him, he came through. If I needed advice, he came through. That’s what he did. He came through. For me and many, many others, both in life and on the blogosphere.

I’m at a loss. And so is everyone who took in his brilliance. My deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones. We all grieve with you. We all lost someone incredibly special.

Thank you, Jon Swift.

Thank you, Al Weisel.

–WKW

QOTD: Proudly and vainly

February 6, 2010

“As a sometimes hoaxster himself, Wolfrum would know to be dubious of any tips, distrustful of any information fed his way. If a dubious sources said X, he would print Y. And would do it proudly and vainly. That was his nature. That was his character.”

– From “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans,” now available at Amazon.com for $1.63. Or $138.82.

–WKW

Raquel Arantes & Simone Bischoff – Genius I know

January 3, 2010

Quite often, I sit around the house reflecting on my own genius. These are times of focused contemplation. They are also times that usually take, say, 42 seconds or so.

Because all I need to do is look toward my family to see true genius. Take for instance my Mother-in-Law Raquel Arantes and my cousin Simone Bischoff.

Raquel is an extraordinarily gifted artist, and has developed a unique tool that is making the wine world swoon. Her Wine Aerator manages to be a breakthrough in a business as old as time itself.
[Read more]

Congratulations to Dan Mirvish, Eitan Gorlin on release of Martin Eisenstadt book

October 27, 2009

When I began looking into one “M. Thomas Eisenstadt” last May, part of me was irritated about how the hoax was screwing with public discourse. But as time went on, that feeling changed. And that’s because Eisenstadt changed, and not just the first name.

You see, Eisenstadt creators Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin started the Martin Eisenstadt hoax as a way to try to create a character that would appeal to sit-com producers. As time, and the 2008 Presidential election moved forward, however, the pair began to take more pride and interest in mocking political pundits around the nation. In a classic quote, Mirvish gave his opinion of these oft-worthless talking heads:

“But the other thing is that the 24 hour news cycle goes so fast and they really – they don’t always check and then the pundits they do have on, they are identified as “Republican strategist” or “Democratic strategist” and their only strategy seems to be picking out the red M&Ms at the green room on HARDBALL. Are these people any more qualified than the fake pundit we developed?”

By the time “Eisenstadt” hoaxed MSNBC and many others, my opinion was that any hoax they perpetrated was much more the fault of the media that slurped them up. After all, several months before, I had outed him as a hoax, so the third entry for a Google search on the fake pundit screamed out that he was a hoax.

As much as that, a quick scan of Eisenstadt’s “work” showed very clearly that the whole thing was satire. They were as subtle as a punch in the face. But still, their stories got passed along by the media. Hell, even after they took credit as the source of the “Sarah Palin doesn’t know if Africa is a country or continent” report, and the New York Times outed the pair to millions, they still hoaxed people.

The best, by far, was Time Magazine. In January, Time ran a piece proclaiming that Eisenstadt was a hoax, but one “2008′s Top Fleeting Celebrities.” Then, in May, Time ran a story about the “Twitterati” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – including tweets from “McCain Advisor Martin Eisenstadt.”

I got to meet Dan and Eitan after the whole story broke last December. I found them to be intelligent, thoughtful, and outrageously funny guys. So, knowing that they had a book coming out, I helped them out with some PR and satirical stories on them. Do I feel I crossed a line and made myself part of their story, thus destroying my journalism work on the pair? Absolutely not. In May 2008, I declared Eisenstadt as a hoax, and spent the next several months trying to warn bloggers and the media. So 18 months later, I feel confident I did my job. If you didn’t know that Eisenstadt was a hoax, it wasn’t a result of my lack of trying.

Today, their book – “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans” – hits the book stores. I want to congratulate Dan and Eitan on their achievement. And thus far, the reviews have been fantastic:

“Essential reading for all political junkies.” – Ken Silverstein, Harpers

“Consistently funny…I intend it as real praise when I say that ‘I Am Martin Eisenstadt’ is the best fake memoir of the campaign season.” – Atlantic Monthly Sr. Editor Joshua Green in The Washington Monthly

“What Stephen Colbert is to Bill O’Reilly, Martin Eisenstadt is to countless political pundits. Hilarious…biting commentary on Washington, DC.” – Jeremy Jacobs, Politics Magazine

And on CNN, Howard Kurtz talked up the pair and their book:

The book has been released in paperback, and I hope you consider purchasing it. And I don’t just say that because I’m included in the book as “Wolfrum, the supposed golf blogger based in Brazil, who since May 2008 has been lobbing absurd online accusations against me?”

Mostly, I just want to congratulate Dan and Eitan. Because while I feel good about the work I did in outing the hoax, they did an even better job in outing media pundits as much more serious imposters.

–WKW

Rush Limbaugh endorses Martin Eisenstadt’s new book – “Way better than the Bible”

October 26, 2009

Today on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh praised the new book by Martin Eisenstadt, “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.”

Limbaugh spoke for more than an hour about the book, giving it extremely high praise.

“This Eisenstadt, he has written the best book on politics I’ve ever read,” said Limbaugh. “This book is way, way better than the Bible. You can quote me, Rush Limbaugh, on that.”

Limbaugh went on to say that the book has changed his life, and he demanded all his followers to buy it, immediately.

“If you don’t buy ‘I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.,’ then you are clearly not the type of person I want listening to my show,” said Limbaugh. Take my word for it – I, Rush Limbaugh, love this book.”

“I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans,” will be available in bookstores tomorrow, Oct. 27.

Update: Several readers have come forward to let me know that I’ve been hoaxed and that Limbaugh said no such thing. Regardless, I don’t care if these quotes are made up. I know Limbaugh thinks it.

–WKW

Martin Eisenstadt mocks me? Fine, I’ll put his book online

October 24, 2009

As the world’s foremost expert on Martin Eisenstadt, I’ve done quite a bit of snooping around to learn more about his upcoming book, “One Man’s Wildly Inapproriate Adventures with the Last Republicans.”

Now, first of all, the title of the book is much better than what it was originally: “One Man’s Barely Legal Adventures with the Last Republicans” (seriously).

Secondly, using my vast Internet detective skills, I found some of the pre-released book. As normal, Eisenstadt is fairly clueless and left it hanging around his site. And let me tell you, this book could be a political bombshell, as it names name: Sarah Palin, Rachael Ray, the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Bobby Jindal, Dick Cheney to name a few.

Of course, Eisenstadt got a shot in at me: “And who is this “Wolfrum,” the supposed golf blogger based in Brazil, who since May 2008 has been lobbing absurd online accusations against me?”

Find out more about the book and about Martin Eisenstadt’s bizarre past by clicking here (note, it’s a PDF). Of course, the book comes out on Tuesday. I’m hoping to have the whole book online by then, however.

–WKW

No one expects a blogaround: Climbing the highest mountain edition

April 21, 2009

When you really believe in what you’re doing, no mountain is too high.

  • Witchy Woman: Witchy’s cousin, Genevieve Roth is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for victims of sexual violence in the Congo and Uganda. Let’s support her.
  • The Other Side of Sixty: Talking with Ansa, the Wonder Dog.
  • The View from the Docks: Christopher Buckley has a talent for tortured logical fallacies.
  • bastard.logic: Canadian Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff – self-absorbed torture apologist wanker.
  • The Bottom of Heaven: Examining Nikky Finney’s “The Blackened Alphabet.”
  • Phillip Barron: M and He celebrate 8 wonderful years.
  • –WKW

    America recoils in disgust as Bill O’Reilly gets “his pipe up” in bold, fresh, piece of crap audio book

    March 25, 2009

    Submitted with some slight retching:

    –WKW

    George W. Bush unveils marketing plan for new book

    March 19, 2009

    George W. Bush – famed for starting two open-ended wars and leaving in the U.S. economy in complete shambles – has announced he will be penning a book tentatively called “Decision Points.”

    Included in the announcement was the marketing strategy for the new book. The marketing strategy will be multi-layered, leading up to it’s anticipated release in 2010 by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. The strategy includes:

    1. Check if Blackwater has any writers on their staff and privatize the authorship of the book.
    2. Create an early buzz for the book and build a sense of anticipation. Have Cheney go on Meet the Press and state that not buying the book would almost assuredly be fatal. Have other surrogates go on other news shows pushing the talking point that if people don’t buy the book here, terrorists will come here and read it to them. Keep this going non-stop for six months, while denying it’s actually happening.
    3. Have Bush take a six-month vacation at the Ranch.
    4. Divert 90 percent of publicity budget to the audio book. Get Cheney back on “Meet the Press” to tell the public that the real threat will come if they don’t listen to the book.
    5. Have Bush wear really tight pants, thus winning the endorsements of media types like Chris Matthews.
    6. Have Bush do just one interview prior to publication, with Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who is reportedly quite populist.
    7. Cover Crown Publishing Group’s headquarters with kindling and old newspapers and douse with gasoline. Shoot flaming arrows at it.
    8. Have the President watch disinterestedly as Crown Publishing Group burns to the ground just prior to the final release of the book. Say there was no way anyone could have anticipated it and blame liberals. Congratulate printers on a job well done. Salt the Earth.
    9. Decide to abandon the project and leave the whole thing for some one else to deal with.

    –WKW

    No one expects a blogaround – Let’s go Galt Edition II

    March 12, 2009

    Brave U.S. patriots, a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” under their arms, are ready to go John Galt and bring this nation to their knees. By tipping less. That’ll show poor people.

    –WKW

    Read any good books lately? No, you haven’t

    March 9, 2009

    While I readily admit that I’ve been in a slump when it comes to reading books (I have about four I’ve started and haven’t made much headway on), I will say that I don’t lie about the books I have read. For the most part:

    George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four comes top in a poll of the UK’s guilty reading secrets. Asked if they had ever claimed to read a book when they had not, 65% of respondents said yes and 42% said they had falsely claimed to have read Orwell’s classic in order to impress. This is followed by Tolstoy’s War and Peace (31%), James Joyce’s Ulysses (25%) and the Bible (24%).

    The poll, conducted to tie in with World Book Day today, also reveals that many of us are impatient readers – we skip to the end – and are not particularly bothered about how we treat the actual book – we turn the page to keep our place.

    Charlie Booker of The Guardian had a good take on this phenomena:

    Which begs the question: who the hell earnestly believes that claiming to have read the Bible from beginning to end is going to get them laid? Mention your love of the New Testament on a date and you might as well stick a fork in your face and start screaming about ghosts. Potential partners who genuinely adore reading the Bible on a daily basis traditionally don’t mention it until later, when they’ve invited you back to their place to unexpectedly nailgun your hand to the wall while loudly reciting a selection of their favourite parables from memory.

    –WKW

    Five years of Barkings and Woofing from a true Mustang

    November 8, 2008

    There are Mavericks and there are Mustangs. And while self-described Mavericks are at home licking their wounds, Mustang Bobby is going stronger than ever.

    Head on over to Bark Bark Woof Woof, which is celebrating its fifth birthday, and give Mustang Bobby some deserved praise. He’s one of the folks on these Interwebtubes that I consider a friend, and he’s just an exceptional writer. Good work, MB. I look forward to reading and enjoying your work for years to come.

    Bill

    ShakesQuill now open for your submissions and more

    July 16, 2008

    One of the things that made Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” such a charming film was how Burton captured a real sense of the gloriously eclectic camaraderie with Wood and his gloriously eclectic followers. That sense of community made a delicious backdrop to an already irresistible protagonist.

    It is with this in mind that we announce the Grand Opening of ShakesQuill. As the sign says, it will be a place for “poetry, prose, vim, vinegar, whatever we want.”

    ShakesQuill will be a place where those of us who aspire to fiction or other forms of writing can go and feel at home. And a place where literary lovers can love. And a place poetry, errr, practicers can practice. And such.

    For myself, please note the above paragraph for the work I need as I pursue the first real challenge of my writing career. Just know that I enter this completely dedicated to making the first sustained effort of writing fiction and learning how to write in my life. And I will show the same dedication to the running of the site. Melissa McEwan has set a high standard for Shakesville and we plan on striving to maintain the spirit of community that thrives among Shakers.

    The QCoFM herself will be a contributor, and Melissa has a short story there now which currently makes up our entire story inventory, But soon, soon, I say you will be seeing the short stories, poems, screenplays and novels in various stages of production, advice, questions, book reviews, and other weekly and daily features from our other current contributors: Maurinsky, Chet Scoville, Mustang Bobby, Portly Dyke and Space Cowboy. With more sure to come.

    Because everyone is encouraged to get involved at ShakesQuill. Anyone not interested in being a full-time contributor can submit items to me at wkwolfrum@gmail(dot)com. There is also a link available on the Front-page of ShakesQuill.

    As for commenting at ShakesQuill, we will be using Disqus as we use at Shakesville. Should anyone have any trouble commenting, please let me know.

    Right now at ShakesQuill we have up a daily and a weekly feature. First, “The Word of the Day” which will feature a new word, either real or slang, with a definition and usage. And, wow, let me tell you, if someone wanted to take charge of that, I’d be pretty excited. The first one can be found here.

    We also have our first Reader-Created Story up. This will be a weekly feature that I think should catch on and become the greatest thing since sliced bread. And sliced bread was a pretty great thing, let me add. Find out the stringent (not) rules and regulations by clicking here, and then lets see if you put enough Shakers in a thread if they can produce Hamlet.

    We also will have grammar posts. Chet Scoville will share some of his skills with us any if any of you have a love of grammar, let me know. If we had 10 people posting about grammar, that would be wonderful. But, you know, two or three will do, if need be.

    Basically, anything under the literary sun will shine at ShakesQuill. We’re open to all types of forms of expression, and I hope it will attract a wide array of different attitudes and writing styles and opinions. And I hope there will be more writers like me. Writers that are ready to take that next step but need a little push. ShakesQuill.com will be that push, I believe.

    Finally, what I want from ShakesQuill is this – for it to be a safe place to share ideas, thoughts and more with other writers, with all of us at varying stages and interest levels. Trolls getting through will be deleted without comment. I want ShakesQuill to be a place where everyone can get the opportunity to learn, and to become dedicated or re-dedicated to fiction or other creative mediums.

    So take a break from the political debate and indulge in a good read over at Shakesquill, which is at http://shakesquill.blogspot.com.

    Feel free to leave any questions you have in comments.

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