Every presidential election year in the US is marked by (among many other unsavory things) the publication of hatchet-job books about the leading candidates.
The latest such work to grab some media attention is The Obama Nation (it’s a pun– get it?), written by one Jerome Corsi, who in 2004 coauthored a book about Democratic candidate John Kerry called Unfit for Command, which falsely accused Kerry of fabricating incidents of bravery in the Vietnam War. That book was part of a concerted effort by some on the political right to discredit Kerry’s war record– an effort the was denounced by, among others, his fellow Vietnam veteran John McCain.
Corsi’s Obama book will appear at the top of Sunday’s New York Times non-fiction best-seller list– which is strange, because much of it has been proven to be fiction. The book is full of errors and insinuations which– fortunately– are being widely reported in the media as well as by the Obama campaign (pdf).
Corsi is clearly a fringe character of the hard right. He has accused President Bush of wanting to merge the United States with Canada and Mexico. He is a 9/11 “truther” who has expounded his theories on Alex Jones’s conspiracy-minded radio show. (George Galloway has been among Jones’s other guests.)
So it’s rather strange that Threshold Editions, a branch of Simon & Schuster which published The Obama Nation, is headed by the supposedly respectable Republican Mary Matalin, who calls Corsi’s book “a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that.” Matalin formerly served as assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and frequently appears as a commentator on various TV news shows.
In contrast to his stand against the anti-Kerry smear campaign in 2004, McCain has not denounced Corsi’s latest book. When asked about it, he replied: “Gotta keep your sense of humor.” (His aides later claimed, unconvincingly, that he misheard the question.)
Most disturbing of all is the news that Corsi appeared as a guest last month on a white-supremacist, antisemitic radio show aptly named “The Political Cesspool.” And he is scheduled to appear on it again on Sunday, “joining a recent guest roster that has included Christian Identity pastor Pete Peters, Holocaust denier Mark Weber and former Klan boss David Duke.” Pat Buchanan also appeared on the program to flog his revisionist history of World War II, in which it was all Churchill’s fault.
(Hat tip: Adam Holland.)