Politico’s Ben Smith was beside himself yesterday. It turns out that Sarah Palin’s collaborator on her much anticipated memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” is – the article’s headline shouts – “Evangelical, partisan.”
God help us all!
“Hardball” host Chris Matthews was appalled that the former Alaska governor needed a collaborator at all. “What an embarrassment!” Matthews jeered when her book deal was first announced. “It’s one of these ‘I told you’ books that jocks do.”
The collaborator in question, Lynn Vincent, is the co-author of “Donkey Cons,” which argues, plausibly I might add, that “the true history of the Democratic Party is a tale of dishonesty, crime and corruption.”
Smith assures us that Vincent is a “devoted evangelical Christian,” but why that is relevant or how her religion comes into play, Smith leaves to our imagination.
Based on this humble bit of information, Smith is confident that “Palin’s choice of Vincent suggests that hers will be, emphatically, a partisan tract.”
Smith, to his credit, was onto then-Sen. Barack Obama’s literary mischief before the election. He and co-author Jeffrey Resner unearthed a case study written by Obama at Harvard and observed, “The temperate legal language doesn’t display the rhetorical heights that run through his memoir, published a few years later.”
That memoir, of course, is Obama’s acclaimed 1995 “Dreams From My Father.”
At this point, however, literary bloodhounds Smith and Resner seem to have lost the trail. If Smith wrote a word about my research into Bill Ayers’ involvement in the writing of “Dreams,” I have not been able to find it.
Nor have I found any comment from Smith on the blockbuster revelations in Christopher Andersen’s new best-seller, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of An American Marriage.”
Based on sources from within Hyde Park, Andersen writes that a “hopelessly blocked” Obama turned his “oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a truckload of notes,” over to Ayers for, let us say, some serious fine-tuning.
“In the end,” Andersen writes, “Ayers’ contribution to Barack’s ‘Dreams From My Father’ would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writings.”
It seems to me that having a collaborator who is a self-professed communist and unrepentant bomb thrower is more newsworthy than having a collaborator who is a Christian conservative with no known rap sheet.
It also struck me as newsworthy that Andersen had caught Obama in two huge fibs, namely that he had little knowledge of Ayers and had written his memoirs by his lonesome.
“I’ve written two books,” Obama said during the campaign. “I actually wrote them myself.”
“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” Obama famously said of Ayers in a debate with Hillary Clinton.
But what do I know. Of the scores of reviews of Andersen’s book I located, I was unable to find a single one that so much as mentioned Ayers’ involvement in the writing of “Dreams.”
Andersen dedicates six pages to unraveling the most consequential literary fraud of our time, and not even Chris Matthews mentioned it when interviewing Andersen.
Among Matthews’ questions to Andersen were hardballs like this: “What do you think it’s like up there in the beautiful upstairs of the White House?”
There could be some serious blowback from taking potshots at Lynn Vincent. And the media have so shielded themselves from the truth about Obama that they are likely to take them.