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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Can a book be a weapon of political assassination?

Four years after Unfit for Command helped derail John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, Jerome Corsi makes another sally with Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, and the New York Times gives it page one coverage.

Jim Rutenberg and Julie Bosman call the book the latest example of "an effective and favored delivery system for political attacks." They also home in on the lack of time that was given for proper fact checking prior to publication.

Various websites -- and over 200 reader reviews on, ranging from rapturous to derisive -- are discussing the book. A common observation is that several of the author's accusations, for instance that Obama has still to say whether he stopped using drugs after college, "are unsubstantiated, misleading or inaccurate."

Threshold publisher Mary Matalin insists that Obama Nation "was not designed to be, and does not set out to be, a political book," calling it, rather, "a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that." (As we say in New Zealand, "Yeah, right.") Author Corsi describes his agenda in the simplest terms possible: "The goal is to defeat Obama. I don't want Obama to be in office."

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