Let me begin by saying that this is the first book of this kind that I have read. My husband reads political books – usually leaning far to the right – and shares passages with me, sparking humorous and often irate discussions for the rest of the evening. But my personal experience with political writing is limited to what I read in the paper.
Dick Morris, the former campaign advisor to President Clinton and Trent Lott and a current analyst for Fox News, has written a book that targets those entities he considers to be detrimental to America. Much of the first half of the book deals with the war on terror and all those who stand in the way of winning it. The second half is a diatribe on corruption’s influence in our country, specifically in elections, tobacco settlements, and nursing homes. Yes, it’s an odd assortment that most authors wouldn’t consider lumping into one book, but the information is all tied together under the subtitle of the book: Traitors, Crooks & Obstructionists in American Politics, Media & Business.
He levels criticism heavily at the media, specifically the New York Times and Hollywood celebrities, and makes a pretty convincing argument that Clinton was a total failure as a Commander in Chief, a bold statement considering his role in the Clinton administration. Morris provides startling and sad commentary on the corruption of Congress, state governors, and the nursing homes we expect to take care of our aging parents and grandparents. If his primary goal in writing this book was to make readers think, mission accomplished.
Morris spent a considerable amount of time researching this book and supports his arguments with statistics, direct quotes, and enough references to satisfy even the most demanding of English professors. He has fifty-three pages of endnotes to back him up. For example, in the chapter dealing with the New York Times, entitled “The New New York Times: All the News that Fits, They Print,” he spends a great deal of time talking about the skewed polling procedures of the organization, a fact that is highly disturbing when one thinks about how many other print and television news groups rely on those polls. But this isn’t just his opinion; he actually provides the questions asked, the dates of the polls, and how the subsequent articles dealing with the results misrepresented the information gathered.
While the book is undoubtedly well-researched, it is also biased. Two people can look at the same data and come up with two different conclusions about what it means. Readers should keep this in mind as they read. There is a lot of information to digest, but it goes pretty quickly. All in all, this was an enlightening read that has sparked my interest in the subject. But maybe next time I’ll try to pick a book from the Democrat’s perspective, if only to prove to myself that bias comes from both sides.