If I'm such a damned fascinating subject, offer me 40 cents a word and I'll cheerfully deliver 1,000 words within 24 hours. (Leaving me plenty of time to goof off. Tuesday's 900-word column for The American Spectator was written in less than four hours.)
Nevertheless, publishers eschew this eliminate-the-middle-man efficiency, which brings us back to the subject of Barrett Brown, spokesman for the Godless Coalition. Yesterday I noted that Brown was promising to add a chapter about me to his forthcoming book, which I jokingly suggested he rename People That Barrett Brown Doesn't Like (Mainly Jews).
Today I received a courteous e-mail from Brown explaining that the context of his proposed chapter on me "involves the article you composed in 2002 regarding Jonathan Farley, as well as the activities in which you were otherwise engaged at the time in which you wrote that particular piece." To which I replied:
Thank you for the courtesy, sir. My first response was, "Jonathan Farley? Who is Jonathan Farley?" Then I looked it up and recognized him as the Vanderbilt University professor with the Che Guevara poster who waged a campaign to rename Confederate Memorial Hall, a controversy I reported about.Honest commerce ought not be the grounds for personal animosity, and I try to be empathetic toward those who are paid to demonize me.
Shall I surmise the "otherwise engaged" as indicative of your belief that my reporting was not entirely objective? If I succeed in my fundraising drive to go to Pasadena to cover the BCS championship, do you suppose that I'll get the score wrong or misspell the players' names?
You are yourself an ax-grinder with a cause, Mr. Barrett. If your publisher wishes to provide you with the opportunity to advance that cause at my expense, that would be an interesting transaction, although I doubt it will prove very lucrative for either of you.
The SPLC's Heidi Beirich has practically made a career of writing about what a terrible person I am, yet I've promised her that we'll get together and sing karaoke next time I visit Montgomery to see my kin. Dr. Beirich has my sympathy because, evidently unable to obtain any respectable employment, she is compelled by misfortune to work for that treacherous bastard Morris Dees.
Here's the thing: Dees runs a tax-exempt non-profit, which was started with a mailing list of 1972 McGovern campaign contributors. He has amassed a $150 million endowment by convincing elderly liberals that, unless they send a check to the SPLC today, the brownshirts will be goose-stepping down Main Street tomorrow. It's a dishonest racket, and Dees gets away with such a scam only because his
If Brown and his publisher think they're going to make a profit by horning in on the SPLC's fearmongering racket, let them ask Max Blumenthal's publisher how much profit they've made from his book Republican Gomorrah. I just noticed a review of Blumenthal's book by . . . wait for it . . . Frank Schaeffer:
Blumenthal first came to my attention when he was doing his in-depth reporting on Sarah Palin. He was a guest on a TV program I was on too. There was something accomplished and in depth about the quality of his reporting on religion that I hadn't seen from other progressive sources. I've been following his work since. . . .The market for this kind of Theocratic Hate Menace stuff is already glutted, yet it seems that publishers can't get enough of it. People are standing in line to buy Sarah Palin's bestseller, while the effort to cash in on anti-Palin sentiment yields . . . what? MSNBC?
No one else has ever investigated this subject with as much insight into the psychological sickness that is the basis of the Religious right's power to delude other people who are also needy and unstable.
In another time and place the despicable (and sometimes tragic figures) Blumenthal describes would be the leaders of, or the participants in, local lynch mobs, or the followers of the Ku Klux Klan. But today figures such as James Dobson, Pat Robertson, (the late) Jerry Falwell, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin have led a resentment-driven second American revolution, not just against Democrats and progressives but against the United States of America itself. . . .
Barrett Brown's book briefly summarized: Stuff people have written or said on TV that pisses me off.
Good luck with selling that. It's still a free country and people have the right to waste their money however they see fit. Hitting my tip jar to send me to Pasadena wouldn't be a total waste -- I guarantee the reporting will be more interesting than anything Max Blumenthal has ever written -- but still I've got those Empty Tip-Jar Blues.