From Publishers Weekly
Columnist Huffington unleashes her pen on the far-right cowboys and lunatics who, she says, are running the Republican asylum and—with the media's help—threatening global safety, American security, health care and civil liberties. Her contribution to ongoing political debates offers well-rehearsed analyses parsing right-wing spin on the Iraq War, the justification for torture, global warming, immigration, stem cell research and health-care reform. Huffington's sallies have no trouble finding the chinks in the armor of the Bush administration, neocons like Bill Kristol or right-wing media stalwarts like Ann Coulter. While this is a serviceable election-year playbook, Huffington's populist stance may strike some as shaky given her relationship with the media she decries (she lambastes a television show for giving Ann Coulter a platform without adequately accounting for her own presence on the same program). Moreover, her distinction between the current radical right-wing leadership and Ronald Reagan's GOP fails to account for the strong continuity in terms of policies and personnel and has more rhetorical appeal than historical merit. (May)
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Political blogger Huffington worries about the lingering aftereffects of the Bush administration’s extreme conservatism. How, she asks, did the nation get to the point where torture is acceptable, intelligent design carries as much weight as evolution, and a war waged on dubious charges of weapons of mass destruction are met with only mild challenge? The primary culprit is the press—not the “Fox News pseudo-newsmen and talk radio blowhards” but traditional media, Huffington asserts. Bending over backwards to avoid being labeled liberal and enamored of the image of objectivity, the traditional media insists on defining two sides to every issue and locating sources on the Left and the Right in search of balance. Huffington insists there are no two sides to some issues: the need for universal health insurance, the consequences of global warming, and the misguided decision to go to war in Iraq. She lambastes the conceit of objectivity that presents both sides and leaves judgment to readers and listeners while failing to give them enough hard facts. Among the targets of her criticism: Tim Russert of Meet the Press, Judith Miller of the New York Times, and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. She offers transcripts of news shows, highlighting press failures to ask hard questions or to follow up on weak and nonresponsive answers. Huffington issues a challenge to stand up to bullying by extremists and regain a sense of fairness and decency in the nation. --Vanessa Bush