The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Spin Masters: [Epic Subtitle Goes Here]’ By David Freddoso

Posted on | February 14, 2013 | 1 Comment

by Smitty

That the mainstream media is about as useful as a chocolate teapot isn’t news. When the Statism gets hot, the media melts. However, there is room on the bookshelf for a crisply written, well-referenced and indexed summary of just how bad it was in 2012. As time fades, it’s easy to forget that Benghazi, while a spectacular failure, was just a brick in a Berlin bulwark of baloney from these guys. Props to David Freddoso (whose Wikipedia page needs an update) for the excellent Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Reelect Barack Obama.

As an example of why this book stands out, here is a taste of the third chapter, “What Recovery?”:

Americans didn’t need much help from the media to realize during the 2012 campaign that the stimulus hadn’t been a big success, or that the recovery was not proceeding along the lines Obama promised. The press were slow even to pick up on the fact that nearly all of the improvement in the unemployment rate from its peak (at 10 percent) was the result of people leaving the work force, not of job creation keeping up with population growth. But most Americans probably still aren’t aware of the many ways in which the American job market is fundamentally changing during the Obama recovery–nearly all of them for the worse. Those stories weren’t really told. (p39)

Freddoso then proceeds to enumerate some ‘story ideas’ that a competent, non-partisan media would have offered, or, dare I say personally, would have been rammed home were Obama a Republican incumbent in the same economic position:

  • Obama’s “Gray Jobs” Recovery–younger workers are no’ doing so weel.
  • Obama’s Low-Wage Jobs Recovery–what job growth there has been for younger workers is for bottom feeders.
  • Obama’s Part-Time Jobs Recovery–as blogged here => Mini-Jobs Blow.
  • Obama Doesn’t Learn from Mistakes–BHO truly is to jobs what Al Gore is to weather.
  • The Disappearing Workers–Elaborating upon the quotation above, having people bail out of the economy once their unemployment expires goes a long way toward propping up the numbers.
  • Dirty Fuels Drive the “Obama Recovery”
  • Obama has tried to take some credit for the gas part of this fossile fuel bonanza–the more environmentally friendly part. But he spends a lot more time demonizing oil companies that are currently building America’s economic future–the ones that are hiring people to wages well above the national average and making the Obama recovery look a lot better than it otherwise would. (p56)

  • Amid New Union Push, Right-to-Work States Gain an Edge–A union is a corporation without a product, and the laws of Economics are stubbornly resistant to demagoguery.

To criticize something of this fine little volume, the closing chapter “Fighting Back With Good Ideas”, seems casually optimistic: “Good ideas will ultimately trump any apparent structural advantage that either political party enjoys today.” (p211). Sorry, David: this is not a chess match. The election itself was no intellectual exercise, as noted by the mighty Iowahawk:


Thus, good ideas are necessary, but not sufficient. The common sense, intellectual appeal of conservativism has to be backed up with solid cultural moves, or the Left’s Gustav Le Bon plays will keep on being Lucy van Pelt holding a football to the GOP Charlie Brown of the day.

The conservative media strategy needs a thorough re-work across the culture. As Instapundit suggests, picking up some magazine properties would make some sense. I, for one, would like some relief from the shameless acts of hooverism on the local news.

In summary, Freddoso’s latest outing is quite a worthy addition to any respectably conservative book collection. Thanks, David!

a cheap shot at Stacy McCain

“What should I write?”
“Take a cheap shot at McCain.”
“OK: `Smitty, I can’t believe you’re still working w/that jackass. (Oh, hi, Stacy.)`–David Freddoso”

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/RubySlipperblog Mary Sue

    Nice review Smitty. I read the book though I wasn’t lucky enough to snag an autographed copy.