Did publisher Simon & Schuster adjust its release schedule and rush into print a new book unflattering to the Bush administration to make an impact on the forthcoming mid-term elections? If the words of its author, David Kuo, are any indication, it's certainly a possibility.
In an interview today (Tuesday, October 17, 2006) on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Kuo was a guest in addition to prominent evangelical Chuck Colson. The suspicious timing of the release of Kuo's book was discussed. Here's the relevant exchange:
KUO: Maybe if I'm Laura Ingraham or Chuck Colson, I get to choose when my book comes out. As you guys know, someone else decides when that happens.
INGRAHAM: So you had no control over that. None.
KUO: If you look at my contract, when the book is released (sic), it's not when the book was released. All that being said (long 3-second pause) No, what I'm saying is, look - the contract that I signed was for the book to be released in early 2007.
INGRAHAM: So it was rushed to come out before the election by Simon & Schuster?
KUO: You're gonna have to talk to the publishers about that. That's just --
INGRAHAM: Well, we will. And 60 Minutes, obviously - The parent company of 60 Minutes owns Simon & Schuster, David.
KUO (sounding very flustered): But, Laura - But, Laura - and Chuck - if - look - now - but the thing is, guys -
(Simon & Schuster is billed as "a CBS company," and Sunday night, Kuo made a much-publicized appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes.)
Much of the media coverage appears to portray Kuo as a committed conservative (i.e., the 60 Minutes piece). But are you aware that Kuo, according to this 2005 Washington Post article, was once "a campaign volunteer for former representative Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) and an intern for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)"? (HT to kcvl at FreeRepublic.) At the end of his 60 Minutes profile, Kuo mocked his critics that would say, "He's really a liberal," but in that same WaPo profile, Kuo is quoted as saying, "I went to the left and to the right, and I've ended up pretty much in the center." Hmmm.
(David Kuo served in the White House for two-and-a-half years as a Special Assistant to the President, and then he was Deputy Director of the Faith-Based Initiative. He left the White House in 2003.)