Is the New York Times book review truly a haven of centrism and neutrality? Lara Takenaga talked to Book Review editor Pamela Paul (Times Book Review editor since 2013) and section staffers Gregory Cowles and Barry Gewen. The piece was posted online in October 2018 but not printed until this week: “‘Political Switzerland’ for Books.” The “Switzerland” quip is from Paul, referring to the section's supposed ideological objectivity and neutrality. But a glance at any Times’ book review section (from either before or after Paul’s editorship) renders that assertion laughable.
With much fanfare from the Associated Press and the CNN Public Relations team — err, Media team, it was announced Thursday that CNN chief White House correspondent, carnival barker, and pompous newsman Jim Acosta will be releasing a book on June 11 entitled The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America. Yes, really.
Unfortunately, actress Alyssa Milano is back in the news again … again, and this time her activism seems to have taken on a new more insidious form. Parents be warned, the #metoo champion and physical embodiment of Brett Kavanaugh hatred has just signed a deal for a new line of children’s books that promote a healthy dose of progressive activism.
Entertainment Weekly’s 2018 year-end double issue wasn’t as politicized and anti-Trump as the 2017 edition, but it contained this stark contrast, a “Worst Books of 2018” sidebar mocking a Christian book author's "cultural appropriation" and "white privilege," that shared the page with an homage to former First Lady Michelle Obama and her autobiography Becoming.
Washington Post nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada underlined how well he matches his paper's red-hot hatred of the current president in his list of the "most memorable books I read in 2018." Cable-news personalities made the list, both good (CNN's Amanda Carpenter) and bad (Fox host Jeanine Pirro).
Saturday’s New York Times featured unhidden, extraneous hostility toward the president’s reading habits, in a snarky story more fitting to Sunday Styles or the opinion section then the news section. In “Books Trump Can Praise Without Reading a Word,” Katie Rogers quickly termed pro-Trump books from the likes of Jeanine Pirro and Gregg Jarrett to be “conspiracy theory.” It marks a 180 degree tilt from how the paper regularly praised President Barack Obama for... reading.
Under the headline "Fury roared and Fear shook us," The Washington Post published a list of the Best Books of 2018, in the apparent "year of the presidential expose." There is no "year of the presidential expose" when an Obama or Clinton is in the White House. As usual, the WashPost threw a bunch of its own past and current writers in the Top 50 Nonfiction category.
Jazz Shaw at Hot Air pointed out that New York Times book reviewer Jennifer Senior is trying to attract attention by retracting her book reviews. (Now, she's a columnist.) Her article is headlined "I Take Back My Praise of Jeff Flake's Book."
Writing in an expansive piece entitled “The Eruption” for the Outlook section of Sunday’s Washington Post, non-fiction book critic Carlos Lozada compared Trump voters to “military units,” “cancer cells,” and even “explosives” because they have all been “activated” with Trump voters being “activated” as bigots running roughshod over American politics.
On a day when pipe bombs were sent by an unknown party to Democratic politicians and mainstream media outlets, with the press presuming Trump and his supporters guilty of the crimes by association, thriller author Zoe Sharp proudly tweeted a Trump assassination fantasy short story that’s been published in a special section of the New York Times.
New York Times editors must have thought Alexandra Alter’s article a timely response to conservative Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation: “How Feminist Dystopian Fiction Is Channeling Women’s Anger and Anxiety.” They even placed it on Wednesday's front page. Thanks to President Trump’s attacks on women’s rights America’s, women are just a few weeks away from mandatory Handmaid’s Tale uniforms, judging by this ominous overview of recent novels in the genre.
New York Times book critic Dwight Garner had some modest praise for Fear, Watergate journalist Bob Woodward’s new peek at Donald Trump’s White House, but the main thrust of his review was Trump-bashing. The text box summed up Garner’s contemptuous take on Trump as a leader and human: “‘Fear’ portrays Donald J. Trump as a president displaying little knowledge and an utter lack of interest in learning anything at all.” And in his review of John Kerry's book, Garner floated a liberal conspiracy theory about the Ohio vote in 2004 that not even the Democratic Party signed on to.