New York Times readers were treated to a rare dose of sympathy for Sarah Palin and her new book yesterday. Columnist Stanley Fish reviewed "Going Rogue", and cast it in a generally appealing light, while dispelling some of the most trumpeted criticisms of the former Alaska Governor's autobiography.

Fish introduces his review with a humorous anecdote poking fun at some of the more deranged Palin-haters: Upon asking a customer service representative in a Manhattan bookstore where he could find "Going Rogue," the employee "looked at me as if I had requested a copy of 'Mein Kampf' signed in blood by the author, and directed me to the nearest Barnes and Noble, where, presumably, readers of dubious taste and sensibility could find what they wanted."

Far from conducting an AP-style fact-check of "Going Rogue," Fish notes that autobiographies, unlike biographies, are intended to promote the author. "[A]utobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves."


Sarah Palin, in an interview that is a part of the lead up to the Nov. 17 release of her new book "Going Rogue," appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV show on Nov. 16.  Aside from the questions about the campaign, she expressed her irritation with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, or as she referred to her - "the perky one."

"Now, obviously, you've why didn't you just name some books or magazines?" Winfrey asked.

Palin explained that she didn't want to come off as unprofessional, but she detected an elitist vibe from Couric with the infamous question about her reading habits.



Are the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks really about nothing more than hammering out a world-wide agreement about carbon emissions to curb warming? Not according to martial arts professional and actor Chuck Norris.

Norris appeared on the Fox News Channel's Nov. 11 "Your World with Neil Cavuto" to promote his new book, "The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book: 101 of Chuck's Favorite Facts and Stories." He explained the upcoming Copenhagen talks in December were a push by President Barack Obama to form a "one world order."

"Definitely," Norris said. "I really think he is going over there to try to create a one world order."



According to The Huffington Post, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other right-of-center stars that regularly dominate the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List are - or should be - in a league of their own.

No, that isn't Arianna Huffington's blog heaping praise on conservative authors. It's a literal suggestion. With right-leaning books and authors holding so many spots on the list, and more to come - former Sarah Palin, former Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush all have books due out -Huffington Post suggests conservatives should have their own category to differentiate from other works of non-fiction.

In a Nov. 9 entry on The Huffington Post that laments Fox News host Glenn Beck pulling a feat not done before - holding the number one spot on The New York Times' four lists: hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback non-fiction and children's - they suggest a separate category altogether, not for political non-fiction, but conservative non-fiction.



We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.

In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.

However, in their new book "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance," Levitt and Dubner blame what is generally accepted to be a liberal cause, women's liberation, for the rise of high-end prostitution in America and a failing public education system. The authors appeared on ABC's Oct. 23 "20/20" to elaborate on their theories.



New York Times Book editor Barry Gewen selected Simon Schama's big-think book, "The American Future -- A History" for review in his "Books of the Times" piece on Tuesday, and took condescending aim at Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin in the process.

Columnist David Brooks had some fun with the British-born Schama in his May 24 review, consigning Schama's book to a long line of self-consciously "Brilliant Books" whose authors as a group Brooks satirized:

Along the way, his writing will outstrip his reportage. And as his inability to come up with anything new to say about this country builds, his prose will grow more complex, emotive, gothic, desperate, overheated and nebulous until finally, about two-thirds of the way through, there will be a prose-poem of pure meaninglessness as his brilliance finally breaks loose from the tethers of observation and oozes across the page in a great, gopping goo of pure pretension.

Gewen was more impressed, and used his review, titled "Despite the Crises, Seeing a Star-Spangled Destiny in the Mirror of Time," as a soapbox to lash out at Republicans and defend Obama.

Gewen saw Schama as celebrating a new kind of patriotism "in the age of Barack Obama," far superior to the "belligerent...chauvinism" of Dick Cheney or the "ostentatious flag lapel pin" of Sarah Palin.



Amid all the false media hubub about Sarah Palin being an alleged "book banner" comes much more serious news about the British publisher of "Jewel of Medina," a book about the child-bride of Islamic prophet Mohammed has been set afire:

Three men arrested in north London on suspicion of terrorism continue to be questioned by police. They are suspected of attempting to set fire to a publisher's office in Lonsdale Square, Islington.

The publisher, Gibson House, is due to release a controversial novel about the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride, entitled "The Jewel of the Medina."



On PBS's Web site today, ombudsman Michael Getler writes of complaints over an incident during last Sunday's pledge drive.  He describes the cheap shot taken by actor Mike Farrell against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

According to Joseph Campbell, vice president of fundraising programs, here's what happened:



 On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia.  Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:

CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.

MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.


Self-censorship toward radical Muslims continues to be a problem in corporate America. The latest casualty: a book by author Sherry Jones about Aisha, the favored wife of Islam's founder Mohammed, whom he is said to have betrothed when she was less than ten years old.

Writing in today's Wall Street Journal,  Asra Q. Nomani tells how the book,  "The Jewel of Medina," got canceled by would-be publisher Random House thanks to a politically correct professor of Islamic studies named Denise Spellberg:

In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."

After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided "to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."



NewsBusters reader Shane S. shared this experience:
I was searching for a book I read in college, "God: A Biography." I searched Barnes & Noble's website using the book's title as my search term. The book I was looking for was the first result given. The second result? "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream" by the Messiah Himself, Barack Obama.


Scott McClellan at the White House podiumAlthough today his book is being touted by left-wing reporters and pundits, his initial plans for the project show former White House press secretary Scott McClellan intended to take a much different approach, one that was more sympathetic to President Bush but also quite hard on the "liberal elites" of the Washington press corps and their "hostility" toward the administration.

Reading through McClellan's original book proposal, obtained by Politico.com, it is clear that before his editor Peter Osnos took the book on a sharp leftward turn, McClellan wanted to turn the tables on foes in the press gallery including far-left columnist Helen Thomas and NBC correspondent David Gregory.

"I came to know and respect those who were assigned to the White House beat. They are solid professionals, but rarely scrutinized or put under the microscope. I will take a look at notable personalities in the White House Briefing Room, including David Gregory and Helen Thomas. I anticipate an entire chapter about the former," McClellan writes in his proposal.

According to McClellan, America's elite journalists have a dramatic problem with political diversity which in turn leads them to skew the political debate in a leftward direction. The media are in a "constant state of denial" when it comes to admitting this.