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Will the real 'Martin Eisenstadt' please stand up?

Martin Eisenstadt, or -- as he's legally known -- Eitan Gorlin. (Karine Simon)
Americans: Do you really know where your daily dose of punditry is coming from? Last year, Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin created a fake pundit -- or a fake "political strategist," as they're called when yakking on cable -- to satirize media gullibility, they say.

They succeeded all too well with the blog of "Martin Eisenstadt," a senior fellow at the nonexistent "Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy" and purported adviser to John McCain. Among their made-up tidbits that briefly got picked up as truth: a proposal to build a casino in Baghdad's Green Zone, a claim that Paris Hilton's family was mad at McCain for ads comparing Barack Obama to the celebutante, a whisper that Joe the Plumber was related to disgraced banker Charles Keating.

Mirvish, a filmmaker and former Hill speechwriter, says the point was to mock the sloppiness of the 24-hour news cycle, "where they're running all this stuff without checking their facts," and the parade of talking heads put up as experts, "when you don't know whose interests they're serving." Now they've turned it all into a spoofy memoir, "I Am Martin Eisenstadt," which embroiders the fake legend further (the Gump-like pundit erases the Watergate tapes, has a fling with Fawn Hall, etc.).

"I Am Martin Eisenstadt," the book. (Courtesy of Dan Mirvish)

And guess who's celebrating them at a D.C. party Wednesday? Real political strategists! Hosts include Democrats Joe Lockhart, Karen Finney, Michael Feldman and Amos Hochstein, and Republican John Brabender. Also, journalist Matt Cooper. Soooo ... do these folks countenance the kind of quasi-dirty tricks Mirvish and Gorlin almost pulled off?

"Eitan and Dan's stunt simply proved what everyone already knew -- 24-hour news can easily fall victim to sensationalism," Hochstein, Chris Dodd's former deputy campaign manager, e-mailed us. "But more importantly, the authors and the book are funny, and we should all relax and take ourselves a little less seriously."

By The Reliable Source  |  November 10, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Fake pundits are all over the cable airwaves -- those folks who have had no or very, VERY little actual political experience that some producer is buddies with or dating or trying to date. Roland Martin, Kirsten Powers, Amy Holmes -- they get built up by the cable networks based on nothing so that eventually, (is the hope and expectation) viewers will simply accept them as "experts" without asking any questions. Kirsten Powers on FOX News Sunday with the grown-ups? Amy Holmes sitting at the same table pontificating on the same level as David Gergen or Donna Brazile? Roland Martin pretending he is even remotely on the same level as Carville, Begala, John King, Candy Crowley, Ed Rollins, etc?? It's a joke. There's even one GOP "strategist" who has exagerrated her resume' and has had plastic surgery (enhanced her assets quite a bit) -- fixed the nose, got the hair extensions -- all to be on TV. And it worked!

Posted by: cougar49 | November 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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