Book Wars: Michelle Malkin vs. Michael Huttner

In a recent posting on her blog, Michelle Malkin declared that liberals have launched a campaign to dislodge conservative authors like herself from the top of the best-seller lists. She said the left is pushing a particular book, "50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America" by Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman, as its battering ram against titles from the right.

Malkin, author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies," writes on her blog: "Co-author Michael Huttner urges his fellow Obama cultists to buy the book so they, too, can be inspired to 'help Obama pass health care reform, enact other core campaign promises, and move the country forward.'" She also notes that Huttner is "asking for help from every last nutroots activist out there."

We invited Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman to respond to Malkin's posting. Huttner is founder and chief executive of ProgressNow, an online progressive movement. He has worked for former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer and for the Office of the Counsel to President Clinton. Salzman is co-founder of Effect Communications, which works with nonprofits and campaigns.

GUEST BLOGGERS: Michael Huttner and Jason Salzman

Our book is exactly the opposite of Michelle Malkin's. She devotes entire chapters to attacking not only the first lady, but Vice President Joe Biden, the Clintons, the Service Employees International Union, ACORN, and Democrats large and small.

We didn't fire off a nasty name at anybody, even at Malkin, who's an extremist by anybody's calculation. In fact one chapter of our book explains how to "Reach out to Conservatives."

We focus on solutions. Our book is about civic engagement, with everything you need to know about how to meet with your members of Congress, how to become a community organizer, how to volunteer in your community (including the local library and school), how to use new media, how to run for local office. You'll find pages of resources on how to get involved to make America better.


Michelle Malkin, conservative author and Fox News commentator. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

The book rises above partisanship -- the vast majority of our information is just as useful to a Democrat as to a Republican. Anyone who cares and wants to get involved in civic life could put our book to use in support of whatever political position or ideology they have.

If Malkin thinks this book is for the "nutroots," then I guess her allies don't spend much time registering voters or learning how to use new media technologies, which are covered in our book.

We know that progressive authors can be hard hitting and partisan, and they hit the bookshelves with plenty of name calling themselves.

But progressive authors, even our own attack dogs, don't tear down without offering alternatives. We try to inspire action with solutions. Maybe every book doesn't detail 50 ways you can make America a better place. But when progressives write, people are used to hearing how problems can be solved.

By Steven E. Levingston |  September 16, 2009; 5:30 AM ET Steven Levingston
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Comments

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Thanks. These are the kind of posts that have made me a regular visitor of the blog.

Posted by: lheffelkcrrcom | September 16, 2009 11:07 AM

Why are Huttner and Salzman given a Washington Post blog to respond to criticisms from a third party website? Has Steven Levingston ever given over the keyboard to a conservative author so s/he can respond to the numerous criticisms of what s/he wrote.

Moreover, how stupid does Levingston have to be to uncritically accept the authors' claims that "The book rises above partisanship" when its title explicitly endores helping Obama?

Perhaps with the time Mr. Levingston saved by having these authors write a completely self-serving post, he could actually try finding someone at the Post to write just one review of the several conservative books dominating the bestseller list.

Posted by: alvint | September 16, 2009 11:35 AM

Please, Michelle, stop whining that you're not selling enough books!! Leave your sales to the "market". Don't you support capitalism?

Posted by: drake22410 | September 16, 2009 11:53 AM

Just another example of the Post's liberal bias.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 16, 2009 12:06 PM

So are you going to give Ms. Malkin a chance to provide her side of this story in her own words, just like you did for Mr. Huttner and Mr. Salzman? Seems like "an independent newspaper" would want to give both sides a chance to state their own views. Otherwise you will once again prove that this newspaper is nothing but a shill for the Democrat party.

Posted by: octopi213 | September 16, 2009 12:15 PM

Isn't Michelle Malkin the love child of Kim Jong IL? Her view has to be skewed coming from that gene pool!

Posted by: NGrunge | September 16, 2009 12:44 PM

Malkin doesn't get a chance to respond in this paper because she is 100% fact-free. See the most recent example of her claim that there were 2 million people at the protest this past Saturday.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | September 16, 2009 1:07 PM

So are you going to give Ms. Malkin a chance to provide her side of this story in her own words, just like you did for Mr. Huttner and Mr. Salzman? Seems like "an independent newspaper" would want to give both sides a chance to state their own views. Otherwise you will once again prove that this newspaper is nothing but a shill for the Democrat party.

Posted by: octopi213 | September 16, 2009 12:15 PM

####################################

Excuse me, but Malkin already had her say in her blog. I am sure that if she provides an answer, the Post will publish it.

Also, if you bothered to look, Wapo provides regular column space to neocon conservatives Krauthammer, Kristol, and Gerson. The Post doesn't provide space to Malkin because she is a shrill little ant who lives off churning out shock material to the faithful wingnuts.

Posted by: maggots | September 16, 2009 1:13 PM

Malkin is the typical shrill right-winger. Stop complaining. The books are put out in the bookstores and people decide for themselves(something Malkin doesn't want people to do) which to buy. Free market, Malkin.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 16, 2009 1:27 PM

Malkin is an idiot and not nearly as hot as she thinks she is.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 16, 2009 1:29 PM

It is obvious that Malkin tapes the Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck show's. She than transforms the vivid hatred spread by thses three anti-american pudits to write a negative book without one original idea-thus proving they are all fringe, wingnut Republicans.

Malkin is a opportunist with good timing. She is taking advantage of the racism running through the Republican party to make monry. The women makes no sense.

The Republican Party is lost, they are being overrun and lead by the frine, racist, extreme of the party. Congressman Wilson and others have decided that the only way to win the primary election is to cater to and join the racist, whacko gun n uts in the Republican party.

I think the 2010 mid-term election will not be a good day for the Republicans. The American people are good people and can see through this racial hatred and will express their true opinion at the ballot box.

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 16, 2009 1:34 PM

Malkin is the epitome of extremist. She is trying to be a clone of Limbaugh. Both use only hate attacks in their commentaries. Neither can find anything good to say about anyone outside of their filter. Both Malkin and Limbaugh exist for only two reasons: to make money and to incite hate.

Posted by: alamo2 | September 16, 2009 1:34 PM

"But progressive authors, even our own attack dogs, don't tear down without offering alternatives."

Ha Ha, right. Like if you don't agree with the President, you're a racist, and the solution is to just agree with the President and they won't call you a racist.

Posted by: ohmd | September 16, 2009 1:50 PM

Malkin, Coulter, Moore and others are like the acting out kid that craves attention. As long as the end result is that attention - positive or negative - they are satisfied.

And we just keep giving them our hard-earned money to reinforce the behavior. We're pretty much all to blame.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | September 16, 2009 1:51 PM

If Michelle Malkin wasn't reasonably photogenic and had a way with viciously toxic writing, she'd be a nobody.

Posted by: dbitt | September 16, 2009 2:14 PM

We lefties believe in love and compassion.

Because we believe in a loving society, we need to see that all who don't share our beautiful vision are executed.

Humanely, of course, through lethal injection.

Posted by: bot_feeder | September 16, 2009 2:14 PM

COWENS99 wrote: "The American people are good people and can see through this racial hatred and will express their true opinion at the ballot box."

So Filipino-Americans are now "racists," too? Got anything else in that tired playbook?

Posted by: Discman | September 16, 2009 3:37 PM

"Excuse me, but Malkin already had her say in her blog. I am sure that if she provides an answer, the Post will publish it."

Except that the Post probably didn't ask Malkin whether they could link to her blog. These clowns knew in advance what they were being asked to talk about and were able to prepare a smug arrogant response.

If you believe that the Post would give Malkin the time of day to respond, then I'm sure some Brooklynders have a bridge they'd love to sell you.

Posted by: octopi213 | September 16, 2009 6:52 PM

I wonder how many "voters" registered in Oregon and Washington states by ACORN sent in mail-in votes.

Posted by: johnlloydscharf | September 16, 2009 11:50 PM

Aren't they giving away Malkin's book for free on townhall.com? That's a sure way to make it a "best-seller".

Posted by: jonathanhakim | September 17, 2009 11:31 AM

I have watched this young Lady on Fox News, on several occasions and I have read her last book. I find her positions extremely out of touch with what America should be. Just more of the Right wing attack politics, without any contribution to help make America a better place to live. Standing on the side lines just throwing rocks.

Many right leaning American love her last book, but where was she when Ol'George was in the White House? She claims to be serving America, but whose America? I stand squarely in the middle, both sides have some good ideas but this kind of attack, makes no contribution. Just once I would like to see a book written by either side, that stands to make a positive contribution. you know lay out your ideas, and let us sit down and talk about it.

Today we need every American to contribute to help make America better. This attack, attack manner of carrying out politics is non productive. The Hannitys, the Limbaughs, the O'Reillys, and the Becks, need to shut up unless they have something positive to contribute. Come down off that "Hollier Than Thou, Know It All," perch and get in touch with what is really going on in America and make a positive difference. That goes for you as well Michelle Malkin.

Posted by: nuffsaid1 | September 17, 2009 2:22 PM

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