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.
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.
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