It was just the other day I was here writing about Glenn Beck's plan for..."The Plan," the TV-radio-quasi-political swami's 100-year manifesto for how to remake America, which he plans to unveil on the National Mall on the Aug. 28 anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. "The Plan" ultimately will involve the release of a book by Beck at that same time. I can relate. I also have plan for 2010. Like Beck, I'm writing a book with a two-word main title, that should come out at almost the same time.
My book is called, at least tentatively, "The Backlash: Right-Wing Rebels, Hi-Def Hucksters and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama," and will be published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins (interestingly, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also owns Beck's Fox News Channel -- another irony in a world that is chock full of them, huh?). If all goes according to this plan, it should come out near the end of August, just in time for the fall election season.
I can't tell you how excited I am to be working on this book. I feel that the rise of the Tea Parties and the intensity of the Obama backlash is one of the most remarkable political stories of my lifetime, on a par with some of the things I witnessed as a small child in the 1960s. And I've been smack of the middle of it since this fall -- I've been to the Tea Party Convention, as you know, and to something called a machine-gun shoot (!) and talked to Tea Partiers and 9/12-ers and Oath Keepers and even a couple of militia folks (who else do you think shows up at a machine gun shoot?) and so forth. Some of my observations and thoughts about these people will probably surprise you. But there's also a large focus on the "hi-def hucksters" trying to manipulate everyday Americans and their current troubles -- that includes the politicians and the media sjouters and various other types of vultures. If you don't think that Glenn Beck is a big driver of what's happening in this country right now, you aren't talking to enough people.
So I'm very grateful to HarperCollins for this opportunity and for the editorial independence to do this; likewise I'm greatful for the enthusiastic support -- and, also, editorial independence -- from Media Matters for America, which has named me a senior fellow in conjection with "The Backlash." That means supporting the extensive research, and that they'll be printing excerpts and also publishing some other media criticism of the same kind I've been doing here at Attytood since 2005.
You can read more about the book and the fellowship here and also at The Politico and I should also note that the Washington Times may be running something -- I'm sure they're as delighted by all this as I am :-) -- and when they do I'll post it here as an update. One of the questions the Wash.-Times guy asked me was about transparency and I realized that obviously he hasn't been a reader of Attytood, since I've always championed openness here, whether you agree with me or not. Unlike the way that a lot of journalism has been practiced for a long time, I always want you to know what I'm doing and where I'm coming from, and to have a running conversation with all of you, regardless of our beliefs. I'm look forward to more conversation about "The Backlash" -- and where this country is headed -- over the course of 2010.