Monthly Archives: October 2009

Q&A with the L.A. Times

My interview with the LA Times is up and can be viewed here. “At the state level” was incorrectly transcribed as “at the stake,” as if I was referring to a witch burning (I was interviewed in a loud cafe so it may have been hard to hear on the recorder). But the Times’ Lori Kozlowski had a clear understanding of the psychological themes that underpin the narrative of my book and asked some provocative questions, including about whether Obama has fulfilled the expectations of his most fervent liberal backers:

Why’d you write this book?
I’ve been covering the radical right — primarily the Christian right — for six years, particularly their role in national politics and how they took over the Republican Party. I covered the 2008 campaign intensely, and I covered the 2006 midterms. So, this book is really just a culmination of my reporting and my research and my analysis.

There have been a lot of books about this movement, but I wanted to write something unique that not only told people who the players are and what they do, but why they are the way they are. I think that’s what people want to know. Because that’s what really animates how the movement will behave in the future.

So, you’re in your early thirties.
I’m 31. Bar mitzvah age backwards.

Do you have any interest in running for political office?
None at all.

Do you want to continue to cover politics?
Yeah, I intend to do what I’m doing, but more. More intensely.

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Temperature’s Rising And It’s Not Surprising

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So I got into it with Joe Scarborough today on Morning Joe. Joe came out of the gate hard, assigning what I think were false equivalencies between the Democratic establishment and the far-right controlled GOP, and we were soon locked in a heated confrontation. I regret that our discussion became so contentious since Joe was gracious to invite me back on and we seemed to have had a good rapport in the past. Afterwards I gave Joe a little box of Sarah Palin Embarassmints and handed Tom Brokaw a copy of my book. Joe was visibly upset. Brokaw flipped through the book and remarked to me (as I was being rushed off a very tense set), “I’ll read any book that has at least two references to Bristol Palin!”

Update: I’ll be on the Ed Show tonight (9.7) at 6:48ET on MSNBC.

Update #2: Danny Shea has posted a write-up of the confrontation at HuffPost.

The College Rethuglicans Meet Me In Riverside

College Rethuglicans attempted -- and failed -- to shut down my recent appearance at UC-Riverside

College Rethuglicans attempted -- and failed -- to shut down my recent appearance at UC-Riverside

I’ll be writing about my appearance at UC-Riverside, during which a mob of College Rethuglicans attempted to shut us down — and failed miserably. They were an exhibit of everything I discuss in Republican Gomorrah. The night ended with the crowd on its feet and the Republicans severely demoralized. Bethany Brendon, who has profiled me before for the Highlander Newspaper, summarized the event and interviewed me about it:

Max Blumenthal is not a man afraid of controversy. The award winning journalist has been censored by YouTube, accused of being a “self-hating Jew,” and has received numerous death threats. But before last Thursday, he could never say that protesters marched in front of him with signs repudiating his leftist message. 

Now he can. 

At an event held at the University Theater on Thursday, Oct. 1 to promote his book, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party,” Blumenthal, the son of Sidney Blumenthal, former President Bill Clinton’s aide, spoke and showed a few of his investigative videos to the crowd. Afterwards, he and a discussion panel were interrupted by a group of College Republicans protesting his work.

“It shows that I’m making an impact and that the opposition views me as somebody who has done a lot of damage to their cause,” 31-year-old Blumenthal explained later over a drink at Mario’s, a bar and restaurant in downtown Riverside.

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