Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On fake book reviews

I read the following one-star review of Mark Levin's latest, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto on Amazon:

Listening to mark one taught the book he gloated so much about would have offered some substance instead the SAME OLD.....re- pubic-ant message we need unity to have this county going forward togetherness no more dull politics

Posted by Raldopoo

Thanks for the illuminating commentary, Raldopoo. Reasoned and thoughtful as always.

Now, it's clear that this fellow has not read Liberty and Tyranny. In fact, I would hazard to guess that Raldopoo hasn't read much of anything outside of Dailykos. So what is the appeal of going online to review books you haven't read? The book is presently the number one seller, so it is not as though the star ratings are inhibiting book sales.

Here is a more sophisticated sample of the same phenomenon, from a fellow named Tom Markus:

I was really looking forward to Mark's new book but honestly found it to be lacking. I believe the Republican Party needs new and fresh ideas and Mark seems to just repeat the same exact talking points that Rush has been repeating for years. Now don't get me wrong, I love Rush and would never criticize the big guy. It's just that there is nothing new here. If we lost the last two elections, then Mark, Rush, and other GOP leaders need to mix up the message and try something innovative.

Thomas has the good sense to couch his criticisms under a veneer of authenticity. "I would never criticize the big guy" is a nice touch, and I love the can-do ethic of encouraging the GOP to mix up the message.

Of course, Tom Markus would have no idea whether Mark Levin has mixed up the message, since he hasn't read the book, and he isn't a Republican. Here is an excerpt from his review of Michael Moore's 2008 election guide:

One of the biggest dangers we face are the false prophets and pharisees from the Religious Right who profess to save our souls while raping the nation in degeneracy, drugs (Limbaugh), divorce (McCain), and toilet stalls (Larry Craig). This book magnificently exposes those frauds.

Hmmm... Accusing someone of raping the nation with drugs (!) sounds like criticizing the "big guy" to me. So you have a guy pretending to be a Republican so he can criticize books, which again he has not read. In another review, he claims that his fifteen-year old daughter didn't like a book. So he's doing the daughter-inventing thing, a phenomenon I find even more bizarre than the book review thing.


Here's some advice to the left-wing Dailykos types. Look yourself in the mirror and say to yourself "some people disagree with me. I'm going to have to deal with it."


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