lapdogs.jpg

I’ve been reading (and greatly enjoying) Eric Boehlert’s book Lapdogs.  Aside from being extraordinarily well-written and entertaining, it follows many of the narratives we log every day on the blogs but places them in a larger context than we can do in real-time.  I’m loving it.

Also, Eric has agreed to join us for the FDL Book Salon (which takes place here every Sunday at 5pm ET/2pm PT.  We had a great chat with Markos and Jerome yesterday and the upcoming schedule now looks like this:

May 14 & 21st:  Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by Rick Perlstein, who will be joining us on May 21st

May 28 & June 4:  How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok by Glenn Greenwald, who will be joining the chat on June 4

June 18 & 25:  Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush by Eric Boehlert, who will join us on June 25 

As a side note, I should mention that Glenn Greenwald’s book has sold out its first printing of 20,000 — and it won’t even be released until May 15.  This was accomplished with no money being spent on marketing or advertising; it was driven by the blogs and the publishing world is taking notice.  Quite the phenomenon, especially for an independent publisher.

But it seems to be the day to devote some column inches to Monsegneur Tim, so here’s one of my favorite passages from Boehlert so far.  Following the Cheney/Edwards 2004 debate:

Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert appeared on MSNBC and, like everyone else, was chattering about Cheney’s put-down of Edwards, which the pundit thought was efective.  But Russert, perhaps better than anyone, immediately recognized Cheney’s I’ve-never-met-you charge wasn’t true because Russert was there when Cheney and Edwards were guests on Meet the Press on April 8, 2001.  Appearing the next day on the Today show, Russert, discussing the debate’s pivotal moment, said, "I thought that John Edwards would call him on it right at that very moment," suggesting Russert knew, "at that very moment" that Cheney’s claim was false.  And yet following the debate, as Russert analyzed the event on live television he remained mum about the uncomfortable fact that the two vice presidential candidates had met on his program.  Instead of deflating Cheney’s attack with some relevant facts, Russert, who enjoyeed a series of exclusive Sunday morning talk show interviews with Cheney since 2001, simply sat on the facts. 

Join us on June 25 and you can ask Eric about this and other slavishly devotional press moments in our online discussion.

And you can buy the book here.