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Sunday, February 25, 2018

"A book of historical importance"

The fifth Amazon review of Fake News Follies of 2017 is from a longtime reader whose guidance I appreciate.

The review, in full.

From PSD:
A book of historical importance
This work is the third in a series by Don Surber, previously for 30 years a political analyst and newspaper editor, and now a blogger with his own site. His previous books discussed the primaries and the election itself. This one analyzes press media coverage for the first year of Trump's presidency.
Like his other books, it is written with wonderful wit filled insight, rare in political commentary today. The style is one of gentle humor and common sense. It is refreshingly devoid of malice and partisan contempt, easy reading with not a few laughs along the way.
Surber’s main focus is on the media devolution into anti Trump mania in 2017, and, while the scene is not pretty, he makes it compelling. The relentless but progressively unhinged attack on an elected President by an oligarchy of press barons is presented in the actual words of their minions, using extensively sourced and complete quotes, not cherry picked sound bites meant to unfairly misrepresent intent. Many are transcribed directly from broadcast transcripts, now buried, never to be replayed or see the light of day.
Editorial commentary is present but it carries a mild tone, almost of awe, as one lie or distortion after another is revealed and displayed along with its counterpart of neglected truth.
One begins to wonder: Can the press get worse, more insane, more insidious? Is there really a lower step on the ladder? The answer is always yes, as one descends along with a kind of West Virginia poet of political commentary into truly infernal regions. But with Surber as a guide, it is not always a grim place of dust and flame. We also discover a wonderland of fools, popinjays and clowns, all seeking attention, each trying to outdo the other in malice, often with self destructive results.
CNN has its own circle in the grim region, peopled with the ridiculous, the pathetic, the dangerous. One could laugh and often does but sometimes the serious nature of the place is apparent. It is Hell, is it not?
But there is something beyond the media's self inflicted satire as endless carnival this book reveals.
For 200 years a free Press had always guarded the free state that gave it not only birth but unrivaled protection and nurture, forgiving bias and errors of fact in return for its sometimes courageous willingness to reveal corruption or abuses of power. Yet making self serving rumors in to facts, activity creating a series of head bobbing lies presented as Fake News to avenge or even negate the loss of their clearly preferred candidate, one whom they had covered with such an unprecedented bias they shed their own reputations without regret, first to gain access to the assumed winner, then to bury their own needless failure, these are new goals for the American Press. Surber lays this all out to devastating effect.
Anyone who has an interest in politics, political freedom, and government worth trusting, should have two copies of this book. One for themselves and one for their children to read two decades from now should this amazing story be buried by partisan historians, or Big Brother himself. The truth is here for anyone to see and to keep safe with them.
Thank you.

This was what I set out to accomplish. Throughout they year as I kept track of the media lies, I kept hoping for repentance among the journalists.

Maybe next year.


The media chose to go to war with Donald John Trump in 2017 rather than accept him as president.

The media chose poorly.

From Leslie Eastman's review at Legal Insurrection:
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, has been cataloging the #FakeNews that has been regularly offered as serious analysis of President Donald Trump’s actions, policies, and opinions. He has brought his enormous collection together in the longest, most serious book he has yet written: Fake News Follies of 2017.
Fake News Follies of 2017 is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I will give you the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the Fake News Follies of 2017.


  1. I just finished Howard Kurtz's "Media Madness" wherein he tells us his version of the media-vs-Trump war of the first year of his presidency, and for all the insider infighting it revealed, it was just another slice of namby-pamby milquetoast. Filled throughout with bromides about how he's worked with these reporters and knows them to be good journalists who only need to tone down their Trump Derangement Syndrome. Kurtz even brought up Trump's tweet that Obama wiretapped him and scoffed at it as more ridiculousness from DJT, even though the NYSlimes had a front-page headline on DJT's Inauguration Day about wiretapping done at the manchild-in-chief's behest. To Kurtz it's simply inconceivable that Widdle Barrie would actually break all established norms in our political life to go after an adversary, even though that's been his MO all his misbegotten life.

    By the time I finished the book I couldn't help but think, well, at least he's no Brian Seltzerwater, but if Fox wanted a real media critic it would look to Don. But then again, I bet Don wouldn't want to leave Poca to venture into that swamp. Still, Kurtz has to take a vacation now and then, and I wish they'd give Don a call when he does.

  2. Wonderful, well deserving review. I don't write that well and my review will be shorter, but so far, what a fantastic book. BUY IT if you already have not.

  3. PSD gave you a megaAttaboy on that review, Don. You earned it!