I buy a lot of audible books and jog with a lot of books-on-tape. This is the first one I listened non-stop. If you think he's wrong you probably are under thirty and have not lived in another country as I have (six year in China). The Americans Goldberg lists are screwing America up far more than George Bush. In fact Goldberg's #1 is a hero among many Chinese youth for showing that America is immoral and a worthy object to hate (Who's #1? Buy the audio and find out.).
I remember reading about a man who survived weeks at sea on a rubber raft. When he came back he could not believe the beauty of the green grass, the mulicolored flowers and the shimmering leaves of the tall shade trees. Coming back from China I could not believe how fat and cynical Americans are. Goldfarb's sees that we need to trim down our diet of cultural screw-ups and build up on the honor, respect and love that is a more important part of our American heritage.
Whether you're a righty or lefty, this book puts together the puzzle pieces of how American politics has become so polarized over the last 20 years. It will not cause anyone to switch political parties, but it will explain how we got from point A to point B.
Roger Ailes is a media genius. He was the first to figure out that Americans vote based on how they feel rather than how they think, and that TV was the best way to communicate emotion.
Ailes was never a news person ("newsie" as they are called in the TV industry). Aisles will probably be the first to admit that. He is impervious to being shamed by fact-checking because that's not his game. Making money and persuading people to his conservative politics are his goals. His ends justify his means. Any means.
The author traces Ailes's humble beginnings from Warren Ohio to the NYC media vortex. As Ailes ages, he becomes increasingly paranoid and retaliatory. The last part of the book which deals with Ailes's war with his small NY hometown newspaper and local politicians is a microcosm of his life. It's unintentionally hilarious with an almost post-modern feel. They should teach this chapter in journalism school. It reminded me of The World According to Garp, except that it really happened.
The predictable, preemptive push-back by Ailes and his supporters is vintage Aisles. Rather than undermine the book's validity, ironically it serves as corroboration because it's so Aisle-ian.
Much of the book's criticism centers on Ailes not being interviewed. But the book's last chapter explains that the author quoted 614 live sources close to Ailes, most of whom were corroborated by other sources. The author asked Ailes a dozen times to be interviewed. Ailes tried hard to block this book, so why should he add to its credibility by consenting to being interviewed? This is also classic Ailes.
Regardless of your politics, you need to read or listen to this book to fully understand the most important American politician since Reagan. I seldom re-read or re-listen to a book, but I'm doing that now.