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The Smear Audiobook

The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote

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Publisher's Summary

Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times best-selling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions.

Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda - an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist's ability to remain invisible, to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not.

Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she's an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are - including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire.

Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media - operatives who are corrupting the political process and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.

©2017 Sharyl Attkisson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 06-29-17
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 06-29-17 Member Since 2015

    Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?

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    "Devestating Reporting on...Reporters and The Smear"

    Some of the dubious smears Ms Akkisson writes about actually deeply influenced my vote. You have no idea how hard it is for me to admit that. Its true for me and I know its true of some of my smartest friends.

    Like a surgeon, Ms Akkisson sites facts peeling away the many layers of deceit and blatant disregard for ethics and standards in her industry. She systematicly exposes bias and collusion In the media with professional smear artists.

    It is as gripping a read as it is a devestating expose' on the media. I loved every second of the book. Before you repeat any opinion you have on politics, listen to this book! I have no doubt The Smear will have a huge impact on the future of the media.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
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    Denise A Davenport, FL 33837 06-29-17
    Denise A Davenport, FL 33837 06-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "I trust this author!"

    I bought this book the first day it was available because I trust the author. I was not disappointed. It was so well done that at the end I found myself wanting to hear more of what she has to say. It is obvious how hard she works to get the complete facts and I treasure her objectivity. I look forward to more if her work.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 06-30-17
    Wayne Matthews, NC 06-30-17 Member Since 2017

    I am a husband/dad/granddad who loves books. My reviews are my subjective opinions. My hope is they will help others make buying decisions.

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    "The success of political smear!"

    First, I am delighted to see Sharyl Attkisson's The Smear has already been reviewed by one of the people I follow (Charles Atkinson). His is an excellent review which I have already given it my helpful vote.

    Who is author Sharyl Atkission? My short answer is the best and most honest investigative journalist in the US in the last 100 years. She graduated from the University of Florida with a broadcast journalism degree. At age 56 she has worked first at four local TV stations 1982 and 1990 before moving onto the national stage with CNN in 1990. After 3 years at CNN she left for CBS News in 1993 and worked there until 2014 when she left "on good terms". Since then she has worked as an independent journalist using her website and a weekly radio program continuing to do what she does best. While at CBS she was an occasional substitute host of CBS evening news. The Smear is her second book. The first, titled Stonewalled, was released in late 2014. I did not write reviews in 2014, but I did write a review 2 years later.

    As the title promises Atkisson has written a great book about the "art" of the political smear with an emphasis on the 2016 national election season (primaries and general election). It is fascinating! But it is appropriately unkind to the political operatives, the journalists, and the news organizations involved in The Smear. Sharyl Atkission has a talent for cutting through the BS and getting to the facts. Although this book takes on smear merchants of both major political parties, she is most critical of David Brock and of the journalists who have prostituted themselves by knowingly spreading the smear during the 2016 election cycle and since the election. She also gives recent historical perspective to the use of the term "fake news" which was started by Brock and picked up by a bevy of journalists before Donald Trump picked up the term and used it against them.

    Atkisson narrates The Smear herself and does an excellent job.

    The Smear has my highest possible recommendation. Everyone should listen to this book.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Wiley 07-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great and fair political reporting."

    Ms. Attkisson has always been one of the great investigative reporters and has done her homework on this book. It's three a.m. and I should have been in bed hours ago but this is one of those stories that you just have to stay up and get the inside dirt about stories you have heard in the news but just never knew what really took place on the inside.
    2016 will go down in history as one of the most unusual presidential elections in history. A hundred years from now, any student of history will have to read this book to have an appreciation for the characters and the roles they played to make this campaign like no other.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Boettcher 07-07-17
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    "Shocking, but not shocked..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I fear though that many will call her a "neocon" or the like as it's pretty damning more so to the "left".


    What other book might you compare The Smear to and why?

    None to date.


    If you could give The Smear a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Disconnect from the internet and ignore political "reporters".


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book for making me feel like I'm not crazy. I'm also very saddened as I grew up in the 70's when it sure seemed like "news" was reported and not crafted.<br/>It's incredibly sad to see the "legal" means used to destroy people and promote others.<br/>As a 50-something, I fear for the world my children and grandchildren have inherited.<br/>My only wish would be for the author/narrator to slow down a tad. She's very "up" and I had to drop the audible app down a notch.<br/>Her research seems pretty much on the table, and I am shocked not to see some negative reviews here as at least 50% of the population is going to hate this book (for political reasons).<br/>I'm politically (party) agnostic, and this was an amazing book. Take everything you read/hear with a grain of salt folks.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Normal Guy New Jersey 07-18-17
    Normal Guy New Jersey 07-18-17 Member Since 2015
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    "I'm shocked that I can still be this surprised"

    When I first began listening to this book, I found it compelling, but slightly depressing. The delivery was good, the arguments were logically argued and researched, but at first it wasn't terribly surprising (even if it WAS a terrible situation). But then as the book progressed, and the level of intimacy between most of the media, and operatives of one of the political parties was exposed, I was shocked at the extent of it. Again - not the presence of it per se - but the extent. That reporters who hound one political party were sucking up to members of the other major party were doing so to a naked extent that I simply was surprised by.

    The banal back and forth of transactional journalism, as revealed by the WikiLeaks emails, was eye opening, and revealed how it wasn't a grand scandal or something that they felt they needed to hide very much, but merely was accepted as the normal part of how they conduct their daily work.

    Most on the political Right will listen and think &quot;see, I knew it!&quot; And they are correct, but they would be wrong to take comfort that their candidates are any better. What comes across is that the Republicans envy the Democratic smear machinery, and wish they could be even half as effective at destroying enemies as Media Matters is.

    Nobody has the high ground here morally. But it is enlightening and very encouraging to see that this sense of unfairness in the media isn't just a figment of one's imagination, or perhaps driven by one's own bias. It IS real. Extremely real. And this book exposes that fact.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry United States 07-24-17
    Jerry United States 07-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Overwhelmingly enlightening"

    I completed it in just a few days; it was hard to stop listening. I never though of op-ed and other. so called opinions of pupeteers. I do now and although I enjoyed the many facts listed in this book, still get the majority of my new from FOX. This is an eye opening book and I highly recommend those who seek the truth to read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    puck st. louis 07-24-17
    puck st. louis 07-24-17 Member Since 2013
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    "mind blowing eye-opening"

    I knew it was happening but I did not know 60% of it. these people are they have their press protections terminated. Donald Trump is up against the media establishment deep state and rhinos. the biggest thing a lost in this is truth and I can't believe that we've come to this government coordinating with journalists to push a certain false narrative wow

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 07-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A book that helped piece my own suspicions of what goes behind the scene"

    I've been saying for years these tactics have been going on at the highest levels but if you dare say it out loud you are a conspiracy theorist! This book nicely written to explain what really goes on! Presents non-bias facts and walks you through the process! Thanks for a well written book! It's a must read for everyone seeking the truth!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Forever changes my view of "news""

    Great information confirming what I think many already suspected but couldn't confirm for themselves. Everyone who thinks they have an opinion on an issue, candidate, movement, etc. ought to read or listen this book and ask them self honestly whether their position is truly their own or the result of being manipulated by sophisticated media smear campaigns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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