Palin and Plato


"I take Sarah Palin seriously, I take America seriously, I take her ideas seriously. Do you NOT take her seriously? Should I have picked up a four hundred page book and assumed it was error riddled fluff, but that is o.k. because it was just for the folks? How condescending is that? People are not well served when it is assumed any old dumb thing will do for us if it strokes our egos and tells us what we believe. That is the real snobbery.

My grandfather never got to go to high school, but he wanted his political heroes (men like Bob Taft and Eisenhower) to give it to him straight and to get it right. He wanted men of substance. He read his paper and his King James Bible every day and he would have had no time for books like “Going Rogue” that take his hard earned money, but don’t bother with the most basic fact check," - John Mark Reynolds, a Palin voter and supporter, writing in the Christianist journal, First Things.

It's easily the best review of the book I've read.

This question

Should I have picked up a four hundred page book and assumed it was error riddled fluff, but that is o.k. because it was just for the folks?

is actually best directed at the editor of this book, Adam Bellow, a man of great intellect and learning. How proud is Bellow of a book that quotes made-up Plato and Aristotle, culled from QuoteGarden web sources that have no actual citations and cannot be traced to either Plato or Aristotle? 

How proud is Bellow of a book that makes an elementary fact-check 101 error, mistaking a quote from John Wooden when it was from John Wooden Leg and meant the opposite of what was intended?

Is Bellow really not paid enough to find these things and prevent them from being published?

Does he regard the job of an editor as not checking to see whether transparent, freshman college year bullshit is included? Yes, some errors will always seep through and the internal incoherence of the book is enough to make any editor simply throw up his hands at making any sense of it. But these basic errors, correctable in five minutes with Google?

What's interesting is that a right-of-center blogger was able to edit and fact-check this book in ways that Adam Bellow and Jonathan Burnham and an army of professional publishing fact-checkers couldn't or decided didn't matter.

What it reveals is the real elitism and condescension toward Palin's base exists ... at Harper Collins.

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