Book Review: The Obama Hate Machine

In The Obama Hate Machine, Bill Press explains how the media has cooperated and allowed the Koch Brothers to fund a relentless assault of hate designed to destroy President Obama.

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and familiar face to CNN and MSNBC viewers, Bill Press sets the tone for the dark voyage that readers are about to go in the introduction when he writes, “The Koch Brothers and other corporate big wigs wrote the checks. Republican politicians and Tea Party activists voiced the attacks. And cable television and newspapers provided a ready national platform. Together they formed a vicious well-funded amoral attack campaign virtually unprecedented in our history: An Obama Hate Machine.”

The chapter that follows provides a brief history some the attacks that presidents have faced. His point is that personal attacks and smears on presidents go the whole way back to George Washington. He specifically details the attacks and FDR and Bill Clinton to set up the contrast between what those Democratic presidents faced and what President Obama has to currently deal with. (Hint: As bad as it might have been for Roosevelt and Clinton, it has been much, much worse for Obama).

After spending two chapters detailing the “othering” of first candidate and then President Obama, the book discusses the volumes of Obama hate literature that have filled the marketplace. Press observes, “By year three of his presidency, a staggering 67 books, at least had been published that demonized Barack Obama – far more than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush ever had to contend with – and the number keeps growing.” By the same point in each of their presidencies, only 11 anti-Clinton books and 5 anti-W books had been published. Mr. Press also gives liberals and progressives a capsule size debunking of 61 Obama hate books on the market from the right, and a handful from the left too.

The Obama Hate Machine
kicks into high gear and shines in the final two chapters. The chapter on the Kochs, simply titled “The Brothers” ties together much of the investigation that has been done about Charles and David Koch, and most significantly, deconstructs the Kochtopus.

Bill Press explains how the Koch brothers have created an entire production line to promote and enact their agenda. The Kochs have funded think tanks to promote their ideas (the Cato Institute and The Heritage Foundation, just to name two). Production centers to turn their ideas into policy (ALEC), media to get the word out to their “consumers,” and the consumers themselves. (Koch front groups FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity).

The Obama Hate Machine
details how after losing the 2008 election, the Republican Party was fertile ground for message from the sons of a Bircher to take root. The book debunks the cover story that Rick Santelli’s CNBC rant launched the Tea Party, and shows that it was all part of a planned roll out of the Kochs’ AstroTurf operation against Obama.

Bill Press saves his harshest criticism for the media. He points out that traditional media outlets have allowed the Obama Hate Machine to flourish unchecked because they now view their job as to be “impartial.”

Mr. Press compared today’s media to Walter Cronkite and wrote, “But now, unfortunately, members of the “impartial” news media think they are doing their job if they just report on what everyone is saying, whether or not what is being said has any actual basis in fact.”

Press not only debunks the myth of the liberal media, but demonstrates how the right has terrorized journalists into submission with threats of labeling them liberal. He also shows how the media’s lack of interest in fact checking due to the pressures of the 24 hour news cycle led them to happily latch on the Kochs’ AstroTurfed Tea Party.

The book’s concluding point is that the Obama Hate Machine wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for the media’s willingness to spread the Obama hate message as fact. Press condemns the media for, “Having completely fallen down on the job by merely repeating, rather than countering the lies of the far right.”

Bill Press has written an excellent book that should be read by every voter, and every viewer who depends on the mainstream media for their information. As a member of the White House press corps, he has seen firsthand how our media has aided the hate campaign against President Obama.

Mr. Press delivers an entertaining and informative read. He is no blind Obama supporter. He is not afraid to write about his own frustrations with President Obama, but this book is really about how the far right built a machine designed to take down a sitting Democratic president, and how the media has helped that machine grow stronger by unquestioningly spreading their hate and lies.

If you are a regular reader of this website, you will enjoy The Obama Hate Machine. In a sea of anti-Obama literature, The Obama Hate Machine stands out for its clarity, honesty, and willingness to tell the truth about what has gone terribly wrong both in our politics and our media.

I highly recommend it.

17 Replies to “Book Review: The Obama Hate Machine”

  1. Thanks for the review, Jason. I had not heard about this book but will definitely order it today from I love Bill Press and the book sounds very interesting. Should be required reading for all high school and college students.

  2. I agree – this is a very important book. Thank you Jason.

    May I suggest, if you can, that you buy this book from an independent bookstore even if you have to order it? One never quite knows where corporate money is going…

    But if you’re unable to find an indie store, then better to buy the book from Amazon than not at all!

  3. The Koch hate machine is not only intended for the president but also is a attack on the middle class working americans.along time ago i without my no how workrd for these slimy bastards.Iwas a truck driver for a company in wisconsin,and as itime passed the sites i was delivering to told me i had to join the teamsters to continue to deliver to the sites,so to keep working i joined the teamsters.This went on for about a month,and the following week i recieved a call that my job was elimnated,offcourse i ask why and was told the reason was because i joined the union,i expalinded that it was nesscary in order to deliver to the job sites,i was told so what and had no job.that was my first encounter with the Kochs.their agenda is also to brake the unions schools and any thing that gets in their way of progress.

  4. That is a great point, Ron. The book does mention, the Koch’ anti-union agenda, specifically Wisconsin.

  5. Ill be buying this book today. Great review. I hadn’t heard of it but I guess that’s to be expected since the msm is being called out.

    One of my frustrations is that yes, I don’t agree with everything Obama has done but I think he’s a great president but I don’t feel I want to discuss what I’m not happy with because I feel so played by the right. I know here just waiting for the “left” to object to something so they can pounce in it like the sick anti American monsters they have become.

    I am not a liberal but I will be voting for Obama again in 2012. God bless the president and his family and may god have mercy on the republicans. They’re going to need it.

  6. It’s illegal to fire someone for joining the union where I live. I thought it was that way everywhere in America. Sounds like you need a labor lawyer. Did you tell the teamsters what happened?

  7. This is a long-overdue book because it’s an antidote to the rabid, over-the-top hatred for one man. The hatred contains elements such as racism, religious bigotry, a gross misunderstanding of socialism, and unreasoning opposition to positions previously adopted by Republicans simply because the president favors them. In a nutshell, this anti-Obama hatred is fueled by folks like the Koch brothers who feel threatened by anyone who challenges what they have in store for this country.

  8. Rachel Maddow seems to be the only one often pointing out the Koch’s hate machine and that is why she is so hated by the right. This one guy on Fox suggested that she should never have been born, then they all would be better off.

  9. Nice site, interesting book and review. A bit off topic, but I’m still seeing that NDAA Breitbarter video making the rounds. Nice work on that as well, Jason and Sarah. But I am still having trouble tracking down exactly what Levin was talking about when he said “the admin requested removal of that language”, b/c he did say that, it’s in the transcript. What exactly was Levin talking about and why would the admin want to remove that language? The Armed Services markup says that BHO did not want to “expand” AUMF, but Levin also says that the admin did not want to “expand or limit” beyond AUMF, which concerns me (the “limit” part). If you can, can you explain to me what exactly was talking about and why the admin would remove language that would preclude application to US citizens? I’ve been trying to figure it out since last night. Great to find your site, I bookmarked it and will be back. Cheers!

  10. Frankly, I can’t tell what *you’re* talking about. I am only left with the feeling that a can of Campbell’s Alphabet Soup hit the fan, and your post is the blowback.

  11. Wow-it’s about time someone wrote a book to counter all the MSM lies and cover-up. I’m so disgusted with the media that I no longer watch the news or read MSM. I read this site, the Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo for the most part. I do however, read E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post as he’s a decent man and a good journalist. I can’t wait to get this book and thanks for the great review!

  12. You exhibit excellent insight. I know this President is paying attention to the “walkin’ around” people.

  13. Bravo Jason for this post. If there was ever anything that needs to go viral right now, it would be this book. I had heard of it already on MSNBC but it does not seem to be getting the traction that most books get and I guess that’s understandable considering the MSM would have to own some responsibility in what has happened to the US democracy with it’s new Black Democratic President and administration.
    The MSM’s role in the dumbing down and wide spread ignorance of America is disturbing on such a level that it creates illness and depression. They have allowed so many of the manufactured lies of the GOP to run rampant and unchecked and unchallenged. The media has done a major disservice to America. Fox faux news should be against the law! CNN totally caved to the right wing. I would never had thought it possible. At least MSNBC has some genuine journalists as in Rachel Maddow who is probably hated almost as much by the Right Wing Nuts as President Obama! But they did add Rev Al, Chris Hayes, Perry, Ed, etc. Otherwise I could not watch the cable news networks anymore. Morning Joe on MSNBC claims to give a fair representation but Joe Scarborough won’t allow it. Jason, I just want to thank you so much for establishing PoliticusUSA. It has been a life saver for the last 3 years. When I’m the most distressed by the GOP bombardment, debates, talking points and lies, it’s always a relief to come to the site to read the truth and genuine perspectives on what’s really going on in American politics and our democracy. Great thanks to Bill Press for having the courage to present this book to the American Public. I know he’s been critical of President Obama on some of the compromises in governing but at least he understands what our dear President has been up against during his administration and it has not compared to another President living or dead. It’s validating and it’s time for us to get to work and support our President’s reelection. We can’t let them steal another Presidency. It means too much!!!

  14. Perhaps, Reynardine, if you were specific about what it is you don’t understand. You say “alphabet soup” … is it “US” that is unfamiliar to you? Or “BHO”? Because surely you cannot be so ignorant as to not know what the NDAA and AUMF are.

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