“Game Change” doesn’t just sizzle, it’s sizzle-mean. Subtitled “Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime” the book by TIME‘s Mark Halperin and New York‘s John Heilemann is running the table with a roll-out of very damaging, and blog-able anecdotes from the 2008 presidential campaign trail.
Yet the real story is what “Game Change” reveals about the modern Washington press corps, the debate of which should keep the book on the bestseller list for awhile.
HarperCollins farmed out some of the PR work to Kate Pruss Pinnick of the book specialist firm Shreve Williams.
More after the jump.
The media blitz began with a “60 Minutes” segment on January 10th, which included controversial remarks by Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who said Obama would succeed because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”
An unexpected New York Times Style “Cultural Studies” column examining John and Elizabeth Edwards’ tumultuous relationship landed the day before the Washington book party for the authors at the W Hotel.
Then there’s the passages about Joe Biden as a loose cannon. Jay Carney, who left TIME to become Biden’s director of communications, shortly after refuted the claims, and attended the D.C. launch party anyway.
Tonight’s discussion with the authors at the Time & Life building in New York (Yes, PRNewser will be there.) comes on the heals of extremely critical coverage of the “deep background” technique used to reconstruct the infighting among the strategy and communications staffers in the run-up to the election, including the notorious battle between McCain’s communications adviser Nicolle Wallace and Sarah Palin.
Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz took a cut at the book in Media Notes, while Media Matters Fellow Eric Boehlert shredded it, comparing it to the plodding structure of Bob Woodward’s books, “the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer style of Heilemann and Halperin, who, along with their score-settling sources, bury most of their key players under a pile of invective.”
Negativity or not, “Game Change” is the must read, must blog book of the month. It’s creating the sense that in an era of short form story-sharing, you can roll out a book one anecdote at a time. And no wonder, it’s co-written by Halperin, the man who developed The Note for ABC News, the one stop bite shop for the Beltway.