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

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

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

New York Times Bestseller

Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times bestselling 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.

Publisher: Harpercollins,, 2017
ISBN: 9780062468185
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 09, 2018

“Sharyl Attkisson Got A Show After Years Of Pushing Misinformation And Conspiracies”
by Hannah Groch-Begley, posted October 2, 2015 at Media Matters For America
“More embarrassing anti-vaccine reporting from CBS News's Sharyl Attkisson”
by Seth Mnookin, posted March 31, 2011
“Sharyl Attkisson and CBS News: An epic fail in reporting on the murder of autistic teen Alex Spourdalakis”
by David Gorski, posted September 2, 2013, at Science-Based Medicine
“Disgraced CBS Reporter Resigns Causing Fox News To Weep (And Lie About Benghazi)”
by Mark NC, posted March 12, 2014

Jan 02, 2018

When one tries to get a balanced view of The News, what one hears more and more of is a conspiracy of the Leftist Media, C.I.A., and F.B.I. What a cabal they must be. This book along with "Rogue Spooks," by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, offers evidence that this cabal is in cahoots to overthrow Democracy and enshrine the threat of Liberalism, Socialism and FDR economics. One can read these books for a equal point of view and then discard, or examine points, based on pragmatic empirical sense. My observation of these two books is that they seem to be blatantly biased to an end that has no currency. All they do is point fingers at the windmills that blow fresh air, left and right. A metaphoric, practical resolution was hoped for but is sadly lacking.

Dec 27, 2017

This book was a terrible disappointment! The SMEAR was just another example of propaganda. While the summery on the book flap says that it gives an account of how "corporations and both sides of the political isle" are using smear tactics, its focus is biased and one sided. On page 250, the author writes "Suffice to say those accused of producing or being fake news tend to define it in terms that exclude themselves and point to the other guys" This describes Attkisson book. NOT WORTH READING!!!

Sep 21, 2017

A must read.

Aug 29, 2017

Sort of okay. I've caught some of Attkisson's public appearances on 'tv' over the last few years. This book is a rehash of all that with more recent stuff since Nov. 2016. Nothing new, and mostly not terribly deep. She's not a great journalist, mostly a trend follower, and that lack of depth comes thru in this book. I had reserved the book, did a quick read when it came in, canceled my hold; there really wasn't anything new or important, tho the tone was all outrage and crisis, told by her very crusading self. Hopefully someday a real investigative researcher will cover this.

Mar 05, 2017

@Star Gladiator -- do you actually READ books before commenting? I noticed Fox News talking points posing as a "review" under the new book about Hilary Clinton too. Or shall we simply label your posts FAKE REVIEWS?

Mar 04, 2017

[Update: For the commenter above: I've never viewed Fox // News \\ and as I have mentioned in several previous book reviews, there is no such thing as a Fox News since Murdoch's News Corporation successfully won several federal lawsuits whereby the courts ruled it was legal to fictionalize the news in America. Since the past president, Barack Obama, signed legislation legalizing the government to propagandize the public, something which had previously been illegal in America, there are no official media conduits [save the occasional KPFA show from Berkeley] in America. Perhaps you believe every neocon who claims to be a democrat, such as the Clintons and Obama, because you have never familiarized yourself with their political records, which is indicative of a very lazy person!]
Amazing! I have never, ever heard of this // investigative journalist \\ - - wonder why that would be? Perhaps since she has never exposed any real facts; something which would stick in one's mind?
Did she uncover George W. Bush's actual non-existent military record? Did she uncover serious facts which the Fake News refused to cover in the assassinations of President Kennedy, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sen. Bobby Kennedy?


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at RCPL

To Top