Anti-Clinton Fan Fiction and Why People Read It

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 14 2014 11:57 AM

Anti-Clinton Fan Fiction and Why People Read It

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So what's the story with these two?

Photo by David Goldman/Getty Images

Last week I reviewed Edward Klein's "reporting" about the Clintons and Obamas in the form of a faux Klein story. CNN's Brian Stelter was nice enough to bring me on Reliable Sources to give non-faux (real, I guess the word is) opinions and reporting nuggets about the Klein book's audience and sales.

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My most basic point: It's really not bad for the Clintons to watch Klein dominate the conservative literosphere. Humiliating, sure—there's a reason Correct the Record, the "fact checking" third-party group, keeps updating reporters with numbers to show that Hard Choices is selling OK. But the Clintons thrive when their opposition is barking at the moon and digging into conspiracy theories. They thrive, in part, because the left climbs aboard, and the mainstream press (which is giving off stink lines already about the turgidness of a Clinton restoration) gives the couple sympathetic coverage by proxy. (One example: this Guardian story by Jon Swaine, which points out that the very first anecdote in Klein's book, allegedly a quote-rich accounting of a lunch between Clinton and friends, gets the restaurant owner's name wrong.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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