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Andrew Klavan
Empire of Silence « Back to Story

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Just finished "Empire of Lues."

Not bad at all with an interesting plot twist, though a bit heavy-handed with the so-called "ideology" -- everyone's. The good guy was appealing (the author) but just about everyone else was pure stick figure.

But overall the interesting but very significant plot twist was not even remotely convincing, factually.
Dear Mr. Klavan.

I picked up one of your books in the library and put it on stack with a half dozen "entertainments." (That included Graham Greene so no slur.)

When I started to pick up the book I immediately read that you are self-proclaimed conservative and so, curious, I googled, which brought me here to this article.

Now I'll continue with the book and I hope I am entertained. But so far I gotta say -- just as I do with this article -- "Where's the beef?!" Lots of complaints, and sure, some justified. But I want to hear facts and particulars. More than assertions and conclusions written on the wall.

I hope the rest of the novel is different, as I do love a good thriller, and I hope it is not too fat-palmed.

The media as "gatekeepers" is an interesting subject. What is not being reported has become just as noteworthy as what is being reported.

Eventually, the leftwing media will have to face the truth. It has been "outed".
MarciaC, seriously, you just justified Klavan's point right there. You are the prime example of a public misled by the left-wing media and conditioned into attacking opponents instead of refuting their arguments.
That's unfortunate what happened with the French publisher. Sounds like the book would have been an excellent read in a country that is banning burqas...

The fact that more and more left-wing commentators are seeking to silence opponents is a very disturbing trend, more so since large portions of the voting public are completely oblivious to, or not willing to acknowledge, what is plain to see. They said so many things about Sarah Palin and instead of seeking to find out what Sarah Palin was really about, the public played along and it became acceptable to mock her, and almost obligatory to laugh when others were mocking her or risk getting grilled. At the same time, when so many things were coming out about a junior senator with VERY little experience, the media conspired to keep it under the rug. It's so sad that the public has allowed this to happen.
Hello Andrew,
I hope you retain a new publisher in France, the story of the previous editor cancelling publication should boost sales in the end. I've got Empire of Lies on top of my book list.
You hit the nail on the head. I notice Power Line is wondering whether leftists censorious tendencies in any debate is a result of their inherent authoritarianism, or simply because they can't stand losing the argument. He thinks it's a little bit of both. I'd say the second is an inherent characteristic of the first. Emperors always hate being shown to be wearing no clothes. Fascists hate being held to their own standards. Thugs are bullies because they are inherently insecure and convinced of their own inadequacy.
MarciaC, you know the KKK were Democrats, right?

The KKK was the terrorist wing of the Democrat party. It existed to intimidate blacks into voting Democrat.

This is why Robert Byrd got a pass for being a leader in the Klan. By doing so, he was just being a good Democrat.

Facts are stubborn things, eh?
Media bias/propaganda is news only to those who will not see, hear. Until the Internet, if "news" was wanted since the hegemony of the "Mainstream Media" beginning in the 1950s, it required specialist journals.The Court Media understood the Internet removed the news/information tollgate from their control, and howled about it from the outset. As they are now howling about the "Tea Party", and its champions. Monarchists never give up power without a vicious comeback. We get today clearly deranged outbursts from the "elite" court panderers called "journalists" in print and TV. It's almost an identifier of "lefties" when the comments are uncivil, insulting, and downright slanderous.And of "right-wingers" when the comments are civil and stick to the point of the discussion.
I don't think the right is being more honest right now because they are better human beings, but because they are not the status quo. When conservatives are defending the status quo they ignore dissonant ideas just like today's liberals do. For me the real story is that the leftist dominance of Western intellectual space is disintegrating along with the familiar territory of the industrial age - such as ownership of expensive means of production is always decisive. (Perhaps the novel might be translated into French and given away on the net or better yet made available as an e-book if the French have many Kindle/iPad like devices - the censorship is a marketing opportunity to be famous in the Francophone world. If the French are not interested in the book - well no much lost but if they are interested then the next book sells like mad in the French translation.)
I see some of the posters here have been brainwashed by Breitbart, and thus spew lies about Sharrod.

The video they should was edited to make it look like she was saying racist things.

If you see the whole video you'd see that what Breitbart is doing is false.

Almost the same as "Klaven" - a KKK group.

Perfect name for this guy.

So, Andrew...take a small portion of your royalties and self publish a small run and sell directly on
Breitbart, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism,
Big Government are all on my favorite list. They are a must read.
Of course they are against debate. One needs a reasonable position to support in a debate. That's why they know they will lose.
Question: When did this happen, "Old-media pooh-bahs like former ABC anchor Ted Koppel lament the “good old days,” when three government-licensed networks served as gatekeepers to what the public could and couldn’t know"
Your friend "my friend Andrew Breitbart praised the book" is a public deliberate liar.
Mr. Klavan,

I must take you to task over a small portion of your article. In your article you stated, "And what about Breitbart? Did he, like many a daily journalist before him, momentarily put speed over full context in releasing an NAACP video? Perhaps.". I must disagree with you on that point. In his post he indicated that the first video was unsettling, but the second video was worse.

In the first video, Shirley Sherrod indicated that she was saved from the sin of racial hatred by the saving grace of envy. Let us view what the reaction of the "NAACP" members was when she talked about not helping her fellow "white" man as much as she could. They seemed to be in agreement with that thought. Next we go onto Shirley Sherrod's saving grace of envy. When she realized that it was not black or white, but the have's and have not. This sounds very like the warning, "Thou shalt not covet". Both thoughts sound like "sins" to me and not beneficial for her personally.

Finally we go onto the second video where Shirley Sherrod indicates that minority people should work for the "government", because no one gets fired. This was the most unsettling thing to Mr. Breitbart as he indicated in his original post. Just some food for thought.

J. Shreiner
This is what is so dangerous - their feeling of entitlement to destroy any threat to their world view - this is what so many fail to understand about the left - their goals require ultimate forms of coercion - indeed a fatal conceit.
You're exactly right. It is truly frightening what is happening.

The left has exposed themselves for the book burners that they are. Behind the Lefty facade of "enlightened" civility beats the heart of Hugo Chavez.

Their world view is in crashing all around them and their refuge is to hide the truth, even if it is from themselves.

Bless Andrew Klavan.
Love the vids on the Bigs

Harry Flashman, my hope and prayer is that the outrage at Obama's insolence, arrogance and anti-Americanism will become so great and overwhelming that the country, as a whole, will demand to see his birth certificate and everything about him. As we know, even his former supporters are, "Who IS Barack Obama?"
Good Stuff here... I will look for your books Klavan.

Thanks, from one west coast conservative to another.
d. scott bailey July 27, 2010 at 9:27 PM
Heard your column on Beck's radio show today. You hit the nail on the head. Awesome analysis. Keep up the fight. we are joining you. Thanks for your efforts!
Andrew Klavan,

Thank you for speaking the truth. There is hardly anyone out there speaking the truth.

I was referred to this article by Glenn Beck.

Are you on Facebook? Or do you have a website I can refer to?

Anyway, it's encouraging to see that there is someone out there reporting the truth.

Connie Bevan,
Link to me on facebook.
You are the MAN! I'm going out to get that book. I have been saying the media's sin has been of ommission and that's every bit as much a lie as one of commission. Thank-you.
The recent ratcheting up of the ubiquitous debate about racial issues in American society may or may not stabilize in the near future. However it develops, the current administration has always found this debate to be a welcome distraction from any renewed or increased focus on what for them are the most dangerous of questions and speculation.

Virtually the entire paper trail of the current president's personal history has never been released or allowed to be subjected to any sort of scrutiny, despite several years of repeated requests by numerous individuals and media organizations. His original typewritten long form birth certificate, school records, SAT and LSAT scores, college and law school transcripts and term papers, medical records, passport history and other relevant documents all remain deeply hidden away. The Obama 2008 campaign and subsequent administration has spent to date in excess of three million dollars in legal fees to fight Freedom of Information Act filings and other requests to examine these documents and records.

Leftist journalists, pundits and bloggers have given Barack Obama an extraordinary pass on this basic issue of truth and accountability. The ongoing degree of comprehensive secrecy surrounding his past life is unique in American political history. Every presidential candidate has willingly released these documents and records upon request, in some instances directly to the campaigns of their rivals, thus acknowledging that the process of running for president is the toughest job interview on the planet. The current president is the sole exception.

Since 2008 the great preponderance of coverage related to this issue has selectively focused on the so-called "birthers" and portraying them as irrational and disturbed individuals obsessed with the belief that the current president was born in Kenya or elsewhere outside of the United States and is thus ineligible to hold this office. In fact, astute individuals in corridors of power and other quarters have always rejected that notion, amid widespread and growing speculation that the impossibility of the release of the original typewritten long form birth certificate concerns a matter of true paternity rather than place of birth.

The Obama 2008 campaign repeatedly promised that their administration would uphold the strongest ethical principles with the greatest possible emphasis on truth and accountability. On his first full day in office, January 21, 2009, the current president signed Executive Order 13489, effectively prohibiting any release or disclosure of any of his personal records without his specific authorization.

Opinion polling consistently finds that authenticity is the character trait that is most important to American voters in selecting their leaders and legislators. That a candidate or elected official really is who they say they are and truly believes in what they maintain are their beliefs and are not a phony or fraud or hypocrite or liar.

What is being hidden and why are they hiding it?
By the way,(didn't mean to post twice before, the system said I didn't get the re captcha phrase right after the first try) a great movie from the 80s about truth in the news is "Broadcast News" with Holly Hunter, William Hurt, James Brooks, Jack Nicholson (and some other actors whom you would recognize). Holly Hunter plays a broadcast news producer who wants the absolute truth in every broadcast - to a fault, and decries that the news has become the story. Sadly, those days are over (if they ever really did exist in the first place).
Andrew, It doesn't surprise me in the least. The Far Left Radical folks can only really thrive in darkness and secrecy. I ordered the book (brand new)just now off for under $5.00 - including shipping $8.78. Sounds like a great book. I'm sure that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al would like to shut everyone down who tells the truth.
Andrew, It doesn't surprise me in the least. The Far Left Radical folks can only really thrive in darkness and secrecy. I ordered the book (brand new)just now off for under $5.00 - including shipping $8.78. Sounds like a great book. I'm sure that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al would like to shut everyone down who tells the truth.
I am disheartened to once again read that we are living in a world of stultifying political correctness. It is possible to intimidate average citizens from 'speaking their minds' opening; however there is still a problem with controlling one's thoughts, thank God.
Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy . . . censorship. When any government, or any Church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whosw mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything--- you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. R.A.Heinlein. Revolt in 2001.
An EXCELLENT piece, sir. PLEASE keep speaking out.
Great work here.
Part of the reason that newspapers are failing and why networks like MSNBC are in the red is two fold. First, as a cost cutting measure, news agencies got rid of writers. Instead they rely on AP and other agencies to be the eyes and ears. Consequently we get a narrowing of the perspective rather than uniquely original points of view. Secondly, the media is a money game. The media members, being largely liberal themselves, honestly believed that by offering radically liberal opinion as "news" that they would raise their ratings, make more money and at the same time shape the future. Suddenly, the media WAS the news. So imagine their dismay when people found other news outlets which were outside their sphere of influence. MSNBC still doesn't know what hit it.
It makes perfect sense that suppression would be the weapon of choice for these people. One of the major tenets of leftist ideology is that many major functions within society should be left to the so-called "experts". With that said, Breitbart and those he inspires not only offend the political beliefs of these individuals, but the world-view as well. How could average members of the general public dare shoot their own videos and create new avenues for news reporting when they have no formal education or experience in the field of journalism? This, again, should be left to the "experts", who are the only ones who have the educated worldview to be qualified to decide what public should and shouldn't see.
That should have been "make their private e-mails public."
Defending Breitbart, eh? Were you an O.J. defender, too? As my late father would say, your column is "a crock."
"When has Rush Limbaugh ever wished a liberal’s mouth closed forever? Really, who can deny that Rush would happily argue a point with absolutely anyone anywhere? When has Fox News ever done anything to its rival cable stations but trounce them in a free competition for ratings? When has Fred Barnes ever tried to bully or intimidate someone into shutting up?"

I don't know, either. Why don't you make their public e-mails private, too so we can find out?
As usual, Andrew Klavan gets to an underlying truth in today's culture. Having first seen Mr. Klavan in an Uncommon Knowledge interview a few years ago, it is rare that I've felt such an immediate affection for another man's mind, journey, and ability and courage to unabashedly argue for truth, goodness, and propriety.
Thank you Mr. Klavan. Keep up the fine work.
Awesome, Andrew, as usual.

I think Breitbart is smarter than that. He's fighting Alinsky with Alinsky. It's all about trapping the opposition into the reaction that will do the most damage to their credibility. You have to know your enemy well for this to work.

I think he might actually be inside their heads.
You nailed it, Mr. Klavan.
Your ongoing brilliance needs but one minor correction: you say the left continueD to spread the discredited smear. Sadly, that's not past tense. It's still going on -- as recently as Cokie Roberts on Sunday's ABC This Week claiming the vilification of John Lewis in D.C. -- the same vilification that Breitbart's $100,000 has failed to raise proof of. And Frank Rich made a similar claim this week, somehow saying the dozens of (SILENT) eyewitnesses discredited Breitbart, rather than the false claims.
The left favors fewer voices and the conservatives favor accurate statement.
Breitbart only wants "honesty" transparency. Not the dishonest transparency that they give us in the MSM.
Since Andrew Klavan is rightly appalled by "a law professor who doesn’t know that the FCC has no power to deprive Fox News of a license," he will want to know that a statement of his own bears correction. He recalls "when three government-licensed networks served as gatekeepers to what the public could and couldn’t know," but in fact the ABC, CBS, and NBC networks have never been licensed. Like Fox, the broadcast stations that they own require FCC licenses, but not the networks themselves.
newer americans (less than 40 years old) are just starting to notice the ancient tradition of eastern and western europeans of conquering vasts and bests territories and nations of the whole world for the only joy of their governors and friends.
Ahhhhhhh.....the truth. Thank you!
Left always limits information, you left out the worst murderers of the last 100 years:

Mao 66million; Stalin 35million; Hitler 10million; Pol Pot 1million; Castro 200,000, etc. etc. These lefties all shut down free press in their countries.

Or today's lefties: is Chavez helping or hindering free press in his country.

Read the books of Soviet Archivist Vasily Mitrokhin to see how the Soviets, the best ever at it, used this characteristic of leftists (media) to get the world "going their way".
I wonder if your insight is wasted on fiction. Okay, okay. I'll read your book.
DJR12, your make-believe world is impossible, because American conservatism is defined by adherence to the United States Constitution--especially the First Amendment.

Leftism, by contrast, seeks to squash all competing voices, first by intimidation ("teabaggers are racists! shut them up!"), then by cooption (89% of mainstream media practitioners voted for Obama, and Democrats before him), and finally by liquidation (see the purges in China and the USSR for prime examples of what happens to you if you dissent from Leftist orthodoxy once their goal of absolute power has been achieved).

Since American Conservatism is defined as faithfulness to the Constitution as framed by the Founders, pluralism and freedom are the order of the day for us. The central organizing ideal for the Founders was PREVENTING THE CONCENTRATION OF POLITICAL POWER IN ONE PERSON OR SMALL GROUP.

The central organizing ideal for the Left, is, well, Central Organization. Leftism depends utterly on centralized power for ALL of its schemes. This is because the aim is not really "socialized medicine" or "planned economies" or "social justice." Those are all salesmanship. The aim is ABSOLUTE POWER.

If you got sucked in by all the happy talk, good for you, sucker. WAKE UP.
It's a shame that I can't clip off parts of the memory and read Empire of Lies again new. But that just makes me buy another book of Andrew's. I'm glad he got the money for the French contract. Ideological idiots and cowards aren't just here. France is paying the price faster than we are.
Andrew Klavan, as usual you're right on the money. I'm sick of the Emperors and Empresses of News allowing us serfs just the news they deem is fit for us to know.

Love you on PJTV, too. Will check out your new book, also. Maybe I can stop grumbling and bitching while reading a novel for once. They all come with their soupcon of liberalism and their overabundance of bias!
Did you read what you wrote? Did you think before you wrote it? Are my questions 'hateful sounding', should they be 'buried'? Want to stick to the facts? Well, first of all, Ms.Sherod's speech makes it clear that she is indeed not truthful - is that civilized enough for you? Have you taken the 40 minutes to watch her speech? She is Marxism personified - sorry about using such a hurtful word. Aout the Islam thing? Do a little research, a very little, and even you will discover that in every single instance of conflict in the world right now, islam is involved. Involved in a negative way. The islamists will not feel bound to consider your sensitive feelings when they kill you. Do yourself a favor - try to understand the point Mr.Klavan is making. Unlike some people, he is man of substance, not just the style to which you seem intent on taking exception.
Why is this so hateful sounding? Very alarmist! Very "I gotcha"! If there is a left wing conspiracy, and we are to believe it, shouldn't we also believe there can be a right wing conspiracy?

Isn't it better to bury the word Islamist terrorists than create a firestorm of hate against ALL Muslims? Don't forget there have been such things as Christian terrorists (Remember the Crusades?).

Ted Koppel, concerned about keeping information from the public? Are you serious? Or should we all know he is a "lefty" "wink" "wink" and therefore, by definition, someone not to be trusted? Isn't this comment about Ted Koppel "obscurantism"?

Let's worry about the hateful tone. Let's worry about calling those who disagree with us "conspirators", calling those who disagree with us "unpatriotic". Let's stick to the facts.

Was Breitbart intent on finding reverse racism? Yes, the Obama administration fell into a trap. I believe Breitbard set a trap and Obama fell into it. Why are traps being set? Isn't there enough real to worry about? Isn't this whole incident sad? Shouldn't Breitbart be sad about it? He was involved in perpetuating a lie about someone?

Can't we have civil discourse?

If we can't have civil discourse and disagreement without demonization, democracy is at an end. The tone of this article does not help the discourse.

Hope it is OK for me to disagree with you?!
voted against carter July 26, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Why would this surprise you? After all they ARE French.
richare grupenhoff July 26, 2010 at 7:46 PM
You mean to tell me that people really think this way?
Bravo Mr. Klavan. That is the point exactly, the withholding of information.
I hadn't thought about the left/right divide in those terms before, but now that you point it out, the distinction is pretty telling. I wonder, though, whether the difference between how open the right and the left are about information is more a factor of who controls the information channels than of an inherent superiority in conservative political philosophy.

In a make-believe world where 95% of journalists were conservative and we took for granted that the major TV networks and newspapers would have a right-wing ideological bias, would conservatives still be the ones arguing for more information? Or would they be trying to lock down the message in the same way, since they held the reins of media power? We see this dynamic in presidential politics, where the argument to curb executive power always seems to be more urgently expressed by the party that isn't currently holding the White House.