The Smear - Sharyl Attkisson

The Smear

By Sharyl Attkisson

  • Release Date: 2017-06-27
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 53 Ratings


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.


  • Amazing

    By Extensionqueenlv
    I’ve read many political books, everything from navy seals, the clintons, Trump’s books, all of oreillys...this has to be one of the very best. It’s a scary world we live in and I’m finding out the more I know, the scarier it gets! The days of bliss and ignorance are gone for me. Now it’s all about knowledge. I read this book in about two weeks, in between ‘Killing England’ and ‘No Easy Day’, two other great books of much different substance. Buy this book, you won’t regret it for a moment.
  • The Smear

    By Cyndy60
    What a great book. I couldn't put it down. Every person should read this book. I was astonished to read how many corrupt journalists and news agencies there are who are working together to disseminate fake news!!!
  • An exhausting slog through the current media environment

    By flugm
    Sharyl has a solid book here, but the poor readers will have to relive the last 2 years (election campaign) via this book, and if you felt any fatigue after the 2016 election, I’d recommend waiting on this book: it will bring back that high-intensity exhaustion around the news and Trump presidency. That being said, she spends quite a bit of time detailing the influence of media matters and its umbrella organizations (which I was a bit surprised at its size). It’s disappointing to read how poorly the media does its research, and how corruptible it is both all kinds of organizations (political and corporate).
  • Finding Truth in Our Fake World

    By japm0717
    I believe that it was the Apostle John who said Martin Luther that "the truth shall set you free". The 2016 election was entertaining, at the level of pure political drama. I was not, and am not, an uncritical supporter of President Trump. But as a long-time observer of campaigns and politics, I was absolutely certain that Hillary would do (and say) absolutely anything to get elected. I have become an ardent fan of Sharyl Attkisson's journalism. A throw-back to what investigative journalism was always intended to be. By virtue of her many awards, and by virtue of the slings and arrows she has absorbed from all directions on the political spectrum, she has proven herself a rare beacon of truth in our currently fake news world. Leave it to her to uncover the modern roadmap to analyze and interpret the political landscape, and to guide intelligent readers to separate the crap from the facts. It was once the role of the media to enlighten the citizens about important matters. The current mainstream media squeals and cries about their alleged importance and centrality to the very existence of democratic government. Mrs. Attkisson has shown us the lies, agendas, and bias that the media has engaged in. The only hope for the mainstream media, if it truly wants to reclaim its relevance as a mythical Fourth Estate, is to follow her lead. Not sell-out their country to corporate and political predators. And thank God we had a candidate that knew how to expose these elitists who have profited by lying to We The People.
  • Must Read!

    By PBenjung
    Timely well researched accounting of how the media has allowed itself to be corrupted. Readers from both sides of the aisle will appreciate Sharyl's expose and benefit from her tips on how to know when they're being spun!