• Trust Me, I'm Lying

  • Confessions of a Media Manipulator
  • By: Ryan Holiday
  • Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 07-19-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4.3 (1,531 ratings)

Regular price: $20.99

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Publisher's Summary

"You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can. In today’s culture…


1) Blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed, and the Huffington Post drive the media agenda.
2) Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.
3) Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see and watch—online and off.
"Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I'm tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I'm pulling back the curtain because I don't want anyone else to get blindsided. I’m going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you."
©2012 Ryan Holiday (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC
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Critic Reviews

"Ryan Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results… this whiz kid is the secret weapon you've never heard of." (Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By topsales21 on 09-10-12

Trust me, it's worth the listen, and I'm not lying

For someone who works in marketing, I have always assumed that there was a lot of manipulation in the mass media. But I must admit, I was shocked at the level to which this new breed of savvy marketers will go to get the exposure. When I was in College, I didn't see "Media Manipulation 101" on the class list. This book exhibits the new level of sophistication that exists in the industry of buzz. If it were a college course, it would be "Advanced Media Manipulation 301–Graduate level."

Although this book is meant to be a "don't do what I did, do what I say" story, it really expanded my vision as to what is possible in today's media saturated culture and I found myself running scenarios in my head how I could use similar ideas to promote the things that I care about... even if a person's intentions were honorable.

If this book did anything for me, it was to reinforce my suspicion that you definitely can't believe what you read in the paper and even more so online.

After I was done with the audiobook, my only question was why the author explains all the dirty tricks he used (and had astonishingly good results), to then turn around and spend the second half of the book explaining why you shouldn't do the same thing he did. Out of guilt?

At any rate, the author did a great job narrating the story. And I would recommend it to anyone in business (especially in marketing). Trust me...

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful


By KeyExpert on 06-13-14

You'll never believe the news again.

In this nonfiction confessional, author Ryan Holiday explains exactly what a "media manipulator" is and how the work is accomplished. He should know; he's been one for years.

Everyone from the most trusted names in news down to the most traffic-hungry blogs with zero editorial standards are looking for the next big scoop and/or (more importantly) page views with which to charge advertisers for ads. Manipulators like Holiday take advantage of these money-based desires to affect what gets covered and in what light. Basically, if you can get a little blog to pick something up (by any means necessary, including and especially fake "tips," "leaks," and user submissions), a larger blog can pick up that it's been reported and it goes up the chain from there. Viral newsgathering.

Using tactics described in detail in this book, manipulators can further or damage causes, spread outright lies and deceit, build or ruin reputations, and take credit for things that are impossible.

After finishing this book, readers will be more skeptical than ever when viewing online news. It's a bit depressing, actually. I'd rather know than not, though, right? I'd recommend the book.

A NOTE ON THE NARRATOR: This book would have been much better if the author had not performed it himself. Despite this, you get used to it after a while, and the subject matter is interesting enough to overcome any annoyance with the substandard performance.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kenneth on 08-14-17

Definitely Machiavelli

When I read Tim Ferris' recommendation, referencing Machiavelli, I wondered, based on previous works by Ryan that I have read, 'Why so?' Well, now it's clear.
After the usual pace of narration on Audible, this reading may take at least a few minutes to fully acclimatize; I thought it would surely slow, but it never did. The urgency of Ryan's narration befits the nature of the content and adds to the sense that one is behind the screen, receiving his confession; sitting spellbound. Of course, there can be no absolution, at least for as long as the internet continues to be used in the ways Ryan illuminates. Although, it's now very clear from his other works, Ryan is now on an enlightened path - absolving himself as he goes forward using his immense writing talent to save the rest of us some considerable Life Time; so, he's definitely giving back some of the ill-gotten gains. I will listen to this again and again and it is bound to influence my own editorial approach and choice of business model. On reflection, much of what Ryan has identified underlies the gnawing in the pit of my own stomach as I wrestle the monster; an inner battle to stay true to the remit of producing 'Wonderful' content and not selling out for advertising revenue as a means of sustaining Community Journalism. But it's so hard,Ryan! Thankyou for this, and all your books thus far. Highly recommended. You will be an unwitting mentor to many who write. Ken Mahoney PembrokeshireLifeOnline.uk

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By Thomas on 06-23-17

Death by upward inflection.

The content of the book is absolutely brilliant, and opened my eyes to how PR really works.

The annoying thing about the audio book however is the reader. The most dull and annoying voice, who phrases every other sentence like it's a question. Infuriating.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michael on 06-05-17

Must read if you use the internet.

applicable to blogs, modern media, internet, news paper, social media, gossip... you need to read this to navigate in the modern world where everything is after your attention.

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By Mitch Flindell on 01-12-17

Good book

Definitely worth the listen if you're looking to get some PR for your business. I appreciate that he put a lot of time into thinking about how to do it in a morally good way

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