The Smear

  • by Sharyl Attkisson
  • Narrated by Sharyl Attkisson
  • 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Devestating Reporting on...Reporters and The Smear

Some of the dubious smears Ms Akkisson writes about actually deeply influenced my vote. You have no idea how hard it is for me to admit that. Its true for me and I know its true of some of my smartest friends.

Like a surgeon, Ms Akkisson sites facts peeling away the many layers of deceit and blatant disregard for ethics and standards in her industry. She systematicly exposes bias and collusion In the media with professional smear artists.

It is as gripping a read as it is a devestating expose' on the media. I loved every second of the book. Before you repeat any opinion you have on politics, listen to this book! I have no doubt The Smear will have a huge impact on the future of the media.
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- Charles Atkinson

A bit right of Fox news

What disappointed you about The Smear?

The CBS FULL MEASURE:The Sum of Knowledge story that promoted this book was nothing like it. The story was mainly about how companies are manipulating people. I made it through 9 of the 12 chapters of this book before fast forwarding through 10 and 11 then listening to the last one. After the news story I kept expecting to hear how things started and grew to the mess we have today thinking there would be examples from all political parties and non politicals. But it was just Hillary, Hillary, Hillary then poor Trump smeared by everyone. Note the last short chapter (30 mins) does finally gets off politics a bit to be more like the news story. If the whole book was like the last chapter I'd recommend it. I suggest you start there and only after that do you try and make it through the previous chapters.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Fuzzy Nation, need some fun after this.

What does Sharyl Attkisson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pleasant to listen too for the most part but she does drop into a sarcastic voice in some places that seems to push the narrative even farther right.

What character would you cut from The Smear?


Any additional comments?

After listening to this I have to wonder how you would not see this book as similar to one of the smear books and stories described in it.

To generally sum up the book Hilary Clinton is the head of a liberal conspiracy hell bent on enriching herself at our expense while crushing the GOP. The GOP has only ever used smear tactics to try and defeat Trump. Trump is a really nice guy that won though against the liberals and the GOP death grip on the media without ever compromising his morals.

If that jives with your world view then you might like this book. If that seems one side to you then stick with just the last chapter.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2017
  • Publisher: Harper Audio