For some reason, every couple years a media outlet feels compelled to do a lazy puff piece on walking argument against nepotism Adam Bellow. The latest one is definitive because of the sheer density of cliches. It starts with a bunch of bullshit about conservatives being the “party of ideas” that you’d think nobody would be shameless enough to repeat in 2011. And Bellow is a “former liberal,” don’t you know — he used to be a Democrat, but since someone said something dumb at an apocryphal Upper West Side cocktail party he’s outraged by the Voting Rights Act. It also does do us a favor by reminding us of the books that made Bellow’s reputation, such as it is:
Attention, conservatives: Adam Bellow says this is your moment.
The intellectual left, he contends, is in a vacuum. The right is where there are ideas, variety, excitement. And Bellow, a former liberal who has made a career of pushing conservative writers and controversial issues to the forefront of American publishing, wants to hear from you.As an editor at the Free Press and then Doubleday, Bellow, son of the late novelist Saul Bellow, guided such provocative voices as Dinesh D’Souza (“Illiberal Education”), David Brock (“The Real Anita Hill”), Jonah Goldberg (“Liberal Fascism”), and Charles Murray and Richard J. Herrnstein (“The Bell Curve”) to the top of the bestseller lists.
So let’s see. We have an attack on “political correctness” by someone with a strong self-interest in opposing “political correctness” given his strong tendency to say racist things. We have a smearing of an innocent woman so completely fraudulent it’s been repudiated by its own author. We have an intellectually fraudulent walking punchline.* And, tying everything together, some intellectually fraudulent racism.
So what new books are Bellow putting out that justifies this most recent fluffing? Do they look interesting? Are they selling at all?
Most of the digital offerings from “Voices” are on ways to beat the system, or at least expose it. One author is Milton R. Wolf, a Kansas physician and distant cousin to President Obama who opposes his health-care plan. He wrote “First, Do No Harm.” Another is Dallas tea party leader Lorie Medina, who wrote “Community Organizing for Conservatives.”
Sales have been “modest,” Bellow says. The health-care pamphlet had been the best-selling, at 500 copies, until a satiric offering by Frank J. Fleming titled “Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything” sold 2,300 copies in its first week. Starting this month, Broadside will add longer works, called e-originals and running 20,000 to 30,000 words, to the series. First out of the blocks: “The New Quislings: How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam,” by Bruce Bawer.
So that would be a “no” on both counts. Worse, he hasn’t given a contract to Alec Rawls, to complete the “talent leaps over a generation” circle.