I am not one of those authors who actually cares whether or not a reviewer likes my work. Take it or leave it. I got more than enough love as a child to spread to an entire nation of children, and I neither get impressed nor try to enable or appease.
It is the reason why I don’t plaster positive reviews of any of my books here. Most of the time, I don’t even see positive or negative reviews of my books right away, as in, I may see it six months from the time it was posted (and in one case, over a decade). I honestly have more pressing things going on in my life than to get stuck on a egotistical hamster wheel, and you can’t please all of the people all of the time because you are not supposed to in the first place. It is called reality.
And it was a first in all my years as an author: getting a review written with an extremely sexist lens.
As in, what century does this reviewer live in? Certainly not this one.
You can read the translated version here, but suffice to say, there is a lot of talk about my emotionality and anger.
Oh, I see. I am a hysterical female?
And what does that make the reviewer? An apathetic male?
Emotional does not mean irrational, but the lack of emotions is a sign of having a psychopathic personality disorder.
But I am not speaking from anger. I am reporting on these facts:
People died as a result of junk reporting.
Wars raged as a result of journalistic propaganda.
People were oppressed as a result of bigoted journalism.
People lost their life savings and towns were economically devastated because of reporters cheerleading con men.
Children were orphaned, people falsely accused of criminal wrongdoing, and robber barons destroyed people’s livelihoods, and I am being called out for being outspoken (yes, outspoken) about it?
If you are not concerned or disturbed by this, then you have too many birds on your antenna.
But the review is far more manipulative than that. The reviewer has a convenient obsession with my brief mentioning of junk pseudo-celebrity news such as Kardashians, repeating it throughout the review as if this was my focus — but conveniently ignores every instance of hard news flaws I use in my book, which is, by the way, the vast bulk of the book.
Nice try trivializing my work.
Nothing in that review mentions how I discuss how PR firms hijacked the narratives of the Gulf Wars and the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia. Zero.
Nothing about 60 Minutes’ seriously flawed Benghazi report where it was an advertorial for one of their own books published through Simon and Schuster.
Nothing about how reporters such as Stephen Glass and an army of others actually just fabricated stories whole cloth.
Nothing about the long list of grifters who stole billions of dollars all while the press fawned all over them.
How very convenient to distort my book to make a nonexistent point by cherry-picking.
The review makes it sounds as if I am frivolous and hysterical — while completely ignoring the hundreds of references in the back of the book that I used discussing mostly the hard news stories the press botched up.
That is not a logic-based review. That is a strawman argument trying to make me sound as if I were a flighty ditz and jealous and failed wannabe celebrity, and not a serious author and researcher with real credentials who actually has a brain and uses it. That is dishonest and shame on you.
This review is beyond sexist. It is dishonest to the point of being a farce. I do not know what kind of society this reviewer was indoctrinated in, but it must have been a highly misogynistic one with not an ounce of enlightenment whatsoever.
A negative review is one thing, but a misogynistic one that distorts the contents of a book is quite another.
And considering the number of journalist titans who have fallen in #MeToo, this review actually proves me right about the profession.
We have an industry with serious woman issues.
By the way, beggar’s journalism — or what the reviewer spins as virtue-signalling “public service journalism” is equally worthless as it does nothing to confront the serious structural flaws of the dead profession, nor does it provide any checks and balances for wealthy robber baron donors to buy their coverage because they are the ones with money and a vested interest (which they already do) — and now you give them a tax break to manipulate people into falsely thinking that you are a “public service.” Grow up.
Boys, the next time you review a woman’s book, please check your sexist filters at the door, and remember this piece of manly advice before you think your filters show you reality:
Because some of us do see that road crossing the forest…even if you won’t.