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Why You Shouldn’t Read ‘Double Down,’ The New Campaign Book Everyone Is Talking About

Probably a loss of time posting this here given the number of people who loves posting these Halperin stories, but here it is.

The authors of “Double Down” — Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — have found a way to exploit this phenomena for fun and profit. They seek out disaffected campaign staffers and consultants and provide an anonymous conduit for them to spin their preferred version of what transpired. This creates a prisoner’s dilemma for those who might not ordinarily be inclined to speak to Halperin and Heilemann. If they don’t cooperate, their critics might be the only people who shape the narrative of the campaign. By playing different factions within campaigns against it each other, Heilemann and Halperin get a lot of folks to talk. Interviews are conducted on “deep background” and the books contain “no source notes.”
This has been an extremely lucrative exercise for the authors. Their first book on the 2008 campaign, “Game Change,” was a bestseller and optioned into an HBO movie. Halperin and Heilemann received an advance for “Double Down” that exceeded $5 million.


Nevertheless, each salacious nugget is breathlessly reported by large media outlets who, it seems, can’t resist. A Google News search for the book already returns 848 results, before this piece added one more. This creates buzz, more sales and more buzz. Full of tidbits of dubious import, “Double Down” seems destined for the bestseller list as well. But if you are interested in an accurate understanding of the 2012 campaign, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

And if you insist thinking that they report things that matter, here is a guide of anonymous sources that is worth reading before reading what is little more than gossip from the Beltway.
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