“Being featured” meaning they’re pulling footage from his TV interviews; he’s not filming ads for them (yet).

I’m not going to bash him since I have no way of knowing how much of what he’s said is true, but definitely do read this WaPo article about how the book “evolved” during the editorial process. Some of the language is sufficiently close to sarcasm (the “scales dropped from his eyes”) to suggest skepticism of his motives. Quote:

McClellan said that he started focusing on writing the book about a year ago and that the work was especially intense over the past several months as the publishing date approached.

Osnos said McClellan just needed editorial guidance to tell the story he wanted to tell all along.

“First we had to ascertain what kind of book he wanted to write,” said Osnos, a former Washington Post reporter and editor. “We are journalists, independent-minded publishers. We weren’t interested in a book that was just a defense of the Bush administration. It had to pass our test of independence, integrity and candor.”

This goes back to my point last night about the significance of his advance having been so small. If McClellan had all these shocking things to say about Bush from the beginning, why didn’t he go to Random House or Simon & Schuster or some other mega-publisher and shop it on that basis to try to get a monster advance? Anyone could have told him it would be a huge seller and bound to get saturation media coverage. If everything in it is true then he’s been sitting on a gold mine for two years … and yet opted for upfront money of less than six figures. That makes no sense unless you assume he’s fantastically stupid (which isn’t implausible). If, on the other hand, you assume he didn’t have anything to tell until his publisher “guided” it out of him, then the deal makes more sense. He might have approached them initially with a very boring, rah-rah Bush manuscript; they might have looked at it and thought they could pressure him into something more spectacular, the windfall potential of which would certainly justify signing him and giving him a modest advance; then they went to work on him, and voila. If McClellan had gotten a big advance, he’d care less about the royalties resulting from sales and would have been in a better position to resist any pressure from the publisher. The fact that he didn’t get one left him with every financial incentive to go whole hog on the more Olbermaniacal details. Which, again, doesn’t prove that he’s lying. Just makes one wonder a bit more.

…Oh, all right. If you absolutely must have some red-meat McClellan-bashing, read this. (Sample quote: “There are miserable creatures like you in every administration…”) And here’s an oldie but goldie clip to add some extra nuance to that DNC ad.

Tags: Barack Obama