The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Corrupt Lobbyist’s Tell-All Published by Conspiracy-Mongering WND

By Leah Nelson on November 14, 2011 - 2:50 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda

Given his reputation as a corrupt master of manipulation, disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been given a surprisingly credulous welcome by the media following the Nov. 1 release of his book Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist.

Described by its publisher as “an engrossing, informative work” that will “serve as a corrective” to Abraham’s “wildly misunderstood” story, the book and its author have in the past week been portrayed with relative sympathy by at least two important mainstream outlets, CBS’s “60 Minutes” and The New York Times. Neither lets him off the hook entirely; the Times, for example, notes that his book tour is “classic Abramoff” and “reflects his latest and most personal lobbying effort yet: the one on which he lobbies for himself.” But (ironically, given the subject matter) neither do the two reports look at who is behind this effort to redeem “Casino Jack,” and who stands to benefit from it.

They should – for Capitol Punishment is not being published by a mainstream imprint. Its publisher is none other than WND Books, an arm of the obsessively conspiracist online magazine WorldNetDaily, which earlier this year released right-wing attack dog Jerome Corsi’s latest birther screed, Where’s the Birth Certificate?.

Though it is best known for its dogged birtherism, WND trucks in all manner of far-right lunacy, as is amply demonstrated by the top 10 bestsellers promoted in its online store. Among these is Scott Lively’s The Pink Swastika, which makes the thoroughly debunked claim that the Holocaust was masterminded by gay men; Cleon Skousen’s The 5,000 Year Leap, which outlines a plan for turning the United States into 50 little theocracies, each dictating morality according to its own religious ethics; and a bizarre tome called Marx and Satan, which argues that “the destruction of mankind” was “Marx’s ultimate Satanic goal.”

WND’s paranoid universe includes more that just books and articles. In a recent “urgent” letter to subscribers interested in “Carefully Selected Offers from Third Parties,” for instance, it shilled for a bizarre publication titled “The Antichrist Identity,” whose thesis is that Freemasons and “apostate” Jews (as opposed to “Bible-believing” ones) are behind an ancient plot to depopulate the planet, enslave the human race, and bring about a One World Government headed by European royalty. And just last Friday, WND was among the sponsors of a hysterical Nashville-area conference on the “threat” that Islamic Shariah law supposedly poses to the United States.

WND isn’t the only one to lend Abramoff a helping hand. The bankrupt ex-lobbyist’s lavish book party in October was hosted by right-wing pundit Tucker Carlson, who helms the online Daily Caller, an online publication that among other things has featured the ravings of rabid Islamophobe Pamela Geller.

Abramoff’s past behavior has proven him to be not only a criminal but a master manipulator, and the personal benefits of recasting himself as a whistleblower of the influence-peddling system that he himself used to enrich himself are only too obvious. That doesn’t mean he can’t have useful insight on how to reform the system – but there are obvious reasons to pay careful attention to the company he keeps. From corrupt politicians and self-serving lobbyists, he has moved on to birthers, theocrats, conspiracists and Muslim-bashers. Not much of an improvement – and not the kind of comrades that should be overlooked by media seeking to promote a good old-fashioned American comeback tale.

  • juepucta

    This is the same stuff, albeit slightly watered down, that outlets like Coast To Coast sell. Same audience, same guests, same BS. And, like Beck, they are part of Premiere Radio Networks.

  • Jerry Lopez

    I still find some of the info from ‘Jack’ to be
    interesting at pointing out the how things
    seem to work in politics.
    And lets not forget to give a big vote of thanks to the right wing extreme supreme court justices for the Citizens United ruling.
    Too bad they can screw up the country…

    Note on the clock that is correct twice a day – Not if it is a 24 hour format :-)

  • Aron


    How can you complain about red herrings here? You have still provided absolutely NO evidence of your so-called ‘Muslim Terrorist Training Camps.’

    Until you put up, as was said previously, it’s time to shut up.

  • Dick Lancaster

    I check out WND every so often. They do indeed have a bit of conservative National Inquirer about them. But the National Inquirer busted some pretty powerful people and WND has exposed some very important stories ignored by what writer leah Nelson calls, “mainstream outlets”; the Planned Parenthood indictment in Kansas and their concomitant criminal shennannigans being the latest.

    I also visit the SPLC’s Hate Watch for the same “conspriricy theories” with a left wing slant. At times I can actually find a true nugget once I’ve sifted through all the red herrings.

  • Mick

    I listened to him on the Michael Medfed show and I disagree with the charcterizations here . Seems to me he was advocating some positions in regards to the system politically that many of us at least find hurting the process. One is the way lobbyist of special interests , especially large corporations wine and dine politicians in order to gain political access. I think most of us have heard about the special inside trading information that many politicans are excempt from . Does not DC seem to act contray to the interests of either party advocates at times ? We tend to demonize the Martha Stewarts and folks like this , and because of political idealogy but fail to consider the fact that those who even support our political idealogy are not operating in a system that puts the lone citizen’s voice equal importance of special interests lobbying machines and corporate interests .

    I can not validate or assume to know the motives of the heart of Jack Abrahamff, but demonizing his message because of his book publisher , makes as much sense of demonizing the message of occupiers because they have been associated with communists and nazis . the message of dis satisfaction of the present system of crony capitalism is still valid .

    Do we vilify our president because some his contacts have been less then what we may consider approriate ? Maybe you do , I don’t .

    For an organization that promtotes Human Rights , I am astonished once again by guilt because of association .

    Perhaps speaking to the issue of lobbyists and their ability to have diner with politicians , their ability to have access to where the average citizen does not will make more sense .

    I intend on buying his book . If you know the story of the guy , he actually comes from a religious and moral background . It seems to me he started a slow process of being corrupted to the point he became what many go to DC to stop. I believe many politicians start out and then become engulfed in a system that says play along or have no voice . Compromise becomes the only way till you become a jack abrahoff .

    Stop the corporate voices from running our country , either by law , term limits or something .

  • Reynardine

    Dammit, JFC, at first read I missed the “L” in “clock”.

  • Shadow Wolf

    Wow, this corruptor is already out of prison? Sad that this same JACKabromOFF ripped off a couple of gullible Native chairmen and their casinos. He already out living the high life.

  • JCF

    Maybe even a busted clock is correct twice a day?

  • IThink

    Well, this just is what it is; @ least the fact that I’ve yet to hear of his so-monikered “comeback” is at least a step down the media’s least-traveled trail of “Out of sight, out of mind;” a non-existential myth in the distortion reality of movement conservatives. That he can sustain his wing nut welfare through WND and away from the rest of the mainstream thinking population is the ultimate redemption from his Mad Hatter days as an ex-bush Republicant: he can be a crank from a distance and in a space where his freedom of speech and other self-effacing liberties won’t dare be infringed upon…

  • Aron

    Isn’t Jackie-boy still supposed to be in prison for MASSIVE CORRUPTION?

    How was he able to attend Tucker C’s house party?

  • CIA Jon

    Ralph Reed should have gone to jail with him

  • Erika

    Given that there would be many creditible publishing houses leaping to publish a tell all expose about lobbying from someone like Abramahof, the fact that he was not able to find a creditible publisher speaks volumes.