Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

June 17, 2010

The Overton Window: A Review

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 8:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Sorry I haven’t written in a couple of days, I was pretty engrossed in this book.  I am going to do something different with this review.  First I will give you my take on the book, as usual, without giving anything away.  Then I am going into a spoiler alert to tear apart an ignorant review by our buddies over at Media Matters.  First, my review.

I just finished The Overton Window today, a FICTION novel from Glenn Beck and his writing team.  (Have to cover all the asinine criticism it’s receiving)  It was a good read.  It was very fast paced, taking place over the course of only a few days, but detailing a greater plot spanning decades.  The novel reads more like a Dan Brown thriller than a Tom Clancy, but that’s just me.  I could easily see this story in movie format, complete with fast cars, explosions, attractive women, and a buddies-save-the-day suicide pact.

The message is clear, and though it bordered on preachy, the political sermons were key to the character’s that gave them, and believable in their context.  Though this is a work of FICTION it is strewn with real-world examples, historical references, and quotes.  Enough to draw the reader into a world that isn’t much of a leap from our own.  The book is intentionally ambiguous when it comes to political parties, citing progressives as the problem along with corrupt businesses.  The book and its characters are adamant that no one group is to blame for the problems, and even the common citizen has to shoulder some blame for inattention.

Overall a good read.  I would recommend it for anyone that likes a good political thriller.  If it really burns you to know Glenn wrote it then tell yourself that the physical typing was done by his team.  The story is worth it, fan of Beck or not.

*************************************SPOILER ALERT*******************************************

Ok, now to the fun part.  See, Media Matters, hypocrites that they are, used a tactic that they bash Beck for using all the time.  They reviews an advanced copy of The Overton Window, and with misquotes, creative editing, and supposition they went on to tear it apart.  Of course, as usual they got it all wrong.  It’s ironic isn’t it, that the website devoted to correcting misinformation in conservative media uses misinformation to correct misinformation in a FICTIONAL book!

1.  Ok, I guess we should start where they do, with the infamous line “Don’t tease the panther.”  They set it up by saying ‘early in the book’ Noah and Molly find themselves in bed together.  Now I read this review for the book, and I expected this scene to happen, as they said, ‘early in the book’.  I guess almost halfway in is early to Dimiero and Maloy (the ‘writers’ of the article [see other people can do it too Media Matters]).  So, ‘early in the book’, nearly halfway through, there seems to be a paragraph where they discuss not being sexual, and then the infamous quote:

“Suit yourself, lady. I’m telling you right now, you made the rules, but you’re playing with fire here. I’ve got some rules, too, and rule number one is, don’t tease the panther.

What they fail to mention is that the entire platonic bedroom scene takes place over a couple of pages.  They also fail to mention the reason for the infamous “don’t tease the panther.”  See since they took it out of context you miss the fact that they had been joking about his lack of fighting ability just before that scene.  I guess you can imagine making the same joke yourself, a self-deprecating remark on your inability to put up much of a fight.  But wait, according to Media Matters we don’t have imaginations.

As for the misinformation, MM states that in the book she presses her cold feet against his legs.  Well, not really, she just says they are cold.  Who care if the reviewers take liberties though huh?

2.  Oh my Gods!  The delete voice mail!  Someone call the police.  Ok, so when the book is really moving Noah needs to find Molly and goes to her workplace within the company (she works at the same place Noah does) and one of her coworkers happens to have gotten a voice mail from a friend of Molly’s.  Now, here’s the horrible, unbelievable, someone should get fired plot hole.  The employee deleted the voice mail!  Of course they memorized the information, that Molly’s mom was in the hospital.  But wait…there’s more!  She knew which hospital!  Simply tore me right out of the story with that one.

3.  Of course with this one they create a clever title and find an editing mistake.  One wonders if these two clowns…’writers’ have ever read a book.  I have read a LOT of them, and these kind of mistakes happen.  The writer changes something about the story, or makes a mistake from the start.  It gets missed in editing, and goes to print.  It seems in one part that Molly says she knows who was on a catering list, then shortly after asks who was in the meeting that was catered.  Which part was supposed to be in there and which part escaped the editing.  Again, such a HUGE mistake in the plot, how can we stand it?

4.  This whole part in their article is a whole lot of insinuation and supposition.  First they say that this PR company seems to send and receive all its super-secret documents through the mail room.  Well, first off they have no control over how they receive much.  If someone sends something through the mail…it goes in the mail room.  Second, there is no mention of it being sent out that way, so…we will just say the ‘writers’ mixed that up.  After the quoted section of the book they suppose that Noah shouldn’t be surprised that Molly stole the memo, they broke into his father’s office earlier.  Well, it never said he was surprised or shocked, just that it was clear she did it.  If you read the whole scene, instead of just what MM clips out, Noah is shocked that he was scammed by Molly, used by her.  He isn’t shocked that she was capable of stealing a secret memo.  Why read the whole book though, these two goons…’writers’ I mean, have laid it out for you.

5.  Again with creative supposition they make the case that some incriminating PowerPoint shouldn’t be lying around.  Well, again if you read the scene, the incriminating part is stored on a secure server.  Even the non-incriminating part is under password.  How does Noah have the password the MM writers ask?  Well, he is an executive in, and heir to the company, that his father owns.  Doesn’t seem like the leap that these two ‘writers’ think you have to make.

6.  So there is a scene where undercover cops, or some sort of security contractors, infiltrate a Founder’s Keepers meeting and start trouble.  People get arrested, and later Noah’s father’s lawyer is trying to help him.  They lead Noah and the lawyer through the station to an interview room.  Now here is where MM ‘writers’ have a problem.  They think it odd that the ones involved in the plot would be standing in view of ‘everyone’ still dressed in their disguises.  Well ‘writers’ if by ‘everyone’ you mean their coworkers/co-conspiritors then sure.  Even Noah, the only one at the meeting that saw them, wasn’t supposed to.  If all the Founders Keepers were locked up elsewhere why would the undercovers worry about being seen?

7.  So in this criticism they actually quote the entire passage, and still don’t get it right.  They seem to think that there was no passage of time between the kiss and the conversation.  Maybe in their world people can’t go from having an intimate moment in the park to having an adult conversation.

8.  Here’s a good one.  They criticize this interaction by saying that instead of talking about their harrowing night at the Founder’s Keepers rally and jail they instead talk about Clinton.  It makes me wonder if the ‘writers’ even read the book.  They spend several pages talking about the rally, she thanked him for getting them out of jail, they talked about their history, their parents, things get serious when they talk about losing a parent, and then they decided to get off the serious topics.  THEN they get to the passage that MM quotes.  See this whole scene is when two characters that are important to the story, and each other, get to know each other.  It’s convenient that MM takes a very large conversation, spanning several pages, and cuts out one part to criticize how menial the topic is.  Way to go guys.

9.  This one’s just ignorant.  The ‘writers’ don’t even understand the use of narrator to deliver the thoughts of a subject.  They think that because the narrator gave us information, that it isn’t information the subject can have.  Guess what MM ‘writers’, those of us who read books understand this technique.  We knew that the first paragraph was giving us Noah’s thoughts, even when it isn’t italicized to make it easy for the low-grade readers.  Ahhh, maybe that’s why the MM ‘writers’ didn’t get it.  Don’t worry guys, we understand how hard it is sometimes when out of your element.

10.  Ok, this last one is so funny, and so full of garbage we have to break it down a little bit.  It involves the plot to leave New York with Molly impersonating Natalie Portman.  First off, I am a Star Wars fan as I know Glenn is, and I found this whole passage funny.  If you have ever been to a convention you would find it totally believable as well.  So…here we go.

Noah’s master plan involves buying an entire row of first class seats on a flight out of La Guardia and using his wealth and powerful name to bypass normal security procedures. But how will Molly make it through, you ask? Well, by dressing up as Natalie Portman, of course. No, really. She dresses like Natalie Portman — complete with Noah’s disturbingly accurate recollection of where to draw beauty marks on her face to complete the disguise.

First off his plan is explained pretty well in the few pages leading up to it.  It starts with him contacting a celebrity liaison at the airport and explaining that he was with Portman and she wanted to get on the plane with no one giving them any trouble.  His father is rich, he is rich, isn’t that far of a stretch so far.  They go for Natalie Portman because Molly looks like her a little bit.  I have to stop here, can you imagine how funny it would be if they made this into a move and Portman played Molly?  Natalie playing Molly, dressing as Natalie to get through security.  Noah’s disturbingly accurate recollection of where to draw beauty marks?  He is a PR guy, in New York.  Perhaps he is even a fan, he knows what type of movies she does.  You guys are reaching with number ten.

So, aside from all the lies, clipping, clever titles…oh who am I kidding.  This wasn’t a review.  It was an asinine, juvenile bashing of a book they weren’t going to like anyway.  If the book had been written by anyone else they wouldn’t have bothered.  It almost makes me wish Beck had used a pseudonym just so he could come in a month down the road and rub their noses in liking a book he wrote.  Ahh, but to sink to their level.  Not in a million years.  So kids, once again, Media Matters has proven themselves to be hypocritical, as well as irrelevant.  For what it’s worth I hope you all like the book, I know I did.  Now to quit hogging it and give it to my wife so she can read the FICTION.



  1. Excellent review of “The Overton Window!”

    I’m wondering if I could reprint it on my blog?

    I was thinking about doing a review myself, but I can’t say it better than you have done.

    I’ll give you full credit and link back to this blog.


    Comment by Ronbo — July 11, 2010 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  2. Sure, no problem using it if you like. Author’s name and link like you said, be my guest.

    Comment by disgruntledpatriot — July 12, 2010 @ 5:07 am | Reply

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