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Max Blumenthal
Born December 18, 1977 (1977-12-18) (age 32)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation Journalist, Columnist, Documentary filmmaker
Notable relatives Sidney Blumenthal (father)
Religious belief(s) Jewish
Official website

Max Blumenthal is an American liberal investigative journalist, columnist, documentary filmmaker, and political vlogger. His work has been featured on The Nation,[1] The American Prospect, Washington Monthly, Al Jazeera English, Alternet, The Huffington Post,[2] and Salon Magazine. His investigative reporting has been cited by the Boston Globe,[3] The American Prospect,[4] San Francisco Chronicle,[5] CBS News,[6] Newsday,[7] Rocky Mountain News,[8] Christianity Today,[9] Los Angeles Times,[10] The Guardian,[11] Chicago Tribune,[12] Fox News,[13] and Time Magazine[14] - among many other news outlets. He has also been a guest on NPR, MSNBC, Democracy Now!, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show. The winner of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Award for his investigative print journalism, he has produced numerous video reports that have garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube, among other sites.[2]

The son of former Clinton administration presidential aide Sidney Blumenthal,[15] he is also a Puffin Writing Fellow at the New York-based Nation Institute, a research fellow for the progressive Media Matters for America,[1][15] and senior contributor at The Daily Beast. Blumenthal's first book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, was published in September 2009.[16][17][18]

Contents

Investigative journalism

In 2003, Blumenthal won the Online News Association's Independent Feature Award for his investigative article in Salon.com, "Day of the Dead."[19][20] The piece examined the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and possible connections between the killings and the policies of the corporations with factories in the border city.[21]

Blumenthal's coverage of the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C., led to the creation of a video titled Generation Chickenhawk, which featured interviews with convention attendees focusing on why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States armed forces.[15][22][23] In addition, Max Blumenthal released the documentary Rapture Ready in 2007, which examined the link between American Christian fundamentalists and their support of the State of Israel.[15] At the invitation of conference organizers, he also attended the June 2007 "Take Back America Conference" (sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future), interviewing over-zealous Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Conference organizers were angered by Blumenthal's video, and refused to air it.[15]

In 2008, Blumenthal was the first journalist to post video footage from 2005 of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[24]

In 2010, Blumenthal had a confrontation with conservative critic Andrew Breitbart and a video was complied by Breitbart's Big Journalism website that questions Blumenthal's tactics.[25]

'Feeling the Hate' controversy

In 2009, Max Blumenthal published a video report entitled "Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama's Cairo Address". The video featured interviews with Jewish youth in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama's Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a "nigger" and suggesting that he is "like a terrorist".[26] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video "garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world."[27] Haaretz described the video as "an overnight Internet sensation".[26]

Blumenthal has stated that the video was "banned" from YouTube, Vimeo and the Huffington Post.[28] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Blumenthal as stating, "I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube."[29] YouTube said that company policy forbids comment on individual videos, while asserting that its policies are applied "uniformly and not as the result of external pressure."[29]

Blumenthal has stated that he faced death threats for his publication of the video.[30] He identifies the radicalism of the interviewees with the "indoctrination" of Birthright Israel tours, a program in which several of the interviewees were participating.[30] The filmmaker, a Jew himself, had participated in a Birthright tour in 2002.[30]

Republican Gommorrah

Inspired by the work of psychologist Erich Fromm, who asserted that the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, in Republican Gommorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Blumenthal sets out to explain how in his view a "culture of personal crisis" has defined the American "radical right".[31] Blumenthal's overall conclusion in the 365 page exposé, is that "those who wrap themselves in the flag fear freedom the most" because of their own personal demons and insecurities, making them "pathologically supportive of an authoritarian state" that can provide them with the "emotional security of being a cog in a white Christian hierarchical machine."[31]

Reviewer Hendrik Hertzberg, of The New Yorker described the book as a "riveting account of a religio-political subculture that’s even weirder than you thought it was", remarking that "Republican Gomorrah is an irresistible combination of anthropology and psychopathology that exerts the queasy fascination of let’s face it something very like pornography."[32] Rick Perlstein, in the New York Times Book Review also gave the work praise, declaring Blumenthal "a brave and resourceful reporter adept at turning over rocks that public-relations-savvy Christian conservative leaders would prefer remain undisturbed."[32]

References

  1. ^ a b "Author Bios: Max Blumenthal." The Nation. No date. Accessed 2009-09-12
  2. ^ a b "Max Blumenthal." The Huffington Post. No date. Accessed 2009-09-12
  3. ^ Jacobs, Alan. "Apocalyptic President?" Boston Globe. April 4, 2004.
  4. ^ Tomasky, Michael. "The Impostor." The American Prospect. June 28, 2004.
  5. ^ Hendricks, Tyce. "Issue of Illegals Roiling Arizona." San Francisco Chronicle. February 28, 2005.
  6. ^ vanden Heuvel, Katrina. "Bad Religion, Bad Politics." CBSNews.com. April 26, 2005.
  7. ^ Henican, Ellis. "Robertson Feels the Wrath." Newsday. January 13, 2006.
  8. ^ Sprengelmayer, M.E. "Dobson Denies Abramoff Link." Rocky Mountain News. March 10, 2006.
  9. ^ Olsen, Ted. "'No Religious Motive' for 'Satanist' Arson Suspects." Christianity Today. March 10, 2006.
  10. ^ Collins, Scott. "Football trips up 'Path to 9/ 11'." Los Angeles Times. September 12, 2006.
  11. ^ Holmwood, Leigh. "Controversial 9/11 Drama Watched by 13m in US." The Guardian. September 12, 2006.
  12. ^ Williams, Alex. "Extreme Heckling." Chicago Tribune. April 18, 2007.
  13. ^ "Toby Keith Denies Pro-Lynching Lyric Claims", Fox News August 7, 2008.
  14. ^ Altman, Alex. "The War on Christmas." Time. December 24, 2008.
  15. ^ a b c d e Treiman, Daniel. "Max Blumenthal, Scourge of Conservative Conferences." The Forward. August 10, 2007.
  16. ^ Begala, Paul. "Commentary: Obama Lucky With His Enemies." CNN.com September 10, 2009.
  17. ^ Blumenthal, Max. Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. New York: Nation Books, 2009. ISBN 1568583982
  18. ^ The work was purchased in 2007, and originally titled Land of Sin: Inside the Movement That Controls the Republican Party. See: Thornton, Matthew. "Blumenthal to Nation." Publishers Weekly. October 15, 2007.
  19. ^ Blumenthal, Max. "Day of the Dead." Salon.com. December 4, 2002.
  20. ^ "Neighborhood Briefing." Arizona Daily Star. September 17, 2004.
  21. ^ Mandell, Jonathan. "Why Awards Matter." 2003 ONA Conference Participant's Blog. November 15, 2003. Accessed 2009-09-12
  22. ^ Greenwald, Glenn. "The Weekly Standard's '9/11 Generation'." Salon.com. July 23, 2007. Accssed 2009-09-12.
  23. ^ LaSalle, Mick. "Maximum Strength Mick." San Francisco Chronicle. July 19, 2007.
  24. ^ Rossmeier, Vincent. "Palin's Pastor (and Witches) Problem." Salon.com. September 26, 2008; Burke, Garance. "Palin Once Blessed Against 'Witchcraft'." Associated Press. September 25, 2008.
  25. ^ Max Blumenthal and his Viscious Alinsky Tactics - by Big Journalism
  26. ^ a b http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092332.html
  27. ^ Jerusalem Post 06-09-2009 Headline: Young Americans in Jerusalem 'feel the hate' for Obama. Video featuring obscene condemnations of US president draws over 200,000 viewers on YouTube Byline: TORI CHEIFETZ Edition; Daily Section: News Page: 08 [1]
  28. ^ http://maxblumenthal.com/feeling-the-hate-in-jerusalem/
  29. ^ a b http://jta.org/news/article/2009/06/19/1006009/youtube-removes-blumenthal-video
  30. ^ a b c http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092485.html
  31. ^ a b BuzzFlash.com's Review of Republican Gommorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party
  32. ^ a b Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party: Amazon Editorial Review

External links

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Notable video reports by Blumenthal


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