Sunday, the New York Post led with a big story: President Obama would support Elizabeth Warren over Hillary Clinton in a 2016 primary.
Except the story is by Edward Klein, the author of the new book, Blood Feud. And Klein doesn't offer any proof this is actually happening.
There is an anonymous source who says that Warren, "like Obama, wants to transform America into a European-style democratic-socialist state." Another anonymous source dubs Warren Obama's "Mini-Me." There are vague reports of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett meeting with Warren.
And then Klein misquotes himself (or whatever you'd call this):
Here's Klein in the Post on Sunday:
Here's Klein in his own book. This is Bill Clinton talking to Chelsea, rather than "several close friends," at a party:
Last week, FoxNews.com ran another piece by Klein, headlined, "Hillary down in the dumps: Is Clinton about to drop out of 2016 race?" The piece ran in the opinion section. It also featured this quotation, attributed to one of the Clintons: "I know the country needs us, but they aren't acting like they deserve us. Just f**k 'me." (One assumes it was supposed to be "fuck 'em.")
The slate of Klein pieces is pegged to the release of Blood Feud, which debuted behind Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices on the New York Times best-seller list this past week.
And let me tell you: Blood Feud is the kind of book you should read with a loved one. Aloud.
After the wild success of his previous effort, the thinly sourced The Amateur, Klein signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins. That deal was later terminated. (Two publishing sources attributed the split to concerns about the quality of Klein's reporting.)
Blood Feud's tale is a timeless one: Spurned by Oprah (sure), David Plouffe and Valerie Jarrett tell the president to make a deal with Bill Clinton to win the 2012 election ("Plouffe wanted to win more than he needed to hate") in exchange for Obama's support for Hillary 2016, but then — dun dun dunnn — Obama tells Bill Clinton that he's giving away all the campaign data to OFA and mentions Benghazi in passing, so now it's all ruined, and Bill Clinton is frail and dying. Seems rock solid!
Almost every chapter has something truly insane in it: At one point, Klein accuses Michelle Obama and Jarrett of believing that "the Clintons, like most white people, were racists." Another chapter cites as gospel Sy Hersh's report in the London Review of Books late last year that the Obama administration withheld information about Syrian rebels' ability to make sarin gas. (Hersh's report was originally intended to run in the Washington Post, but did not.)
These more troubling issues aside: Because the book is largely a simple retelling of known information about the 2012 election and the Benghazi attack, Klein instead promises the sordid, inside details of arguments between the Obamas, Clintons, and Jarrett. What he delivers reads like stilted fan fiction, featuring dialogue that no human has likely said or will probably ever say until you read it aloud to friends and family.
Look, let's cut right to the chase here: Blood Feud is the funniest book of 2014. Maybe ever. On nearly every page, you'll feel like yelling "BLOOD FEUD!" over a guitar solo (think "Panama" by Van Halen) while an eagle flies out of an explosion.
Earn this. Savor this. Believe very little of this.
9. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had a "physical" altercation:
8. Hillary Clinton has always been a loose cannon, so her friends weren't surprised by "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
To illustrate this point, Klein goes back 60 years. (The story about punching a girl is true, though it's unclear how it directly applies to Benghazi.)
7. David Plouffe and Valerie Jarrett argued about Oprah, Klein tells us in the opening pages:
Also, according to Klein, this is how Oprah talks:
6. Also, Valerie Jarrett is the "third member" in the Obamas' marriage.
5. Here's how Hillary Clinton sums up the "story of the Obama presidency":
4. And wouldn't you know it, one of those Wellesley grads asked Hillary about Benghazi.
3. Benghazi is very prominent in Blood Feud. This is, according to Klein, how Bill and Hillary Clinton argued about whether she should appear on the Sunday shows after the attack:
2. Later, Klein tells us, the Clintons did...whatever this is while watching Susan Rice on the Sunday shows.
1. "Dowdy and old doesn't win the White House these days."
Katherine Miller is the political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Katherine Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.