The first response to publicist Maria Sliwa's e-mail queries to news organizations about whether they would like to receive a review copy of "The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists" came back from a reporter at the Christian Science Monitor.
The answer was "no." But it wasn't just "no." The reporter called the book by journalist-author-WABC radio host Aaron Klein and researcher Brenda J. Elliott -- at the time embargoed and thus unread -- a name for toilet paper I'd rather not print. Reflexively, Sliwa hit the delete button (thus losing the reporter's name for posterity). But when other e-mails started coming back with similarly visceral (and even similarly scatological) responses, she started saving them, realizing the reactions themselves were a story.
And so they are. Again, these e-mails, some of which appear below, are responding to the prospect of a new book by a journalist known for groundbreaking work as the Jerusalem-based correspondent for the popular conservative news site Worldnetdaily.com. Klein was also the journalist who first put the Bill Ayers-Barack Obama story together in February 2008 -- 5,000 miles from the United States.
"Ridiculous crap," wrote John Oswald, news editor of the New York Daily News.
"Never, ever contact me again," wrote Time Magazine senior writer Jeffrey Kluger.
"Absolute crap," wrote Evelyn Leopold, former U.N. bureau chief for Reuters.
"Seriously, get a life," wrote David Knowles, AOL's political writer.
"This is sensational rubbish that is of no interest to any legitimate publication," wrote Newsweek deputy editor Rana Foroohar.