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“Death of a Pope” by Piers Paul Read

Tuesday, June 30, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Next week is “thrillers” week on the show with interviews with Brad Thor, Alex Berenson, Steven Pressfield, Daniel Silva and Vince Flynn running on Tuesday through Friday.

As an appetizer to next week’s feast, though, I’ll spend the third hour of today’s program with English novelist (and very successful non-fiction writer as well) Peirs Paul Read, whose new thriller The Death of a Pope is vastly superior in every way to The DaVinci Code and others of the genre.

The Death of a Pope

UPDATE: The transcript of my interview with Read is here.

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The Surge Worked: Victory In Iraq

Tuesday, June 30, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

President Bush must be watching today’s celebrations in Iraq with great interest, though doubtless without any expectation that the MSM which was so wrong for so long about Iraq will pause to recall that in late 2006, Bush undertook a change in strategy in Iraq that led to today’s celebrations in the country liberated from Saddam and now generally secure from terrorists.

Many, many senior American political figures –including President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid– pronounced the war in Iraq lost in 2006, and declared that the surge could not work and was not worth the effort.

But today Iraq is a free country because of the surge, and though hardly a completely secure and stable democracy, Iraq is on the path that could make it the anchor of freedom in the Muslim world while its fascist neighbor Iran is convulsed with demonstrations and unmasked to the world as the most repressive regime in the region.

The new Administration could still forfeit the hard won, extremely costly victory in Iraq through fecklessness or a desperate need to please the hard-left fringe in the United States that will forever understand victory in Iraq as a rebuke to their hatred of Bush and their blindness to the true stakes of the war. Every day of freedom the Iraqis enjoy is a day that MoveOn.org and the rest of the gang wanted to deny the Iraqi people. They helped President Obama win an election of course, but they are losing the battle with history every single day, and days like today must drive that home and drive them into a deserved gloom over their own failed plans to see America humbled.

The Latest From “Bear In The Woods”

Monday, June 29, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From our favorite anonymous ad exec:

The last piece I wrote to you seemed to have struck a chord. I typically get a good bit of support emails at bearinthewoods84@gmail.com when I write you, but nothing like what I got from the last post. I’ve heard from people in advertising and film who feel the same way I do, and understand the issue with the GOP’s communications. Like, me, these are credentialed folks who work in communications and entertainment. And like me, we’re all questioning whether there’s any understanding in the party that they truly need well-crafted messaging, on top of solid positions.

One of the emails that made me feel the best about what I’ve been writing to you pointed me to this post: http://tinyurl.com/np2gg4 It’s a PBS interview with Phil Dusenberry, one of the legends of the advertising industry, and one of the members of the Tuesday Team that crafted the Bear in the Woods spot. Have a read. Phil makes many of the same points I’ve made here — the need for an emotional connection, the need to use craft to make the message something that connects with people. These principles apply, regardless of the message, or the medium it’s delivered in. I’ve seen more recent interviews with Phil, and, yes, he’s very old-school advertising. But because I work almost completely in new media, I understand that the basics apply, regardless. You still have to tell the story in a way that engages people. Our side doesn’t do that well. We have a better story. We craft it badly.

The other side? Glad you asked. The Cannes Advertising festival finished up over the weekend. It’s a celebration and awards show for the best advertising on the planet. Taking both the Tittanium Lion, and the Integrated Grand Prix — “Yes We Can,” the entry from the Obama/Biden campaign. We have our work cut out for us. I know there’s an audience for a well-crafted conservative message. I know there’s the means to craft that message. I just don’t know if there’s a client. If anyone from the party has been reading along, it’s past time.

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