William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Congrats to Dan Mirvish, Eitan Gorlin on release of Martin Eisenstadt book

    When I began looking into one “M. Thomas Eisenstadt” last May, part of me was irritated about how the hoax was screwing with public discourse. But as time went on, that feeling changed. And that’s because Eisenstadt changed, and not just the first name.

    You see, Eisenstadt creators Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin started the Martin Eisenstadt hoax as a way to try to create a character that would appeal to sit-com producers. As time, and the 2008 Presidential election moved forward, however, the pair began to take more pride and interest in mocking political pundits around the nation. In a classic quote, Mirvish gave his opinion of these oft-worthless talking heads:

    “But the other thing is that the 24 hour news cycle goes so fast and they really - they don’t always check and then the pundits they do have on, they are identified as “Republican strategist” or “Democratic strategist” and their only strategy seems to be picking out the red M&Ms at the green room on HARDBALL. Are these people any more qualified than the fake pundit we developed?”

    By the time “Eisenstadt” hoaxed MSNBC and many others, my opinion was that any hoax they perpetrated was much more the fault of the media that slurped them up. After all, several months before, I had outed him as a hoax, so the third entry for a Google search on the fake pundit screamed out that he was a hoax.

    As much as that, a quick scan of Eisenstadt’s “work” showed very clearly that the whole thing was satire. They were as subtle as a punch in the face. But still, their stories got passed along by the media. Hell, even after they took credit as the source of the “Sarah Palin doesn’t know if Africa is a country or continent” report, and the New York Times outed the pair to millions, they still hoaxed people.

    The best, by far, was Time Magazine. In January, Time ran a piece proclaiming that Eisenstadt was a hoax, but one “2008’s Top Fleeting Celebrities.” Then, in May, Time ran a story about the “Twitterati” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner - including tweets from “McCain Advisor Martin Eisenstadt.”

    I got to meet Dan and Eitan after the whole story broke last December. I found them to be intelligent, thoughtful, and outrageously funny guys. So, knowing that they had a book coming out, I helped them out with some PR and satirical stories on them. Do I feel I crossed a line and made myself part of their story, thus destroying my journalism work on the pair? Absolutely not. In May 2008, I declared Eisenstadt as a hoax, and spent the next several months trying to warn bloggers and the media. So 18 months later, I feel confident I did my job. If you didn’t know that Eisenstadt was a hoax, it wasn’t a result of my lack of trying.

    Today, their book - “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans” - hits the book stores. I want to congratulate Dan and Eitan on their achievement. And thus far, the reviews have been fantastic:

    “Essential reading for all political junkies.” - Ken Silverstein, Harpers

    “Consistently funny…I intend it as real praise when I say that ‘I Am Martin Eisenstadt’ is the best fake memoir of the campaign season.” - Atlantic Monthly Sr. Editor Joshua Green in The Washington Monthly

    “What Stephen Colbert is to Bill O’Reilly, Martin Eisenstadt is to countless political pundits. Hilarious…biting commentary on Washington, DC.” - Jeremy Jacobs, Politics Magazine

    And on CNN, Howard Kurtz talked up the pair and their book:

    The book has been released in paperback, and I hope you consider purchasing it. And I don’t just say that because I’m included in the book as “Wolfrum, the supposed golf blogger based in Brazil, who since May 2008 has been lobbing absurd online accusations against me?”

    Mostly, I just want to congratulate Dan and Eitan. Because while I feel good about the work I did in outing the hoax, they did an even better job in outing media pundits as much more serious imposters.



    I had been tempted to comment on one of your recent posts that they should be paying you for the publicity. All is clear now. So what about a book review?

    I'm still waiting for my book to arrive. Postal service isn't all too swift down here.

    You should get a Kindle.


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