‘Top Line’ Book Corner — ‘I Am Martin Eisenstadt’ and Adventures in the Fake Punditocracy

By Lindsey Ellerson

Nov 6, 2009 4:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Washington has no shortage of pundits who pretend to know what they’re talking about. But there’s a real dearth of pretend pundits — and even fewer who will talk about why they’re pretending in the first place. Enter into this space Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin, a pair of filmmakers who hatched the plan to create a pundit last year. Before they were done, Marty Eisenstadt had lobbied for a casino in Baghdad’s “Green Zone”; was hanging out with Joe the Plumber at a “Saturday Night Live” after-party; and was a former top McCain adviser taking credit for leaking the tidbit that had Sarah Palin thinking Africa was a country. Everyone from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC fell for the hoax. Now, Eisenstadt is an author, too — since what would a pundit be without a memoir? The book is “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.” Mirvish and Gorlin give their fake pundit a Zelig-like role in significant political developments that stretch from Ehrlichman to Lieberman. It’s a send-up of insular Washington and the media madness of the 24-hour news cycle, where sometimes it seems as if anyone can hang up a consulting shingle or take a role at an important-sounding think tank and suddenly become a certified pundit. On ABCNews.com’s “Top Line” today, Mirvish and Gorlin talked about why they created the character, and how and why he’s living on even after being exposed as a hoax. Said Mirvish: “There was this golf blogger in Brazil who was on to us and kept trying to oust us to other blogs, but the problem is — as you guys well know — is that the news cycle is so fast that every now and again people just wouldn’t do that extra Google search. They wouldn’t see that third hit or the sixth hit on Marty’s last name that says ‘hoax, hoax, hoax’ or ‘satire, satire, satire. And it was plausible enough — I mean he had that plausibility of being a senior fellow at a think tank, or being a former this, a former that.” Added Gorlin (the on-camera “Eisenstadt,” though always sans-glasses): “We used to joke, because the resume was very much modeled on sort of a combination of neocon resumes. And even if somebody were to expose something specific that didn’t end up being true, it’s probably true of the real pundit to, I mean real necon — that’s the whole point in watching these people kind of embellish.” Who knows — Sarah Palin may have a senior adviser in place if she runs in 2012. And in Washington this week, Eisenstadt/Gorlin got to meet the man who was (but, of course, really wasn’t) his in to the McCain campaign: Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. Click HERE to see the full interview with Marty Eisenstadt, the man who’s two men but really doesn’t exist at all.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus