Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal
Max Blumenthal
Born December 18, 1977 (1977-12-18) (age 33)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Journalist, Blogger, filmmaker
Notable relatives Sidney Blumenthal (father), Jacqueline Jordan (mother)
Ethnicity Jewish
Official website

Max Blumenthal (born 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. A senior writer for The Daily Beast, he is the author of the New York Times bestselling book[1] Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party.[2][3]

Blumenthal's opinion pieces and investigative journalism have been featured in a variety of major media outlets.[4][5] He has produced several short video reports that he has posted on YouTube, among other websites.[5] He works for the progressive organization Media Matters for America.[citation needed]



Max Blumenthal was born in Boston in 1977, the son of former Bill Clinton administration presidential aide Sidney Blumenthal. He received a B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.[6]

Blogging and online journalism

Blumenthal won the Online News Association's 'Independent Feature Award' for his article in, "Day of the Dead."[7][8] The piece stated that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of the corporations with factories in the border city.[9]

Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States armed forces.[10][11][12] In 2007, Max Blumenthal made a short video which he called Rapture Ready which was about American Christian fundamentalists support for the State of Israel.[10] He also attended the June 2007 "Take Back America Conference" (sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future), interviewing Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by Blumenthal's video, and refused to air it.[10]

In 2008 he interviewed a famous holocaust denier David Irving,[13] who is described also as a white supremacist and fascist,[14] Also in 2008, he posted video footage from 2005 of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.[15]

In an online article called "The Flotilla Raid Was Not “Bungled.” The IDF Detailed Its Violent Strategy In Advance" Max Blumenthal said that the content of Israeli newspapers, published a week before the IDF raid, about a planned strategy to intercept incoming ships bringing aid to besieged Gaza along with planned rules of engagement published in Maariv as approved by top Israel government figures.[16]

'Feeling the Hate' controversy

In 2009, Max Blumenthal posted a short video on YouTube titled "Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama's Cairo Address".[2] The video was a montage of footage of drunken Jewish-American youth in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama's Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a "nigger" and suggesting that he is "like a terrorist".[17] According to The Jerusalem Post, the video "garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world."[18] Haaretz described the video as "an overnight Internet sensation".[17]

Blumenthal has claimed that the video was "banned" from YouTube, Vimeo and the Huffington Post.[19] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Blumenthal as stating, "I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube."[20] YouTube said that company policy forbids comment on individual videos, while asserting that its policies are applied "uniformly and not as the result of external pressure."[20]

Blumenthal has claimed that he faced death threats for his publication of the video.[21] He identifies the radicalism of the interviewees with the "indoctrination" of Birthright Israel tours, a program in which several of the interviewees were participating.[21] The filmmaker, himself Jewish, had participated in a Birthright tour in 2002.[21]

Republican Gomorrah

Blumenthal says that his book is inspired by the work of psychologist Erich Fromm, who asserted that "the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings". Blumenthal says in Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, that in his view a "culture of personal crisis" has defined the American "radical right".[22] Blumenthal's conclusion in the 365 page book is that "those who wrap themselves in the flag fear freedom the most" because of their own personal demons and insecurities, making them "pathologically supportive of an authoritarian state" that can provide them with the "emotional security of being a cog in a white Christian hierarchical machine."[22]

His book received mixed reviews. A reviewer Hendrik Hertzberg, of The New Yorker described the book as a "riveting account of a religio-political subculture that’s even weirder than you thought it was", remarking that "Republican Gomorrah is an irresistible combination of anthropology and psychopathology that exerts the queasy fascination of let’s face it something very like pornography."[23] In a review that also criticised the book, Rick Perlstein, in the New York Times Book Review gave the work some praise, declaring Blumenthal "a brave and resourceful reporter adept at turning over rocks that public-relations-savvy Christian conservative leaders would prefer remain undisturbed."[23]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Begala, Paul. "Commentary: Obama Lucky With His Enemies." September 10, 2009.
  3. ^ Blumenthal, Max. Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. New York: Nation Books, 2009. ISBN 1568583982
  4. ^ "Author Bios: Max Blumenthal." The Nation. No date. Accessed 2009-09-12
  5. ^ a b "Max Blumenthal." The Huffington Post. No date. Accessed 2009-09-12
  6. ^
  7. ^ Blumenthal, Max. "Day of the Dead." December 4, 2002.
  8. ^ "Neighborhood Briefing." Arizona Daily Star. September 17, 2004.
  9. ^ Mandell, Jonathan. "Why Awards Matter." 2003 ONA Conference Participant's Blog. November 15, 2003. Accessed 2009-09-12
  10. ^ a b c Treiman, Daniel. "Max Blumenthal, Scourge of Conservative Conferences." The Forward. August 10, 2007.
  11. ^ Greenwald, Glenn. "The Weekly Standard's '9/11 Generation'." July 23, 2007. Accssed 2009-09-12.
  12. ^ LaSalle, Mick. "Maximum Strength Mick." San Francisco Chronicle. July 19, 2007.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Rossmeier, Vincent. "Palin's Pastor (and Witches) Problem." September 26, 2008; Burke, Garance. "Palin Once Blessed Against 'Witchcraft'." Associated Press. September 25, 2008.
  16. ^ The Flotilla Raid Was Not “Bungled.” The IDF Detailed Its Violent Strategy In Advance. On 06.03.10,
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ Jerusalem Post 06-09-2009 Headline: Young Americans in Jerusalem 'feel the hate' for Obama. Video featuring obscene condemnations of US president draws over 200,000 viewers on YouTube Byline: TORI CHEIFETZ Edition; Daily Section: News Page: 08 [1]
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ a b c
  22. ^ a b's Review of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party
  23. ^ a b Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party: Amazon Editorial Review

External links

Video reports by Blumenthal

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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