Friday, November 26, 2010

Author Interview: Jason Mattera Writes About the 'Obama Zombies' Generation

As a political communicator, Jason Mattera is “platform agnostic.” He uses them all.

In addition to writing a popular book, Obama Zombies, the 26-year-old Mattera is editor of the venerable conservative weekly, Human Events, publisher of his own web site ( and the producer of humorous ambush videos featuring Members of Congress like Barney Frank and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. (One video, in which Minnesota Senator Al Franken tells Mattera to “shut up,” has had 172,660 views on YouTube.)

In an interview at a bloggers’ conference in Crystal City on the eve of the 9/12 Taxpayer March on Washington, Mattera – whose upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, is unmistakable in his dialect – told me he became active in conservative politics at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

New York Times best-seller

“A few years ago,” he added, he “got hooked up with Michelle Malkin [and] was her TV correspondent at Hot Air.”

Then he wrote his book, Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation, which was published this year on March 10 and reached #14 on the New York Times best seller list by April 3.

After that, he said, he “moved on to editor of Human Events. So I’ve got my hands full right now.”

Mattera described Obama Zombies as “an investigative book about how Team Obama lobotomized an entire generation of young people to vote for him [in] the largest demographic swing in modern presidential history.”

In the book, he examines “what Barack Obama actually did right and what the Republicans can learn, especially in their new media outreach.”

Obama, Mattera said, “was our first Internet president. John McCain was an awful candidate overall but he was dreadful when it came to social networking and outreach [through] Facebook and YouTube videos.”

In addition, Mattera said, his book exposes “a lot of the Left’s fallacies that young people seem to digest so profusely nowadays [to] show that, if we don’t reach out to the next generation, not only are we in danger of losing elections, but there’s an entire group -- --hordes and hordes of people -- who are uninformed about the ideas of limited government, strong national defense, and free markets. That’s just unacceptable to me.”

Sarah Palin’s new media skills

Reacting to Newsweek political correspondent (now with the Huffington Post) Howard Fineman’s characterization of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the “best Tweeter” among potential 2012 presidential candidates, Mattera said:

“Not only is she pretty robust on Twitter, but on Facebook as well. She’s generating news. She doesn’t have to write opeds and place them in the Wall Street Journal. She can write opeds and blast them out on her Facebook page.”

He added that Palin has “really utilized that. She’s certainly the only who has garnered huge enthusiasm [through] social networking.”

Comparing legacy media – such as Human Events – to new media – like Facebook and YouTube – Mattera said that “conservative ideas do not change but the manner in which you convey them must change. It’s maintaining the legacy of your past but with an eye toward the future. I don’t think it’s hard to bridge” the older platforms with the newer ones.

(This article originally appeared, in slightly different form, on on September 24, 2010.)

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