22 February 2006

Religion-beat implosion. Robert Ferrigno, author of the newest in apoco-fiction, Prayers for the Assassin — a novel depicting a dystopian future wherein the U.S. is under Islamic rule, and Superbowls are punctuated by calls to prayer — talks to Henry Schuster, CNN’s terrorism specialist. Digest that for a minute. The author of a pulp-novel trading in some of the worst fears, and deepest bigotries, of the country — and which, by the way, is being promoted a laGodsend or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with a fake news website that details life in “The Islamic States of America” (keep your eyes open for headlines about removing Holocaust references from Cleveland textbooks and ads for crunchy Arabian breakfast cereal) — gets interviewed not by a books or entertainment editor but by a terrorism specialist? What gives? Where’s the hook? A baseless implication that’s almost as good advertising as the Islamic States’ fake website: Ferrigno the daredevil author, Schuster speculates, could be the next Salman Rushdie, or even start his own cartoon riot! The Revealer has written about these sorts of advertising tactics before, but Ferrigno’s publicists have outdone themselves, and taken the medium of fake advertising to a creative new low: fictional, fear-mongering news stories that read just like fear-mongering headlines from the Muslim-bashing blogosphere.