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Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  6,778 ratings  ·  840 reviews
You've seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don't know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me.

I'm a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control
...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published July 19th 2012 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2012)
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Carlos Absolutely. It's a narrative-creation machine in which the subtext is simple: make money. It's no longer about "is this newsworthy?" but rather is it…moreAbsolutely. It's a narrative-creation machine in which the subtext is simple: make money. It's no longer about "is this newsworthy?" but rather is it "cashworthy". (less)

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3.90  · 
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 ·  6,778 ratings  ·  840 reviews


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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q:
IF YOU WERE BEING KIND, YOU WOULD SAY MY JOB IS IN marketing and public relations, or online strategy and advertising. But that’s a polite veneer to hide the harsh truth. I am, to put it bluntly, a media manipulator—I’m paid to deceive. My job is to lie to the media so they can lie to you. I cheat, bribe, and connive for bestselling authors and billion-dollar brands and abuse my understanding of the Internet to do it. (c)

A book that illustrates precisely why I totally disregard social media. A
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Magdalene Lim
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Witty headline/title, check. Great angle, check. Now, if only this were a 800 word blog post instead of a book. That would be perfect.

It was a pretty good book but I didn't enjoy it and actually had to pull myself through the book at times. The premise is exciting and I was really psyched about reading about how one manipulates the media. That, you can get from reading the book, I agree. For me, the book boils down to 2 things that need not have been talked about in an entire book:

1) The interne
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Nick Scott
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book "ruined" the internet for me. I can't read any sort of news online without thinking about how it's either the product of corporate spoon-feeding or a targeted attack to ruin someone or something. Actually a lot of what's in this book I already knew or suspected, but I didn't realize how bad it was or the very serious consequences.

The book is by Ryan Holiday, a so-called "media-manipulator." He gives an insider's perspective on the world of media manipulation. He lays his points out cle
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Sondra Sneed
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't read this book to learn about using media to promote your book. It won't sit well, or if it does, please repent of your darkness and go to the light, find peace and spread it instead.

It is a book so well-written, I read it months ago and it still sticks me like a burr under the saddle. To avoid any miss-characterizations, I'll paste my Amazon review, which was written more closely to the time of reading it.

The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars (on Amazon) is because the content distu
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Tim O'Hearn
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before the term fake news entered the American lexicon, it was printed here. It's easy to overlook that minor fact because this book turned out to be a groundbreaking critique of media circa 2011 and a prescient take on the outrageous reality we're living in seven years later.

Now is a time where the plurality of the public would consider media manipulation a relevant, if not serious, issue. There is a book with a title that seems awfully similar to the matter at hand. It was written by Ryan Holi
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Ben Nesvig
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
I hesitated in buying this. Were the reviews on Amazon actually fake like a one star reviewer suggested? Should I believe anything from an admitted liar? But I ended up buying this on James Altucher's recommendation and I'm happy I did.

This is a very important book.

So much of the book reminded me of the philosopher Eric Hoffer, which is about as high of praise as I can give a writer. While Eric Hoffer showed how mass movements evolve back in the 1951 with his book, The True Believer: Thoughts on
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Isa K.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I was really digging this book's fascinating insight into how easily the media can be manipulated and exploited. Holiday provides very specific instructions-- particularly a step-by-step guide to baiting journalists and creating fake news.

And I was eating it all up, eagerly adding plots and subplots to my fantasies of world domination ... until I got to the chapters on snark and his analysis about the nature and motivations of snarkers was so wildly off the mark it called the entire book into qu
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Fiona
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
What did I learn from this book? Basically nothing. Even though I am interested in Marketing Psychology a lot, this book was just boring.
Eric Gardner
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For all of its provocative marketing, Trust Me I'm Lying is really just a phenomenal critique on the modern media industry. Holiday brilliantly displays how the ecosystem of the page view driven media is a structural extension of the sub prime era. With that, he also shows how to exploit it. My only complaint is that he uses only a handful of examples (American Apparel, Tucker Max) but that is result of youth, not insights.

It should be on the bookshelf of every marketer for the insights on how
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Jason
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, media
The first impression is of a smug, self-satisfied dude-bro bragging about his prowess at manipulation and his exploits as kind of a big deal in the world of contemporary electronic journalism. It makes sense that the author, Holiday, name drops the poor man's Bukowski, Tucker Max, early on and that his biggest claim to fame is working in public relations for reprehensible fashion line American Apparel. We get it: you're horrible, and you're probably a sociopath. I'm sure people in your walk of l ...more
Avinash
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read, favorites
Often terrifying but insightful this is a well-written book by Ryan Holiday about his work as a media strategist and how he manipulates the media.

4 points you'll agree with after reading this book:

1. You'll really start doubting the contents you read online after you are done with this book.

2. You won't look at websites, the same way again.

3. This book will "ruined" the internet for you.

4. Truth given away in plain and simple way which at times will leave you fuming with anger at no one in par
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Matt
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book to understand the way blogs actually work. To understand how what we consider reality is often manufactured by PR strategists (read media manipulators).

A great quote:

Words like "developing", "exclusive", and "sources" are incongruent with our long-held assumptions about what they mean or what's behind them. Bloggers use these "substance words" to give status to their flimsy stories. They use the language of Woodward and Bernstein but apply it to a media world that would make even Hear
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Derick Lawson
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's always disappointing to learn I am contributing to the downfall or humanity by reading and giving serious thought to junk articles.
Popy Tobing
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I shall give this book 3 and a half star. The book actually scares me, if all the feed of the media is a game, you never know what to trust anymore. And maybe, maybe you and I are part of the game.
Vanessa
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
What this book does well:
- Giving real life, tangible examples to support some of its points. This is not only well researched but very interesting and really puts some of the arguments presented into real context.
- Explain how bloggers make money, which I thought I knew everything about but still learned something
- Demonstrate the "chain" of blogs, which since I've read about I sometimes notice when I'm reading an article, and it never occurred to me before. This, I think, is by far, Holiday's
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Ryan
I'm not sure exactly what I expected when I started reading this book, but I feel like my expectations were exceeded in a good way.

The book is split into two parts. The first is like a playbook for manipulating the media to generate free press coverage. It recounts many of the PR stunts Holiday manufactured to get free publicity for Tucker Max and American Apparel.

The second part is an in-depth look at the incentives driving Internet news, and how those incentives have created an ocean of noise
...more
Arlene
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you consume social media, you should read this book. Even if you consume only mainstream media, you should read this book. The two are inextricably intertwined—and frankly, it’s a little scary.

Ryan Holiday exposes the problems that arise when people without journalistic training or ethics use journalistic tools. He asks the legitimate question: When did it become our job to do the fact checking? Isn’t that their job? He lays bare the “publish first, investigate later” practice of blogging tha
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Matthew Quann
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. Have you ever sat in front of the computer to set into your work only to come up for air an hour later having done nothing but watch videos of small animals? Do you ever wonder why online articles seem to exist solely to provoke you into righteous anger? In an attempt to explain the changing nature of online journalism and the eruption of news-blog coverage, self-titled "media manipulator" Ryan Holiday seeks to shed light on the seedy underbelly of the internet with "Trust Me, I'm Ly ...more
Laura Noggle
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, nonfiction, 2017
If you ever had any doubts before ... this book will confirm all your media fears.

“The most powerful predictor of virality is how much anger an article evokes.”

"If news doesn’t go viral or get feedback, then the news needs to be changed. If news does go viral, it means the story was a success—whether or not it was accurate, in good taste, or done well."

Awareness is key.

Lots of hard truths.

“In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we neither seek nor wa
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Elizabeta
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF 40%. A blog post can explain how blogs work, you don't need a whole book. Moving on...
Arun Divakar
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Note : Long rant.

A few days after finishing this book and as an exercise of idle curiosity, I took a more detailed look at the newspaper over the weekend. Interestingly of the 16 or so pages worth of printed material, I could piece together perhaps a half page of news that had even the slightest shade of brightness in it. Everything else was a literal punch to the gut - molestations, murder, theft, rape, accidents, trauma, anti-terrorist action, political farces etcetera. Now this was just a da
...more
Emily
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I will never believe anything I read on the internet ever again.

So maybe that's a little overboard, and I've always been, let's say, a skeptical reader of online sources, but I was floored at the deliberate and blatant manipulation Ryan Holiday describes in Trust Me, I'm Lying.

As Holiday puts it, "what rules over the media...rules over the country." How many times have you seen a single sensational story practically take over the media cycle, shunting dozens of other more worthy, more fundamenta
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Michael Jr.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
By: Ryan Holiday
Hardcover, 288 pages Published July 19th 2012 by Portfolio Hardcover
ISBN13: 9781591845539

Overall 3 out of 5 stars

My system is set up to review fiction novels, so I will have to adapt a bit. I received this copy of Trust Me, I'm Lying in a Goodreads.com giveaway, which I have been having some good luck with lately, enough to have a hard time keeping up on reviewing them. I received a signed copy, so I guess I feel pretty cool
...more
Aaron Goldfarb
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What Boorstin's "The Image" was to the 1960s, "Trust Me..." is to the pseudo-events of today's (too fast) internet age. Holiday pulls back the curtain on machinations that, unless you are an idiot, you knew had to be happening. And it's fucking scary. One of the most important books of 2012.
R.K. Byers
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
great book but a touch too long and Holiday commits a completely un-American sin when he suggests that LeBron James is "overpaid". in a capitalistic society, NOBODY can be overpaid.
Ana
While I'm iffy about the claims issued in some parts of the book, overall I found this an interesting read.
ScienceOfSuccess
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: waiting
Quite interesting view at blogs and how people use them for free publicity.
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
This book is Ryan Holiday's mea culpa. He's a media manipulator or was at one time, and after a pang of conscience over the effects of his actions, he's coming clean. As one friend put it when I described the book to him, the techniques Holiday describes and decries in "Trust Me, I'm Lying" feel very black hat, villainous. And often, they are. Even if it were not, the effects are poisonous and occasionally deadly, destructive of reputations and, at times, of companies, cultures, and countries (i ...more
Guilherme Zeitounlian
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book talks about really important subjects, which become ever more important as people increasingly share the news in their social media feeds (often without reading the story, only the headlines).

Most people I know don't open news sites or blogs to be informed - they read what has been shared by their friends and family. This gives sensationalist posts another boost, and moves us one step further from credibility journalism.

It's been years since the last time that I have read the news. (L
...more
Samuel Salzer
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review: Depressing read that gives you an unwelcome insight into the modern world of media and news creation. Alas, in the age of "Fake news", this might be one of the most important reads as it fully removes the blindfold from your eyes and helps you see what is really happening behind the scenes of the "major stories" of the day.

Big thought: We must seriously begin to question and understand the incentives in place to which news and online media are created.

Favorite Quote: “In an age of imag
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Protection From Fake News and Alternative Facts 1 8 May 04, 2017 04:56PM  

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Ryan Holiday is media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies ...more
“When intelligent people read, they ask themselves a simple question: What do I plan to do with this information?” 74 likes
“You cannot have your news instantly and have it done well. You cannot have your news reduced to 140 characters or less without losing large parts of it. You cannot manipulate the news but not expect it to be manipulated against you. You cannot have your news for free; you can only obscure the costs. If as a culture we can learn this lesson, and if we can learn to love the hard work, we will save ourselves much trouble and collateral damage. We must remember: There is no easy way.” 13 likes
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