How to commission a hatchet job

American Thinker has the story of how Scott McClellan’s book came to pass. (Via LGF.) Here’s the short version: McClellan writes a book proposal. No one wants it. George Soros’s publishing house doesn’t even read the proposal, but asks around and finds that McClellan is disgruntled. They talk to him about what the book should be, and only then buy the book. They “help” him write the book and edit it. The resulting book bears no resemblance to the earlier proposal.

To be clear, these facts are admitted by the publisher, according to the AP:

Osnos [the publisher] said he didn’t even read the proposal, but instead sought out people who knew McClellan and said they regarded him as an honest man unhappy in his job. According to Osnos, and the book’s editor, Lisa Kaufman, “What Happened” evolved as McClellan wrote it.

“The original proposal was somewhat general, so before making an offer on the book we talked to Scott at some length,” Kaufman said.

And in the publisher’s own words:

In nearly 25 years of editing books by public figures intended to provide historical perspective, I have learned that the full story only really emerges in the final editing. Even people who have lived through an experience in, say, The White House, The Pentagon or the Kremlin, can’t completely fathom what they’ve been through. They need help in explaining “what happened” — which is why that is McClellan’s title. There is much more to Scott’s book than the Plame story. He is very hard at work on the manuscript. We’ll then help him be as clear as he can possibly be about what he has concluded.

(Via Power Line.)

It’s not hard to read between the lines.

POSTSCRIPT: Trent Duffy gives McClellan both barrels. Ouch.

UPDATE: Expanded and reworded.

ANOTHER UPDATE: McClellan’s book proposal, before Soros got his hands on it.

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