In Great American Hypocrites Glenn Greenwald, media critic for Salon.com, argues that the Republican Party wins elections by making its presidential nominees appear to share the values of average Americans even though the opposite is often true. He shows how members of the Republican Party have cast themselves as "swaggering tough guys," "morally superior, wholesome family men," and members of the "party of limited government," when in fact many of the politicians have avoided military service, have had numerous marriages and affairs, and have greatly increased the size and cost of the government.
The book catalogues many instances of individuals within the right wing acting one way, but presenting themselves in another way. Greenwald excoriates them for this hypocrisy. There is something delightful in his acid condemnations of right-wing figures, but it quickly becomes tiresome; there is a line between questioning the judgment of hypocritical Republican figures and attacking them with undue venom for their hypocrisies. While the former may prompt voters to reconsider supporting a candidate, the latter will just alienate conservative readers.
Greenwald is at his best when scouring the media record and condemning the shoddy journalism and television commentating that enables the right wing's hegemony on image making. His chapter on the influence of The Drudge Report, a scandal- and gossip-ridden online political tabloid, and on establishment journalism paints a stunning picture of the egregiously petty commentating that occurs regularly in the media.
The last chapter of the book has Greenwald comparing John McCain's actions with the media narrative that presents him as a congenial maverick. Greenwald finds that McCain, contrary to this portrayal, is a "completely typical Republican presidential candidate," thus showing how right-wing image manipulation is in no way a thing of the past.