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Publisher's Summary

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 and distort the news, my job is to control blogs - as much as any one person can.

In today’s culture...

  1. Blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed, and the Huffington Post drive the media agenda.
  2. Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines.
  3. Manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see, and watch - online and off.

Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m pulling back the curtain because I don’t want anyone else to get blindsided.

I’m going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

©2012 Ryan Holiday (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A playbook for the dark arts of exploiting the media.” (Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power)

“Ryan Holiday's brilliant exposé of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America.” (Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture)

"[Like] Upton Sinclair on the blogosphere." (Tyler Cowen, MarginalRevolution.com; author of An Economist Gets Lunch)

“The strategies Ryan created to exploit blogs drove sales of millions of my books and made me an internationally known name.” (Tucker Max, number-one New York Times best-selling author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell)

What listeners say about Trust Me, I'm Lying

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Incredibly depressing

A series of seemingly insurmountable problems. Holiday dissects the changing pressures on the media that have led us to the state we're in today, where there's no such thing as agreement on the facts and every piece of media seems to be more spin than substance.

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  • R. Shelley
  • 18-08-2020

Wake up call

While I suspected as much, I was surprised by the ease with which the media creates, receives, barfs up, and remediates the stories that make them their millions. The reasons for it? Not surprising. Predictable and frustrating. Like Trump or not, his open assault on the media is not unfounded, and yet it still rages against and for him and thousands of others... and not always seriously. As you will see, even infuriation can be faked and used to sell ad space, which is what they’re really after, not truth.


Turn off the click bait. This is why I haven’t watched the News or read asinine, popular blog or media coverage of events. I’m not interested in being one more puppet; though I suspect I am anyway. It’s hard if not impossible to escape the rapture of fake news.

This is our reality. Come in and take a seat. Your new understanding of the sh!t show is about to begin.

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  • RM
  • 25-08-2019

Ryan Holiday exposes FAKE NEWS wonderfully!

Trust Me, I'm Lying is among the best books exposing the greedy bloggers and corrupt news organizations. At the same time, it teaches you techniques which can be used ethically to enhance your marketing. Ryan Holiday deserves an award for his work.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-09-2020

"Our facts aren't facts"

The book is pretty much summed up by this quote from the book:
"Our facts aren't facts. They are opinions dressed up as facts. Our opinions aren't opinions, they are emotions that feel like opinions."

The author goes into how the news can be manipulated quite easily and it can be really hard to know what's real.

In light of current events (i.e. Coronavirus), this is really scary. Just when we need reliable information, we're stuck with a crap media that jumps the gun on information or totally gets it wrong or the good information gets passed over by the more intriguing.

On a positive note, the book has drastically decreased my time reading articles online. Haha

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  • Lawnchair King
  • 09-07-2020

The Inside Story of the Web Frankenstein Monster

the first few chapters give his Bona fides as a true sleazebag and a major player. Then he uses these credentials to give Aauthority to what he says and expose what the internet has become and the monster that had been unleashed. this will legitimately remove any feeling of confidence and anything you use the internet for for information, news, or reference. It is a factual statement of how we are being manipulated and in turn manipulate and twist almost every bit of information and activity on the web.
it is must reading and is much to think about. I have definitely changed my behavior on the internet as a result.

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  • Tashalee Newport
  • 19-02-2020

Very Telling

Very interesting and enlightening as well as enraging. I feel this applies to all sorts of media and new forms of commentary media. We have a local Bully Podcaster and he follows these tactics to a Tee. Like it or not until we can moderate freedom of speech (which will be never) there is no way to contain yellow Journalism or manipulation of the truth in the media.

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  • Justin Smith
  • 06-02-2020

Jaw dropping

This book is so incredibly jaw dropping. I will never look at a headline, ad, blog every again. There is so much anger and anxiety on the internets, Ryan makes it clear why. Raise about the conformity and make a change, the change can start with the information in this book. MUST READ!!

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  • kookyquinn
  • 10-12-2019

Wow, great book. Horrible editing.

Lots of editing stuff that made this a rough listen but a fantastic book and highly entertaining. Made me laugh out loud several times.

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  • nikki
  • 02-12-2019

It brings to light how the media blows misinformation to the masses and how it gets out of control.

I think he makes a few profound points. My only gripe is that the book gets a bit repetitive and drawn out. He uses examples to hammer down the same point a few times, which kind of makes it feel like the same point is being drawn out, and I wish there was more detail concerning the marketing aspect of what he was doing.

This book really helped me understand what is happening in media today and how the media giants were able to misinform the masses about vaping and the vape industry by constructing misleading headlines. I can see the workings of how small special interest blogs were able to influence the media to blast out incorrect information and how this lead the public to believe complete bullshit.

I would recommend this to anyone trying to understand false media and someone who is trying to manipulate modern media for the sake of good instead of evil.

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  • JustSayin'
  • 15-12-2020

Completely biased, but not wrong

While every example cited tended favorable toward the Democratic, leftist agenda, and the lack of Holiday's self-awareness is occasionally unfortunate, these are important lessons to know and explain much of our current journalistic predicament - on both sides.

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 14-12-2020

Very relevant. Explains humdrum of American anxiety

Ryan does a great job exposing how blogs manipulate the masses on an emotional level. Feminism, nationalism, Black Lives Matter, globalism have all been radicalized and turned into polarizing movements that are dividing American society because blogs have removed the grey area of out of conversation. Blogs and their desperate need for clicks have created a monster out of the “woke” movement where debate is prohibited and everyone becomes a self-entitled tyrant whose views are the end all and be all. Ryan, if you’re reading this, at the end when you posed the question of what could come next as a healthy alternative? I would say a return to nature, the elements. Nature has the power to equalize and harmonize our loves in a way that digital media cannot. It’s time to return home and explore communication with the earth; an entity that is inherently and unapologetically mystical, complex and thrives in the grey area.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nyúlpéter
  • 08-03-2021

Fantasitc story, poor narration

The story is mind-blowing, helps better understanding the media. The author narrated it who is not an actor, for me as a non-native he was more difficult to listen to than actor-narrators of other audiobooks.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-2020

Fantastic listen

Really informative but the information should come as no shock. If you get your news from blogs and social media you're getting a. Load of crap. However it does raise the question as to who you can actually trust for information. This question is left unanswered........

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  • emtee
  • 15-12-2019

Outstanding

This should be a must read text in the modern age. I'll be buying several hard copies as presents for family members this Christmas...

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  • Stevebrucehk
  • 16-11-2020

essential reading

I listened to this book while the US elections were on and it really gave me a lot to consider.

My mother always used to say 'believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see'. these days it seems you can't believe anything.

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  • Jon
  • 08-02-2020

First half was really good

I got this on audible. I got a lot of value from the first half, the second half was a bit boring. I feel that Ryan’s voice was a bit too deep and monotone to really enjoy this fully as an audio book. Either way it was worth the listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-11-2019

V. Informative

Couldn't believe the extent to which some of these blogs go to for clicks! Age of clickbait!

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