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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

What the critics say

“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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Must read/listen for everyone.

Tells you how media is malicious and using you for clicks. Absolutely amazing read.

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and yet...

so many things are out in the open now thanks to this book. Yet, many rest untold. Hoping for a 2nd Volume.

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  • R. Shelley
  • 2020-08-18

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • RM
  • 2019-08-25

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-09-21

"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

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lawnchair King
  • 2020-07-09

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-06-17

Insider gold

the author is down-to-earth succinct and punches with power that should shake the industry but sound the probably won't change it for those of you interested in seeing how things work this is a must-read

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  • Tashalee Newport
  • 2020-02-19

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
  • 2020-02-06

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
  • 2019-12-10

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
  • 2019-12-02

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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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 2020-12-14

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