NYTimes Bestsellers and 3 Pinpricks of Fascism

NYTimes Bestsellers and 3 Pinpricks of Fascism July 10, 2015

Okay, I’m not a Ted Cruz fan, (I’m not an anyone fan, at the moment), but that doesn’t mean I am not curious as to the NY Times so-called “standards”, here:

The New York Times informed HarperCollins this week that it will not include Ted Cruz’s new biography on its forthcoming bestsellers list, despite the fact that the book has sold more copies in its first week than all but two of the Times’ bestselling titles, the On Media blog has learned.

Cruz’s A Time for Truth, published on June 30, sold 11,854 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Bookscan’s hardcover sale numbers. That’s more than 18 of the 20 titles that will appear on the bestseller list for the week ending July 4. Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance,” which is #2 on the list, sold fewer than 10,000 copies. Ann Coulter’s “Adios America,” at #11, sold just over half as many copies.
This week, HarperCollins, the book’s publisher, sent a letter to The New York Times inquiring about Cruz’s omission from the list…The Times responded by telling HarperCollins that the book did not meet their criteria for inclusion.

“We have uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold…This book didn’t meet that standard this week.”

Asked to specify those standards, Murphy replied: “Our goal is that the list reflect authentic best sellers, so we look at and analyze not just numbers, but patterns of sales for every book.”

When asked a direct and unambiguous question, the New York Times, ladies and gentlemen, uses the same evasive, non-answering tactics we have come to know and love from Hillary Clinton. The same Hillary Clinton, by the way, whose latest book of plegm and ghost-written vauge-eries shipped to sellers, was bought by almost no one (and now gets handed out as a lovely parting gift at $35,000-a-plate fund-raisers) but somehow nevertheless showed up on the NY Times “best-seller” list.

Yeah, I’d like more information on the “uniform standards” and the “selling patterns” that render a book ineligible to be included on their sacred list. If 10,000 copies get sold — at author’s discount, no doubt — to the Clinton Family Foundation, and warehoused for the next election, that’s more legitimate than 11,000 copies sold over Amazon, and delivered to small towns within the Rodney Dangerfield Flyover Area that gets no respect, except the grudging kind that comes when reporters explore its exotic strangeness and discover actual, respectable human beings.

Seriously, what are the “patterns” that negate the validity of a book sale?

The Times has done this before, and peddled this same pure-d manure before, too. In ten years of blogging, I may not remember all the details, but I do recognize a story when I’ve read it before, and the reality is this: it’s always a Conservative whose book misses the mysterious standards.

Why is that so? I think there are three reasons, none of which make the Times look good:

  • The cool kids just can’t have that at their lunch table
  • Cowards always try to suppress what they fear.
  • People who do not trust their own arguments will do what they can to make sure other arguments do not get a sound hearing.

These are the little pinpricks that, while not particularly fascistic in and of themselves, help to build tolerance for the more punishing blades eventually brought to bear against thoughtcrimes and speechcrimes and geekwearcrimes, unfortunate contributioncrimes when they are stubbornly unrepented of, in the public square.

Madame Defarge is collecting her knitting. Image Public Domain
Madame Defarge is collecting her knitting. Image Public Domain
The fascist is whoever is trying to shut you up, shut you down, dis-employ you, silence you, cripple you, or marginalize you for the crime of daring not to march in lockstep with the party and the prevailing conventional wisdom.

Last year, Brendan Eich was disemployed and he’s still unable to earn a living.

Today, the inconsistent Sally Kohn hopes to see socially ostracized the people she used to call “emotionally correct,” and who, it’s worth mentioning, never called for similar action against her. Or anyone else.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow, perhaps the server that carries your favorite blog will refuse to do so.

Tomorrow, perhaps a book or an article you would like to re-read will become difficult to find, or a news story you thought relevant will cease to be covered, slipped down the oxymoronic memory hole.

Tomorrow, perhaps the pinpricks will draw just enough blood for people to notice, and to become a tad squeamish at where we are headed.

Fascism is what happens when an idea is made into an idol, and all are required to think the correct thought, and bow to the thinkers, or be excluded and, if possible, impoverished. There is no magnanimity in the fascist’s victory; minds are to be run through and then salted, so no dissenting thought may ever grow there, again: cogitandi intelligo delenda est. Or something like that.

Hey, that sounds like a book someone wrote.

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