As you may have heard, I stopped reading your anonymous tips, but every once in a while Andy will forward one for my opinion, or I’ll go looking in my trash box for another message I accidentally deleted and something’ll catch my eye… Anyway, somebody felt a pressing need for a veil of secrecy to inform us that Politico blogger Ben Smith looked into the sales figures for Obama Nation, and according to Nielsen Bookscan, it shifted at least 40,000 copies last week—”vastly outstripp[ing] other recent political titles, notably books critical of John McCain.” Smith cites two recent books by David Brock and Matt Welch, neither of which achieved one-tenth of Jerome Corsi‘s popularity at the cash register.
Of course, if conservatives weren’t spending so much money on heavily-marketed books like Obama Nation and David Freddoso‘s The Case Against Barack Obama, they might have had a little more to give to their actual presidential candidate—but, as it happens, Obama raised nearly twice as much as McCain in July, $52 million to $27 million. It’s almost enough to make you wonder about their ability to set financial priorities.
Or maybe it’s just that conservatives are prone to the cult of personality when picking demons as well as heroes—or they attack people because they don’t have anything substantive to say about policy? The circumstantial evidence of the NY Times nonfiction bestseller lists would appear to suggest that liberal readers, on the other hand, are more interested in issues than candidate-bashing: Among the ten top-selling hardcovers, we find Ron Suskind‘s The Way of the World, Jane Mayer‘s The Dark Side, and Vincent Bugliosi‘s The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder—all of which appear to have become bestsellers without the artificial prop of bulk orders upon which Corsi and Freddoso have relied, along with (oddly enough) Tori Spelling.
(There’s also Dick Morris‘s Fleeced, but I think most of us have figured out by now that Morris’s ideology isn’t liberal or conservative, it’s whatever brand of populism is currently in fashion.)