Regnery Publishing, which has brought us such books as the recent “No Go Zones,” “The Big Lie,” and the writings of Ann Coulter, announced this week that they would no longer have anything to do with The New York Times. According to the publisher, The Times has consistently manipulated its famous “Bestsellers List” to exclude and minimize the success of conservative books.
In a press statement, Marji Ross, the President of Regnery, said that the nation’s largest newspaper was more interested in pushing its liberal political bias than reporting the truth about which books people are actually buying.
“As a conservative publisher, we believe that the Times’ list does not represent national sales of conservative books as accurately as other widely-published bestseller lists,” said Ross. “We refuse to continue to highlight a list which has an increasingly diminished value to our audience. Therefore, we will no longer promote, publicize or frankly even bother to mention this list. Instead, we will continue to track sales, as a large number of media groups do, through Nielsen’s BookScan report, and we will use the Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list as our benchmark.”
Authors regularly tout their books as “New York Times Bestsellers,” but Regnery’s authors will no longer have this publicity tool at their disposal. Thanks to the new policy, the publishing house is determined to cut the paper out of all promotional marketing strategies and ignore the paper’s undeniable footprint in the world of publishing. In their press release, they pointed out how their recent books were labeled bestsellers by other, more rigorously number-crunching lists…and yet were oddly missing or low-placed on the NYT list.
While other bestseller lists are compiled with actual counts of print and online sales, the New York Times uses a closely-guarded algorithm based on surveys of thousands of booksellers to arrive at its list.
“Our goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers,” Times spokesman Jordan Cohen insisted. “The political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings, and the notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous.”
Controversial? Sure. Ludicrous? Not hardly. The New York Times has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar enough times to make Regnery’s accusation worthy of consideration. At the very least, the Times is guilty of using a system that doesn’t accurately reflect the books that people are actually buying. At worst, the editorial slant that colors their news division is bleeding over into the Books department. Let’s put it this way: We wouldn’t be surprised in the least if they are actively pushing conservative books down the list, using any thin justification they can get their hands on. After all, most of the editors probably think that the kind of people who would buy a book from Ann Coulter can’t actually read it, so ingrained is their elitism.
And in the end, so what? Their influence is waning, and this is just the latest sign that the paper is, indeed, “failing.”