I Suspect That This Is Not The First Time This Has Been Done

On Thursday The Federalist posted an article about The New York Times best seller list. It seems that the list is not as straight forward as it should be.

The article reports:

The New York Times fudged book sales data in order to deny top-five billing to the best-selling “Justice on Trial,” the definitive and deeply reported account of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was written by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, a Senior Editor for The Federalist. Industry sales figures show that the New York Times ignored actual data on nationwide sales in order to depress the rankings not just for the Hemingway/Severino book, but also Mark Levin’s latest book on the corruption of modern journalism.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the only public source of point-of-sale data on book sales, “Justice on Trial,” was the top-selling non-fiction book published over the last week. Tara Westover’s blockbuster memoir “Educated” was the top-selling non-fiction overall according to data from NPD Bookscan, but is excluded from Publisher’s Weekly’s list since it was first published over a year ago.

Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” came in at #2 on the best-selling list, followed by David McCullough’s “The Pioneers” at #3, “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo at #4, and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” at #5. Hemingway’s and Severino’s book outsold each of those books placed ahead of it on the New York Times list, according to nationwide sales data.

Amazon.com, the online retail giant, reported that “Justice on Trial” was also the top-selling non-fiction book on its site last week. It was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, non-fiction or otherwise, from Monday through Friday of last week.

The New York Times, however, reported a very different ranking at complete odds with the Publisher’s Weekly/NPD Bookscan sales figures. Instead of accurately reporting that “Justice on Trial” was the second best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in America last week according to widely accepted industry sales data, the New York Times put the book at #6 on its list, behind Mark Levin’s book at #5. Neither ranking can be justified by actual sales figures.

The article concludes:

Rather than collecting nationwide data on book sales across all platforms and locations, the New York Times reportedly surveys only select retailers, the identities of which the paper refuses to disclose.

In a 2007 column, former public editor Clark Hoyt all but admitted that the New York Times Best Seller list was fake news.

The list “is not a completely accurate barometer of what the reading public is buying,” Hoyt wrote. “For my money, if the main list is a best sellers list, it ought to reflect what’s selling best.”

So I guess The New York Times best seller list is about as accurate as the rest of their reporting.

 

Repeating A Failed Strategy

I vaguely remember the Anita Hill hearings. I do remember wondering at the time why Anita Hill would follow a man who was sexually harassing her from job to job. Why didn’t she just say good riddance and stay in the job she had instead of moving on to the next job working with him? If the harassment was real, I seriously doubt she would have followed him. At any rate, there are some interesting similarities between the attempted destruction of Clarence Thomas and the attempted destruction of Brett Kavanaugh.There is also some revising of comments made during the Anita Hill testimony being done.

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist posted an article yesterday citing some of the revised history now being spouted.

The article at The Federalist notes:

“Not only didn’t I vote for Clarence Thomas, I believed her from the beginning. I was against Clarence Thomas, I did everything in my power to defeat Clarence Thomas and he won by the smallest margin anyone ever won going on the Supreme Court,” Biden told “The View’s” Joy Behar.

That is the current statement.

The article notes past statements:

But in 1998, Biden admitted to Specter (Senator Arlen Specter ) that “It was clear to me from the way she was answering the questions, [Hill] was lying” about a key part of her testimony. The exchange was published in Specter’s 2000 memoir, “Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK’s Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton.”

The issue is important, as the media and other partisans rewrite the historical record about Hill and her accusations. The widely watched hearings revealed inaccuracies in Hill’s various versions of events and ended with 58 percent of Americans believing Thomas and only 24 percent believing Hill. There was no gap between the sexes in the results. In the intervening years, activists have relentlessly attempted to change the narrative, writing fan fiction about Hill, bestowing honors on her, and asserting that her disputed allegations were credible.

The article also notes:

Finally he asked Hill about a USA Today article that claimed, “Anita Hill was told by Senate staffers her signed affidavit alleging sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas would be the instrument that ‘quietly and behind the scenes’ would force him to withdraw his name.”

Specter read from the article: “Keith Henderson, a 10-year friend of Hill and former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, says Hill was advised by Senate staffers that her charge would be kept secret and her name kept from public scrutiny.” Later it said, “They would approach Judge Thomas with the information and he would withdraw and not turn this into a big story, Henderson says.”

Specter asked her if this was true, attempting to find out what Senate Democrats had arranged with Hill. Nine times she denied the claim, demurred, or otherwise attempted to get away from the question. She said she could vividly remember events related to Thomas from many years prior, but couldn’t quite remember this conversation from weeks prior.

Somehow this all seems too familiar. I am grateful for men who do not back down when faced with accusations that have no evidence and no collaboration. If women are serious about ending the sexual harassment of women, they also need to be serious about ending false accusations against men whose politics they may disagree with.

 

A Troubling Story

Mollie Hemingway posted an article at The Federalist today explaining why she didn’t believe the Trump-Russia collusion story. It is a compelling analysis of how events unfolded. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

The article includes a quote from the book Shattered by Jonathan Allen (a book about the 2016 Clinton campaign):

In other calls with advisers and political surrogates in the days after the election, Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss. ‘She’s not being particularly self-reflective,’ said one longtime ally who was on calls with her shortly after the election. Instead, Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. ‘She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,’ this person said.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio.

It seems as if the Russia conspiracy theory was the result of refusing to accept responsibility for losing an election and simply became the basis of an attempt to unseat an elected President.

The article concludes:

I didn’t fall for the Russia hoax that CNN and other media outlets did because I worked hard at understanding the appeal of his candidacy even before the Russia narrative started. At the same time, I recognized how disruptive he was to the established order and the livelihoods of those who had grown comfortable in D.C. Unlike many reporters, I knew and loved many people who voted for Trump. My background as a media critic made me aware of information campaigns and how to resist them. My dislike of the interventionist foreign policy made me less susceptible to scaremongering about realist foreign policy.

Also, I believed intelligence agencies when they claimed they would selectively leak against Trump as retaliation for his criticism of them, and knew to be skeptical of anonymous leaks. It helped that someone inadvertently revealed some information to me about the source of the information CNN had been given.

It wasn’t just about not falling for the fake conspiracy theory. If Trump was not what all the media outlets long suggested he was — a traitor who was conspiring with Russia — that meant that he was the victim of an information operation that was being funneled through the highest powers of the federal government.

Because a few of us weren’t so foolish to fall for the first theory, we were able to look at the leak operation that gullible media outlets were engaged in with a more critical eye.

The lady has amazing insight.