… probably won’t benefit from commentator Brent Bozell’s notes, but for the record:
The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, but The New York Times would have to consign it to the ghetto for “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” books. That’s what “The Gray Lady” has done to David Limbaugh and his new book, “The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.”
Paul Bedard at The Washington Examiner revealed that on the newspaper’s Nov. 29 best-seller chart, the Times didn’t put David Limbaugh’s book at No. 8 on the nonfiction list, where it belonged. They set it aside in the “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category.
Even there, the Times played games, Bedard reported. “In the most recent week, the Regnery-published book sold 9,642 copies. The New York Times best-seller list for advice put it at No. 5 even though it out-sold No. 4, ‘Big Magic,’ by 3,533 copies.”
And much more.
Reality check: Bozell’s information is useful, but a dimension is missing here.
Looking at it from a Timesman’s perspective, the Times survives by giving its surviving public what it wants: A view of the world that flatters them and reflects poorly on people they don’t like. It doesn’t survive by interpreting the situation accurately. Anyone who really wants to know can find out the sales facts from Amazon.
So there is no problem with the Times’ statistics monkey in principle. A problem arises when the Times’s perspective is treated as privileged even when, as an institution, it is clearly failing (falling circulation, ad revenue, share value, etc.).
In a way, we contribute to the problem if we obsess over its partisan manipulations, so I say no more. Except this: One ought to do one’s best to make sure that no public money gets funnelled to these obsolete behemoths.
See also: Slaughter in Legacy Gulch: Key staff cuts in Ottawa media