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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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The war between Fox News and the New York Times hits the bestseller list

Bill_o'reilly Fox News loves to play the part of the victim. It's so touchy about how it is portrayed in the mainstream media that it can even turn what most people would see as a victory into a grievous slight. Now that even goes for what happens on the bestseller lists. The other day, New York Times political blogger Dalia Sussman reported that a trio of Fox News regulars--Mike Huckabee, Dick Morris and Frank Luntz--had something in common besides their desire to see Barack Obama end up as a one-term president: They'd all made the same New York Times bestseller list to be published March 20. 

Huckabee's new tome, "A Simple Government," hit the No. 2 spot on the Hardcover Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous bestseller list, with Morris and co-author Eileen McGann landing at No. 3 with "Revolt!: How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs" and Luntz, the ubiquitous Republican pollster, appearing in the No. 6 position with "Win: The Key Principles to Take Our Business From Ordinary to Extraordinary."

Sussman couldn't resist having a little fun with the news, drily noting that the election year-oriented books were joined on the March 20 list with such lightweight (so to speak) fare as "Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook," "The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss" and "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep and Understand a Man" by the comedian Steve Harvey.

Apparently that's a sore point with Fox News. On "The O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly warned darkly that there's "a war going on" between Fox News and the New York Times, claiming that the newspaper actually "changed their bestseller list" because Huckabee, Morris and Luntz had successful books. O'Reilly gave the floor to Morris, who said that having the books relegated to the less prestigious Advice and How-To... list of top-selling cookbooks and marital aids books would hurt sales, since bookstores feature nonfiction more prominently than how-to books.

The Times told Morris' publisher that there was no political agenda to the move--it was simply a revamping of the paper's bestseller lists. I tend to agree, since the book atop the latest Advice and How-To list is Peter Guber's "Tell to Win," which could easily make the cut on either the nonfiction or how-to list, since it falls somewhere in the gray area between showbiz memoir and self-help manual. It would also be hard to claim bias against conservatives when the Times' Nonfiction bestseller chart has memoirs by George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Republican Sen. Scott Brown all comfortably perched in its Top 10 this week. 

Greater literary minds than I will have to sort this all out. But after Morris finished griping to O'Reilly about the slight, we were treated to this marvelous snippet of dialog:

O'Reilly: "But your book isn't a how-to..."

Morris: "Of course not."

O'Reilly: "It's a political book."

At which point Morris, who hates to ever take issue with O'Reilly about anything, finally felt obligated to reveal that the subtitle of the book was, ahem, "How to Defeat Obama and Repeal His Socialist Programs." Oh, said O'Reilly, ever so momentarily chagrined, "so it is a how-to book." And with that, everyone laughed and went back to complaining about the New York Times again. At Fox News, misery loves company.

--Patrick Goldstein

Photo: Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' top-rated "The O'Reilly Factor." Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (13)

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This war was lost by the Times long ago, when it became an inconsequential flame thrower for the Left. It simply reformulated the parameters to allow for the paper to save itself from having to display FOX contributers at the top of its storied "list." Also, it allows progressive bookstores (they all are) to hide the books in out of the way locations within the store, rather than displaying them upfront with the other top 20 entries. The children hath conceded, 'cause that's what children do.

FOX News has become a propaganda machine, spewing evil, constantly, spreading fear and hatred, charming the ignorant, the uninformed, and the "adults" caught in the two-year old "It's mine, mine, mine." phase.

Don't worry the GOP and their media ponces like these "book" bozos will do their best ti unseat Obama and let America continue down the toilet swirl into the sewer of third world oblivion. Where unethical and immoral Traitor Turds like them thrive as they infect America as they float, and stink, and further sicken a once great nation.

For the sake of argument, let's suppose Goldstein and his friends at the NYTimes have good reason to put Morris' and Luntz's books on the "How-To" list.
But how do you defend putting Huckabee's book ("A Simple Government") there? C'mon ... The bias is pretty obvious. (The NYT did not do this, I believe, with Obama's "Audacity of Hope.")

Every time i channel surf by FOX i have to is so hysterical to watch their 'anchors' huff and puff and spew vitriolic and blatanlty false diatribe. It's like watching ugly fake barbies and kens bitching and whining about everything and anything and blaming President Obama as the evil mastermind of it all. I feel nothing but pity for these people. I can't imagine what their personal lives must be like with all that bile and poison churning in their hearts and guts...True Americans??? NOT!

There is nothing funny about a powerful television network having a singular political agenda and functioning as a misinformation machine for a narrow and exclusive ideology. It has had no less than five Republicans with presidential aspirations on its payroll over the last year, paying them millions of dollars while they promote themselves and their anti-government sentiments. FOX should lose its broadcast license.

I don't watch O'Reilly or Fox. But I do read the NY Times. Sometimes. The problem with all media, is they won't concede. Including these writers on the LA Times. It's blind faith for the party, not the facts.

There was a time when the media was spose to be objective. I can't name one news outlet that is these days.

I'm surprised. I would have looked for those books in the Fiction list.

Commenter Thomas Fredette has it absolutely right at every level of consideration! The only thing that I can add is that any future books from conservative writers should avoid the use of the phrase "how to" in their titles/subtitles, so that such books would be right up there with the other nonfiction books, at or near the top of the list. But knowing the Times, they would then figure out some *other* way to diminish sales of books they don't like! That's what this "revamping" is really all about, and clear-thinking Americans are not fooled by it!

Hasn't anyone tired of O'Reilly's paranoid rants?
Hey, Bill: You're rich, successful and way too influential, considering what a low I.Q. blowhard --with questionable morality -- you are. Shut up, enjoy your wealth, keep on with your mindless right-wing show featuring a fine bunch of synchophants (as seen on display here, by some of the comments of Fox apologists on this forum).
Jeez. What a bunch of crybabies.

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