Ted Cruz is rather upset at the New York Times. It seems his book, A Time For Truth, didn’t make the bestseller lists — even though Cruz says more copies of it were sold than of 18 of the 20 books that did make the list. The publication has a reason for this: when they believe that “strategic bulk purchases” — big buys by the author or someone else on his behalf — make up a lot of the sales, they take that into account. It’s intended to prevent an author from “gaming” the list by buying up his own books, and giving the appearance of many buyers.
Ted Cruz says that the New York Times is either wrong or lying. He says there were no bulk buys — and furthermore, Cruz is demanding an apology, unless the publication is willing to share the evidence that led to the decision. Eileen Murphy, a spokesperson for the Times, told Politico that there are more factors in making the bestseller list than simple numbers. Clarifying, she said that there was a “preponderance of evidence” that Ted Cruz’s book had high numbers due to bulk buys.
Cruz says this isn’t true, insisting that there were no bulk purchases. In a statement to BuzzFeed, publisher HarperCollins backed Cruz up, pointing out that the book made other bestseller lists, and maintained that neither Ted Cruz, or any of his campaigns or political action committees, have made any bulk purchases.
Rick Tyler, a spokesperson for Ted Cruz’s campaign, released a message on Sunday, calling the omission a “blacklisting” and leveling accusations of deliberate lies and slander.
The spokesperson further accused the publication of being a left-wing attack dog, leaving Ted Cruz off the list because of his conservative politics. He may not have noticed that, despite Cruz’s absense, the list is not devoid of conservative titles: Chris Kyle’s American Sniper, the subject of much contention between the left and right, did make the list, and Ann Coulter made the Hardcover Nonfiction list.
That seems to defy any claims Ted Cruz might make that the NYT just won’t include right-wing or conservative viewpoints.
It’s not quieting Cruz and his campaign, though — he’s calling for followers to join him in demanding that the New York Times either show their evidence, or issue an apology for leaving Ted Cruz off the bestseller list.
Of course, the NYT has an obligation to readers to provide a trustworthy list, and to assure the readers that books have been vetted. This includes leaving off books whose promotions include a “gaming” of the system, and assuring the readers that a fair process has been used to determine which books are left off in that manner.
This doesn’t mean, though, that the publication owes the readers — or Ted Cruz — all of the information that led to the decision, though.
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