Washington Talking Heads Are Reportedly Curating Their Bookshelves For Zoom Backdrops

Tyler MacDonald

Washington talking heads have been using a service from Maryland-based bookseller Wonder Book to curate bookshelves for their Zoom chats, Politico reported.

According to the publication, Books by the Foot — which has allegedly seen steady business over the years of Democratic and Republican administrations — has been increasingly catering to bookshelves for the remote viewing sessions that are now common for political talking heads no longer in the studio as often.

"When the coronavirus pandemic arrived, Books by the Foot had to adapt to a downturn in office- and hotel-decor business—and an uptick in home-office Zoom backdrops for the talking-head class," the piece read.

Chuck Roberts, owner of Books by the Foot, said the coronavirus pandemic has increased the number of residential orders as compared to commercial requests. Before the COVID-19 crisis, residential shelves were just 20 percent of the business. Now, they account for 40 percent of the company's orders. Interestingly, he said there has been an increase in smaller quantities of books that appear to be ideal for filling the background space on a Zoom call from a person's shoulders and up.

In a piece for The New York Times earlier this year, Amanda Hess touched on the phenomenon, which she called the "credibility bookcase." According to the writer, the pandemic has forced certain groups of people to craft their homes not just for living but also to present themselves to the outside world.

Still, the Wonder Books staff reportedly doesn't try to "pry too much" into the political objectives of their clients, who the company's manager, Jessica Bowman, said can be very tight-lipped.

"They always order under some code name. They're very secretive."

Politico claimed the bookshelves are arranged with care similar to a florist's when creating a bouquet of flowers. Bowman told the publication that she sometimes sees the company's work in the homes of politicians.

"We see a lot of them," she said.

"You'll see in the news they'll have Books by the Foot [books] in their images in the newspapers, [alongside stories] going inside politicians' homes and things like that."

"This might be the worst thing I've ever learned about Washington D.C.," he tweeted.

"Good to know a lot of us have been basically writing furniture," wrote researcher Kabir Taneja.

As The Inquisitr reported, the age of Zoom calls pushed CNN to warn staff and guests that they are required to wear pants during meetings. The warning came after network legal contributor Jeffrey Toobin was allegedly caught masturbating while on a work-related Zoom call.