Ted Cruz’s new book, A Time for Truth, is the third best-selling hardcover nonfiction book in the United States, according to Bookscan. But when the New York Times’s top 20 best seller list came out, A Time for Truth was nowhere to be seen, even though the #1 and #2 books tracked the Bookscan list.
When asked about its omission of Cruz’s book, the Times replied cryptically: “We have uniform standards that we apply to our best seller list, which includes an analysis of book sales that goes beyond simply the number of books sold.” Later, after the paper came under attack for its apparent political bias, it added a more specific charge: “In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.”
For Ted Cruz, those were fighting words. In an email to friends and supporters, Cruz says the Times is lying:
This statement is false, and the Times knows it.
There were no “strategic bulk purchases.” Cruz spent last week on a nation-wide book tour, signing copies of his book at multiple locations. Booksellers at each event had long lines—sometimes over 400 people per event.
Cruz’s email goes on to note that A Time for Truth has been listed as high as #9 across all fiction and nonfiction categories on Amazon. Cruz’s campaign has issued a stark challenge to the Times: either substantiate your charge, or apologize:
“The Times is presumably embarrassed by having their obvious partisan bias called out. But their response—alleging ‘strategic bulk purchases’—is a blatant falsehood,” said Cruz campaign spokesperson Rick Tyler. “The evidence is directly to the contrary. In leveling this false charge, the Times has tried to impugn the integrity of Senator Cruz and of his publisher Harper Collins.
“We call on the Times, release your so-called ‘evidence.’ Demonstrate that your charge isn’t simply a naked fabrication, designed to cover up your own partisan agenda. And, if you cannot do so, then issue a public apology to Senator Cruz and Harper Collins editor Adam Bellow for making false charges against them.”
We have zero confidence in the integrity of the New York Times, and the Cruz campaign appears sure of its ground. So it will be interesting to see whether, and how, the paper responds. Personally, I am not holding my breath waiting for evidence of “strategic bulk purchases” to be produced. In the meantime, if you want to frustrate the Times and liberals everywhere by reading Cruz’s book, you can buy it here. I note at the moment, A Time for Truth ranks #19 among all books on Amazon–not just hardcover nonfiction–presumably not as a result of strategic bulk purchases.
UPDATE: The feud continues. Harper Collins has taken the unusual step of investigating the sales of A Time for Truth and rebutting the Times’s claim. The company issued this statement:
HarperCollins Publishers has investigated the sales pattern for Ted Cruz’s book “A Time for Truth” and has found no evidence of bulk orders or sales through any retailer or organization.
Confronted with this response, the Times has refused to back down. Cruz emails:
[T]he Cruz campaign publicly called on the Times to either release their so-called “evidence” or issue a formal apology for impugning the integrity of Sen. Cruz and HarperCollins editor Adam Bellow.
Rather than do either, New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said the newspaper is “standing by” their previous falsehood regarding bulk purchases and offered a “no comment” when asked about producing evidence of the claim or issuing an apology to Sen. Cruz and HarperCollins editor Adam Bellow.
So the Cruz campaign has doubled down:
If it lied deliberately—if the Times tried to slander the character of Senator Cruz and his publisher, knowing the charge to be false—then that goes directly to the journalistic integrity of the institution. How many other lies has the Times told? Are they only directed at Republicans? Under what circumstances does the Times believe it is appropriate for journalists to deliberately deceive the public?
If the New York Times desires to be seen as anything other than a partisan and dishonest attack dog for the far Left, then the only responsible course of action is either to release their so-called “evidence” or to publicly apologize for making false charges. Silence—hiding from the truth—only screams confirmation that the Times intends to continue lying. Any journalist concerned about their institutional integrity should be embarrassed, and should demand corrective action.
As Steve says, get out the popcorn. From Cruz’s perspective, this is a no-lose proposition. Few things could endear him to his party’s base more than a public battle with the New York Times.