Skip to comments.Bookstores say customers protest as demand outpaces supply of anti-Kerry book
Posted on 08/24/2004 3:05:46 PM PDT by ambrose
Bookstores say customers protest as demand outpaces supply of anti-Kerry book
NEW YORK (AP) -- The nation's two biggest bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, say angry customers are accusing them of political bias as the retailers struggle to keep up with demand for a best seller that questions John Kerry's military service in Vietnam.
"Unfit for Command," which went on sale Aug. 11 with a first printing of 85,000, will have 550,000 copies in print by next week, according to Regnery Publishing.
Sales have soared as allegations about the Democratic nominee's wartime actions dominate the presidential campaign.
A co-author of the book, John O'Neill, is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has ran a series of commercials claiming Kerry distorted his past. Kerry and fellow Democrats say the spots are untrue and have demanded that President Bush condemn them. Bush replied Monday that broadcast attacks by outside groups, no matter which side, should have no place in the race for the White House.
"Unfit for Command," by O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, accuses Kerry of lying about his decorated wartime record and betraying comrades by returning from Vietnam and alleging widespread atrocities by U.S. troops. Kerry has made his military service a central part of his campaign.
Copies of the book are scarce. Barnes & Noble said that "Unfit for Command" is out of stock and that thousands of complaints have been received, with some customers saying the book was deliberately not being sold and others saying it shouldn't be sold.
More copies will not be available until later this week, and that order also will not meet demand, Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio said Monday. "We've been put in the difficult position of having to defend ourselves over a title we can't seem to get enough copies of from the publisher," Riggio said.
Borders said Tuesday that "available stock is limited right now" and that it has received hundreds of calls accusing the superstore of bias against the book.
"The misunderstanding among customers seems to be that we are somehow taking an ideological stand," Borders spokeswoman Jenie Dahlmann said Tuesday. "We would gladly sell the book, but ... can't get an adequate supply."
Regnery spokeswoman Kelley Keeler said Tuesday that the company a longtime publisher of conservative authors such as William F. Buckley Jr. and Pat Buchanan can't keep up with the "huge" demand, in part because the book's September publication date was moved up as interest in the book grew.
"We're trying to get more copies out as fast as we can," spokeswoman Keeler said.
Amazon.com, where "Unfit for Command" has been No. 1 on the best-seller list for days, said Tuesday that it was also out of copies. A spokeswoman said she knew of no complaints, but added that customer reviews have been so frequent (more than 900 as of Tuesday) and so political, that a special message was posted on the book's Web page announcing a suspension of "normal customer review policies and rules."
"We usually prohibit ad hominem attacks," the message reads. "That policy in particular seems to be incompatible with presidential election year politics. Therefore, short of obscenities, reviews on this book are now a free-for-all."
The book claims Kerry earned his Silver Star not in a barrage of enemy fire, but by killing a fleeing Viet Cong teenager. It also questions the three Purple Hearts that Kerry earned, saying that none were for serious injuries and two wounds were self-inflicted.
According to Kerry's medical records from his naval service, he still has shrapnel in his thigh from a war injury.
Several of Kerry's fellow servicemen have attacked "Unfit for Command" as inaccurate and politically motivated, and a Kerry campaign spokesman, Chad Clanton, said Tuesday the book had "blatantly false accusations that have been disproved by Navy records."
Keeler said Regnery was "proud to have published the book" and that no revisions were planned for future editions.
My copy of the book came this morning and I finished it just a minute ago. While I have read much of the info here at FR, there is new (to me) info and the cumulative effect is devastating to John F'n Kerry.
I've read the entire article a second time now and I STILL cannot find any mention of the 'seventh' printing that you are chastising me for not knowing about. Please show me where that is in this article. Thanks.
Then let's put the whole thing to bed...Mr Kerry, sign the Form 180 and release all your military and medical records
Suspicions, sure. But it is bad for business for them to involve their bookstores in a political campaign. They make money from selling books on both sides of the aisle, not to mention the simple fact that "conservatives" probably tend to buy more books, music, and magazines, so why risk alienating at least half of their customer base?
Those CEOs would be booted so fast if they involved their politics in their business. Or rather, they'd be booted if they were caught.
So the question is if there is a memo stating that liberal, bush bashing books be given prominence over conservative, Kerry bashing books. If so, that memo should be outed to the board of directors and the shareholders.
Regnery seems to have screwed up Big Time on this one, by vastly underestimating the demand. They had better keep their presses running night and day.
Are we supposed to take his word on this, or should he just produce an X-Ray with his medical records? With all the windsurfing, biking & other yuppie sports, I'd say that that "shrapnel" is definitely a non-factor.
What "ani-Kerry" book? It is a book that tells the truth about a chapter in Nam. What business does AP have in characterizing the intent of a book for us? I understand that many AP folks are working for the CIA and Mossad in the middle-east and this gives them cover, but at least, let's pretent to have some objectivity. What was that hilarious phrase the Oliphant used the other night, "meet minimal journalistic integrity standards," yeah that was it. Funniest thing I've heard in years!!
And rice still in his ass from playing with high explosives. Would his medical records show he was stoned while doing that?
I am heading out that way and will see if they do have it or not. I will report back after I return
Naturally, there were copies aplenty of Clinton's book, Moore's books, and a wall of several other books trashing Bush. All prominently displayed near the entrance to the store, some in a special section called 'New Releases'. We did find, in the appropriate sections further back, but not in the 'New Releases', copies of books by Peggy Noonan, Ben Stein, Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham. At least 3 of these were new or recent releases, certainly as new as Clinton's or Moore's, but apparently undeserving of prominent display.
Concur. Does he set off the metal detector at the airport. Does he need to bring medical proof to the airport each time he flies, like my friend with "real" shrapnel in his leg?
They sure did. The entire country is talking about this book and how demand has stripped bookstores clean across the fruited plain. Regnery must just be sick with remorse.
Okay, that's my sarcasm quotient for today.
I went to our local BAMM today to pick up my copy. When I checked out, the young lady said she had her copy and was going to start reading it tonight.
That doesn't dispute my premise. I do think that lower level employees are bringing partisan politics to their job. I don't think this is being orchestrated by the corporate office.
I've said before that if anyone runs into someone spouting lies like the employee in that link, we should get their name and submit a complaint to corporate. This is something that can hurt corporate and I'm sure corporate would like to know if employees are making official sounding statements and claims, without official sanction.
The store managers should also be turned in if they are doing the same. The power of the complaint, and if we do this right, more conservative and fair managers will be in place and conservative books will get equal prominent placement as befits their sales status, not the opinion of the manager.
Just paid top price at AMAZON to not have to wait 5-7 weeks for delivery