Thursday, July 10, 2008


These should be depressing times for Dick Morris -- his white whales, the Clintons, were speared by somebody else while he wasn't looking, thus depriving him of his one reason for living, and the latest book he's written with his wife (a follow-up to such masterpieces of insight as Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race) has a title that seems, well, unappealingly scattershot and unfocused: Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It.

(And readers would be forgiven if they have trouble distinguishing this from the last Morris book, which was called Outrage: How Illegal Immigration, the United Nations, Congressional Ripoffs, Student Loan Overcharges, Tobacco Companies, Trade Protection, and Drug Companies Are Ripping Us Off ... and What to Do About It. Don't worry, none of this will be on the final.)

But as it turns out, the new book (Fleeced, etc., etc. -- remember?) is #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, second only to the latest book by the hugely popular David Sedaris. How did that happen?

Well, notice the little punctuation mark that follows the description of the book on the Times list: (†). The fine print at the bottom of the list explains:

A dagger (†) indicates that some bookstores report receiving bulk orders.

So Dick is bulk-buying his way to (nearly) the top of the charts.

I realize that many of you believe no right-wing book ever makes it onto the bestseller list without bulk buying. I've often questioned that theory -- in a country where the White House has gone to the GOP in seven of the last ten elections, and where Fox is the #1 cable news channel and Rush and Sean and their imitators dominate radio ratings, it seems perfectly reasonable that many right-wing chart-toppers are legit. (And if every wingnut book is bulk-bought in huge numbers, why did Ann Coulter's last book bomb?)

In fact, I haven't seen a dagger on the Times list for a right-wing bestseller in quite a while -- not even for #1's like Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism and Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book.

But Dick Morris is old school. For Dick Morris, it will always be the 1990s, and in the 1990s, bulk-buying was what you did to succeed. And, well, Dick Morris is a sad, bitter resentment junkie who doesn't really have a lot to offer, even by wingnut-pundit standards, except increasingly irrelevant Clinton-hate (a particular problem now that the right likes Hillary).

So if he and his publisher (Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins) want him on the charts, he probably didn't have any other choice.

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