Accuracy in Media

ted cruz at liberty

Last week a fight broke out between The New York Times and Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) presidential campaign over the omission of his book from the newspaper’s bestseller list, despite having sold enough copies to have been easily placed on the list.

The Times claimed that the book—A Time for Truth –didn’t qualify for inclusion on the list because the “overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales [of Cruz’s book] were limited to strategic bulk purchases.”

Cruz’s publisher, Harper Collins, issued a statement on Friday saying that it had “investigated the sales pattern” for Cruz’s book and found “no evidence of bulk orders or sales through any retailer or organization.”

Those findings were supported by Amazon, which on Sunday, through a spokesperson, told Politico’s OnMedia blog that their sales data showed no evidence of unusual purchase activity for the book.

The Cruz campaign has accused the Times of lying, and called on the paper to either provide evidence of bulk purchases, or apologize.

According to Nielsen’s bookscan, A Time for Truth, which was published on June 30, sold 11,854 copies in its first week. It would have been #3 on the Times’ bestseller list of hardcover nonfiction books had the paper not disqualified it based on evidence it has yet to provide to Cruz or Harper Collins.

While the Times may have tried to spike Cruz’s book from the collective memory and awareness of its readers, the move may have had the opposite effect, as the Cruz campaign reports that the public spat has helped drive sales and attention to the campaign.

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