By Dave Andrusko
Elsewhere today, we reposted a great story written by the Newsbusters’ Tim Graham which documented what should come as no surprise to anyone. According to the London Telegraph, “Amazon has been monitoring and deleting reviews after Hillary Clinton’s new book was greeted with a torrent of criticism on the day it was released.”
Graham notes, “Guess who hasn’t reported on this website manipulation so far? The Amazon-owned Washington Post.”
Actually, in a sense, the Post had, in its own typically biased fashion. It ran an Associated Press story in which Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Clinton’s ”What Happened,” is described as “questioning Amazon reviews posted within a day of the book’s release” (which would have been Tuesday).
The gist of publisher Jonathan Karp’s complain is (as he told the AP)
“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”
He says Simon & Schuster hopes the online commentary would reflect opinions of people who have actually read the book.
So, to make sure only those who “have actually read the book” were allowed to voice their opinions, Amazon helpfully made sure that “Few of the one-star reviews remain on the website.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
But Graham also notes that Simon & Schuster went further. On the page touting the book’s wonderfulness, under “Praise,” we read this brief quote: “’What Happened’ is a raw and bracing book, a guide to our political arena.” — The Washington Post.”
Graham rightly points out that the quote comes from a review by the Post’s David Weigel that is, to be generous, mixed. Actually, in large measure, the review crushes Clinton.
Graham uses just one example where Weigel observes, “The Hillary Clinton of this bitter memoir resembles the shrunken, beaten Richard Nixon who told David Frost that he gave his enemies a sword and ‘they twisted it with relish.’”
He could have mentioned many others.
For example, “She insists that the press, which she never has to deal with again, is to blame for that impression.” What impression? The “dishonest” and “unfair” suggestion “that she ran a my-turn campaign that ignored economic issues.”
Suffice it to say that just prior to the time Clinton insists she was talking economic issues to beat the band, her campaign had made sure another issue would dominate the news cycle.
It “was compelling and harmful to Trump in the short term,” Weigel agrees, but so much for the public hearing her “economic message.” The controversy her campaign stoked sucked up the media “oxygen.” So much for hearing her “economic message.”
Hoisted on her own petard yet again.