- The Washington Times - Monday, September 10, 2012

It’s a good thing President Obama already has written two autobiographies; otherwise, he would have a hard time finding a kind word on the bookshelves.

The publishing industry is pumping out anti-Obama books authored by conservatives in numbers normally reserved for young-adult novels about teenage vampires. More than 30 nonfiction titles blasting the president have been released by publishers this year, with several more hotly anticipated works expected to hit bookstores before the Nov. 6 election.

You might expect to see a similar deluge of pro-Obama books by liberal authors, but it’s not even close. The only laudatory book about the president to crack the best-seller list in the past month is “The New New Deal” by Michael Grunwald.

Why the disparity?

“It’s simple: This is where the money is to be made,” said Aaron Klein, author of “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed,” which is No. 18 on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list. “This angle is selling books, so obviously, publishers are going to be publishing more on the anti-Obama side of the scale.”

Book cover "The New New Deal†by Michael Grunwald.
Book cover “The New New Deal†by Michael Grunwald. more >

Analysts attribute the boom to several factors, including intense interest in and dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama, the heightened attention on presidential politics in an election year and moves by major publishers to reach out to conservative readers.

Not all of the best-sellers about the president take sides. “Barack Obama: The Story” by David Maraniss examines the president’s family history and upbringing, while “The Price of Politics” by Bob Woodward, slated for release Tuesday, goes behind the scenes of the 2011 debt-ceiling debate.

Compare that with titles too numerous to list that are critical of the president, starting with “The Amateur” by Edward Klein, a best-seller that was knocked off the top spot this week by “Obama’s America,” the second anti-Obama book by Dinesh D’Souza.

Also available are “The Great Destroyer” by David Limbaugh, the brother of talk-show titan Rush Limbaugh; “The New Leviathan” by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin; “No Higher Power” by Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr; “Spreading the Wealth” by Stanley Kurtz; “The Corruption Chronicles” by Tom Fitton; and the forthcoming “Mugged” by Ann Coulter.

That is a partial list of major anti-Obama titles by well-known conservative authors released since June. A state-by-state “heat map” drawn up by Amazon confirms the trend, showing that readers buy more conservative books than liberal books, even in Democrat-heavy states such as Connecticut and Maryland.

Amazon reports that 57 percent of its political sales are “red,” or conservative, books, while 43 percent are “blue,” or liberal, books. Readers in only six states buy more blue than red books, according to the online map, which is updated hourly.

One explanation is that, like Hollywood, publishing is driven by a star system. In the case of authors, the right simply has more big-name pundits than the left.

“These conservative political books take off because authors like [Bill] O’Reilly, [Michael] Savage, [Glenn] Beck — they have a built-in audience, and anything they put out is going to be a best-seller,” said Tim Bueler, publicist for WND Books.

Marji Ross, president and publisher of Regnery Publishing, said the demand may be filling a void for those who don’t see their views reflected in the mass media. Conservatives may dominate talk radio, but liberals control television and movies, along with most newspapers and magazines.

“I think part of the reason is the mainstream media is still very skewed liberal,” said Ms. Ross. “It’s so slanted to the left, and I think there’s a great hunger among Americans to hear from the other side. And they’re not getting that from the big daily newspapers or Hollywood or the network news.”

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