- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Regnery, the nation’s premier publisher of conservative books, has cut ties with The New York Times over long-simmering allegations the newspaper took a decided left-leaning slant in picking which books to feature on its best-seller lists.

Good for Regnery. It’s like the toppling off ABC, NBC and CBS during the dawn of CNN and FOX — only Part 2.

Going forward, Regnery will rely on Publishers Weekly lists to determine best-seller status, and will no longer allow authors to self-identify with The New York Times list, or distribute bonuses based on the newspaper’s determinations.

“Increasingly, it appears that the Times has gathered book sale data in a manner which prioritizes liberal-themed books over conservative books and authors,” Regnery President Marji Ross said in a company press release. “The net result has been a bestseller list that has increasingly become less relevant to the Regnery audience, and less reflective of which books are actually selling best in the country, regardless of one’s political persuasion.”

How’s the bias work?

Regnery alleges its recent book, “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left,” a Dinesh D’Souza title that was published in late July, made The New York Times best-seller list at No. 7 — despite beating all 15 books on the list in total sales. And the company’s “No Go Zones: How Sharia Law is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You,” by Raheen Kassam, didn’t even place on The New York Times list, despite having the 10th highest sales of the other 15 books noted by the paper.

Ross asked: Why keep feeding the hand that bites?

That’s a good question — one that other publishers and imprints for conservative books ought to be similarly asking.

The New York Times denies any bias in its best-seller listings, noting for the record that other conservatives have been given due honors and placed in high spots. The paper also says its best-sellers’ lists are, at least in part, compiled by interviews with book stores, in order to obtain actual sales numbers.

“The political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings,” The New York Times spokesman Jordan Cohen told The Associated Press.

And if Cohen stopped there, perhaps lingering doubts about the validity of Regnery’s claim could be forgiven. Perhaps the newspaper’s explanation could be seen as sensible — that New York Times’ listers were simply trying to obtain the most accurate information possible.

But Cohen blew it by adding this: “The notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous.”

Right. ‘Cause the New York Times would never do anything for political reasons, right? Not even skew political coverage during presidential campaign season — to the point where the publisher and executive editor had to take the unprecedented action of penning a letter to readers, post-voting, to do some damage control on all the anti-Donald Trump reporting.

Sorry, New York Times. The smart money ain’t buying that “ludicrous” argument.

D’souza tweeted this: “Big news from my publisher @Regnery & this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

That’s a whisper of good things to come. The left-leaning New York Times has perched from a tall podium for years, spinning its pro-Democratic, anti-Republican yarns as if cold hard fact. That its dynasty is crumbling a bit is both welcome and overdue. Seriously, let’s hope, as D’Souza said, this is just the tip of what’s to come, and more book publishers around the country start disdaining The New York Times’ lists in similar manner.

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