Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dylan Doubles Down

Or quadruples, as the case may be, with a short piece yesterday afternoon and a rather longer one in the evening, inflated to a majestic six-paragraph lede in Mike Allen's morning soufflé—Dylan Byers in Politico, that is, on the theory that the people buying Ted Cruz's book are actual people who know how to read and intend to do it, which this page was amused by yesterday morning.

Did Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins or the Cruz campaign magnify Cruz's sales figures by a laundering scheme, paying individuals to buy the book instead of doing the traditional bulk buy? Byers doesn't ask the question, but reports the HarperCollins non-answer to an easier question:
Art by Brian Gordon via Tech Digest.

HarperCollins announced it had found “no evidence of bulk orders or sales through any retailer or organization” — a statement that all but accused the Times of lying.
Did you look in that cupboard under the stair, fellers? Did you check the toolshed?
“The Times is presumably embarrassed by having their obvious partisan bias called out. But their response — alleging ‘strategic bulk purchases’ — is a blatant falsehood,” Cruz campaign spokesperson Rick Tyler said in a statement Friday. “The evidence is directly to the contrary."
What evidence is that, Rick? Rick? Are you still there? Oh, the evidence HarperCollins hasn't found. Maybe it's in some file cabinet on W. 42nd St.:
“We call on the Times, release your so-called ‘evidence.’ Demonstrate that your charge isn’t simply a naked fabrication, designed to cover up your own partisan agenda,” Tyler continued. “And, if you cannot do so, then issue a public apology to Senator Cruz and Harper Collins editor Adam Bellow for making false charges against them.”
And Adam Fucking Bellow (famous author of In Praise of Nepotism and that's a subject he knows like the back of his dad's hand, as it were) is his editor, huh? (More likely the executive editor of the series it's published in, with responsibilities mainly pencil-free, in the Madison Avenue author lunch department.)

In the end Byers comes out from behind the quotations and makes the clincher his own:
Cruz’s memoir has also sold more copies in a single week [forgetting that the question of how it sold them remains controversial] than Rand Paul’s “Taking a Stand,” which has been out for more than a month, and more than Marco Rubio’s “American Dreams,” which has been out for six months.

That may partly be the result of much more aggressive promotion, and partly because Cruz’s book is simply more interesting, with revealing anecdotes about his half-sister’s drug overdose, his time looking at pornography while clerking on the Supreme Court, and his blistering attacks on his fellow Republicans [forgetting that nobody knows about these aspects of the work unless they are among the handful of DC wankers who read Politico's clickbait].
Aggressive promotion meaning the pushing of coverage in Politico past any conceivable breaking point (quick Google search finds at least nine Politico stories on the book since March 5, including three excerpts).

And if you wonder, no, I do not think Politico is in any way pushing Cruz's theoretical presidential candidacy or thinks it would be a good idea if he won, or anything like that. They like Cruz whether he wins or loses, for the clicks he gives them.

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