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Chris Field- Contributor

Chris Field is Editor of Human Events Online [go to Field index]

Shooting Themselves in the Foot
Liberal negligence or just looking the other way?...

[Chris Field] 8/16/04

As many of you are aware, the white-hot new book Unfit for Command has been making Hurricane Charley-size waves over the last week. Liberals, of course, are attacking the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth instead of refuting the claims make in the back. But, of course, that's to be expected from the Left. That's their standard reaction -- ignore the charges and try to smear your enemy.

None of their attitudes were surprising. But there were three events concerning the book this week that were extremely surprising to me -- and they had nothing to do with the actual players (the authors, the vets, John Kerry, et al).

From our original reports in Human Events:

FIRST -- The cover of the new anti-Kerry book, Unfit for Command, set to hit shelves soon, was given an alternative, pro-Kerry cover at the Barnes & Noble online store. The title of the book was changed to FIT for Command, and the cover image was changed from a close-up of a finger-pointing Kerry to a picture of Kerry in uniform with other Vietnam veterans. Though no information on the source of the cover change has been found, the latest tactic from the pro-Kerry crowd -- whether from a computer hacker or an employee of Barnes & Noble or anyone else -- can hardly be considered surprising.

SECOND -- Amazon, thought by many to be the top (and unbiased?) online purveyor of books, has either been hacked, or has oddly changed an important practice. Amazon's Editorial Review section generally leads with a note from the publisher, and then continues with other published book reviews. Except in the case of Amazon's top-selling (#1 on Amazon's bestseller list) Unfit for Command where, as of this morning, harsh words from an out-of-context quote by Sen. John McCain are now positioned as the lead "Editorial Review." McCain made the divisive statement in response to a TV advertisement created by a Swift Boat organization, not to the book, which he has not yet even had an opportunity to acquire. Yet Amazon (or the hacker? or a pro-Kerry employee?) has positioned Sen. McCain's quote in such a way as to make potential readers erroneously assume McCain is commenting on the book. [Shortly after we reported this, Amazon pulled the McCain "review."]

THIRD -- One day after the mainstream media ran an AP story slamming Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., one of the co-authors of #1 bestselling Unfit for Command, someone at has oddly removed the primary author, John O'Neill, and listed the book as if Corsi were the sole author. This is the third such "unexplained" tampering in just three days. Despite these and other direct attacks by liberal detractors to censor the veterans' messages, Unfit for Command continues to be the #1 bestselling book on both and, and will undoubtedly be a New York Times bestseller once books hit bookstores over the coming days.

What astounds me about this is -- WHAT THE HECK ARE THESE COMPANIES DOING? Aren't they in business to sell their advertised products?

Why, then, would they do anything that could hurt the sales of their #1 bestseller?

My suspicion is that there's a liberal agenda among some of the people who run these two online bookstores -- just like liberals who run "real world" bookstores.

Of course, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are in a bit of a quandary: they probably don't want to admit a Leftist agenda, but they can't offer any other excuses. What are they going to say -- "somebody must have hacked our system"? I'm sure that would make their customers feel really comfortable about giving them their credit card information online . . . especially Amazon customers, where the "Unfit" page was altered TWICE.

Considering what occurred this week, is it any wonder Amazon is renowned for their difficulties turning a profit? CRO

copyright 2004 Human Events




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