The New York Times has decided to exclude Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's new biography from its upcoming bestseller list, prompting online backlash from conservative bloggers.
Politico's On Media blog reported that the paper had notified the book's publisher, Harper Collins, this week that the book would not be included in the paper's prestigious bestseller list. This is despite the fact that, with 11,854 sales, it sold more copies than all but two of the titles on the list.
The paper reportedly initially told Harper Collins that Cruz's "A Time For Truth," did not meet the criteria for inclusion on the list, but was vague about what those criteria were. This provoked a deluge of conservative outrage on Twitter, with users accusing the paper of manipulating the list to punish a politician they disliked.
— Jennine Jones (@jenninejones) July 9, 2015
@AsheSchow NYT code for "he's a conservative Republican, and we can't have THAT on our bestsellers' list."
— WashingtonDame (@Fantine21) July 9, 2015
— Michael Hagood (@mlhagood) July 9, 2015
This is crazy and just goes to show how corrupt the media is. Manipulating book lists now if they don't like you. https://t.co/lO4Mzb0HHj
— Christy Lynn (@ChristyLynnLSU) July 9, 2015
As Mediaite pointed out, however, the Times' bestseller list includes books by high-profile conservative commenters Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter.
The manner in which the Times finalizes its bestseller lists is deliberately kept secret to prevent people trying to rig the system, the Times' Book Review staff editor Gregory Cowles told the Sacremento Bee. In recent years there have been controversies about authors effectively buying their way onto bestseller lists by employing marketing firms to buy their books in bulk.
In an update to the Politico story, posted some time after the initial online reaction, Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy implied that the paper believed that was what was happening in Cruz's case.
"In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases," she reportedly wrote.