January 24, 2006, - 8:58 am

Why?: Amazon.com’s New Bill Maher Show

By Debbie Schlussel
Conservatives buy a lot of books, probably as many if not more than liberals. And they buy a lot of them on Amazon.com.
So why is the online mega-bookstore website catering to liberals only in its first ever weekly online “television” series: “Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher“? (Highlights of the show are being shown, this week, at the Sundance Film Festival.) In case they hadn’t noticed, Bill Maher is a raving leftist.
Take Michelle Malkin, the top female conservative blogger vs. Ana Marie Cox, formerly the top female liberal blogger. Malkin’s book, “Unhinged,” out for months, has only fallen to #2033 on Amazon, as I write this. It’s been in the top 200 for months. Cox’s vapid book, “Dog Days“–out barely two weeks and getting a ton of hype in Mainstream Media that Michelle will never get by virtue of being a conservative–has already fallen to #1932 on Amazon. Yesterday, Malkin’s months-old book beat Cox’s new one (#1402 vs. #1732).

billmaherheadshot.jpgdogdays.jpgunhinged.jpg

Bill Maher . . . . . . . Cox Book . . . . . . . Malkin Book

Certainly shows me the power of conservative-oriented book buyers. But Amazon isn’t listening. In response, Amazon is giving us a weekly serving of crotchety, ever-more-bitter, libertarian-turned-wacko-far-leftist Bill Maher. The show is sponsored by UPS.
Amazon claims the aim of the new Maher show is “to help our customers discover new books, films and music, and to help the creators of these works find new audiences.” What Amazon really means is to help liberal customers find liberal works on Amazon. That’s what Bill Maher does on his other show, and there’s no reason to think he’ll be “balanced” on this one.
USA Today reports that Maher will begin each Amazon show “with a short topical monologue about that week’s new media and pop culture offerings.” We’ve seen that before on his “Politically Incorrect” (on which I was a regular participant) and his current HBO show “Real Time.” The monologues, which are rarely funny, are usually rants mostly against conservatives and Republicans. Don’t expect the Amazon offering to be different.
Time for Amazon to serve up a conservative version of the Maher show (minus the rude, bitter, crotchety-ness) or risk alienating customers–who have other online book purchasing choices.

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7 Responses

THIS sounds like the same kind of reporting found on Fox “news”!!! Bill Maher will be doing 12 shows jsut to hip the audience that there is a show ON…and i’m sure that more conservatives buy books, but can they colour within the lines???
i notice O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Hannity and Coulter et. al. ALL crow when they’re on the NY TIMES bestseller list…Amazon.com is basically a joke…i have cracked the top 100 there whenever i sell 20 copies of MY book in a day.

EminemsRevenge on January 24, 2006 at 11:18 am

After I saw that Bill Maher was hired to do this for Amazon, I decided Amazon is no longer for me. There are other choices, and why they would hire some one like him is just plain bad business. Looks like I will have to get my James Lileks, Michelle Malkin, and JK Rowling books some place else!

Crimsonfisted on January 24, 2006 at 11:20 am

EminemsRevenge
How did you type that wearing a straitjacket?

Ripper on January 24, 2006 at 1:16 pm

Ripper; Good one. He’s got to bite down on a pen and hunt and peck.But having a fryed mind , it all evens out .

danny on January 24, 2006 at 2:17 pm

With regard to the question “So why is the online mega-bookstore website catering to liberals only in its first ever weekly online “television” series: “Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher”?”, look to Amazon’s CEO’s politics.

George on January 24, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Like Neil Cavuto, i have to make a disclaimer here—the comment above should have read ONE THOUSAND instead of 100—and i tip my hat to Mr Cavuto for having the *chutzpah* to air a watered down version of what happened this morning…but since Fox has also been crucified by the FCC, is it any wonder???

EminemsRevenge on January 24, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Watching him do a show on anything is like listening to a 12-year old say,”the F(o)ckers.”

jaywilton on January 25, 2006 at 10:46 am

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