January 24, 2006, - 8:58 am
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).
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.
Tags: Amazon, Amazon.com, Ana Marie Cox, Bill Maher, Bill Maher Show By Debbie Schlussel, Michelle Malkin, online book purchasing choices, online mega-bookstore website catering, Politically Incorrect, the Sundance Film Festival, USA Today