By Noel Sheppard
Would you buy someone’s memoir all because you hated the person? That’s the reason a Salon political writer gave MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell Friday for why George W. Bush’s book is selling better than Bill Clinton’s.
NORAH O’DONNELL: And one had the highest ever approval rating for a President, leaving the White House, 66 percent. The other, one of the lowest at 22 percent. So, you would imagine or you might imagine that the popular Bill Clinton’s presidential memoir would far outsell the one written by the very unpopular, unpopular George W. Bush. Well, guess what? In the two months, in just two months President Bush’s “Decision Points” memoir has sold almost as many copies as President Clinton’s “My Life” sold in two years. Alex Pareene is political writer for Salon, and he’s going to tell us why. Alex, so why is that? Why has George W. Bush’s memoir “Decision Points” sold so well?
ALEX PAREENE, SALON: Well, obviously we can’t say for sure because we don’t know why those two million people have bought it. But, there are, I’ve speculated a couple reasons. It may be the fact that he was hated by so many people actually helped fuel his book sales because people wanted to hear him actually justify himself and explain some of his decisions that he made. And, you know, there are, I mean, you can imagine that some people bought it as a gag or some people got it, received it as a gift and didn’t really want it. And also the fact is like there are Kindle copies now, there are ebooks that are much more popular and not that’s a much cheaper way to buy a book. But my favorite speculative reason is that it’s just half as long as Bill Clinton’s book. Bill Clinton’s book is like 1,000 pages long and George W Bush got his presidency done in 500 pages and then he’s out.
O’DONNELL: Alex, I, that is brilliant. I think that’s actually probably one of the main, that’s probably one of the main reasons. It’s only half as long. That’s fantastic. But what about sort of the ereader phenomenon? I mean, actually, that makes it much easier to purchase a book rather than, than, you know, having to go to a book store.
PAREENE: Oh, yeah, it’s much easier now. You can just go on Amazon and for like ten bucks, you know, you can get it right on your Kindle right away or on your iPad or what have you. And yeah, having to actually go out to the Barnes & Noble to pick up Bill Clinton’s book was probably a lot of work a couple years ago.
O’DONNELL: Alright, Alex Pareene, it’s a fun read. Thanks so much, we appreciate it.
PAREENE: Alright, thanks for having me.
So, Bush’s book is popular because:
2.People bought it as a gag
3.People received it as a gift they didn’t want
4.Books are cheaper now
5.It’s shorter than Clinton’s
It takes an amazing amount of rationalizations to be a liberal these days, doesn’t it?
Consider that “My Life” was first published in June 2004. Do O’Donnell and Pareene think Amazon wasn’t around then?
And what about now?
Those interested could buy Clinton’s book at Amazon for as little as $2.45 in hardcover and $1.60 in paperback.
By contrast, the cheapest “Decision Points” is available for is $6.51.
I guess it never dawned on either of these geniuses to compare current prices before floating absurd explanations.
That must be too much like journalism for them.