Here at the beginning of the New Year, I thought I'd look at what Amazon.com listed as the customer bestsellers of 2009. And I noticed something:
In the first 28 selections:
2. Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto - Mark R. Levin
Author and conservative talk radio host Levin (Rescuing Sprite, Men in Black) takes on the Statist, a liberal straw man, in this collection of polemics against left-wing tenets (like "economic and social justice"), touchstones (like the New Deal)…
3. Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine - Glenn Beck
"If you believe it's time to put principles above parties, character above campaign promises, and Common Sense above all -- then I ask you to read this book...."In any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential. They know with conviction what they believe within themselves.
15. Going Rogue: An American Life - Sarah Palin
In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom's-eye view of high-stakes national politics—from patriots dedicated to "Country First" to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost.
16. Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government - Glenn Beck
It happens to all of us: You're minding your own business, when some idiot informs you that guns are evil, the Prius will save the planet, or the rich have to finally start paying their fair share of taxes. Just go away! you think to yourself -- but they only become more obnoxious. Your heart rate quickens. You start to sweat. You can't get away. Your only hope is......this book.
17. Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies - Michelle Malkin
In her shocking new book, Michelle Malkin digs deep into the records of President Obama's staff, revealing corrupt dealings, questionable pasts, and abuses of power throughout his administration...
28. Catastrophe - Eileen McGann
It's time to take back our country. Now. It's that simple. It's that urgent. So begins Dick Morris and Eileen McGann's latest and most important book. They say that we must act before President Barack Obama fully implements his radical political agenda.
On the other hand
11. True Compass: A Memoir - Edward M. Kennedy
In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Edward M. Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story--of his legendary family, politics, and fifty years at the center of national events.
That's right, six out of seven of the first 28 books on the list that are political commentary are written by rabidly conservative meatheads. I find #16, Glenn Beck's "Arguing with Idiots" to be particularly ironic.
I would say that it is a reasonable hypothesis that the people who watch Fox news are not great readers of books of any stripe. Therefore, it is a little frightening to see this devotion to the screeds put out by such dunderheads. But, in the reckoning of America, they are a great success. That is, they make money. And how:
Re Glen Beck:
Beck's rapidly expanding media empire includes multiple revenue sources: a TV show ($2 million), a radio show ($10 million), books ($5 million), speeches (half a million), appearances ($2.5 million) and a Web site ($3 million). The move from CNN to Fox News grabbed big headlines for the popular but polarizing pundit.
Do people really read these books? And poor Teddy Kennedy, lonely in that number 11 spot. Looking down from some Hyannis Port Heaven and wondering if it was all worth it.