NEW YORK – The wholesale giant Costco has issued an order to remove all copies of Dinesh D’Souza’s bestselling book, “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” from the shelves of its stores nationwide, WND has confirmed.
The book, in this midterm election year, is a strong rebuttal of the progressive ideology behind President Obama’s policies, which have been supported by Costco co-founder and director Jim Sinegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated the president. A Washington Post political reporter has noted Obama’s “romance” with the nation’s second-largest retailer.
At Amazon.com, D’Souza’s book, released June 2, is ranked No. 5 overall and No. 1 in Political Commentary and Opinion.
Costco has sold more than 3,600 copies of “America” nationwide, with about 700 copies sold last week as D’Souza’s film by the same name opened at more than 1,000 movie theaters nationwide.
But Costco’s book department issued the “pull order,” requiring all Costco stores nationwide to remove the book, confirmed Scott Losse, an inventory control specialist in the book department at the Costco Wholesale corporate office in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
The July 1 order required all copies to be removed by July 15.
Contacted for a reaction, D’Souza was surprised to learn of the Costco decision.
“If true, this would be very odd,” D’Souza said.
“We’re in the process of finding out what’s happening. I look forward to getting to the bottom of this and continuing the strong relationship my publisher and I have always had with Costco and their millions of shoppers.”
Most Costco stores WND contacted Monday had already pulled “America” from the shelves, with others scheduled to remove it with their regularly scheduled inventory changes Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
A few Costco stores told inquirers Monday they were “in luck,” because a handful of books were still available and a few copies remained in the warehouse waiting to be returned. Staffers offered to put aside a book so it could be purchased before all copies were shipped back to the vendor.
WND contacted by telephone and email Costco’s national book-buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, at Costco’s headquarters, but received no response to WND’s questions regarding why D’Souza’s book was being pulled from the shelves just as the companion movie was opening in theaters.
WND was unable to reach by phone or email Marji Ross, the president of Regnery, which published D’Souza’s book.
Missing from the New York Times list
Amazon readers have given “America” an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.
The Washington Examiner reported June 20 that the book sold 4,915 in the first week and 5,592 in the second week but mysteriously was kept off the New York Times bestseller list, where it would have ranked No. 8 and then No. 11 on the June 29 list.
He said the New York Times list is important to boosting sales.
“It matters to be on it,” he said.
The book will be on the Times July 13 list, however, at No. 17.
The movie “America,” which has been given a rare “A+” CinemaScore by audiences, opened in 1,105 theaters nationwide to roughly $4 million over the five-day July 4 holiday weekend.
It didn’t do as well as D’Souza’s 2012 breakout hit, “2016: Obama’s America,” which enjoyed a remarkable $6.5 million debut on its way to $33 million, but the November election between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney was clearly a factor, noted TheWrap, a website that covers Hollywood.
“We didn’t expect to open as well as that film for that reason,” co-director John Sullivan told TheWrap. “But the word of mouth on ‘America’ is tremendous, even better than on ‘2016,’ and we think it’s going to build in the coming weeks.”
Sullivan commented that for a documentary “without Justin Bieber or animals in it, I think we did pretty darn well.”
Obama’s ‘romance’ with Costco
In January, Obama paid a visit to a Costco store in a Washington, D.C., suburb, “proving,” as Jaime Fuller of the Washington Post commented, “that his administration’s romance with the second-largest retailer in America is stronger than ever – and might just be the most successful union of a politician and a supermarket in American history.”
Sinegal spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, which nominated President Obama for a second term.
Sinegal, who retired as Costco CEO in January 2013, said Obama’s re-election would be better for businesses than a country led by Mitt Romney.
American companies, he said, need “a president who takes the long view and makes the tough decisions,” said Sinegal.
“That’s why I am here tonight supporting President Obama, a president making an economy built to last,” he said.
Fuller said that in the 2012 campaign, Costco played “an important role in countering Walmart’s support of Republican candidates and issues while also proving an easy way for Obama to mention income inequality and smart job creation on the campaign trail.”
In total, Costco has given $100,000 to Obama and another $100,000 to Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super PAC.
Sinegal was the author of an email blast sent out by the Obama campaign in July 2012. Obama also held a fundraiser at Sinegal’s house in Seattle, during which the incumbent president said “the story of Costco and everything that you guys have done I think is representative of what America is all about.”
Concerned individuals may contact Costco President and CEO W. Craig Jelinek by email or by calling (425) 313-8100 and/or Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Richard A. Galanti by email or by calling (425) 313-8100.