NEW YORK – The New York Times has excluded David Limbaugh’s new book “Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel,” from it bestseller list despite sales figures superior to several books currently on the list.
The book’s publisher, Regnery Publishing, told WND the exclusion of Limbaugh’s book from the Sept. 28 print hardcover bestseller list reflects ideological bias against conservative and Christian titles.
“While publishers have long tried to discover the secret recipe by which the New York Times concocts its bestseller list, it seems increasingly likely that they are ‘cooking the books’ to fit their particular ideology,” Marji Ross, president and publisher at Regnery, told WND in an email.
“Yes, of course, conservative books appear on their list – including many Regnery books. I can only assume they are forced to place conservative books on their list in order to retain some sliver of credibility. But this trend of underreporting sales of conservative books is pronounced – and hard to justify.”
WND obtained statistics from Nielsen BookScan through the first week of sales ending Sept. 17, showing Limbaugh’s book sold 9,660 copies, making it the eighth bestselling book in all categories for that week.
BookScan supplies the publishing industry with weekly statistics regarding how many books were scanned at retail bookstores nationwide, providing valuable point-of-sale data.
WND also obtained an advance copy of the New York Times Print Hardcover Best Sellers list for Sept. 28 showing that ranked among non-fiction books only, Limbaugh’s first-week sales results should have been sufficient to list the book at No. 3, behind “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” by Randall Munroe, and “13 Hours,” by Michael Zuckoff and the Annex Security Team in Benghazi.
WND reported earlier this week, Limbaugh talked about his book on his brother Rush Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated radio show, declaring: “The Bible’s the Word of God; give it a chance, it will shock your socks off.”
The No. 3 book on the Times list for Sept. 28 is “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,” by Sam Harris. But the book sold only 7,518 copies for the week ending Sept. 17, according to BookScan, making it No. 20 in the sales rankings for that week.
The No. 10 book on the Times list for Sept. 28, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, sold only 3,865 books for the week ended Sept. 17 according to BookScan, making it No. 42 in sales.
The No. 20 book on the extended Times list for Sept. 28, “Think Like a Freak,” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, sold only 2,043 books for the week ending Sept. 17 according to BookScan.
“We do not comment on the rankings,” Danielle Rhoades Ha, the director of communications at the New York Times, explained to WND in an email.
She pointed to a New York Times statement on the bestsellers list methodology that said “sales of print titles are statistically weighted to represent all outlets nationwide.” There was no information concerning the algorithm or algorithms used to “weight” the titles.
The Times also disclosed without elaboration that Limbaugh’s “Jesus on Trial” will appear at No. 16 in the extended Sept. 28 list for “Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction.”
Ross had no explanation for why the book might be listed No. 16 on the New York Times list for combined print and e-book nonfiction, while failing to appear on the list for print hardcover nonfiction.
Author David Limbaugh had no comment on this piece.
In 2004, Regnery published “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” co-authored by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi, a controversial political book written that outlined the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth case against Sen. John Kerry’s Democratic Party nomination for president in 2004.