Megyn Kelly, Howard Kurtz Hit NYT For Exclusion of Cruz Book

On the July 13 edition of The Kelly File, Fox personalities Megyn Kelly and Howard Kurtz hit The New York Times for leaving Ted Cruz’s new book, A Time For Truth, off their best seller list because of the paper’s suspicions about bulk purchases. 

This is the latest in media controversies surrounding Cruz, the last being the Associated Press posting a photo that appeared to show a gun pointed at the Republican presidential candidate’s head. Kelly noted how rare it is for retailers and publishers like Harper Collins and Amazon to get involved in these situations, yet they have come to the defense of Cruz: “But Harper Collins came out and said it’s not true. Amazon came out and said it’s not true. It is not like these guys are known for, you know, constantly picking fights with the Times on the best seller list. They're saying the Times is wrong.” 

Kurtz added that the AP photo of Cruz combined with this leaves the impression “that the mainstream media [is] not looking to give the Texas senator much of a break.” However, the Media Buzz host declared: 

This is the best thing that could have happened to Ted Cruz. He is getting a hundred times more publicity than a mere mention on the Times best seller list. It enables him to beat up on the biased mainstream media and, by the way, it is helping him already to sell more books. 

Kelly claimed it was clear “that there is a subjective element in the Times’s decision as to who will make the list. And we heard this from other conservative authors. We heard it from Dinesh D’Souza, we heard it from David Limbaugh, brother of Rush Limbaugh.” She continued: “These are not – Ted Cruz is not the first conservative to complain that he's been pushed off the list.”

Kurtz thought the Times was losing the debate because Amazon had weighed in against them combined with the fact that Cruz’s book is number four in the Wall Street Journal and number seven on the Barnes and Noble list. As Kurtz noted, both of those publications exclude bulk purchases as well. 

The relevant portion of the transcript is below. 

Fox News 

The Kelly File

July 13, 2015

MEGYN KELLY: And speaking of GOP contenders, tonight Senator Ted Cruz is accusing The New York Times of lying about his book and engaging in a partisan cover-up. And he is getting some powerful support. Last week the paper omitted Cruz's new book, A Time For Truth, from its best sellers list, claiming that sales of the book were fueled by bulk purchases, not individual purchases. But today the massive online retailer Amazon said it has no evidence of bulk purchases, and the book’s publisher, Harper Collins, is also pushing back on that claim as did Senator Cruz, who is demanding an apology of the paper. Joining me now, Howie Kurtz, the host of Media Buzz on FNC. Okay Howie, so this is turning into a bit of a dust up and I personally am amazed to see the Times commenting in this much detail on why they kept his book off the list. They usually say it's off. We don’t reveal our methods. Pound sand. But they seem to really be pushing back on him and he on them. 

HOWARD KURTZ: Well first, this is a great spectator sport. This is the best thing that could have happened to Ted Cruz. He is getting a hundred times more publicity than a mere mention on the Times best seller list. It enables him to beat up on the biased mainstream media and, by the way, it is helping him already to sell more books. 

KELLY: Maybe he'll make it on the list this time. But he's come and said, look, they're not bulk purchases. Just so the viewers know, sometimes famous people, rich people, if they want their book to be a best seller, they'll have somebody go buy 5,000 copies of it and then they’ll give them out and boom, guess what, it becomes a national best seller. That's what they say he's doing. But Harper Collins came out and said it’s not true. Amazon came out and said it’s not true. It is not like these guys are known for, you know, constantly picking fights with the Times on the best seller list. They're saying the Times is wrong.

KURTZ: Well, The New York Times’s version of this is that the charges are ludicrous because Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck have made the list, some pretty prominent conservatives. But here is where the Times loses the debate. And it is Amazon weighing in. It’s Cruz's book being number four on the Wall Street Journal list, number seven on the Barnes and Noble list, both of which exclude these bulk purchases. And finally, I still see the Times kind of saying, well, we can't really tell you our secret sauce because we gotta guard that. And the whole thing is shrouded in mystery. Which book stores and what's the formula? And therefore, it’s the opposite of transparency. So, you know, Cruz rightly says, where is your evidence of the so called bulk purchases? And the Times isn't saying. 

KELLY: It’s clear that there is a subjective element in the Times’s decision as to who will make the list. And we heard this from other conservative authors. We heard it from Dinesh D’Souza, we heard it from David Limbaugh, brother of Rush Limbaugh. These are not – Ted Cruz is not the first conservative to complain that he's been pushed off the list. I would argue in the case of Bill O' Reilly, there is no denying that man. I mean, he is the number one author in the country. You can't like, some things will be a little too obvious. 

KURTZ: Right, right, right. But I just think the Times is in an untenable position here because while it’s doubling down on its defense, and usually, you know, publishers and authors don't want to take on The New York Times because it is so powerful with that book review section. But here you have guy who is running for president, and he puts out this book, and it’s selling a lot of copies, and he can't get on the list. And, you know, the back drop here with the AP shooting itself in the foot with that photo not long ago, Megyn, of Ted Cruz at a Second Amendment event with all those guns pointed at his head. [It] does reinforce the notion that the mainstream media [is] not looking to give the Texas senator much of a break. 

TimesWatch Media Bias Debate Kelly File New York Times Megyn Kelly Howard Kurtz Ted Cruz

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