Former CNN media reporter Brian Stelter is on tour promoting his exciting new book about Fox News. But judging by the pitiful sales figures, it looks like his media blitz hasn’t had its intended effect. With just 3,807 copies sold in the first week, it’s safe to call this one a flop.
We decided to dig up some stats to help put that impressively low sales figure into context. Here are nine very small things that are somehow more numerous than copies sold of Stelter’s book.
1) VARIETIES OF POTATO
According to the International Potato Center (yes, that’s a thing), there are more than 4,000 varieties of the delicious tuber. We figured it’d be appropriate to lead off a Stelter story with a potato fact.
2) CNN EMPLOYEES
Even after the big round of layoffs that came during the Chris Licht era, there are still more people working at CNN than there are copies of Stelter’s book in circulation — approximately 4,000 of them, according to the CNN Worldwide Fact Sheet.
3) ANNUAL DEATHS CAUSED BY AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY
At least, this was the case back in 2016. The latest figures were hard to pin down. According to Business Insider, there were 4,183 such deaths that year. Per that same article, there were also more than 10,000 deaths caused by falling out of bed.
4) CRITICALLY ENDANGERED EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS
If you decided to collect every copy of Stelter’s book that was purchased last week and distributed each to one of these apes, there would be several thousand unfortunate gorillas left with nothing to read. Depending on whose estimates you’re using, there are anywhere from 5,000 to 6,800 of these impressive creatures roaming the jungles of Sub-Saharan Africa.
5) THE POPULATION OF ANTARCTICA IN THE SUMMER
Obviously the frozen continent has no permanent residents, but things are actually pretty busy down there during the summer months. With 66 active scientific bases running year-round, Antarctica’s population swells to around 4,000 in the warm season, during which temperatures soar to a balmy 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
6) CHEMICALS RELEASED BY A SINGLE CIGARETTE
According to the American Lung Association, a burning cigarette releases over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. Scientists have not yet determined how many chemicals Stelter’s book emits when burned.
7) ADS SEEN PER DAY BY THE AVERAGE AMERICAN
Based on the most reputable figure we could find, it is estimated that on average Americans see between 4,000 and 10,000 ads daily. Of course that’s a pretty massive range, and this stat is somewhat disputed. Still more than Stelter’s book though.
8) PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA LOCATIONS WORLDWIDE
In 2022, the renowned pizza chain had 5,706 physical locations scattered across the globe. That number hasn’t seen a year-over-year decrease since 2007, so barring some horrible pizza-related catastrophe, it’s safe to assume that there will be even more Papa John’s stores by the end of 2023.
9) DAILY USERS OF CNN+ DURING ITS FIRST (AND LAST) MONTH
During the one magical month that CNN+ existed, the streaming service reportedly saw fewer than 10,000 daily users. That’s low, which is a real shame, but at least it’s higher than 3,807.
In fairness to Brian, writing a book is an impressive feat in and of itself. And as long as we’re keeping score, I still have fewer than 3,807 followers on X. That being said, it’s still pretty funny that there are several orders of magnitude more words in Brian Stelter’s book than there are copies of it in circulation.