Is the New York Times book review truly a haven of centrism and neutrality? Lara Takenaga talked to Book Review editor Pamela Paul (Times Book Review editor since 2013) and section staffers Gregory Cowles and Barry Gewen. The piece was posted online in October 2018 but not printed until this week: “‘Political Switzerland’ for Books.” The “Switzerland” quip is from Paul, referring to the section's supposed ideological objectivity and neutrality. But a glance at any Times’ book review section (from either before or after Paul’s editorship) renders that assertion laughable.
This week's list of New York Times best-selling books proves as usual that the Times doesn't review conservative best-sellers. The nonfiction list was topped by "Things That Matter," a collection of columns by Charles Krauthammer and then by "Killing Jesus" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. The children's middle-grade list is led by Rush Limbaugh's "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims." There has been no Times review of these books.
All were mentioned by Gregory Cowles in his "Inside the List" briefs. O'Reilly drew this barb in the October 13 newspaper: "Bill O'Reilly's killing machine shows no signs of letting up -- ''Killing Jesus,'' his latest collaboration with Martin Dugard (after ''Killing Lincoln'' and ''Killing Kennedy''), jumps right to No. 1 in its first week on the hardcover nonfiction list." Fox host Brian Kilmeade was at number eight with "George Washington's Secret Six" and Sarah Palin was at number nine -- no reviews. But Cowles slammed Palin in this Sunday's paper:
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple read through a stack of books by cable-news hosts for a Sunday Outlook piece, and declared “MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is the clear winner of the cable-news-host literary prize” for her book “Drift.”
On Sunday’s front page, The Post called it a “blab lit review” and called it “A survey of the many cable big mouths who have stuffed it between hard covers." Wemple accurately captured the contempt the liberal media has for Fox hosts: