Sunday, January 19, 2014


I noted below that Robert Welch (John Birch Society) urged his followers to buy multiple copies of his book and according to Nicole Hemmer, Tricky Dick Nixon tried the same tactic with Edith Efron's book that attacked the "liberal media":
The heavy lifting fell to Edith Efron, a writer for TV Guide. In 1968 Efron analyzed network coverage of the last several weeks of the 1968 election. Armed with thousands of hours of videotape and a grant from the Historical Research Fund (of which Buckley was the projects chair), she plucked out 100,000 words on Nixon and Humphrey from each of the Big Three’s nightly newscasts.

Then Efron started counting.

For and against: tick, tick, tick, until she had tallied every favorable and unfavorable word spoken about the candidates. Crunching the numbers, she found about half of all words spoken about Humphrey were positive. For Nixon? A paltry 8.7 percent. Her book The News Twisters concluded network news followed “the elitist-liberal-left line in all controversies.”

So Nixon ordered Special Counsel Charles Colson to get the book on the New York Times bestsellers list. Colson ferreted out which stores’ sales were used to determine the list, and bought up every copy they had. And it worked: Efron’s book became an official New York Times bestseller. (For years, Nixon staffers stumbled upon boxes crammed full of The News Twisters.)

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