Ed Driscoll

They're Lost, But They're Making Good Time

Maybe that paraphrase of one of Yogi Berra’s famous malapropisms helps to explain this dichotomy on the left. Over the weekend, esteemed broadcast professional Joy Behar, who replaced Glenn Beck on CNN’s Headline News channel when he went off to green pastures and boffo ratings at Fox, told her viewer that Sarah Palin’s “base doesn’t even read:”

Joy Behar expressed confusion about the success of Sarah Palin’s book because, according to the CNN Headline News/ABC talk show host, a lot of the former governor’s “base doesn’t even read.”

Behar slammed Palin, as well as Glenn Beck, Carrie Prejean and other conservatives  during her “look back at 2009” edition of the “Joy Behar Show” that re-aired over Christmas weekend.

An “esteemed” panel consisting of comedians Sandra Bernhard, Mo Rocca and Dave Attell joined Behar in mocking this year’s prominent voices on the right.

Bernhard claimed that people who bought Palin’s book “like to look at pictures. There’s only one on the cover, but they like to look at that picture.”

But back in November, the Huffington Post pondered a “Separate NY Times Bestsellers List for ‘Conservative Blockbusters:'”

According to The Huffington Post, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other right-of-center stars that regularly dominate the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List are – or should be – in a league of their own.

No, that isn’t Arianna Huffington’s blog heaping praise on conservative authors. It’s a literal suggestion. With right-leaning books and authors holding so many spots on the list, and more to come – former Sarah Palin, former Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush all have books due out -Huffington Post suggests conservatives should have their own category to differentiate from other works of non-fiction.

In a Nov. 9 entry on The Huffington Post that laments Fox News host Glenn Beck pulling a feat not done before – holding the number one spot on The New York Times’ four lists: hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback non-fiction and children’s – they suggest a separate category altogether, not for political non-fiction, but conservative non-fiction.

“Should The New York Times create a separate bestseller list for conservative blockbusters?” the post said. “Think of the history: we have a children’s bestseller list because of “Harry Potter” — Harry was knocking adult books off the top spots on the hardcover fiction list so publishers complained. The same thing must be true for Beck, Palin, Cheney, Bush (George W. and Laura), Malkin and others. What do you think?”

HuffPo isn’t the only liberal source bothered by right-wing literary success. Pundits like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews have openly expressed aggravation over conservatives dominating the list. However, the Huffington Post novel solution of “if you can’t beat them, put them on their own list,” seems to be a sign the left has given up on its own ability to sell hardcover non-fiction.

What’s more, conservatives are selling books without the usual push best selling authors get from other media. A recent study by the Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute found that most of the conservative books that appeared on the list often went unnoticed or unmentioned by the networks, while liberal authors and books enjoyed plenty of coverage.

Or as Yogi also said, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

Related: “Apocalypse Now: Sarah Palin’s ‘Going Rogue’ Number 3 Bestseller in Bay Area…”