Olbermann mocks Coulter's falling book sales
David Edwards and Ron Brynaert
Published: Friday March 13, 2009

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Update: Plagiarism chargers chime in on sales reports

The cliché that there's no such thing as bad press might not apply anymore.

Because even though media coverage of controversial conservative columnist Ann Coulter hasn't really slackened the past few years, her last two books' combined sales appear to have, at best, matched the book before.

Conde Nast Portfolio reports that Ann Coulter’s new book has sold about 100,000 copies while her 2006 book sold about 280,000 but the one before that close to 400,000, just in hardback.

"Though never exactly shy, Ann Coulter has been especially noisy in her self-promotion lately, inventing a beef with NBC News, arguing with Keith Olbermann over the meaning of a Cornell degree and taking her act on the road with Bill Maher as foil," Jeff Bercovici writes. "Could it be because she's worried she's losing our attention?"

Bercovici adds, "Coulter's latest book, Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America, is something of a misfire by Coulterian standards. Of course, what constitutes a disappointment for Coulter would be a mega-hit for most authors; in its two months on sale, Guilty has sold 100,500 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan (a number that only reflects around 70 percent of actual sales)."

(Note: Despite conservative group giveaway campaigns, those figures aren't reflected by Nielsen BookScan tabulations)

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was so excited about the news that he hyped a teaser for his 'Best persons in the world' segment on it three times throughout Thursday's broadcast.

"Even conservatives are wising up, sales of Coultergeist‘s newest book—down about 67 percent," Olbermann said shortly after the show began, then added later, "And speaking of things that only look human, Coultergeist‘s amazing vanishing book sales," and, finally, "Bests in a moment, and Coultergeist has apparently lost better than 2/3 of her book buying audience."

Olbermann awarded Thursday's "Best person" accolade on the "American book reading public" for staying away from Coulter's books.

"From three books ago to two books ago, she lost more than a third of an audience," Olbermann observed. "And from two books ago to this one, she has lost another half. It is morning in America."

Coulter's book sales started to decline in 2006, when she was facing widespread criticism after taking shots at some of the 9/11 widows and faced a barrage of charges of plagiarism.

Days before the Godless book came out, The Rude Pundit, who had accused Coulter of plagiarism beforehand, blogged that he had found more. Plagiarism charges have hounded Coulter since the late nineties.

RAW STORY also reported that Coulter had inserted a list which was originally compiled by an anti-abortion group almost word-for-word in her book in an attempt to counter a New York Times article. Earlier, RAW STORY had expanded upon the similarities The Rude Pundit first found in 2005.

Although a plagiarism expert later claimed that there was "textbook plagiarism" in Godless, Coulter's publisher stuck behind her after conducting what some felt was only a cursory examination of her work.

When asked to comment on Coulter's plummeting sales, The Rude Pundit stayed true to his nomenclature, telling RAW STORY, "When you're a tired, old one-trick pony, no matter how good a trick it is, people will get bored and look for the next pony. Welcome to the remainder rack, where plagiarizing hacks go to die."

Daniel Borchers, a lifelong conservative who has chronicled examples of alleged plagiarism by Coulter since 1998 and runs a website called Coulter Watch, told RAW STORY that other Coulter critics might want to wait before pulling out their forks.

"It would be wonderful to believe that the Coulter juggernaut has run head-on into a tsunami of truth," Borchers said. "Outwardly, the stats suggest that to be so, but statistics can be misused and misunderstood."

Borchers explained, "If Democrats Had Any Brains was actually a collection with a substantial portion of material from a previous collection (How to Talk to a Liberal), and readers were not deceived by the clever marketing. Readers now are apparently too savvy to be swayed by Coulter’s contrived controversies."

"That said, she maintains a formidable presence on college campuses and at conservative, Christian and pro-life events and her power among conservatism’s political, cultural and media elites remains undiminished," Borchers added. "Even in the face of credible plagiarism charges and Coulter’s incredible hate speech, her colleagues continue to champion this alleged victim of liberal bias."

Borchers concluded, "In short, rumors of the death of her career are premature."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast Mar. 13, 2009.

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