Amazon Disputes 'New York Times's Reasons For Keeping Ted Cruz's Book Off The Bestseller List

There's trouble brewing between the New York Times and presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and oddly enough, it's all book-related. Recently, the New York Times left A Time For Truth, Ted Cruz's new book, off their bestseller list, despite it selling more than enough copies to earn a place in their top 10. They cited suspicious bulk purchases as a rationale. However, now Amazon has disputed that claim, saying they have noted nothing that might be an attempt to artificially inflate sales numbers.

"As of yesterday, 'A Time for Truth' was the number 13 best-selling book, and there is no evidence of unusual bulk purchase activity in our sales data," Sarah Gelman, Amazon's director of press relations, said in an email to Politico. And since Amazon is the most popular retailer for book sales worldwide, that carries a lot of weight, as does the fact that Barnes and Noble also states they have seen no evidence of suspicious bulk sales.

So, what's going on?

Well, the Times for their part has stated that they stand by their conclusions, and that the decision to leave Cruz off the list was not, as many conservatives have suggested, politically motivated.

"The notion that we would manipulate the bestseller list to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous," spokeswoman Eileen Murphy stated. "Conservative authors have routinely ranked high on our lists — Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, most recently Ann Coulter, just for a few examples."

And indeed it is hard to believe that after all these years, the Times would start playing politics with their bestseller list. For one thing, doing so would hugely impact the credibility of their list, which is now perhaps the most respected and well-known of bestseller lists. And for another, such a move would be doomed to backfire — as people have noted, Cruz has gotten quite a lot of publicity off the controversy surrounding his exclusion, which is very good for book sales.

It seems more likely that either the New York Times made an error — it does happen — or that their method of analyzing sales caught something that retailers have missed.

Based on the sales reported by Neilson, Cruz's book would have debuted at number three on the Times' list.