Thursday, June 08, 2006

Book Revue & Bias

One of the best independent bookstores on Long Island has just lost my business...

A few years ago, I began to notice that they hosted more rightwing authors than leftwing ones. At first, I thought it was a fluke... Perhaps no liberal author wrote a book the same month Bernie Goldberg released Bias...
Maybe Jim Hightower wasn't doing a book tour for Theives in High Places...
But gradually, I came to realize that month after month, there were more rightwing authors showing up at Book Revue than those from the left.

So, about a year ago, I sent them an e-mail letting them know I'd noticed this trend, and requesting that they do something to set my mind at ease... Have more authors from across the social & political spectrum (preferable) or host less from the right. In short, show me that this wasn't intentional...

I got no response to my e-mail. Not only didn't they respond directly, nothing changed as regards the authors doing the appearances. Hannity has had a signing for every one of his books, and also shows up to help sell the books of others he supports, like Goldberg, above. O'Reilly. E.D. Hill. Pat Buchanan. And the final straw, at least for me, Ann Coulter (again, with Hannity, who even did a live broadcast from my formally beloved bookstore.)

So, with sadness in my heart, I bid farewell to my bookstore, by sending them this email last night:
In honor of yet another appearance by Fox News (Hannity, together with Ann Coulter, this time), I hereby revoke my patronage of your establishment.

I was a resident of Huntington from 1969 through 1996, and spent many hours and a good chunk of money in your store in the late 70s & throughout the 80s. One of my good friends, Jeff B, was an employee of yours. I worked in Chartiers, right behind your building. (I also spent a lot of time in Oscars, but preferred your store.) In the last few years, I've occasionally driven in from Mastic to shop in your store (it is among the best independent bookshops on Long Island, and my politics urges me to spend my money in line with my values--including my disdain for the big boxes that're slowly destroying our local main street businesses.) I even have a frequent buyer card, even though I don't spend nearly the time or money in your shop that I used to.

It was that history, along with your selection & status as an independent, that allowed me to forgive your seeming penchant for hosting right-wing authors a good deal more often than similarly prominent authors from the left. Hannity (HOW many times can this guy appear?), O'Reilly, ED Hill, The Bias guy, Pat Buchanan... ...and the list goes on, I'm sure... (I'm going from memory...)

In a similar period, you've had Amy Goodman, & (perhaps) Al Franken. I'm sure I'm missing a liberal or two from the last 5 years, but the number has got to be half that of conservative appearances in the same period.

The final straw was Ann Coulter. She is trash, and I will not continue to support any person or entity that gives her (& the Fauxes) a platform to spew that kind of bile. There are other independent bookstores that are more in line with my personal, political and social beliefs, and thus have earned my patronage. I will always value the books & the memories I have because of Book Revue, but I cannot continue to give money to an institution that allows the likes of Coulter & these creeps from the Murdoch/Moonie media to spew their harmful, hateful views, and then fails to present authors from the other side to rebut them.

W. James Casper

Mastic, NY 11950

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