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Saturday, September 6, 2008
WND Repeats Unverified Savage Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeated a claim that "Michael Savage's new autobiography, self-published and available on the website, has surpassed the sales of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent publication, 'Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters.'" The article added: "Officials for Savage's radio show, which is heard by an estimated 8-10 million listeners weekly, confirmed to WND that publicly available sales totals for Pelosi's book after one week were about 2,300, and while they wanted to withhold exact numbers, sales of 'Psychological Nudity' had surpassed that significantly in its first week."

WND offers no information about how it "confirmed" Savage's numbers, given Savage's desire to "withhold exact numbers." Since the book is self-published, outside verification would be difficult if not impossible; WND provides no reason why readers should implicitly trust Savage's accounting.

The article adds a quote from Savage's actual press release, which states, "The power of talk radio and the Internet is once again being ignored by the failing publishing and newspaper industries." The article does not explain how having purportedly greater sales than Pelosi is a meaningful measure of anything, let alone "the power of talk radio and the Internet."

Further, Savage's bashing of the "failing" publishing industry is odd, given that Savage's four previous books were made available through publishing houses -- WND's book division and Thomas Nelson. Typically, one resorts to self-publishing only when a publishing house will not otherwise take the book. After all, if Savage's book sales were really as good as he claims they are, he'd still be with a real publisher, right?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:25 AM EDT

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