Zev Chafets' friendly biography of Fox News chief Roger Ailes is tanking -- it sold less than 3,000 copies in its first week, despite being heavily promoted on the channel Ailes runs.
For some reason, Newsmax has decided to enter the breach and goose sales of the book.
An April 12 Newsmax article touts how Chafets' book "has soared to the top of Amazon.com’s list of best-selling books," going on to assert that "Chafets' book is drawing high praise not only for its penetrating look at the man credited with building Fox News into the top-rated cable news channel, but also for the significant revelations it offers about Ailes, his confrontation with President Obama, and other fascinating vignettes."
One significant fact Newsmax fails to mention: Two days earlier, it sent out an email to its mailing list imploring readers to buy the book at Amazon.
Scattered throughout that email are links stating, "Note: You can get this best-selling book from Amazon now — Go Here Now." It takes you to Amazon's page for the book, its URL coded so that Newsmax gets a cut of sales.
Both the email and article make the ludicrous claim that "Chafets is not a conservative — a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and a former columnist for the New York Daily News, he was given unprecedented access to Ailes and others at Fox News with no strings attached." But as the New Republic details, Chafets certainly has special relations with conservatives like Ailes:
The author of more than a dozen books, Chafets has established himself as someone with special access to conservative figures, earned by the sympathetic profiles he writes of them. He seems credible, writes well, does actual reporting, and is published in center to center-left outlets like the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. He frequently identifies himself as a member of the “mainstream media” or “lamestream media,” complete with quotation marks to deny an endorsement of either appellation.
The email even touts Rush Limbaugh's endorsement of the book without mentioning that Chafets also wrote a friendly bio of Limbaugh.
Newsmax might want to explain to its readers why it has felt the need to goose sales of Chafets' book. Out of the goodness of Christopher Ruddy's heart? Because Chafets' publisher is paying them? Please tell us.