By Alex Pappas
The fight between Ted Cruz and The New York Times escalated Friday afternoon with the Texas senator’s presidential campaign accusing the newspaper of lying about why they are keeping his book off its bestseller list.
The campaign sent out a news release accusing the paper of not giving a honest answer when it said Cruz’s new book,” A Time For Truth,” was only selling in large numbers because of “strategic” bulk purchases.
Both Cruz and his publisher, HarperCollins, said Friday the books were not sold in bulk.
“The Times is presumably embarrassed by having their obvious partisan bias called out,” Cruz campaign spokesperson Rick Tyler said in a statement. “But their response — alleging ‘strategic bulk purchases’ — is a blatant falsehood. The evidence is directly to the contrary.”
Added Tyler: “In leveling this false charge, the Times has tried to impugn the integrity of Senator Cruz and of his publisher Harper Collins.”
Tyler called on the New York Times to release evidence supporting its claim.
“Demonstrate that your charge isn’t simply a naked fabrication, designed to cover up your own partisan agenda,” he said. “And, if you cannot do so, then issue a public apology to Senator Cruz and Harper Collins editor Adam Bellow for making false charges against them.”
When the story about Cruz’s omission from the list broke, a Times spokeswoman told Politico: “In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases.”
On Friday, HarperCollins publicity director Tina Andreadis said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed that they found “no evidence of bulk orders or sales through any retailer or organization.”
“A Time For Truth ranked high on other publishing industry bestseller lists including Nielsen Bookscan (#4), a subscription service that tracks the vast majority of book sales in America, The Wall Street Journal (#4) and Barnes and Noble (#7),” Andreadis said. “All these outlets omit bulk orders books from their rankings.”
In reality, the scuffle between Cruz and The New York Times could be a blessing in disguise for the Republican: the fight will likely draw more attention — and buyers — to the book. And Cruz now has another anecdote for the campaign trail to claim mistreatment by the media, something that resonates with conservative voters.