. . . Â or how to deal with a conservative blogger upset by a display table where left-wing books are overepresented.
On Wednesday, after taping a segment for Pajamas TV and blogging from a Culver City Starbucks, I agreed to meet a friend in the Barnes & NobleÂ bookstore at the Grove where we’d go looking for a place to dine. Â Getting there before he, I thought I’d browse around and pick up a copy of David Freddoso’sÂ The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate. Â I’d been meaning to review it.
So, I perused the display table inside the store, laden with political books. All but one (maybe two) books facing the doors were left-wing. This seemed out of character for that store, even though it is right in the heart of Hollywood, a stone’s throw (literally–if you have good arm) from CBS studios. Normally, they seem to have a balance of political books, just as many on the left as on the right.
Last time when I was there, I saw a table devoted to the presidential campaign. I actually counted the titles. They had one more Obama book (by or about) than those about his Republican rival. That seemed fair and may have reflected the size of the table more than anything else.
Now used to being outspoken and an “out” conservative in Hollywood, I decided to raise the issue with the staff. First, I complained to the women at the information desk. They (to their credit) called the manager who came within a short period of time, this particularly laudatory because he was also coordinating some kind of event in the store.
He listened, he noted my concern, he promised to look into it. He handled it with such grace that I almost felt bad for raising the issue. He agreed that display tables of political books should have a diversity of views and pointed out that they usually do. (A point I acknowledged.) Â I told him then I had trouble finding Freddoso’s book. He knew where to find it — in the bestseller case.
Given the way he handled my concern, I decided to buy the book then and there. I also picked up a copy of Marilynne Robinson’s new novel,Â Home, having so enjoyed her first novel, Housekeeping, recommended to me years ago by my favorite undergraduate English professor.
When I return to that store, should I find a more balanced selection on the politics table, I will make sure to buy another book. And I’m always looking for an excuse to buy a book.