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what’s on Wal-Mart’s reading list

August 5, 2009

IMG_0107I was in Newport RI the other weekend, and stopped by the Wal-Mart to pick up some odds and ends, and noticed the ‘current events/history’ section of the store skewed pretty hard right wing:  if you’ll notice, on sale was Glenn Beck’s “Common Sense” and “An Inconvenient Truth“; Dick Morris’s “Catastrophe” Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto” and Michelle Malkin’s “Culture of Corruption.”

Now, I can understand that Wal Mart can sell anything they want, more or less, and perhaps they’ve chosen titles that the birther/teabagging movement might enjoy over other non-political or less vitriolic tomes.

Fair enough – they should sell what makes them the most money.

However, according to the New York Times’ bestseller list, only Beck’s Common Sense is #1 on the paperback nonfiction list – while all the others, such as Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes,” and more ominously, Jeff Sharlet’s “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” about religious fundamentalism in American politics, are strangely absent.

So, what does this all mean?  Is Wal-Mart catering exclusively to the rightwing?  Does it sell these tomes to increase the numbers for these books? Or does the company deliberately keep certain books off the shelves?

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