Monday, February 09, 2004

Kudos to O’Reilly for taking baby steps into reality.
Bill O'Reilly has finally conceded the race to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For weeks the Fox News star has been pushing the notion that his book ("Who's Looking Out for You?") would outsell the New York senator's book ("Living History"). But bulk buying, he declared, would not count, because "the Democratic National Committee has bought a ton of her books and gives them away for contributions."

After an e-mail exchange with DNC spokesman Tony Welch, O'Reilly last week acknowledged that the organization has not yet bought any Clinton books, though it plans some promotional giveaways.

"It was just for sport," O'Reilly says. "We wanted to see if we could beat her. Everyone loves a horse race."

Says Welch: "It was a silly attack that he tried to get some juice from. On this one he was wrong -- the numbers indicated which book people liked best."

O'Reilly told viewers that Clinton's book had outsold his, 1.1 million to 800,000. Actually, says Robert Barnett, Clinton's lawyer, "Living History" has sold 1.5 million copies and, he disclosed, an additional 1.2 million overseas. He also praised O'Reilly's 800,000 in sales -- the commentator's third No. 1 bestseller -- as "a fantastic accomplishment."

O'Reilly calls himself "the dumbest guy in town" for not realizing how books can be promoted onto bestseller lists and says he believes Clinton's political committees bought a large batch of hers (only 1,200, says Barnett, and those aren't included in retail sales figures). But he has wised up: has sold 25,000 books purchased from Barnes & Noble.

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