Shapiro's 'Bullies' Undergoes Amazon Review War

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Ben Shapiro

Anyone who purchases books on Amazon.com has noticed that the minute a conservative book gains notoriety, a pack of left-wing trolls who have never read a page of it descend on the book's site and give it the lowest rating possible, along with predictably negative reviews.

Case in point, the treatment of the recently released Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, the top Amazon seller written by Breitbart Editor-at-large Ben Shapiro. As many conservatives and liberals know, Ben demolished well-known left-wing bully Piers Morgan in a one-on-one debate on CNN last week.

As Ben's public profile rose, so too did the attacks from the left-wing trolls who follow conservative authors on Amazon.com. Amazon asks reviewers to rate each book on a "1" to "5" scale, with "1" being the lowest and "5" being the highest. You can tell when the left wing trolls have launched an attack on an excellent conservative book because the Amazon ratings are usually bimodal—either "5" or "1", with few ratings of "2", "3", or "4".

Such is the case with Ben's book. Of the 45 ratings Bullies had received at Amazon as of Tuesday morning, 27 were a "5", 1 was a "2" and 17 were a "1". There were no ratings of 3 or 4.

Ben's a prolific author, and as anyone who pays attention attention to the written word knows (regardless of their political persuasion), he's an excellent wordsmith. It's quite clear that the 17 reviewers who gave Ben a "1" rating hadn't read much of his book and were merely launching an ideological attack on his message. 

Here's an example of the literary quality of the "1 star" reviews offered by the left-wing trolls:

Terrible book, January 15, 2013

This book must have been written by a paranoid schizophrenic. It is full of crazy theories and ideas. Don't bother unless you like delusional fantasies. 

Bullies, By An Expert On the Subject, January 8, 2013 

Now that his mentor is dead, I can't imagine anyone with more expertise on the subject of bullying and how to use it to destroy lives. Kudos to Shapiro for having the exquisite lack of irony to write this book. You might like this book, January 8, 2013 If you want to tank up on right wing-drivel, persecution complexes, insane ranting and amazingly stupid conspiracy theories, this book may be for you. 

Conservatives and Republicans are the bullies...and so much worse, January 8, 2013 

Ben Shapiro, just like all other conservatives and right-wingers, has everything wrong. Conservatives claim that the left is bullying them when they get called racists (and other accurate names). Well, I've got an idea. If you don't want to get called a racist, how about you stop saying racist things?! Don't want to be accused of waging a war on women? Stop forcing women to have unnecessary procedures on their lady parts! Tired of being called a homophobe? Stop being hateful toward homosexuals! See how easy that is?! 

The right-wingers are not only bullies, they are racists, misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes, cowards, haters of the poor, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, science-deniers, liars, and all-around jerks.

1.0 out of 5 stars 

These reviews are remarkably similar to those "1 star" reviews written of other well-received conservative books, such as Mark Levin's Ameritopia, which also experienced the bimodal ratings phenomenon. As of Tuesday, for instance, 1,380 reviewers at Amazon gave Ameritopia a "5" rating, while 316 gave it a "1" rating. Only 36 rated it "4", 19 rated it "3", and 30 rated it "2".

For conservative authors, the presence of the left-wing trolls on Amazon means that if their book isn't experiencing the bimodal ratings phenomenon, it probably isn't having much of an impact on the public dialogue. As for Shapiro and Levin? They're laughing all the way to the bank. Both of their books have been Amazon best-sellers.


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