Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Border’s Sabotages “Unfit For Command” Except It Doesn’t

Charles over at LGF is outraged, and with 517 comments, it seems many of his readers are as well. You can experience their anger yourself here. You go look now!

Problem is, it wasn’t really that way. The cached version has 28 posts, which were posted from August 21st to August 31st.

Post 6 (from the top) by Takahashi:

We're "finding" that most of the few copies we're getting are damaged and need to be sent back, so sad. Too bad, Bushies! Regnery needs to be more careful. I'm hearing from people at 2 other stores that this seems to be common.

Why should we help destroy what's left of our country?

Takahashi again, on post 9:

You guys don't actually HAVE to sell the thing!

Just "carelessly" hide the boxes, "accidentally" drop them off pallets, "forget" to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Micheal Moore book as a substitute. Borders wants those recommends, remember?

I don't care if these Neandertals in fancy suits get mad at me, they aren't regular customers anyway. Other than "Left Behind" books, they don't read. Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair. They are the people pushing retailers to cut costs, don't forget. And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it!

Don't get mad, get even!

And that’s it. Two posts by the same guy out of twenty-eight, affecting a total of three stores. Disturbing? Yes. A huge corporate conspiracy? No.

Let’s look at the other posts. None support or condone Takahashi’s suggestions. Three posters, Withrow (#14), Classical-Liberal (#24), and Merry 10 (#26) repudiate Takahashi’s actions. A sample from Withrow:

I really, really disagree with this point of view. Booksellers have an ethical obligation IMO to present different points of view and not get in the way of freedom of speech. What you're suggesting is a form of censorship, only worse, because you're not being up front about it.

If you read his entire post, you’ll see he hates the book and its publisher. Yet, he’s still willing to sell the book.

Other posts? Make It Stop (#10, 17), Heron (#11), Rinky Dink (#13), and Dogma (15) wonder why the book is out of stock, discussing whether Regnery is too small a publisher without experience in putting out huge print-run books, or is using a “Harry Potter” scheme of withholding books to artificially build up reports of huge demand that ends up selling even more books, or is withholding books to build up reports like the one at LGF that malign the left and energize the right.

All of these issues take a back seat to the one theme that most of the posts have in common: people who work in any business that has a cash register (retail, food service, gas stations, and so on) hate their customers. The only difference between excellent service and crappy service is how well they disguise their hatred of you. You must know someone who works in a place like this. Ask them if they have any horror stories about bad customers. You’ll hear plenty. Ask them if they ever fantasize or joke about how to best kill customers with their fellow employees. Your friend may not admit this, but probably has.

And that’s what most of these posters care about, with the tidbits noted above just the tomatoes on the salad.

Once again. Is Takahashi wrong? Yes. Are his actions criminal? Yes. Does every other employee who posted, or is Borders Books itself, part of some huge conspiracy to silence criticisms of Kerry? Don’t be ridiculous. And don’t be like Dan Rather. Own up.

LGF posts only Takahashi (#9). This story definitely needed a “Read The Whole Thing.” Whole lotta smoke, not much fire.

Full disclosure compels me to add a few things. I have never been a regular reader of LGF. I only hear the best things about it when I see it mentioned on other sites. The Rathergate coverage has been excellent. I just think we should be careful and conscientious, especially during this period of triumphalism blogs are experiencing and the heightened scrutiny it brings.

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