In the future, the FTC can rest assured I will burn every free book from the Heritage Foundation and Regnery. Considering I felt like going on a three day bender after I read the Party of Death by Ramesh Ponneru, burning the damned things is probably healthier in the long run. If I get a copy of Going Rogue, I might just be driven to shoot smack.
As a side note, it is really hard to argue for good government when you have jackasses like Cleland running around.
Just Some Fuckhead
Did you really read that??
Just put the book in a bucket outside and enjoy it’s long, lingering self-destruction over the course of the winter.
I got an email from Borders this afternoon with a coupon for 40% off Palin’s book. Maybe I should print it out, form a bag with it, fill it with cat shit and light it on fire in front of the store.
Brick Oven Bill
If I succeed in becoming America’s Next Great Pundit, the blame will fall directly at your feet, John Cole. Although I will not share my $200/column with you. Or any future proceeds.
DougJ, by the way, does not stand a chance.
Just finished watching a little bit of the Limbaugh interview on Countdown. I need a shower. Ugh, I just want to say, “Fuck You Rush Limbaugh.” Seriously. “Fuck You.” What a dick.
General Winfield Stuck
eww that’s hard. This Sunday be comin’ round soon enough.
Can you please stop mentioning Sarah and her book? Every time you do,
SkynetGoogle thinks that this place is RedState and serves up a bunch of SarahPAC and BuySarah’sBook ads.
I’d much rather see Mutant Pamela Anderson.
what in the world did you ever order from them that would
make them think…?
40% off–free with free shipping wouldn’t be a big enough offer for me–not even if they threw in a free Kindle with 20 free downloads–I can’t have that book in my house.
Not even in my mailbox. ewwww.
The Republic of Stupidity
And given the topic of the thread, I couldn’t help but notice “Ann Coulter – Free” right at the top…
Sheesh… poor Annie’s given it it away, FOR FREE… and I STILL don’t want it…
That’s gotta hurt…
kommrade reproductive vigor
Shorter Richard [Ahem] Cleland:
At last! An excuse to read blogs all day, and we’ll get paid. Hur hur suckers!
I see this one breaking down really quickly. Especially since they’re going to be flooded with false complaints filed by every dipshit with a grudge against a blog.
Anyone willing to lay a bet on how long it takes for this dog to wind up in court?
Burning those book-shaped novelty items could reduce your heating bills. So if the poisonous fumes didn’t kill you first, Richard Cleland will totally pwn your DFH arse. Maybe we should do a Blogger State-of-Mind Strike Farce and mail all those review copies straight to Richard Cleland… postage due.
Nothing. I’ve bought some CDs and books about MN history. Border’s doesn’t target their coupons like Amazon. Most of their coupons are totally useless (romance novels and memoirs), but rarely political. The Palin coupon was a stunner.
Sometimes, Amazon’s recommend-o-matic coughs up some nice ironies:
‘Catastrophe’ is by Dick Morris, which means that the title also serves as the review.
@dmsilev: we’re doing something right. The Asian mail order bride business is directing their ads here now!
Thai was the summer feature. Autumn is bringing us The Philippines.
From the FTC website:
With the economy and business practices being what they are today- this is what the FTC concentrates on?
Good to know.
kommrade reproductive vigor
@Anne Laurie: Yep.
And if food bloogers get free meals from restaurants … Let’s just say Mr. Cleland had better think twice before he stomps out those flaming paper bags on his front porch.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Smarting. Moderate butthurt detected.
I want to hear William Shatner do a reading of Sarah Palin’s book. Seriously. And then I want to get very, very drunk.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Thankfully, there’s no danger of that happening.
My buddy, Bad, Bad Radio Boy, takes a box of CDs to the used CD store whenever he needs some extra cash; which is highly illegal, as promo copies are clearly marked as eternal property of the record label, and the artists don’t get paid for them.
But it’s OK, because he gets a(n obviously meager) salary.
I’ve got no problem with people who get free books from publishes saying, “I got this book for free and it still sucks or “I got this book for free and I think it’s pretty good.”
This isn’t anywhere near the stupidity of the FEC.
When I was freelancing, I did album reviews for as low as $20 a pop, IIRC. How many readers do you have to have before you can make that from BlogAds? Probably not many.
Mr. Cleland is making my brain hurt. I don’t like him very much.
Without defending the stupidity of the FTC argument, there actually is a problem there worth addressing. The problem isn’t books but other kinds of reviews – particularly computer/gadget reviews. I know reviewers that would get a good $1K per week worth of goods to review. That might have changed with the economy and all, but handouts of $200 gadgets were common.
Between what they keep and what they would sell on eBay, they were doing alright writing good reviews.
Can’t argue against that point.
I think they did the right thing but just didn’t go far enough. Every magazine, TV, or newspaper based review should plainly state if they got a free review copy and how much the maker spends on advertising with the parent org.
Speaking of which, what ever happened to the American version of Top Gear? I expected it to suck just because there’s no way NBC would allow entertainers to say anything bad about an advertiser, but the whole thing seems to have vanished.
I agree. Consumer Reports, for instance, always makes sure people know that they actually go out and buy every single thing they review.
I think that’s an excellent argument in favor of him doing so. I enjoy the idea of Balloon-Juice being funded by the wingnuts we ridicule enough that I’m happy to put up with their ads.
A couple of years ago my house was burglarized and the thieves took a couple hundred CDs from my collection (along with cameras and cash). After the cops left my house, I called the closest used CD/record store and asked them to keep an eye out for a large box of CDs with artist names B thru K (Beatles thru Kinks). Within the hour, I got a call from the cops saying that the store had called them to report my CDs. They had bought them all pretty much knowing they were stolen goods and were probably really pissed that I’d called.
I had 95% of the CDs back on my shelf the next day and the store made sure that every missing CD was replaced so that I didn’t make a stink about them receiving stolen goods. The store was out the $300 they’d paid the theif. Dinks.
John Cole you are my god.
I loathe Ponnuru with the fire of a thousand suns.
@MikeJ: Hm. I would agree that this is the way to approach this asshattery. Either everyone must state this or no one should, though. It irks me.
You could donate those books to a third world country with a shortage of toilet paper. That would put them to a better use than anyone actually reading them.
Third Eye Open
@asiangrrlMN: OT, I know, but are you familiar with the band, Atmosphere? Slug, the front-man is from your neck of the woods, and I assume aside from drink and hump like rabbits, there isn’t much to do other than revel in your tangential relationship to underground hip-hop artists.
If you don’t know them, may I recommend this.
John, dude. No one says “shoot smack” any more. I thought you were my age, not Karl Malden’s.
The problem the rules address is real, and disclosure matters. What’s unfair is the FTC exempting journalists and victimizing bloggers.
And iirc there’s a $30 exemption, which will cover most books.
I vaguly remember this thing you call a see-dee. Aren’t they used for fish scales on art projects?
I used to frequent The Strand. I don’t know if they still do it but publishers used to stamp “reviewer’s copy — not for resale” on the inside front cover. How do I know this… from the reviewer’s copies I used to buy at The Strand.
In my experience in radio they are square plastic cases the record company sends the PD that contain a round piece of plastic/metal and some cocaine.
An eye-opening look into an industry I knew nothing of: book reviewing. Thanks!
@Third Eye Open: Um, we do have museums and theaters and sporting events, ya know! I don’t know this group, but that song is tight. Thanks for sharing the link.
I think I just decided to become an automobile reviewer/blogger.
So, to make Cleland happy, I will gladly sign an affidavit (in triplicate), swearing that I will not sell, nor otherwise dispose of, any Ferraris (just about any model, I’m not a snob about it), AC Cobras (real ones, not kits), MG TCs, Porsche 959s, Lambos, or Vipers. And if it will make him even happier, I promise to give them all lousy reviews.
Trabants, on the other hand, go straight to Cash for Clunkers.
I’ll just leave this here.
@SFAW: Hm. I like the way you think. I want to be a reviewer of chocolates and Alan Rickman. Can I do that?
I don’t see why not, and your ideas got me thinking – can I review Kate Winslet? Or Cate Blanchett?
Don’t be all mad- get a barrel stove!
Cleland… Didn’t he write Fanny Hill?
@The Golux: O/T but is your screen name from The Thirteen Clocks? Because that’s one of the Best. Books. Evah.
Wile E. Quixote
You read Party of Death. Jesus John, I didn’t know you were a masochist. How did you train up for this? I’d imagine that you’d have to be able to shave your balls, scrub them pink with a loofah and then liberally coat them with a mixture of rock salt, habanero sauce and Icy-Hot without shedding a tear before you could even consider reading a book by Ramesh Ponnuru. Dude, you’re tough.
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
What about reviewers of pron? Anyone want that back?
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
@Wile E. Quixote:
No shit. It sounds like the radical cure for crabs would be easier to endure:
Shave half of your body, cover the other half with lighter fluid and light it. When the crabs run over to the unshaved side, stab them with an ice pick.
The Other Steve
What’s the problem with giving the books to the library?
In the tech world, generally speaking pretty much every blogger is on the take. So I really didn’t have a problem with the FTC decision.
If I’d been smarter years ago I would have started a blog reviewing video cards so I’d always get the latest video card for free, suckahs!
Wile E. Quixote
Will it be a deeply insightful and penetrating review?
I remember the Heritage economic study of Social Security for blacks. See if you can spot the errors.
Assuming all blacks are born, earn average American wages, never have accidents or have serious health issues, and they all drop dead when they hit 69, then they are screwed by Social Security.
This is Heritage economic analysis?
Bush and the usual gang of ignorant Goppies spread for months the theme that Social Security was discriminatory because of that “study.”
The GAO had done a previous study which, of course, showed that Social Security is a bit better deal for blacks than whites.
@Gary D: Be quiet, dear. The grown-ups are talking.
You get to review the emptied husk formerly known as Alan Rickman, hereafter known as ζ.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Go for it, pal. Anything to hasten the demise of WaPo, which was a newspaper as recently as the 1990s.
I have been coming down with something over the last 48 hours, really obnoxious. I blame Cole, who probably gave it to me over the Internet.
@ Wile E. Quixote
Christ, I hope so.
Of course, so practice efficiency, get “economies of scale”, etc., I’m thinking I’ll need to review them together.
“TO practice efficiency”.
I blame it on lack of caffeine and Obama’s [insert wingnut-phrase-du-jour here].
@hamletta: No. I have dibs on Mr. Rickman. Everyone here knows that. I do have to say you made me laugh with your ’empty husk’ and symbol line. Heh.
Yes, I read Party of Death. I like to keep up on the wingnuts, see what they are doing.
Given the way stupidity spreads in Wingnutistan, I’d be fearful of even this use.
Hell, free books in my area of interest is why I like writing book reviews… So far in 2009 I’ve gotten (counts) TWO free books! WOO HOO!! On The Gravy Train Baby! GRAAAVVYY TRRRRAAAIINN!!!
Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
@IndieTarheel: Wouldn’t smearing shit on the pages of right-wing books be redundant?
Wouldn’t it have been better to do that *before* reading it?
All I know is that if you received a review copy of the Furminator, you’d better get in touch with a lawyer before the FTC comes knocking.
@Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:
You beat me to it and better played as well
For anyone wondering about selling promotional CDs, it is perfectly legal. One would assume this same ruling applies to advance reader or review copies of books (and any other free merchandise) as well.