Trump’s battles with Fox News host Megyn Kelly were way back during the Republican primary but the hardcore Trumpists are good at nothing if not carrying a grudge. Forbes reported on the Reddit organized effort to pan Kelly’s book.
Although President-elect Trump has yet to acknowledge Kelly’s remarks this week, his supporters are responding in full force with negative Amazon reviews for Kelly’s book. As the L.A. Times reported, Kelly’s book page had hundreds of one-star reviews within hours of its release Tuesday. The popular pro-Trump Reddit forum “The_Donald” has been encouraging Trump fans to “troll” Kelly’s book. “Megyn Kelly’s new book on Amazon (link included). It would be a shame if her biased reporting was reflected in the customer reviews!” one comment read.
Megyn Kelly dared to not genuflect before their messiah and for that she must be punished. It is really just a mirror image of the cultish behavior exhibited by Obama supporters early in his administration.
Amazon has yet to make a statement on the grassroots efforts of Trump fans, although it has been deleting many of the obviously-fake reviews. Currently, 58% of the almost 300 reviews are one-star reviews. One from the user J. Thompson, which has received more than 1,125 “helpful” votes from Amazon visitors, reads [sic] “Wow get over yourself. Your not that good ! Used to be but sadly has lost the common touch.”
Kelly has long been a Fox News favorite but got a boost in her notoriety through her public battles with then candidate Trump. You can’t blame her for using the publicity to cash in with book. The autobiographical Settle For More tells Kelly’s story about how her upbringing led her to make big career changes even if it meant making sacrifices. Now there are people “reviewing” Kelly’s book who certainly never read it—or possibly any book—but the Trump-trolls don’t seem to be having much of an impact. At least not a negative one.
Tina Andreadis, senior vice president and director of publicity for HarperCollins, says the posts have “the hallmarks of an orchestrated effort to discredit the book and our author,” and that they have brought the posts to the attention of Amazon. Amazon does not require shoppers to purchase an item to leave a review, although a “Verified Purchaser” tag accompanies the reviews of those who have made a purchase. The majority of the one-star Amazon reviews are from unverified purchasers.
The collective temper tantrum might be working in Kelly’s favor.
The negative reviews don’t seem to be impacting the book’s sales, and it’s conceivable that the free P.R. is helping: It is currently No. 1 in several categories across Amazon. The online retailer—helmed, of course, by Jeff Bezos, who Trump routinely rebuked during his campaign—often accounts for 50% or more of first-week book sales for bestselling authors. Kelly, who received a $6 million advance from HarperCollins for the book, will almost certainly land on several bestseller lists in the weeks ahead.
Amazon had to deal with a similar onslaught of fake reviews for Hillary Clinton’s campaign book Stronger Together. It’s easy to see how during the heat of a campaign, a stunt like this might be organized against an opponent. Seeing it aimed at a journalist after your candidate has won the election looks like a mass case of arrested development. Being an angry winner is not a sign of a healthy mind.