November 30, 2013

"Scott Walker's new book 'Unintimidated' is getting destroyed in the reviews on Amazon right now. The average reviewer gives it only 2.5 stars!"

Says a AFSCME page at Facebook:
Don't waste a second reading it though - let us save you some time by sending you right to the parts where he mocks public employees as lazy, overpaid, and corrupt here...
Linking to the Uppity Wisconsin post that I explained in my post about the Amazon reviews.
and here....
Linking to a Cap Times article attacking the book.
Now, here's your chance to tell Scott Walker how you feel about him -- and his latest attacks on public employees. Submit your own review here on Amazon and then copy it into the comments below as well.
That last "here" goes to Walker's book — I'll substitute an Althouse portal to it — where the top "most helpful" comment says:
I haven't read it, but think you should know that most of these reviews are written by people who have not yet read the book (negative and positive reviews). A union Facebook page is calling on its members to negatively review the book in hopes of lowering the overall rating - even cheering that it went from 2.5 stars to 2 stars (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151792216468061&set=np.420257149.603840067&type=1&theater¬if_t=notify_me). That's pretty sickening. Review the book on its content, not your political affiliation.

Look for reviews that cite page numbers or specifics, not the content that has been taken out of context and linked on the union's Facebook page.
That's what took me to the first link, above. Sample comments at the Facebook page:
You'd think the Kochs could afford to pay for a few more positive reviews. They're slipping.

Maybe I will buy one and make a youtube video burning it! Walker= Bad for Wisconsin!

I'm betting this will be on the remainder tables by next week -- along with Caribou Barbie's opus. Week after next they'll both be headed for the landfill.
Sample 1-star review at Amazon:
My pet varren refuses to relieve himself on this. His bowels seem to be like the contents of the book, unintimidated. No matter how much fiber I feed my varren, or how many facts you present Mr Walker, they both seem to be unable to digest them.
I picked that one because I had to look up "varren."



That union Facebook page is revealing. Herding people over to fake-review a book on Amazon is reminiscent of busing people in from Chicago and elsewhere to take over the protest here in Wisconsin, which is something Walker writes about in his book:
When the protests began, the folks in the capitol were teachers and public employees who were scared and concerned about the changes we had proposed. They brought their families out, and behaved civilly. These were decent citizens, respected in their communities.

But as the protests went on, the ranks of those marching against our reform became more and more radical with each passing day. Instead of regular citizens camping out waiting to testify against our bill, people from outside Wisconsin began to take over. Soon, national union organizers were bringing in groups with insignia from Chicago, Washington, New York, and plenty of other locations across the country.

The signs at the capitol became more radical too, comparing us to Nazis, rapists, and terrorists. Some of the protesters wore Che Guevara T-shirts, bearing the visage of the murderous communist revolutionary (an odd choice of clothing when you’re chanting “This is what democracy looks like!”).
I recommend reading Chapter 24 of "Unintimidated" ("We're Still Here") in which Walker analyzes how the protests backfired. He cites nasty tactics, which were not responded to in kind. ("Over time, I think people in our state saw the difference in the way we conducted ourselves and the way the union bosses conducted themselves.") And now we see the 1-star reviews mounting up, and no one is drumming up 4-star reviews to fight back (even with the taunting, see above, about how the Kochs could be paying for good reviews).

I predict more backfiring: the union is making itself look dishonest and bullying. The book is called "Unintimidated" because they tried to intimidate Walker. Further dishonesty and bullying reinforces Walker's message, making the title more apt.

As one against-the-grain comment over at the AFSCME Facebook page says, from one Lectric Boogaloo:
Go ahead and break the rules of Amazon. You cant write a review without having read the book, its right in the Amazon Terms of Service. Go ahead and get banned, I'm flagging all of these responses and already forwarded this post to Amazon for investigation. Go for it, douchebags.

47 comments:

Meade said...

A major anti-Walker meme is "where are those jobs you promised?" According to the Capital Times, Wisconsin has added a net 88,000 jobs since the beginning of Walker's term. If the trend continues through the end of his term, Wisconsin will have added a total net 250,000 new jobs -- his stated goal.

Dr Weevil said...

How dare Scott Walker suggest that the kind of people who would trash a book without bothering to read it first are "lazy"?! Or that those who smugly violate Amazon's rules and common decency for political reasons are "corrupt"?! They're apparently too dumb to realize that they're proving his case for him.

mesquito said...

Surely people who read Amazon reviews have a wee bit more sophistication than the barbarous union trash give them credit for.

Bob Boyd said...

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." – Upton Sinclair

The Godfather said...

At the moment I'd say Walker was my first choice for the Republican presidential nomination. At this stage in the "race" you can't do better than look at who's supporting and who's opposing a candidate. Walker's enemies are a great reason to support him. Christie, on the other hand, seems to be the favorite of people who will pivot to support the Democrat the moment he/she is nominated.

Writ Small said...

I see a path to the presidency for Walker that I don't see for anyone else at the moment. He's a chief executive who has shown absolute grace under fire. He has proven results and is not just a speechifier. He is not the favorite of the media or Democrats. He never betrayed fellow Republican. He's not a foreign policy cheese-eating surrender monkey. Who else in the running can say all that?

jimspice said...

My favorite: "Although this book had its moments, what could have been a touching story of one man's lonely struggle against chronic masturbation was ruined by a turgid writing style and pointless political digressions."

n.n said...

The Unions could represent workers. They could represent taxpayers. They could represent American citizens. Unfortunately, their profit model does not support equal representation, and they inherently suffer from conflicts of interest.

The Unions are simple corporations which offer services to the highest bidder, and one of the most prolific lobbying groups which undermine our representative government. At best, they are compensatory measures. At worst, they are competing interests with the majority of American workers and citizens generally.

pst314 said...

"barbarous union trash"

Well said.

CWJ said...

Bob Boyd is on a roll today.

CWJ said...

jimspice,

Your favorite in what way?

Mark said...

Meade, he is 35% of the way to his goal with 70% of his time spent.

I have no idea how you calculate it otherwise when he's 34 months into his 48 month term.

It was a stupid pledge, which is why he didn't put a big emphasis on it in the book nor mentions it except when asked.

Even he knows that it's going to be a close race next November, as he won't have the anti-recall sentiment pushing him over the margin.

The many presidential pollsters do too, that's why he is not included in likely 2016 Repub Presidential Candidates when they poll. They're well aware at how weak he is getting re-elected in WI and have no expectations of a serious chance at a national election.

That ultrasound bill, among others, will kill him on the national stage.

Paddy O said...

I'm pretty sure the Amazon terms of service don't have that rule. In fact, from an Amazon FAQ page: "If someone feels moved to write a review of an item, and they are a registered Amazon.com customer, they are welcome."

I've heard it clarified elsewhere that a person does not have to have read or used an item.

Occasionally, however, Amazon does take measures to preserve its reputation and cleans out reviews motivated by something other than the particular product.

jono39 said...

The tenured morons in the public schools, at the University and a variety of other soviet Unions are turning the Governor into a national figure of stature and note. Keep up the good work.

jono39 said...

The tenured morons in the public schools, at the University and a variety of other soviet Unions are turning the Governor into a national figure of stature and note. Keep up the good work.

Ann Althouse said...

Here are the Amazon review guidelines I found:

What's not allowed
Amazon is pleased to provide this forum for you to share your opinions on products. While we appreciate your time and comments, we limit customer participation to one review per product and reserve the right to remove reviews that include any of the following:

Objectionable material:
• Obscene or distasteful content
• Profanity or spiteful remarks
• Promotion of illegal or immoral conduct

Promotional content:
• Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively
• Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product)
• Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product. This includes reviews that are a part of a paid publicity package
• Solicitations for helpful votes
• For more information on what we consider promotional content, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Inappropriate content:
• Other people's material (this includes excessive quoting)
• Phone numbers, postal mailing addresses, and URLs external to Amazon.com
• Videos with watermarks
• Comments on other reviews visible on the page (because page visibility is subject to change without notice)
• Foreign language content (unless there is a clear connection to the product)

Off-topic information:
• Feedback on the seller, your shipment experience or the packaging (you can do that at www.amazon.com/feedback and www.amazon.com/packaging)
• Details about availability or alternative ordering and shipping information
• Feedback about typos or inaccuracies in our catalog or product description (instead, use the feedback form at the bottom of the product page).

Ann Althouse said...

I don't know if they actually ban people, but I think AFSCME's violation could be put in terms of "Promotional content"
"Sentiments by or on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product..." and "Solicitations for helpful votes." At the FAQ that we're referred to it says (boldface added):

"Over time we've also built mechanisms, both manual and automated, that remove reviews which violate our guidelines. We recently improved our detection of promotional reviews which resulted in the removal of reviews, both new and old...

"Customer Reviews are meant to give customers genuine product feedback from fellow shoppers. Our goal is to capture all the energy and enthusiasm (both favorable and critical) that customers have about a product while avoiding use of reviews to outright advertise, promote and especially mislead. We have a zero tolerance policy for any review designed to mislead or manipulate customers. Customer Reviews help customers learn more about the product or genre, hear the reasons behind your star rating, and ultimately decide if this is the right product for them or not....

"We don't allow anyone to write customer reviews as a form of promotion and if we find evidence that a customer was paid for a review, we'll remove it. If you have a direct or indirect financial interest in a product, or perceived to have a close personal relationship with its author or artist, we'll likely remove your review."

Obviously, they're more worried about promotion that anti-promotion, but this use of a competitor's product as a platform to promote their antagonistic political interests seems to be the same problem.

lemondog said...

What is the John Doe probe of Walker's Milwaukee County executive’s office that led to six criminal convictions?

Has the investigation been concluded?

pst314 said...

lemontroll, do you have any more "questions" that are not germane to the topic at hand?

pst314 said...

AFSCME's sleazy behavior prompted me to add Scott Walker's book to my Amazon Wish List.

Donald Douglas said...

"He's not a foreign policy cheese-eating surrender monkey."

Walker in 2016!

Donald Douglas said...

And by the way, this is SOP for the hateful regressive left. Advice writer Amy Alkon's book was targeted by leftists on Amazon: 'The Attack On My Book'.

pst314 said...

"He's not a foreign policy cheese-eating surrender monkey."

But being from Wisconsin, he certainly must be a cheese-eater.

garage mahal said...

What is the John Doe probe of Walker's Milwaukee County executive’s office that led to six criminal convictions?

Just another day in Walker's Wisconsin.

Uncle Frank said...

I'm presently several books behind in my Amazon queue, but these idiotic comments impel me to add Walker's book to my list.

Sam L. said...

The main thing is, we should all buy a book.

Sam L. said...

"I predict more backfiring: the union is making itself look dishonest and bullying. The book is called "Unintimidated" because they tried to intimidate Walker. Further dishonesty and bullying reinforces Walker's message, making the title more apt."

Not "making them look" but "demonstrating that they are".

Michael K said...

I have previously complained to Amazon, especially about my review of Palin's book being delayed while lots of phony one-star reviews were posted within a day of publican. I had a pre-order copy. I also got a bunch of nasty comments.

Eventually, the fake reviews were mostly deleted, I assume by Amazon, but it diminishes the value of the reviews in general.

This happens with conservative books. I haven't seen it with the lefty books. The Walker example is the most extreme I've seen. Amy Alkon's book was trashed because she complained about rude people and, guess what ? They all showed up to trash her book. I bought it. And I bought Walker's book but haven't read it yet.

Freder Frederson said...

Obviously, they're more worried about promotion that anti-promotion, but this use of a competitor's product as a platform to promote their antagonistic political interests seems to be the same problem.

Of course it isn't. They aren't selling a competing book, they just don't like Scott Walker.

Besides, if you are trying to justify your inclusion of "Lectric Bugaloo's" review where he/she apparently makes up terms of service, you have to find the section in the terms of service where it explicitly says you can't review a book unless you have read it.

You have quite a bit more work to do if you want to demonstrate you aren't just propagating lies.

Titus said...

I never trust 4 or 1 star ratings. I am a major yelper and only consider 2-3 star ratings.

Today we went to Northampton and I looked at a restaurant review on yelp.

The reviews tend to have tons of pics. I like seeing the food I am going to eat. The last pic on the restaurants yelp page was a turd in the lou...not kidding.

tits.

Original Mike said...

"let us save you some time by sending you right to the parts where he mocks public employees as lazy, overpaid, and corrupt here..."

Which, of course, he's never done. But that doesn't matter.

ALP said...

Reminds me of Seattle's reaction to one of its alternative news weeklies (Seattle Weekly) interview of Tim Eyeman years ago - a person utterly reviled by 99.99% of Seattle's population.

I read the article. It was a pretty well written opinion piece that stated the following: far too many politicians put too much stake in big, expensive "legacy projects" at the expense of smaller, humbler, less news-worthy projects that would yield more benefits for Seattle's citizens. IIRC, Seattle was in the process of building one of its expensive stadiums. In other words: politicians are in it for themselves, when they should be in it to serve the people.

Well, who could find issue with THAT? For a few weeks thereafter, a series of reader responses were printed, 100% said something to the effect:

"How DARE you give print time to this man?"

"I am cancelling my subscription immediately and telling all my friends to do the same."

"Blah blah evil conservatives..blah blah blah"

(See how Seattle is so very welcoming of diversity?)

Don't recall reading a SINGLE response that argued the actual point he was trying to make. All it took was the Eyeman name for people to see red...regardless of what he said.

Same thing here.

Bob R said...

What is the purpose of these political memoirs? Are they simply a way to avoid campaign finance laws? Not making an accusation and the question is not rhetorical. I remember the case of Jim Wright where his book was bought in bulk and pulped as a thinly disguised bribe. I just don't see any other use. It's probably too long for journalists to use as background. Does it keep a group of true believers pumped up?

Alex said...

Really, Amazon should only allow reviews by verified purchasers. It's the same problem over at the XBox One product page. Tons of fake reviews by Sony fanboys.

ALP said...

Alex said:

Really, Amazon should only allow reviews by verified purchasers. It's the same problem over at the XBox One product page. Tons of fake reviews by Sony fanboys.
*************
Oh, so that battlefront has been moved from South Park, CO, to the pages of the corporations themselves? Ah, its the "misinformation" phase of the console wars.

CWJ said...

ALP @ 7:04

Here's the fun part. You could write the same comment absent the political anger here in Kansas City.

For me, that's the scary part in your neck of the woods. We here have not yet progressed to the point where disagreement is evil.

ndspinelli said...

My wife got a libelous and ugly review from an angry woman commenter here. It was reported as abusive by many people. Amazon responded promptly and has banned this pariah from future comments.

Freeman Hunt said...

I am probably not going to read Walker's book, but I will now almost certainly buy it.

wildswan said...

Scott Walker is like Reagan in that he encountered very early the rotten left of his time and was willing to take it on.
And the rotten left of Wisconsin (as others have pointed out here) is on display in the phony book reviews.

EDH said...

It really has become good -- okay, mediocre -- versus evil, hasn't it?

B said...

My wife got a libelous and ugly review from an angry woman commenter here...

Sorry to hear that. I couldn't begin to venture a guess as to who....

Meade said...

Mark, go here and follow the trend line for yourself. Looks like a strong uptrend to me. And if it continues, along with keeping his promise to cut taxes, he'll win reelection. Especially if his opponent is the former state commerce secretary during the Doyle administration, when Wisconsin lost 133,000 jobs.

Governor Walker's promise was to "get government out of the way of employers ... who will then help Wisconsin create 250,000 jobs by 2015"

The many presidential pollsters do too, that's why he is not included in likely 2016 Repub Presidential Candidates when they poll. They're well aware at how weak he is getting re-elected in WI and have no expectations of a serious chance at a national election.

Where was Barack Obama in the Dem Presidential Candidates polling picture of 2005? At that time, Russ Feingold was an expected presidential candidate for 2008. John Edwards and even John Kerry were expected to run. Hillary Rodham Clinton too.

But I don't think Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was even on anyone's list of possible candidates. And look at him now. Elected and reelected. Unfortunately for him, Obama is currently one of the most popularly disapproved of modern presidents.

Governor Walker could drop the Hope and simply run on Change and we would all win.

Kirk Parker said...

pst314,

"But being from Wisconsin, he certainly must be a cheese-eater"

True, but if he needs to be a monkey of some sort, how about a trunk monkey? That would be great dealing with unsavory characters like the "leadership" of Iran.

Alex,

No need for Amazon to prohibit reviews by non-purchasers, but there's absolutely no reason for them not to:

1. Make a reviewer's purchaser status an optional part of the review (no reason to force reviewers to reveal this to the public if for some reason they don't want to) and

2. An easy way--maybe even the default--for the viewer to see ONLY reviews by verified purchasers.

I know when I'm thinking of purchasing a product, I'd certainly want #2 to be my default!

Alex said...

Kirk - I'm totally with option #2 and for that to be the default setting. I'm sick of all the review trolls.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Meade, here is a Walker's direct quote from a more recent State of the State address.

If you want, I can track down the campaign stops where he made this claim without reservations.

"Our top priority is helping the people of our state create more jobs. As you know, we have an ambitious goal: 250,000 jobs by 2015.

After all that we’ve gone through in Wisconsin over the past few years, some have suggested that this goal is too difficult to reach. With the protests and recalls combined with the slow recovery at the national level, the fiscal cliff, and ongoing worries about health care mandates coming out of Washington, they say there are plenty of reasons why it has been hard to create jobs.

But in Wisconsin, we don't make excuses... We get results."

88,000 is the current number. Perhaps you can believe he will add 162,000 jobs in the next 11 months ... just don't try to start making excuses.

We don't make excuses here in WI. That's not a wishy washy statement, nor was his 250,000 jobs pledge he kept repeating even post-recall until this summer when his staff tried to get a Northern WI newspaper to retract their story.

And, once again, Governor vaginal ultrasound does not have a lot of national electability.

pst314 said...

"True, but if he needs to be a monkey of some sort, how about a trunk monkey?"

Heh. I'd forgotten about those hilarious ads. Now what might a Trunk Monkey ad look like if the theme were dealing with Muslim terrorists...?