Pro-Kerry Hackers Attack Barnes and Noble? And Now Amazon, too?

Yesterday we reported that the Barnes & Noble website carried an altered cover of the hot new anti-Kerry book, Unfit For Command (Regnery, 2004 — a Human Events sister company). The title had been changed from Unfit For Command to Fit for Command. Likewise, the Kerry photo on the jacket was been changed to feature a pro-Kerry war photo worthy of a John Wayne movie. (Barnes & Noble has since fixed the error. No explanation has been given.)

Now it appears pro-Kerry gremlins have invaded, too.

Amazon, thought by many to be the top (and unbiased?) online purveyor of books, has either been hacked, or has oddly changed an important practice. Amazon’s Editorial Review section generally leads with a note from the publisher, and then continues with other published book reviews. Except in the case of Amazon’s top-selling (#1 on Amazon’s bestseller list) Unfit for Command, where, as of this morning, harsh words from an out-of-context quote by Sen. John McCain are now positioned as the lead “Editorial Review.”

McCain made the divisive statement in response to a TV advertisement created by a Swift Boat organization, not to the book, which he has not yet even had an opportunity to acquire. Yet Amazon (or the hacker? or a pro-Kerry employee?) has positioned Sen. McCain’s quote in such a way as to make potential readers erroneously assume McCain is commenting on the book.

Regnery Publishing’s president, Marji Ross, reacting to the McCain “review” said, “This is unheard of. I can’t believe Amazon would lead with a partial quote from a news interview — particularly one that had nothing to do with Unfit for Command. I can only assume someone hacked into their site, or that an unauthorized change was made by a rogue employee.” Ross continued, “I don’t think it is physically possible for Sen. McCain to even have a copy of the book yet.”

Calls to Amazon had not yet been returned at press time.