Patterico's Pontifications


Help Amy Alkon Beat the Scum at Sadly, No

Filed under: Books,Scum — Patterico @ 7:42 am

The cretins at Sadly, No are trying to hurt the sales of Amy Alkon’s latest book, and harm her ability to make a living — just because they personally don’t like her.

You can help fight this.

At Sadly, No, “Tintin” writes:

Amy’s clear goal here is to try to intimidate anyone from posting negative reviews of her chef-d’oeuvre. And I think I’m safe in saying that this intimidation shouldn’t succeed. So, folks, if you’ve read the book, not liked it, and want to stand up for freedom of speech, tell Amy Arnold what you think of the book. Comedy points will be awarded (but only to people who’ve actually read the book) for 3, 4, and 5 star reviews (harder to get removed than 1 star reviews) with what my grandmother used to call “back-handed” compliments — for example, a statement that for a book written by someone who’s mother tongue is Serbian, the book has a surprisingly small number of grammatical errors. Or a statement that even though Amy’s advice got you banned from Safeway, it was worth having to do your shopping in another store just to be able to scream your head off at the woman with a crying baby in the Safeway. Etc., etc., etc.

Amy’s sin is revealing the identity of someone who is leaving phony reviews of her book to harm her. Tintin’s proposed solution: leave even more phony reviews!

Of course, he claims he is not doing this. Tintin says all the right things to avoid a lawsuit: make sure you’ve read the book first; only give it a poor review if you really didn’t like it; etc.

But his post is really a roadmap on how to write bad reviews on Amy’s book. He knows damn well that he is giving his audience a wink and a nod and saying: go trash her book.

And it’s working.

For example, a Sadly, No commenter boasts of having left this one-star review:

If you want to learn how to be really rude and obnoxious and yet keep some weird semblance of self-esteem with a large dollop of ego on top, this book is for you! Arnold Alkon has many lessons on how to set straight innocent people who might have the misfortune of crossing her path and pissing her off. A must read for anyone who lives in the same town as Mr Alkon!

Sadly, No commenters have gone en masse and voted this review as “helpful.” As of this writing, almost 80 people have voted this review helpful — meaning it is now the first review people see when people look up Amy’s book.

If you look at all the reviews, you will see three near the top that were all written on February 17, 2010 — the same day Tintin wrote his post. All are getting voted up and are being promoted to the top as “helpful” reviews. This cretin follows Tintin’s advice and gives it three stars (to keep the review from being deleted) and even admits he hasn’t read the book.

More negative reviews may well be added — all by scum who haven’t actually read the book, but just want to hurt Amy because they don’t like her and what she does.

What can you do?

For one, buy Amy’s book! I have already favorably reviewed it here. It is very funny and worth your money. And if you liked it, leave a favorable review of your own.

But if nothing else, vote down the Sadly, No reviews down as unhelpful. Report them as abusive. And leave a comment on the review explaining why the review is not honest and genuine.

If you have time, do this with any negative reviews left on February 17 or February 18. They are all dishonest and generated by the haters at Sadly, No.

If you’re short on time, make sure to vote down the review quoted above. It is currently the top negative review of her book.

To do this, click the link and vote that the review is not helpful. Report it as abusive. Leave a comment explaining why.

Don’t let these scumbags hurt Amy’s livelihood.

47 Responses to “Help Amy Alkon Beat the Scum at Sadly, No”

  1. Those clowns @ SN are a bunch of French transtesticled wannabe actors.

    JD (bb7add)

  2. It is stupid to trust internet reviews. Everyone has a competitor with a keyboard, and many have sock puppets.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  3. This is one of the unreported scandals at, the prevalence of faux reviews trashing political opponents’ books.

    SPQR (b8ef0f)

  4. I think the fact that they think “a statement that for a book written by someone who’s mother tongue is Serbian, the book has a surprisingly small number of grammatical errors” is worth an award of “comedy points” tells you everything you need to know.

    Dodd (fbfada)

  5. You can complain to Amazon and I would suggest everyone who dislikes this gangmob approach do so.

    You can flag the review and send an email to

    “Executive Customer Relations”

    Jennifer Bledsoe will respond.

    KateC (c7c0c6)

  6. The two paths recommended by Patterico are good for community policing. Amazon seems to eventually hide reviews if they get enough ‘not helpful’ votes. I don’t know how the ‘abusive’ tag works – anyone see if it gets a review yanked?

    steve miller (ca20cc)

  7. Thanks so, so much Patterico. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.

    Amy Alkon (6146c8)

  8. On further consideration, perhaps the comedy points are for the grammatical error in the suggested remark….

    Dodd (fbfada)

  9. Dodd, you and I are of the same mind. I caught that error and the irony of it right away.

    Some chump (d97978)

  10. Reason No. 1 why I don’t ever read Amazon reviews.

    Techie (43d092)

  11. Amy – do you think it would carry more weight if you sent them a link to the douchenozzle’s post at SN?

    JD (3065c0)

  12. we’ll see if mine shows up:
    This is how your review will appear:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of all negative reviews dated after Feb. 17, 2010, February 18, 2010
    By redc1c4 (Lost Angels, CA USA) – See all my reviews
    The blog “Sadly, No!” is conducting a campaign to vilify this book and its author, as shown in the post: . That post includes instructions on how to game the Amazon rating system, such as the use of backhanded compliments and medium ratings, so as to keep these deliberately negative reviews visible. Do not let a petty and childish Internet vendetta keep you from enjoying a book you might otherwise read. Look to the reviews prior to the 17th for a fairer evaluation of the product.

    One need only read the suggested “tags” that came up when I was writing this post to see the vileness of this effort: “useless, books by rubes, i see single-digit sales, rudeness, dont waste your money, manners, annoying, sh t moat, bad advice” to see the nature of their efforts. Are you going to let people this tacky choose your reading material for you?


    we’ll see what happens.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  13. It’s like all those reviews that popped up on Eduardo Galeano’s book after Chavez gave it to Obama.

    imdw (c80ec1)

  14. This happens all the time at Amazon and I have complained to them. For example, it took four days for my review of Sarah Palin’s book to be posted and I had preordered it. My review was uploaded two days after the book was released. At the same time, I saw hundreds of fake reviews posted. At one time there were 500 one star reviews posted and a few cleverly did five stars on the review and trashed the book. If you look now, those are all gone but the early sales were probably affected (although it sold 2 million copies).

    The same thing happened on a couple of other politically controversial books. If I upload a review on a non-controversial book, it is posted the same day, which pisses me off no end when I see the delay. I have hundreds of reviews on Amazon but still see this crap.

    Amy, I bought the book. I have about ten stacked up but I will read it and post a review.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  15. It’s like all those reviews that popped up on Eduardo Galeano’s book after Chavez gave it to Obama.

    undoubtedly on how much fun it was to color in, and discussing which tone combination’s went best on which drawing….

    followed, of course with discussions of how the book tasted.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  16. I just spend the last 20 minutes bumping up every positive review and bumping down every negative one, including responses to bad reviews referring to the campaign by SadlyNo.

    East Coast Chris (ded5f2)

  17. Likewise East Coast Chris…I did the same. If that’s the game they’re going to play, then game on.

    Jim B (3552e7)

  18. Patterico, and everybody above, thank you again. I’ve now posted on this as well:

    An excerpt that I think some of you will relate to:

    These are leftists, all these losers, and while I’m neither left nor right (I’m fiscally conservative and socially libertarian), it’s my experience that people on the right will tell me they think I’m an idiot right to my face or openly, on a blog (because I was against the Iraq war, for example), while the left has resorted to denigrating me by trying to hurt my livelihood. And they do it anonymously.

    Amy Alkon (6146c8)

  19. I’m just as annoyed by fake positive reviews. Seriously, is there an author out there who hasn’t asked every friend to post a positive review? It’s just as egregious but writers don’t complain because that misrepresentation is in their favor.

    Mary (415e69)

  20. I don’t see the reviews you mentioned. Apparently Amazon has addressed the issue.

    RB (5c32ce)

  21. Personally, i pay zero attention to reviews and the like. GIGO, that is garbage in, garbage out, is the watchword.

    Seriously, if you believe those amazon book revieews are genuine, i have an IPCC report to sell you.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  22. Has anyone see Juan? I miss him. And, happyfeet. And, MayBee.

    JD (d25977)

  23. “undoubtedly on how much fun it was to color in, and discussing which tone combination’s went best on which drawing….

    followed, of course with discussions of how the book tasted.”

    Why it’s almost as if you knew what book it was.

    imdw (c8163e)

  24. Or xlrq? Apogee? Alasdair? Good people, all.

    JD (616de0)

  25. Why it’s almost as if you knew what book it was.

    even easier: i already knew the basic makeup of the sort of book that would be of interest to an inquiring intellect and wit such as yours, or Ear Leader and Chavez’s….. my nephew is three years old.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  26. “even easier: i already knew the basic makeup of the sort of book that would be of interest to an inquiring intellect and wit such as yours, or Ear Leader and Chavez’s….. my nephew is three years old.”

    The guy does thank Coffee for writing the book. Your cleverness is as apt as your familiarity.

    imdw (7f4a05)

  27. One Loretta Serrano has reviewed Amy Alkon’s book at Amazon. Serrano describes herself as “Author, Playwright.”

    Her previous reviews are of pajama buttons and eyelash fertilizer.

    ‘Nuff said.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  28. Eyelash fertilizer ?! WTF?

    JD (3567dc)

  29. Eyelash fertilizer? Is she kidding?

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  30. “For one, buy Amy’s book!”

    Why would I do that? Your review wasn’t exactly the most convincing. If Amy’s book was about rude people, it appears she got her example, which really proves nothing. Am I supposed to pay $$$ for knowing what I already know? Maybe I’ll keep my money.

    Debatable (4ff715)

  31. #28 & 29, JD and Rochf: Not being particularly aware of what the proper nomenclature should be, I find no other way to describe this from Serrano’s review of the product in question:

    This is the third “lash growing” product I have tried in the past year…

    And the other “review” clearly speaks for itself:

    These pajamas are lovely but they are quite fragile. The pretty jade buttons…

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  32. That Carl Salonen guy doesn’t even show up on imdb. Seventeen years of college down the drain.

    gp (4c870c)

  33. Good show, redc1c4!

    GeneralMalaise (e8d02c)

  34. Why did my Amazon email address not show up? It’s very helpful, and I suggest everyone keep it handy.

    ecr AT amazon DOT com

    KateC (c7c0c6)

  35. Has anyone see Juan? I miss him. And, happyfeet. And, MayBee.

    hf and MayBee have been around some. But I am always happy to see more and not less from them.

    Juan, I haven’t seen here since September. I e-mailed him to ask what gives.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  36. Trolls take the bait!

    there are now five responses to my review, most of them idiots calling me “Arnold” as they evidently believe i’m Amy. one of them even admits they are conducting a vendetta against her.

    its a good day and i haven’t even had breakfast yet. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  37. Amy, is that you? Heh. That blowback is hilarious.

    John Hitchcock (9070a6)

  38. […] Get over to Amazon and help my pal Amy Alkon fend off a negative-wave attack by the mob of haters at Sadly No against her funny polemic memoir, or polemoir, I See Rude […]

    Books: Still a Load of Crap - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine (5ad1ed)

  39. “actor212” has posted another B.S. “review”:

    Badly Written Expose of a Mean Vindictive Person, February 17, 2010
    Having read enough of this book before tossing it aside, I wonder that Arnold Alkon fully grasps the reality that most people have to deal with on a daily basis, particularly when confronted with someone as rude and vicious as she is?

    In truth, how fair is it that some of these people, like the poor soul who called him and “interrupted my nap on deadline”, not only had to deal with his contemptible retribution, not only got in trouble at work, and had to deal with his shrieking harpyish ways, also have to deal with the embarassment of being exposed in public in a book?

    How mean-spirited and bullying are you, Arnold? Was your childhood as the sole Jew in a Christian suburb of Detroit that traumatic an experience that you have no compassion, no guilt, no SHAME? At long last, have you no shame, Mr. Alkon?

    Anyone who buys this book, anyone who supports this pathetic ugly creation, deserves the contempt of not only his fellow human beings, but of God (not goddess) himself.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  40. Red, your “review” was taken down.

    John Hitchcock (879d99)

  41. The lastest troll fake review is up:

    Mitch (e40959)

  42. I just want to thank you all again for supporting me in this and for posting comments that let unsuspecting Amazon shoppers know the real motivation behind the tiny little thugs’ comments.

    I’m hoping Amazon will do something about the way their review system is being abused — that is, against people who are perceived to be conservatives (for the record, I’m fiscally very conservative, but socially libertarian, and a “personal responsibilitarian,” which sure doesn’t go over with the “progressives”).

    The amazing thing is, I don’t think most of these tiny anonymous thugs have a firm grip why they hate me, just that the head thugs there have decided they do. Their hatred is mostly due to their continuing need for a new kickball, and loosely connected to the fact that I blogged my opinion that black activists like Jesse Jackson should work to stigmatize single motherhood in the black community. I blogged that after reading a news story about an Ohio woman named Tarika Wilson, who had six different children by five different drug dealers by the age of 24, and was living, along with her children, with one of those drug dealers. Mmm, wholesome!

    Yes, I’m of the mind that children need daddies, and that you don’t bring more children into the world than you can afford to feed and care for. Crazy, I know.

    Wilson, tragically (but not surprisingly) was killed in a SWAT raid on her home when police came for her drug dealer boyfriend. Live with a drug dealer, die in a SWAT raid…it’s not a surprising outcome. Wilson herself spent a year in prison. I wonder who took care of her children during that time.

    And yes, I also believe white children need daddies, and I’m appalled that there’s a trend for rich white women to be “single mothers by choice,” but, apparently, in the minds of these “progressives,” if you criticize a black person, it automatically means you’re racist.

    The Wilson story and Sadly Juvenile’s attacks on me are actually detailed in Chapter 9: Modems Without Manners, in the book the tiny little thugs are “reviewing” but haven’t read. Just so ugly, what they’re doing.

    Thank you all so much for seeing that I’m not going this alone.

    Amy Alkon (6146c8)

  43. If we legalized drugs it might would help spotlight the importance of personal responsibility I think and also help Tarika people not get shot to where they die.

    happyfeet (713679)

  44. I’m against legalizing drugs by the way but just out of spite not cause of principle.

    happyfeet (713679)

  45. “Arnold”? These morons have never seen a real woman in the flesh.

    Jim Treacher (d3d761)

  46. […] The other example involves my friend Amy Alkon, advice columnist and author of the book I See Rude People. Recently she ran afoul of a site called the Unfortunate Ones or something like that, and in retaliation, they decided to leave phony book reviews on to affect her sales. It’s not enough that they don’t like her; they’re trying to go after her livelihood. Amy has more details about it here, and the indefatigable Patterico explains how you can help her out here. […]

    It’s wrong to say a woman resembles a man, except when it isn’t | The DC Trawler (3870e4)

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