This is the story of how a talk radio pioneer (and his devoted fans) concocted a wildly preposterous hoax – and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
To fully appreciate this tale, you must first understand Jean Shepherd, the satirical genius who was a masterful storyteller, helped create the talk radio format, and was a gifted writer who gave the world A Christmas Story...
One thing that astonished him about New Yorkers was (and still remains) their slavish obsession with Top 10 lists... Shep felt New Yorkers blindly followed whatever appeared on those lists without thinking or questioning them. The one that got his goat most of all was The New York Times Best Seller list for books.
The Times has been printing this highly influential list since 1931. But here’s the thing: in Shep’s time, despite its name, the criteria for making the list involved more than just book sales. It included customer requests for and questions about books to book sellers.
As they say, RTWT.