... the book is not a work of scholarship, but merely “an educated Muslim’s opinions about Jesus and the ancient Near East,” .. John S. Dickerson, an opinion columnist, wrote on FoxNews.com last week.
The book was already selling steadily before the FoxNews.com interview on Friday. Since the release of “Zealot,” Mr. Aslan has hit the publicity circuit, discussing the book on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and “Weekend Edition” on NPR. “Zealot” had its debut at No. 4 on the New York Times print hardcover best-seller list that will appear in print on Aug. 4.
Book Passage, a bookstore with two outlets in the Bay Area, hosted Mr. Aslan for a signing last week. Karen West, the director of events, said more than 250 people attended it. But the Fox News interview, she said, has exposed the book to consumers who aren’t regular book buyers.
“It’s moved now out of the NPR realm and it’s gotten into the broader culture,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Fox News did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Mr. Aslan said that after reading Mr. Dickerson’s essay on FoxNews.com, he was prepared for a similar line of attack from Ms. Green.
He was so eager to promote the book on Fox News that his publisher tried — in vain — to secure an interview spot on “Fox & Friends,” a morning show.
“I’ll be perfectly honest — I’m thrilled at the response that people have had to the interview,” Mr. Aslan said. “You can’t buy this kind of publicity.”