The big publishing news of the week, at least as far as people outside of publishing are concerned, is Simon & Shuster rescinding a book contract for a professional right-wing troll after they found out his proclaimed views on pedophilia we a bit out of the mainstream. He was also disinvited to speak before a conservative political group and “resigned” from Brietbart, whatever that is.
It’s hard to believe that the people who would be thrilled by the book would read much, but one should remember that Hitler and Goebbels were both avid readers.
There had been a lot of controversy over the decision to publish that book. One prominent author pulled her book from the publisher because of it.
Some librarians said some really mean things on social media, which is how protest occurs these days. Or in the parlance of the day, they were “resisting.”
Should librarians buy the book or should they “resist”? Was not buying the book an attempt to stifle his free speech?
But wait, is Simon & Shuster censoring him now? Are they part of the “politically correct” agenda?
Some librarians even seemed to believe that their “resistance” had a hand in the publisher’s decision, although of course that’s nonsense. It was a conservative group that leaked the pro-pedophilia video, not a group of librarians.
And it was a conservative group that disinvited him. And a conservative group that compelled his “resignation.” Professional hatemongering they don’t mind at all, but this was too much.
Just a few weeks ago he was a conservative hero because his speech at Berkeley was cancelled after violent protests, showing just how opposed to free speech those mean old lefties are. Now that conservative snowflakes don’t like free speech either, we’re all doomed.
The protests were understandable, but probably a bad idea. What people don’t seem to understand is that trolls should be ignored, or perhaps laughed at, not violently protested.
The Onion had a great response to the announcement, with “Caleb Biederman, Paperwork Processor” commenting, “It’s best that Simon & Schuster, esteemed publisher of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Donald Trump, not risk their reputation.”
It’s a pity that Simon & Shuster didn’t take a more principled stand against him in the first place. There was certainly reason to. I mean, the man was permanently banned from Twitter, and Twitter is mostly bots and monsters.
But hatemongering is “dangerous,” and “danger” sells, and selling is all publishers are interested in apparently.
Simon & Shuster pulled the book deal, but they were ridiculous for ever offering it in the first place. As another article notes, his “true nature has been obvious for years. The vanity, the cynicism, the bullying, the financial skulduggery, the hate speech, the harassment – they’re all public knowledge. Even the incriminating podcast interview came out a year ago.” Now they’re feigning shock, which is even more ridiculous.
Instead of “resisting” on social media, librarians and others should have been laughing at Simon & Shuster editors. The people who agreed to the contract clearly aren’t concerned by monumental levels of bigotry, not if bigotry sells. These are clearly not people to engage with or take seriously.
They had already excluded themselves from whatever is left of polite society by supporting a person who deliberately targeted hate towards other human beings merely because of their existence. If you want to profit by hate, then maybe there’s something wrong with you. And maybe we should just ignore you from now on.
Remember, don’t feed the trolls.