No longer valid for too many employees
at Simon & Schuster.
Blacklists are back and book publishers want ’em: A petition of about 14% of the workforce at the book publisher Simon & Schuster is demanding that all former Trump administration officials be blacklisted from publication.
The petition demanding the New York publishing conglomerate to stop treating “the Trump administration as a ‘normal’ chapter in American history” collected 216 internal signatures, representing approximately 14% of the company’s workforce, and support from several thousand nonemployees, according to the Wall Street Journal. The petition singled out a planned two-part autobiography to be authored by former Vice President Mike Pence, which the publisher’s employees alleged amounted to support for “racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence” in the online petition.
While the publisher has rejected the call to cancel Pence’s autobiography, it still has a track record of blacklisting conservatives. It reneged on its book contract with conservative senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) because of his stance demanding a full investigation of the November election. It also dropped the distribution of a book by one of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, after getting pressure from both in and out of the company.
More indicative however of the company’s intolerant attitude towards any opinions not endorsed by the left is the number of employees — at a book publishing house — who signed this petition, demanding the silencing of Pence and other conservatives for having unclean thoughts. Based on these numbers it will likely be very difficult for any conservative to get a book accepted at Simon & Schuster. And should a person have the public clout — such as Mike Pence — to still get published by them, the editorial process will be a nightmare.
My own experience is illustrative. Not only did different editors at different publishing houses repeatedly try to change my written text to fit their opinions, not mine, I experienced repeated efforts at different publishing houses to either block or slow publication, and if that didn’t work to then sabotage the subsequent campaign.
I expect the same at Simon & Schuster for Pence’s book. Fortunately for him his name-recognition will likely counter such childish but destructive efforts. Unfortunately those who are less famous or have less political clout will quickly find themselves blacklisted at Simon & Schuster.
Nor should anyone expect the remaining 86% who did not sign the petition to speak up in defense of these conservative writers. Too many Americans are now cowed from defending free speech out of fear that this mob of intolerant tyrants will come after them next.
Welcome to the new America, where the editorial departments of book publishers eagerly participate in the silencing of free speech.
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