Hypocrisy Runs Rife In The Publishing Industry


I made a promise to myself that I was going to try to keep politics off this blog as much as possible this year. Unfortunately, members of my own profession have forced me to break that promise less than a month into the new year. I know you’re wondering why and the answer is simple: this letter. The signatories want to silence not only members of the Trump Administration (at least prevent them from getting good book deals) but also those who basically haven’t outright condemned the Jan. 6th events in the Capitol. Welcome to 1984, folks, where Big Brother isn’t necessarily the government but their right hand–the media and publishing industries.

From the letter:

Consequently, we believe: No participant in an administration that caged children, performed involuntary surgeries on captive women, and scoffed at science as millions were infected with a deadly virus should be enriched by the almost rote largesse of a big book deal. And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses.

Their basis for this are the various “Son of Sam” laws that have been enacted around the country. Basically, these laws were put into place to prevent criminals from profiting by writing books about their crimes. What the signatories of the letter apparently don’t know–or don’t want the rest of us to think about–is that the Son of Sam laws (in general) require two things: a conviction for a crime and for the book to have been published.

And therein lies the problem.

Or, more accurately, the problems.

First, they want to silence people for who they associated with, who they worked with and for actions taken legally–at least at the time. These people they want to silence have not been convicted of any criminal act.

And that leads to the second problem. The original Son of Sam Law, enacted in New York, prevented David Berkowitz from signing a publishing contract. Simon & Schuster (ironically, they have employees signing the letter) sued and took the case to the Supreme Court, alleging a violation of the First Amendment. The Court ruled in Simon & Schuster’s favor.

Since then, Son of Sam laws have been enacted following the SCOTUS ruling. Basically, if a convicted criminal gets a publishing contract where they receive something like $10k or more, the victims (or their families) are notified. Those folks can then sue for any or all of that money.

But these wonderfully “woke” folks in publishing who signed the above referenced letter want to skip those petty little legal rulings and simply go straight to silencing the opposition. What they don’t realize is they are sliding down not just a slippery slope but one covered in ice where there is no going back. The day will come when they aren’t the ones who are enjoying “most favored status”. Then those who they have attacked, who they have silenced, who they have persecuted will be tempted to do the same to them. Do you think these enlightened folks will sit still for it like they want Trump and his supporters to now?

But it goes beyond that. The question has to be asked if they are arguing that anyone associated with the riots during the summer should be prevented from getting a nice publishing contract? After all, they supported the overthrow of local and state governments. People were injured. Businesses looted and burned down. Those are crimes as well.

Where do you draw the line?

Right now, those signing this letter show where they draw it–right along the line of partisan politics. This isn’t about upholding the law. It isn’t about preventing criminals from profiting from their criminal acts. It is about punishing people for daring to work for or support Trump.

Shame on each and every one of them. Shame on them for trying to silence another person without legal reason. Shame on them for trying to prevent the free flow of ideas. Shame on them for thinking readers don’t have the common sense and/or intelligence to choose what they want to read.

Like Trump or not (and I didn’t particularly), he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. Nor have those this letter was aimed at. But even if they had been, the letter and those signing it are asking publishers to ignore the law. How dare they!

I guess I should thank them becuase they’ve given me a list of writers, editors and publishers I will think twice about before giving them any money. I don’t like bullies–which they are–and I don’t like those who would silence free speech. This isn’t about shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. This is all about silencing the opposition.

How will these signatories react when someone gets the idea to sue them for infringing on their right to make a living?

Perhaps these folks should think long and hard about the possible consequences of their actions before signing another “woke” (or any other kind) of petition.

Featured Image by succo from Pixabay


  1. Well, if “put children in cages” is their justification then their glorious leader, Obama, should have his contract pulled. We all know that won’t happen as they have different rules for their own privileged class, which is one of the most glaring problems with progressives. They have rules for themselves, and other rules for everyone else. That whole “all men are created equal” thing just sort of slipped by their consciousness I guess.

    1. Exactly. It would also keep Bill Clinton from profiting because of how he treated women. Hillary would be prevented due to Benghazi. You could almost make a case for preventing any politician or anyone who worked for them from profiting if you tried hard enough.

  2. performed involuntary surgeries on captive women

    Do I really want to know what that is about? 😡

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