One picture is worth a thousand words. Or it can cost you thousands of words.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley lost a Simon & Schuster book deal over his role in instigating Wednesday’s riotous raid at the U.S. Capitol. Hawley was photographed raising a fist in apparent solidarity to the mob gathering outside of the Capitol before hundreds turned into vandals as they stormed the hallowed halls.
A day later, Simon & Schuster posted a tweet announcing that it was canceling the June release of his book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, “after witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.”
The tweet read, “We did not come to this decision lightly. As a publisher, it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”
Hawley went with an author reference in going after the book company and threatening legal action.
“This could not be more Orwellian,” Hawley shot back in a tweet. “Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have no decided to redefine as sedition. Let me be clear, this is not just a contract dispute. It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment. Only approved speech can now be published.”
The First Amendment is not what the Yale Law School graduate should be citing. It protects free speech from government, but can’t help him on a private publisher’s decision to use his writings.