Publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster has, ironically, in what some see as an Orwellian move, canceled Senator Josh Hawley’s book on censorship citing ‘his role’ in the Capitol Hill ‘deadly insurrection’. Hawley shredded the publisher on Thursday over its decision to cancel the publication of his upcoming book following the violence that took place on Capitol Hill Wednesday. He’s suing them over it.
It should be noted that Simon & Schuster is a private company so this is not a First Amendment issue. However, it does play into cancel culture and the stifling of varied opinions. But given that, the publisher has the right to publish or cancel any book it sees fit.
Hawley (R-MO) is one of the GOP lawmakers who led the way in objecting to the count of Electoral College votes. Which is perfectly constitutional in nature. He has been excoriated after a pro-Trump mob stormed into the Capitol building and interrupted both houses of Congress, vandalizing as they went.
The incident ended in the death of a woman who was a 14-year Air Force Veteran and who was shot by police, and the death of a police officer who was allegedly beaten with a fire extinguisher.
Simon & Schuster nixed the planned June release of Hawley’s forthcoming book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.”
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Simon & Schuster said on Thursday in a statement to The New York Times. “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.”
Hawley slammed the “woke mob” in a statement on Twitter.
“This could not be more Orwellian,” Hawley wrote. “Simon & Shuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.”
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 7, 2021
Hawley said that his disagreement with the publishing house was not merely a contractual dispute.
“It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment,” Hawley wrote. “Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don’t approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We’ll see you in court.”
Dr. Naomi Wolf made a salient point on Twitter: “Real danger to publishers cancelling contracts when authors are controversial or in news. It chills future thought and narrows public discourse. It also sends a message to authors that they must ‘behave,’ though ‘bad’ or ‘good’ behavior is in no author contract. @simonandschuster”
Real danger to publishers cancelling contracts when authors are controversial or in news. It chills future thought and narrows public discourse. It also sends a message to authors that they must ‘behave,’ though ‘bad’ or ‘good’ behavior is in no author contract. @simonandschuster
— Dr Naomi Wolf (@naomirwolf) January 8, 2021
Many turned on Hawley immediately after the riot – Simon & Schuster was far from alone.
Popular former Missouri Sen. John Danforth (R) told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, “Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life.”
The Kansas City Star’s editorial board declared that Hawley “has blood on his hands.”
When CNN asked Hawley whether President Trump deserved any blame for the Capitol siege, the senator replied, “I don’t think urging people to come to the Capitol was a good idea.”
He added, “The responsibility of violent criminal acts is with violent criminals.”
Both Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) are being pressured to resign by Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as well.
Sen. Cruz, you must accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people yesterday. And how you fundraised off this riot.
Both you and Senator Hawley must resign. If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion. https://t.co/O2m6T59LYP
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
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