Josh Hawley is using the First Amendment for his book Deals and Martyrs

On January 7, Simon & Schuster canceled their contract with Sen. R. Jo-Holi, R-Mo. For his book, “The Tyranny of Big Take”, was originally scheduled to be published on June 22. In an Instagram post, the publisher wrote that it took action “[a]The disturbances on Wednesday in Washington, DC, witness the deadly rebellion

Simon & Schuster said: “We did not take this decision lightly. As a publisher it will always be our mission to enhance a variety of voices and perspectives; At the same time we as citizens take seriously our great public responsibility, and cannot support Senator Hawley once it becomes a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom. “

Hawley was one of the most vocal Congress supporters of President Donald Trump’s election fraud. He was the first senator to object to the counting of electoral college votes and in a notorious photo, a Trump supporter gathered outside the Capitol rejoiced.

In response, Hawley was attacked Twitter Against the “waking crowd” in the publishing house and wrote, “… this is not just a contract dispute. This is a direct attack on the First Amendment. Now only accepted speech can be published. It is the leftist who are all of them Want to cancel which they do not accept. “

After his use of “aroused mob”, I’m sure Howley is gearing up to hide behind the armpit phrase “cancel the culture”, when in fact as a member of the Senate, he has the entire powerful megaphone One of the countries. It has not been canceled; His book is Contract. And this is an important difference.

It is very possible that Hawley’s contract included an increasingly general ethics clause, which would enable Simon & Schuster to terminate their contract for actions deemed unintentional or immoral. (Simon & Schuster’s representative told me that they do not comment on contractual matters.) Whether their contract contained an ethics clause, the cancellation has nothing to do with the First Amendment, as Hawley claims, And everything has to be done to protect their publisher. His reputation by associating it with him. Although speech is protected by the First Amendment, it does not require companies to work with anyone.

Via email, Iris Blasi, a literary agent at the Carol Mann Agency, told me that ethics clauses exist in film contracts for dating back to the 1920s, but that “she has popped up in the last four years or only in mass publishing contracts Started, publishers ‘reaction to the #MeToo era is trying to protect themselves from the consequences of their authors’ behavior. “

“They broadly accuse not only violations of the law but also the conduct or behavior of defamation, which makes the publisher the subject of public condemnation,” Blasi said.

To give an example, my book contract includes a small, independent publisher with an ethics clause under the “author’s reputation” and reads in part: “The publisher will be entitled to terminate this agreement if the author is alleged in public media Arrested for, or otherwise charged with, any criminal act, including or without imposition, to limit any criminal activity (misdemeanor or felony) or other act of reproach, or Has been blamed. The reputation of the author or public contempt for the author. Although it can be argued that “moral decorum” is indeed a broad term, these clauses are precisely designed for situations where a The behavior of the author is deemed by the publisher to be far beyond the limits of social norms.

My book contract with a small, independent publisher includes an ethics clause under the title “Reputation of the Author”.

Books are canceled by publishers for various reasons. Simon & Schuster also canceled Milano Yiannopoulos’ book “Dangerous” in 2017 after a recording surfaced in which he questioned the age of consent and said the relationship was “a very positive experience … between little boys and older men.” Can be. ” Last year, Hatche canceled Woody Allen’s memoir “Apropos of Nothing”, which was later published by the Skyhorse imprint Arcade Publishing.

Hawley’s book is also likely to find another home. Tom Spence, president and publisher of the conservative publisher Registry, told The New York Times that he would be interested in publishing Hawley’s book if it were canceled. This undermines the idea that dropping your booking by a publisher means that you are being silenced.

In fact, the constitutional lawyer, Hawley, should know better than to implement the First Amendment, which reads, “Congress shall not make any law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting free practice; Or freedom of speech or hatred of the press; Or to collect the authority of the people, and to petition the government for redress of grievances. “The key word here is” Congress. “The First Amendment deals with protecting our right to free speech from government interference. However, this does not mean that a publisher has to publish a certain book – or that a social media company Has to give voice to a corrupt, dangerous leader.

Haveli, like everyone else who has been maligned before him, is invoking the First Amendment, not because he truly believes his rights are being trampled upon, but because he wants to act as a martyr. This is a classic strategy of trying to blame others when they discover the result of their problematic behavior. It’s a way of saying, “side with me, even if we disagree, because you might be next.”

But Hawley’s overblad words are self-meaningless. As indicated by Spence, the senator will likely find another publisher, one more aligned with his conservative values, one noting that he raised a fist in support of domestic terrorists, before they were ours Demolishing the nation’s capital building. We need to stop letting conservatives hide behind the First Amendment, when their right to speak has never been in danger.

One of the reasons we love this country is that we protect the right to free speech and the free press. I may disagree with Hawley and his ilk but I support his right to express himself within the scope of the law. But a book deal does not equal “free speech”. It is a business contract between an author and a publisher, and is therefore subject to specific terms within the said contract. Or, as Mark Cuban posted on Twitter: “Sometimes people decide not to do business with you. This is their decision. “

The First Amendment is alive and well, and will continue to be so. I applaud Simon & Schuster and support a writer who has clearly disregarded the sanctity of his workplace and the safety of our country.

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