Simon & Schuster finally puts its foot down, claps back at employees incensed over Mike Pence’s memoir

Book publisher Simon & Schuster is resisting wokeism and moving forward with a memoir by ex-VP Mike Pence against the wishes of its employees who wish to cancel it.

An online petition purportedly from the company’s workforce essentially accused the low-key and respected politician of the standard litany of racism, sexism, homophobia and other alleged sins. The petition also called upon the company to nix book deals with other Trump administration luminaries.

The company is reportedly paying Pence in the range of $3-$4 million to put his thoughts on paper in at least one book.

CEO Jonathan Karp wrote a letter to S&S staffers, however, explaining that the Pence autobiography which is scheduled for a 2023 release, is still a go.

“As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups. But we come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make, and one that runs counter to the very core of our mission to publish a diversity of voices and perspectives,” Karp wrote. “We will, therefore, proceed in our publishing agreement with vice-president Mike Pence.”

Before Simon & Schuster wins any profiles in courage awards for pushing back against cancel culture and standing up for free speech, consider this: It is the same publisher that abruptly ended a deal with U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for a book about Big Tech after the January 6 chaos at the U.S. Capitol.

S&S’s catalog includes two questionable books with political overtones: Hunter Biden’s memoir as well as Mary Trump’s tell-all.

Earlier this month, it decided against distributing a book written by a Louisville police officer who was involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting.

With contemporary technology, some writers have achieved success by self-publishing rather than going through the bureaucracy of a big publishing house.

That aside, even prestige political memoirs, after a potential big splash, often quickly wind up in the remainder bin (or the online equivalent).

Plus, a distinguished gentleman like Mike Pence, who supposedly has 2024 aspirations, seems to hardly have the personality type to throw other elected officials under the bus with controversial revelations as a way to sell books, if not to justify a big advance.

Much of politics (or post-politics) is transactional, however. The book being hawked by RINO ex-U.S. House Speaker John Boehner may be an example of that.

In a statement when the deal was struck, Mike Pence said that “I am grateful to have the opportunity to tell the story of my life in public service to the American people, from serving in Congress, to the Indiana governor’s office and as vice-president of the United States, I look forward to working with the outstanding team at Simon & Schuster to invite readers on a journey from a small town in Indiana to Washington DC.”

Pence has fallen out of favor with some or many in the MAGA movement after he presided over the certification of the results of Election 2020, which may or may not impact book sales down the line.

Whether he had legal authority to block certification under the U.S. Constitution is a matter of debate, but it certainly would have been out of character even as President Trump’s loyal, solid VP for him to take a bold step of that nature.

A recent recipient of a pacemaker as a result of a slow heart rate, Mike Pence has launched a conservative advocacy group called Advancing American Freedom.

Some years ago, conventional wisdom held that campus activists and others of that ilk would have to adjust their attitude when they took jobs in the corporate sector. It turns out that for the most part (and the Pence book may serve as a rare exception), just the opposite has occurred, with the business community often quickly giving in to both internal and external far-left, anti-free speech pressure.

Parent ViacomCBS is reportedly expected to sell off Simon  & Schuster to German conglomerate Bertelsmann SE later this year.

 

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Robert Jonathan

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