Publishing exec defends plans to publish Sen. Hawley’s book amid industry ‘blacklist’ trend

Publishing exec defends plans to publish Sen. Hawley's book amid industry 'blacklist' trend

Regnery Publishing president Thomas Spence says “blacklisting” conservative authors and Trump allies has become common practice in the publishing industry – but he won’t let the un-American trend compromise his professional standards.  

Simon & Schuster decided not to publish an upcoming book from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., following the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. As a result, Spence penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Blacklists Are the Rage in Publishing,” in which he revealed that his company would publish Hawley’s book instead.

HAWLEY SIGNS WITH CONSERVATIVE PUBLISHER AFTER SIMON & SCHUSTER CANCELS BOOK

“Blacklisting is becoming a form of virtue signaling, almost a badge of honor,” Spence told “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday. “It is getting to be like junior high school. Who are you not going to talk to?” 

The power of the “blacklisting lobby” is so strong that it managed to pressure Simon and Schuster into doing “something that I think is plainly against their economic interest [and] against their business interest,” Spence explained. 

“It is getting to be like junior high school. Who are you not going to talk to?”

— Thomas Spence, Regnery Publishing

A letter titled ‘No Book Deals for Traitors’ put forward by 500 junior employees of major publishing houses declares that books written by members of Trump’s administration shouldn’t see the light of day.

“It is pretty scary language,” Spence said. “The only consolation you can take is that the people who signed that letter, it’s about 500 I think at last count, are as far as I can tell, mostly junior employees. I don’t know that the publishers at Simon & Schuster or Random House or other publishers would explicitly sign onto that.”

Spence said Hawley “took a generally unpopular political stand to contest the electoral vote,” but added that it was “entirely within his legal and constitutional right, and he thought he was serving his constituents. 

“The woke mob equated that with storming into the Capitol with a gun,” the publishing executive argued. 

Simon & Schuster would have published Hawley’s book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.” in June. Regnery says it will be released in spring 2021.

“My company Regnery Publishing picked the book up very quickly after Simon canceled it,” Spence said, crediting the publishing house for giving him “the publicity campaign we couldn’t have paid for.”

Regnery was founded in 1947 and has published authors such as William F. Buckley Jr., Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

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