Cancel pence and the pounds will look after themselves

Is this “cancel culture”? Or is it something else?

More than 200 members of staff at Simon & Schuster have signed a petition calling for the publishing house to cancel its seven-figure book deal with former vice-president Mike Pence and commit to not signing any more book deals with members of Donald Trump’s administration.

I think it’s something else. Mike Pence is no intellectual giant or eloquent advocate or free spirit with a lifetime of experience to enlighten us with. He’s a pipsqueak and a religious fanatic with nothing of interest to say, and he’s also a coward. Nothing of value is lost if Mike Pence doesn’t write a book. (In any case he will write a book, of course: someone will publish it even if Simon & Schuster doesn’t.) He’s also a representative of an evil government, which is different from being a racist or sexist opinion-monger.

The petition warned management not to treat “the Trump administration as a ‘normal’ chapter in American history” and criticised Pence for discriminating against marginalised groups with racist and sexist policies.

Last week, S&S president Jonathan Karp responded to staff concerns after the petition began circulating in the business.

“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,” wrote Karp – despite the fact that S&S had cancelled Republican senator Josh Hawley’s book deal over his part in the Capitol riot.

Yes but they don’t go to work each day to publish everything. They choose. They didn’t have to choose Pence.

But they did choose Pence, so to cancel now would be…well, another cancellation. Not a good look.

But Pence. Honestly.

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