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The conservative political commentator and Fox News host Tucker Carlson has criticized his own publisher, Simon & Schuster, in his new book The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism.
Prompted by the publisher’s cancellation of its book deal with Republican Senator Josh Hawley because of the senator’s alleged role in the storming of the Capitol in January, Carlson wrote “I’d like to acknowledge Jonathan Karp of Simon & Schuster, whose descent from open-minded book editor to cartoonish corporate censor mirrors the decline of America itself. It’s been a sad education watching it happen.’
S&S decided to cancel Hawley’s book The Tyranny of Big Tech the day after the riots in Washington. The publisher cited Hawley’s ‘role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom’. Hawley was among dozens of Republicans who questioned the election result and was accused of helping incite the mob that stormed the Capitol.
‘None of Hawley’s behaviour seemed especially controversial,’ wrote Tucker in his book. He also contacted Karp and S&S senior vice-president Dana Canedy for explanation. ‘This seemed like a worrisome standard to me—not to mention unintentionally hilarious—and I said so,’ Carlson writes. In a Zoom call with the publisher he said: ‘You can see why this would make people who believe in free expression and the intellectual life of the country nervous, can’t you?’
“No,” Canedy replied, according to the book. “I can’t. I actually can’t.” Karp said: “It’s a business decision, Tucker.” Carlton writes in the book: “The explanation was absurd.”
Commentators have been struck by how Carlson does not seem to acknowledge his publisher for allowing his own dissent to pass uncensored – unliked president Trump who famously sent ‘cease and desist’ letters in an attempt to prevent publishers from publishing titles critical of his presidency,