Sen. Josh Hawley has signed a new book deal after having his previous contract with Simon and Shuster voided one day after the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot.
Hawley’s book will now be published by Regnery Publishing. Regnery brands itself with “conservative books for independent thinkers.” The publisher has printed books for a number of other Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Cruz.
Hawley faced criticism for being among a group of Republicans who voted for throwing out the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. The attempt to overturn the results of November’s presidential election set off a riot in Washington DC, as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, rioted and disrupted a joint session of Congress for nearly six hours. Dozens were arrested, and five people died amid the riots.
Simon & Shuster was set to publish the book “The Tyranny of the Big Tech.” However, Simon & Shuster signed a distribution agreement with Regnery Publishing in 2018.
"We did not come to this decision lightly,” Simon & Shuster said in a statement. “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”
The senator responded by alleging that his freedom of speech is being violated. He threatened to file a lawsuit against the publisher.
“This could not be more Orwellian. Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition,” Hawley said. “Let me be clear, this is not just a contract dispute. It's a direct assault on the First Amendment. Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don't approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We'll see you in court.”
A publishing contact, however, is not a constitutionally protected right. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech from government regulations, and not from private companies.