Sen. Josh Hawley is being blamed by many for encouraging the storming of the US Capitol by a violent mob Wednesday—and now he's lost his book deal as a result. "We did not come to this decision lightly," publisher Simon & Schuster said in a statement cited by the New York Times. "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." The Missouri Republican's The Tyranny of Big Tech was originally scheduled for release in June. Hawley, who was the first senator to announce he would challenge the 2020 presidential election results, fumed against the decision on Twitter, accusing a "woke mob" at Simon & Schuster of taking away his rights.
"This could not be more Orwellian," he posted. "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. 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." He promised to see the publishing company in court, leading Simon & Schuster to issue a second statement noting it was acting within its contractual rights. As HuffPost reports, many on Twitter were mocking Hawley's understanding of the First Amendment, which does not actually require publishers to publish one's book. Among those slamming Hawley was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "Your actions fueled a riot and you fundraised in the chaos. Five people are dead," she tweeted. "You should be expelled." (Read more Josh Hawley stories.)