Saturday, April 12, 2008
Roger Kimball, who published Andy McCarthy's new book Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad, describes how British distributors are now reluctant to sell books that might make them the target of lawfare:
This spring, Encounter Books is publishing Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad, by Andrew McCarthy, who helped prosecute the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman and other jihadists.
I recently received a message from someone who helps distribute our books in Britain: "Can you please let us know if there are any references to Saudis and terrorist[s] in the book. We are just concerned that this book could potentially create libel lawsuits as it could offend Saudis living in England … "
So books offensive to Saudis are verboten? Not if I have anything to say about it. But note the preemptive cringe: the very threat of legal action has made the publishing world skittish, not to say craven. Welcome to the world of libel tourism.
Read the whole thing, and if Allah forfend you needed another reason to buy Andy's book, just think of the people it will piss off.
There is more from Roger along the same lines -- with pictures! -- here, and I would be remiss in not reminding you of my numerous posts on the "violence veto," by which activists and extremists chill speech by threatening violence against either the speaker or third-parties.
STILL MORE: I was delighted to see Willful Blindness on prominent display at the Princeton Barnes & Noble on Friday night.
This is probably not a great market for Andy, unless the locals think it is a Bush-bashing screed denouncing us for having gotten "distracted" in Iraq. Nevertheless, the book business is all about getting the name out and having one's book in prominent display at Barnes & Noble certainly can't hurt.
See as well Andy's speech about "libel tourism" at the conference mentioned in Roger's post. Let's hope some Canadian lefty does not sue him over it.
CWCID: Small Dead Animals.