If you’re still buying books from Simon and Schuster, maybe you should stop.
Simon and Schuster hasn’t been having a great year. First it lost $10 million on Hillary’s memoirs by handing her a huge advance. Then its Pearlstein smear of Reagan turned out to be plagiarized from a conservative Reagan biographer.
Simon and Schuster continued standing behind it. Predictably.
But while it will publish a plagiarized smear of Roland Reagan, you won’t find it touching a book by Bergdahl’s platoon mates.
A draft of their book proposal, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, depicts Bergdahl as a “premeditated” deserter who “put all of our lives in danger” — and possibly aided the Taliban — when he disappeared from his observation post in eastern Afghanistan in the early morning hours of June 30, 2009.
But the political furor over Bergdahl’s release from Taliban captivity — the result of a U.S.-Taliban deal to swap five Guantanamo terrorism suspects in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom — is complicating the book’s prospects. Agents for the soldiers say that some publishers have balked, in at least one case out of fear that the project would bolster conservative criticism of the Obama administration.
Two of the would-be authors, who were recently questioned as part of the Army probe, insisted in interviews that they aren’t advancing a political agenda but want to set the record straight, as they see it, about Bergdahl’s conduct and President Obama’s praise for him at a Rose Garden ceremony in May.
“There was no way we were going to sit down and be quiet while Obama was calling him a war hero,” said Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former team leader, in an interview with Yahoo News. “We’re just trying to tell the truth. It’s not my fault this would make Obama look bad.”
“We didn’t politicize this,” added Cody Full, Bergdahl’s former roommate. “They brought his parents out at a White House Rose Garden ceremony and presented him as a hero. … Why wouldn’t you just have a quiet press release? Why do you have to have a big parade? You don’t do that for the parents who have kids who have died in Afghanistan.”
“I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.
“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote.
“We do not comment about our editorial process,” said Paul Olsewski, vice president and director of publicity at Atria.)
I think the editorial process is really obvious.