Simon & Schuster will distribute the Jan 6 committee report but with a twist

The folks at Mother Jones, the unabashedly hard-left magazine, cannot get over the horror: Simon & Schuster is planning to distribute the final report from the January 6 Committee. That’s not the problem. The problem is that the foreward will be from a “conspiracy theorist.” Translation: Someone who believes that the events on January 6 may have involved a large amount of federal activity, including entrapment, is going to be able to have a say about a committee report that was issued following a Stalinist proceeding without any semblance of due process.

Here's what Mother Jones has to say:

With the January 6 hearings dominating the headlines, publishing giant Simon & Schuster has announced that it will distribute the final report of the congressional committee investigating the insurrection. But there is something odd about the Simon & Schuster announcement: This edition of the report will come with a foreword from Darren Beattie—a former Trump speechwriter who was fired from the White House for attending a conference that is popular with white nationalists. More recently, Beattie has spread pro-Trump, far-right conspiracy theories about the attack on the US Capitol.

Has Simon & Schuster suddenly become pro-Trump? No. What’s really happening is that Simon & Schuster has a distribution agreement with Skyhorse Publishing, an independent publishing company. Skyhorse is the one that’s publishing the committee’s report and it made the decision to have Darren Beattie, who is the publisher of Revolver News, have a say in the matter.

According to Mother Jones, the January 6 committee is the final word about the events on that day and anything challenging the narrative is a conspiracy theory. According to Darren Beattie and Revolver News, things are a bit different.

For example, Beattie and Revolver have said for some time that there had to have been an FBI presence on January 6 and the truth of that contention has slowly trickled out. In September, the NY Times revealed that federal agents were in the crowd and, in January, Newsweek revealed that there were commandos in the crowd with “shoot to kill” authority. (Michael Byrd, who killed Ashli Babbitt, had no such authority.) Also in January, an FBI representative refused to deny that informants and agents participated on January 6.

Image: January 6 committee hearing with Darren Beattie looming above. Collage by Andrea Widburg.

Beattie and the Revolver have also carefully examined whatever footage they could from events on January 6. Notably, the Capitol Police have refused to release some 14,000 hours of footage, suggesting that there’s a whole lot more to events on that day than we’re privy to.

Based on examining that footage, there’s at least credible evidence that (a) well-prepared people, including Ray Epps, deliberately encouraged and steered people into the Capitol; (b) the same well-prepared people methodically removed all fencing and signage that would have warned late-comers that they were trespassing; (c) the same military-style discipline was seen in the attacks on the Capitol’s windows and doors; and (d) the police were inviting people in, again depriving them of knowledge that the People’s House was forbidden to them.

When it comes to Epps, Mother Jones has a bit of its own disinformation. It claims that the only Epps footage shows him whispering something to Ryan Samsel before the latter confronted an officer. In fact, if you go to the link in the above paragraph, you can see two days’ worth of footage showing Epps actively encouraging people to “go into the Capitol.” Incitement much? And yet the FBI won’t touch him.

Of course, none of this evidence made it to the January 6 committee hearing. Pelosi ensured that no one disputing the Democrats’ view of events was on the committee. Most of the testimony has taken place in secret, the inquiry has ranged far beyond January 6 itself, people are being denied counsel, favorable witnesses for the January 6 protesters have been excluded, and the culminating TV show was as close to a Stalinist show trial as America has ever seen. So, when a small publisher decided to remedy some of these un-American imbalances by giving someone else a say, one of the leftists’ prime attack dogs—that is, Mother Jones—is apoplectic.

It’s to be hoped that Simon & Schuster ignores Mother Jones’s yapping. If S&S has a distribution agreement with Skyhorse Publishing, as long as the book doesn’t violate the terms of the distribution agreement, S&S has an obligation to abide by the agreement’s terms. It opens itself up to a massive breach of contract action should it fail to do so. 

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