Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

This Week in Schadenfreude: Mark Meadows, Straight Talking American Government Official... Or Not

When Mark Meadows first ran for office back in 2012, he used a line that is popular among politicians, particularly those who are Republicans, telling voters that he's a "straight shooter" who can be counted upon to tell it like it is.

Perhaps being in Washington caused Meadows to develop bad habits. Or, just maybe, he was never especially honest or trustworthy in the first place. Anything is possible. Whatever it may be, as reader D.E. in Lancaster brings to our attention, he's at serious risk of taking a big hit in the wallet for being something very different from a straight shooter.

At issue is The Chief's Chief, the book that Meadows wrote in 2021. Like many officeholders who try to cash in on their service by writing a book, Meadows hustled to get the book done as rapidly as he could once the Trump presidency was over. And that meant that he peddled the Trumpy line, as it stood in mid-2021 (i.e., the election was stolen, 1/6 was an appropriate response, etc.). Meadows was paid handsomely for his work, since he was as insider as it gets, and people wanted to know.

Since then, the situation on the ground has changed a wee bit, and sticking with such obvious falsehoods could potentially earn Meadows a one-way ticket to a federal (or state) penitentiary. So, he's shifted to a very different version of events, telling Special Counsel Jack Smith that the election wasn't stolen, that he warned Trump that was the case, and that he knew 1/6 was very bad and very wrong. That means that the book was a tissue of lies, and that the publisher can't even give copies away anymore, because nobody wants them.

So, Meadows' publisher is now suing him for close to $3 million. That's the $350,000 paid to Meadows as an advance, $600,000 for out-of-pocket damages, and $1 million each for damage to the company's reputation and for loss of expected profits for the book. And note that the publisher, All Seasons Press, specializes in books from right-wing politicians. So, it has a pretty high tolerance for spin and outright BS.

Whatever happens in court, the book has been a disaster, financially. The original print run was 200,000 copies and only 60,000 of those were sold. Even at full list price ($28), there's no chance the publisher made its money back, between the advance, and editing and typesetting, and printing, advertising and distribution costs. Now, in a desperate effort to get something back, the price has been slashed to $5.60. It's getting very close to being a cost-effective alternative to toilet paper. Which, truth be told, would really be the perfect use for it. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates