“Publishing industry leaders are calling out the danger in President Trump even suggesting changes to libel laws to shut down his critics”
Not since the last Harry Potter novel appeared has any trade book title dominated the news like Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s incendiary “inside” account of the Trump White House.
The free publicity for Fire and Fury didn’t just come from cable TV – Wolff’s biggest promoter was President Trump himself who tweeted and otherwise commented on the book, dismissing it as a work of fiction. At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday>, the President also told reporters that he would like to see a review of the nation’s libel laws.
“Our current libel laws,” Trump said, “are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness.”
“Publishing industry leaders are dismayed, and are calling out the danger in President Trump even suggesting changes to libel laws to shut down his critics,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
“At the same time, there isn’t too much concern that anything will happen,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “First, there is no desire for this in Congress, and second, there is no policy proposal on the table. Indeed, there are no federal libel laws, per se, for Trump to revisit.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.