From the sound of things, writers Brad and Amy Herzog had a pretty good thing going for nearly two decades, traveling the country and writing a blog as spokespeople for the RV Industry Association.
“We have worked damn hard to be professional in every way while promoting RVing,” they write this week in an email to supporters. “We have never used that platform to further any other agenda, political or otherwise. And we never would. Ever. And RVIA loved us. They renewed our year-by-year contract 16 times. They even gave us a national award called the ‘Spirit of America’ award.
Their job was the biggest source of income for the couple who’ve written dozens of books. It was an easy life that usually resulted in fluffy “news” stories like this:
That gig is over now, they say. They wrote a rhyming picture book for adults about Donald Trump and started a Kickstarter campaign about it.
People who criticize Donald Trump do so at their own peril in the current political climate, however. We learned that most recently last night on NPR’s All Things Considered with Matt Katz’ story of what’s happened to Jewish reporters who criticized the likely Republican nominee for president of the United States.
Once word filtered into the RV industry that one of their own had written a book criticizing Trump, his supporters pressured the industry to dump them.
“I certainly hope the RV Industry Association will soon disavow their affiliation with these authors. For an organization that routinely walks the tightrope of political correctness, it seems rather odd that RVIA would turn a blind eye to such a divisive book in this politically-charged environment,” Greg Gerber, who writes the RV Daily Report blog, said, calling the Herzogs “California liberals.”
The Herzogs say they’ve lost their jobs promoting the RV industry as a result of the blowback from the announcement of their book.
“We have always been aware of the conservative leanings of the RV industry, yet we happily and genuinely promoted the RV experience,” the Herzogs write. “Because we believed one had absolutely nothing to do with the other. But less than 24 hours after this story outed us as ‘California liberals,’ right after we did yet another professional and on-message TV interview in Phoenix, and without even discussing the matter with us after 17 years of service, the powers that be ‘terminated’ our contract, effective immediately. All because, in our separate lives, we wrote a funny little picture book about the dangers of reactionary rhetoric.”
An industry statement called the decision “difficult.”
“However, Go RVing, and its principals, RVIA and RVDA, are nonpartisan,” it said. “On both the federal and state level, the RV industry has a long and successful record of building and maintaining positive working relationship on both sides of the aisle on legislative and regulatory issues. As spokespersons for Go RVing, the Herzogs’ decision to merchandise a book that does not meet the nonpartisan position of our organizations, distracted from our core values of political neutrality.”
Brad Herzog says he’ll donate $1 of the sale of every book to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
(h/t: Euan Kerr)