First Simon & Schuster reneged on Hawley’s book contract. Now Loews Hotels has broken a contract with Josh Hawley, too, succumbing to mob politics, and the fear of coordinated mob actions.
Hawley had a February fundraising event scheduled at a Loews Hotels location in Orlando. Then a left-leaning Florida attorney, Daniel Uhlfelder, got wind of it and decided to incite an Internet mob. Uhlfelder turned to the cesspool known as Twitter. Twitter, as most of us know, breeds Internet mobs like your shower curtain breeds mold.
It didn’t take long. The management at Loews Hotels quickly caved, and declared themselves in breach of their contractual obligations to Hawley.
What to make of all this? Democratic Party politicians and attention-whoring attorneys are going to do what they’re going to do. No mystery there.
Likewise, the publishing industry is mostly inhabited by people who discovered, lo and behold, that there are only so many ways to make a living with a degree in English literature. Publishing industry insiders lean left; and that has been the case for decades.
But what about corporate executives outside of publishing—those in “real” industries?
I speak from experience and direct observation here. What corporate executives most care about, at the end of the day, is making money. They all know that in most cases, mobs and agitators can interfere with business. An occasional controversy may rejuvenate the career of an actor or a rock star. A car company or a restaurant chain, not so much.
As some of you may know, I worked at Toyota (on the corporate side) for about 15 years. During that time, I sat in on numerous meetings regarding various “corporate citizenship” programs. At the end of the day, these initiatives are all about marketing, not substance.
Let me give you a concrete example: corporate diversity sourcing initiatives.
Every company under the sun is now touting its use of minority-owned suppliers. You’re thinking: big companies making purchases from minority-owned, “mom and pop” businesses in the Bronx, or southern Louisiana. Isn’t that nice?
Guess again. What it really means is: A wealthy minority businessperson (usually a businessman) forms a shell company. He agrees to serve as the agent, or distributor, for businesses that aren’t minority-owned.
The larger company does business directly with the shell company owned by the minority businessman (who is already a millionaire, in most cases). The millionaire owner of the shell company takes a healthy cut off the top. The larger company tells consumers and shareholders about the wonders of its minority supplier outreach program!
It’s all a big PR game, essentially. Ditto for corporate responses to leftwing mob actions, like the ones that are tripping up Josh Hawley of late.
Toyota, while I was there, was no den of leftwing communists and anarchists. On the contrary, it was a conservative Japanese company, with American managers from the Midwest, who also leaned conservative.
Toyota, though, had several run-ins with the leftwing mob. In 2001, Jesse Jackson shook Toyota down over a RAV4 ad. Toyota had intended the ad to be “hip”, and appealing to younger, more diverse consumers. Jackson spun the ad as “racist”. This made no sense, as Toyota’s explicit aim was to appeal to minority consumers—not insult them.
Jackson threatened a boycott, and Toyota paid homage (and wrote some large checks) to Jesse Jackson’s shakedown racket, aka the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. The problem went away. It was basically like paying off the mafia.
And Loews Hotels is paying off the mafia, too—the mafia of Daniel Uhlfelder, and whatever mob he is capable of stirring up online. For all we know, the management of Loews Hotels may be conservative by inclination, as well. But they don’t want to remain the object of Daniel Uhlfelder’s venal, self-serving smear campaign.
I understand how corporate executives can be tempted to give in to such pressure. Toyota’s run-in with the money-grubbing Jesse Jackson made the company hyper-cautious for years about anything involving race. For companies that sell to the retail market, the potential downsides of being targeted by the mob are simply too great.
But yielding to the whims of mobs, time and again, has a cumulative cost. This doesn’t just mean Toyota writing checks to Jesse Jackson, or Loews Hotels canceling a contract with Josh Hawley that would have benefited both parties. When leftwing mobs are given carte blanche (as happened over the summer, with the Black Lives Matter riots), rightwing mobs will eventually decide to employ the same tactics. That’s what we discovered on January 6th.
It’s a bad way for a free society to function—or rather, not function.
This will likely be a trend for the foreseeable future, though, especially with the Democrats in control of our government. Conservative speakers and Republican events will be “canceled” at the instigation of howling mobs and unscrupulous agitators like Daniel Uhlfelder. There will be backlashes and counter-backlashes.
Like I said, it’s a bad way for a free society to function.
**At AMAZON: Save on men’s winter gloves