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Colbert on Amazon-Hachette, Konrath on Colbert

Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert weighed in on the Amazon Hachette contract dispute earlier this week, and with his usual droll wit he both managed to confuse the issue and make Amazon look the bully.

It’s quite fun to watch, and for your added enjoyment I suggest that you go read JA Konrath’s response to Colbert. I would not normally ridicule someone like this, but Konrath is apparently someone who takes himself so seriously that he didn’t get that Colbert was simply joking around and not taking the issue seriously.

Colbert is a comedian, and his routines are not intended to be serious. Konrath missing that point, and getting pissed over Colbert’s jokes, is somewhat entertaining.

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Bob W June 6, 2014 um 1:06 pm

eEvil Amazon have obviously been up to more shenanigans and have removed my access to the video. They’re replaced the play button with a message that says it’s not available from my location. They’re pretending that someone else is to blame, but I know better. 🙂

Nate Hoffelder June 6, 2014 um 1:09 pm

Sorry, I didn’t realize there would be regional restrictions.

LS June 6, 2014 um 6:46 pm

LOL, it’s telling me it’s unavailable in my location due to my overly polite attitudes! Canadians have to go watch Colbert clips on

Will Entrekin June 6, 2014 um 1:41 pm

"with his usual droll wit he both managed to confuse the issue and make Amazon look the bully"

Well, I think that’s the problem. He made Amazon look like the bully. Usually, when Colbert focuses attention, it manages to confuse the issue and make the bully look like the bully.

Colbert is a satirist–and a master-level one at that.

But I think it falters here because he obviously has a stake in it. SuperPACs and Daft Punk are hilarious now, but Colbert’s a Hachette offer.

And honestly, it sort of highlights the . . . well, sort of corruption, of corporate publishing.

"The scheme to send Stephen Colbert’s fans to an independent bookstore to pre-order a novel by a relative unknown was cooked up between "The Colbert Report" and Colbert’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, which is locked in an ebook pricing dispute with online retailer Amazon."

That from

At this point, so far as I know, nobody knows the terms in dispute here. Until anyone does, pretty much all the commentary is . . . well, incomplete at best.

oj829 June 6, 2014 um 2:02 pm

SC is allowed to believe in his heart of hearts, as a Hachette author, that Amazon is a bad guy and/or bully. He’s clearly not alone in this belief, and not everyone who shares it is a Hachette stooge.

He’s also allowed to use his clout to direct attention and money to places where it ordinarily would not go (Yellow Ribbon Fund, Donors Choose, US Speed Skating team, indie book retailers who are not Amazon….)

Chris Meadows June 6, 2014 um 6:10 pm

Apparently Konrath’s response is meant to be humorous, too. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to be funny when you can’t mug for the camera.

Mackay Bell June 6, 2014 um 8:17 pm

Yeah, I think Konrath was trying to be funny. It’s a little over the top, even for him, and most of his posts read like he’s had too many Mexican coffees.

Also, I suspect he really is hoping he can build up a controversy and get on Colbert’s show. Which would be a win for both of them.

Nate Hoffelder June 7, 2014 um 12:11 pm

I’ll have to take your word for it; I just don’t see the humor.

Greg Strandberg June 7, 2014 um 12:45 pm

I’m beginning to wonder what anyone ever learned from Konrath in the first place. How to be angry? I already know that. Not much else of use on that site this year.

Nate Hoffelder June 7, 2014 um 12:55 pm

I have trouble reading Konrath, I’ll admit. I can accept that he is a self-appointed champion for self-publishing but he beats the drum too loudly, IMO.

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