On Oct. 23, the far-left The New York Times published a short story that fantasized about the assassination of President Trump. Impotent anger ensued from the usual suspects. Publisher Obsidian Point is reacting differently. It’s sponsoring a contest for authors to submit flash fiction stories about the nonviolent, final chapters of The New York Times and CNN.
Our focus here at the Book Review is on books and stories, but also on how the books being written and read reflect the world outside of books. And one of the biggest stories out there, of course, is the Mueller investigation and the relationship between Trump and Putin. It’s hard not to speculate about what might happen next. To that end, we thought: Who better than some of today’s most talented spy and crime novelists — Joseph Finder, Laura Lippman, Jason Matthews, Zoë Sharp and Scott Turow — to conjure possible outcomes?
Zoë Sharp’s submission (“How It Ends”) concluded with a U.S. Secret Service special agent assisting a Russian assassin in murdering President Trump.
Conservatives expressed outrage about this. Some of them even seemed surprised that The New York Times published the story. And that’s odd, because no one should have been caught off guard by it. After all, leftists indulging in violent fantasies about Republican presidents is nothing new.
In 2017, The New York Times sponsored a play “which depicts the assassination of a Trump-like Roman ruler.” A few months later the Times promoted a novel called, To Kill the President. “But trenchant satire aside,” wrote article author Dan Bilefsky, “parallels with the current president are so familiar that some readers have dubbed Mr. Freedland ‘Nostradamus’ while others are begging him to choose their lottery numbers.”
The Washington Post published an article on Checkpoint and gave those responsible for it plenty of space to defend it. “The novel, says Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards, ‘is a portrait of an anguished protagonist pushed to extremes. Baker is using the framework and story structure as a narrative device to express the discontent many in America are feeling right now.’”
Other mediums also got in on fantasizing about outcomes for Bush 43.
For instance, in the 2000s the comic book industry made it overwhelmingly clear that it was full of nothing but radical leftists. And they turned the medium into an outlet for their radical beliefs and fantasies. One of their fantasies was a violent one regarding George W. Bush. (See the full-size image here and notice that one of the dead men on the floor of the White House bears a striking resemblance to Bush.)
All this brings us back to Obsidian Point’s flash fiction contest.
David Dubrow, Ray Zacek, and I are editing (and contributing to) Obsidian Point’s forthcoming follow-up to Appalling Stories: 13 Tales of Social Injustice. Mike Baron, Jon Del Arroz, Warner Todd Huston, and other great writers are already part of the sequel.
Now you have the chance to join them in this book if you enter and win the contest.
Click here if you want the full details of it, but the short of it is this: Tell a story in 1,000 words or less that describes the downfall of The New York Times, CNN, or both. But no assassination fantasies. We’re looking for entertaining tales that show what causes these outlets (or their journalists) to go out of business.
The deadline is short (Sunday, November 4) because we’re rapidly approaching the date when we’re scheduled to publish Appalling Stories 2. The winning story will be included in the anthology. On top of this, the winner will receive a Chick-fil-A gift certificate.
Radical leftists are gonna continue with their violent fantasies. Nothing anyone says will convince them to stop. But we don’t have to sit here and take it. When they publish assassination fiction, we can respond with creative fiction of our own.
We can fight back by writing back.
Image at Top: President Donald J. Trump smiles after a joke during a roundtable discussion with cabinet members, congressmen, and defense industry leaders Oct. 19, 2018, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Excerpt of photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ridge Shan.
Note: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.