Stephen Colbert Gives Amazon The Finger, Not Once But Twice

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Stephen Colbert is pissed. In defense of his publishing company Hachette, and the literary world at large, Colbert has asked his viewers to boycott Amazon. In yet another dickish move, Amazon has been raising prices and delaying shipments of Hachette's titles attempting to bully the publishing company into giving them an unprecedentedly lower wholesale rate. The online retailer would of course sell the titles at the same price as before, allowing them to pocket the savings. But this goes way beyond a ploy to make a few bucks off a single publishing house. With control of nearly 50% of the retail book market, and a growing publisher itself,  Amazon is trying to set a new precedence in the book market, one that favors the retailer over authors. The problem lies in the fact that books are not simply products to be tailored by corporations to squeeze a little more sauce out of the bottom line. Books are the continuing canon of human knowledge and understanding. Well, most books. If one wants to see what happens when profit takes priority over content - turn on the news. Sadly, but as you might expect, a recent study has shown the Colbert Report to be more educational and informative than nearly all other cable news programs. In his character's typical narcissistic tone Colbert reasoned his war against Amazon by stating that he, "just found out it’s deterring customers from buying books from Stephen Colbert.” Colbert is one of many popular authors affected by Amazon's tactics, including Robert Galbraith (pen name of J.K. Rowling), David Sedaris, Sherman Alexie, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell, Janet Fitch, Michell Connelly, Mitch Albom, Iain Banks, and Emma Donoghue, to name but a few. Here's part one. Part 2: Author Sherman Alexie joined Colbert to discuss the evils of Amazon and to promote California, Edan Lepucki's debut novel, which can be purchased via the Colbert Nation. Instead of coming through Amazon, sales will be through Powell's books, a well-known independent bookstore in Portland.

Colbert didn't stop there. Once his show aired he took to Twitter with the hashtag #CutDownAmazon, encouraging his nation of followers to fight the good fight.