We have been discussing the controversy at the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia where White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was forced out of a restaurant by the owner due to Trump’s policies. Now we have the inverse controversy at the Black Swan book store in Richmond, Virginia. Former Trump aide Steve Bannon went into the store to look at books when a woman began to berate him and call him “a piece of trash.” The owner, Nick Cooke, called 911 after trying to get the woman to leave. After he called, the woman left, but in her wake came a torrent of criticism for Cooke. Former longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines on Saturday even posted the contact information of the bookstore.
Reines clearly felt that people should contact the book store despite the disruptive and rude behavior of the woman.
While denying that he was “encouraging any behavior” by sharing the information, he mocked the scene by saying “I’d point out through it’s possible this woman stopped a book burning.”
What is curious is that Reines and this woman do not see the conflict between denouncing book burner but not people who obstruct access to books. It is all part of the license that people seem to believe that they have in abusing others.