File this one under the umbrella of insane book deals.
The Atlantic‘s recently named White House correspondent Rosie Gray has signed a deal with HarperCollins to write a book on Breitbart News. She’s reportedly getting a $350K advance for entering into such an ordeal.
“This is the most triggering news I’ve read in weeks,” said a media source.
BuzzFeed, which used to employ Gray, first reported the news. The writer had three sources on that dollar amount.
“I’d love to read a good story on what Breitbart is really like,” a Washington journalist told The Mirror on condition of anonymity. “But I have a feeling it’s going to be like Dana Milbank’s anti-Glenn Beck book, which was predictably nasty and sold dozens of copies to liberals who want to be outraged about something else.”
If history is any indication, getting regular people attracted to a book like this may be an uphill battle.
For starters, how much Matthew Boyle can a person take?
Boyle, the site’s Washington political editor, plays dirty, so it’ll be interesting to see how he treats her. In late January, Boyle tried to make a deal with Rosie — he’d answer her questions if she trashed BuzzFeed. Rosie counterpunched by publishing a text exchange with Boyle on Twitter.
But Gray’s not stupid. Despite having a really public brawl with ex-Breitbart News reporter Patrick Howley, who once wrote something really horrid about her on Twitter in 2014 and caused Media Matters to go into anaphylactic shock, the two are now on speaking terms. Howley wound up apologizing. And Gray clearly doesn’t hold grudges. With his help, she broke the news that he was leaving Breitbart News. Gray also has a good source in her colleague McKay Coppins, who wrote the definitive piece that possibly fueled President Trump‘s White House run. Coppins declared Trump’s potential run for office phony. Trump proved him wrong and called him a “scumbag.”
As fate would have it, Howley was wandering through The Daily Caller‘s newsroom as I was putting the finishing touches on this story. So I got his reaction to Rosie’s book in real time.
Asked if he’d pump her with info, Howley replied, “I plan to, sure. I feel if I don’t get in there and put in some good quotes it’s going to be [White House correspondent] Charlie Spiering won the election. I fully intend to talk to her for hours and hours and I’ll be very forthcoming. It’s just very surprising to me — 350 just to write a book about Breitbart. That’s really ridiculous. Why would they give her that kind of money? Breitbart was a fly by night operation during the primaries led by Matt Boyle and his trusted right hand man Howley a la Dr. Dre and Eminem. I hope we end up as heroes in the book.”
Howley says he doesn’t believe there is any real “dirt” on Breitbart News. “The success [during the election] was unmistakable,” he said of the site. “I don’t think it has a forever shelf life.”
He referred to Boyle as one of his “best friends for life.” He called it an “unshakable bond.”
He said the site has turned corporate ever since Steve Bannon‘s departure for a high-powered position at the White House. “I just left because they established a whole different program after the election,” Howley continued. “It was made clear to me that my time and prominence there was gone. It was just going to be a much more marginalized role.”
Considering ex-Breitbart News Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos‘s original book deal netted him a $250K advance, some in Washington press corps are shocked that Gray is getting so much. The Mirror hears he’s in talks for a new deal. Simon & Schuster dumped him in February after a YouTube video surfaced of him joking about fellatio and the benefits of young gay men being in relationships with older gay men. In a subsequent presser, Milo quit Breitbart and revealed that a member of the clergy had molested him when he was young.
The aforementioned source who compared Rosie’s undertaking to Milbank’s project on Beck is referring to the WaPo columnist’s 2010 book: Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America.
Which didn’t do so well. The average customer review on Amazon is three stars. Its ranking is: #317,895 while 43 percent of all customer reviews gave the book one star.
A hardcover of that book now sells for $2.45.
The Mirror sought comment from Gray.