Congratulations go out to thriller author Brad Thor. He managed to monetize an empty gesture to buy George Zimmerman a gun while showing a complete disregard for the parents of Trayvon Martin. Thor saw a wrong he wanted to right, and by God, he did something about it. He fired up the old publicity machine, and took to Twitter to ask his fans if they wanted to see him give Zimmerman a gun on TV. Why? Because what’s the sense in doing something if you can’t do it on TV or engage your Twitter followers with an inflammatory idea?
The not so surprising result of Thor’s publicity stunt is that it is working. His fans have reached out to him via Twitter with supportive tweets, and his detractors have suggested that a boycott of his books is in order. Some have even suggested burning his books. What does all this mean? Brad Thor won. He got the attention he was looking for by exploiting a tragedy.
Just so we’re clear here, this was a douchebag move by Thor. Whether you think Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman was at fault for what happened the night of their fateful confrontation, I think we can all agree that for an author to use an element from the tragic event to draw attention to himself and sell more books is not your normal run of the mill disgusting. It’s Silkwood scrub down disgusting.
What’s the proper response to Thor’s “look at me” marketing move? Don’t look at him. Ignore him. I know it’s an ironic suggestion on my part. I’ve just written a piece about the whole sordid affair, but hear me out. Burning Brad Thor’s books is not the answer. Neither is boycotting them. Thor wants the controversy. He wants to be in a position where his supporters will rally around him and push his books to the tops of bestseller lists everywhere. That was the whole point of his initial tweets on the topic. He saw all of it coming, and he knew it would generate a maelstrom. A maelstrom is marketing-speak for fat cash.
If you don’t like what Thor did, take a deep breath and let it go. The best tactic to make this all go away is to ignore it… Starting now!
Here’s a video where Thor actually makes the argument that Zimmerman needs a gun to be able to kill more people in self defense. Ol’ GZ did not make the best choice last time he had a gun in his hand.