Please, Please Don’t Investigate Who Wrote the New Anonymous Obama Novel

What could Simon & Schuster boss Jonathan Karp possibly be thinking, as he tries to stifle the discussion of his publishing house’s forthcoming anonymous novel,

O: The Obama Novel About Obama

? Yahoo News

is wondering


It’s not clear what prompted the publisher to ask journalists not to comment on a book they have nothing to do with.

Karp must really misunderstand journalists. He’s asking them not to talk about the hot, must-discuss novel of the season—and about the compelling mystery behind it. How is that supposed to work?

In his desire to shut down the heated guessing game, Karp actually sent out a mass e-mail telling important Washington journalists that

it would be great if you refrained from commenting, in solidarity with the principle that a book should be judged on its content and not on the perceived ideology of its author.

Good luck with that, Jonathan Karp. Journalists don’t take orders from publishers who have a book to market. You might as well have parked your car on the street with the door open and the keys in the ignition and a sign saying “Please Don’t Steal My Valuable Car, Which Has a Bag Containing $100,000 in the Trunk.” And put a bag in the trunk with $100,000 in it, naturally.

Now the press corps won’t rest till it has broken the deep secret of your

new, insider-penned political novel

—according to your careless e-mail, the work of “someone who has been in the room with Barack Obama”—called O, available January 25.