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It was just weeks ago that conservative commentator Mark Levin successfully pressured Target into reversing course on its initial decision not to carry his book in-store, yet the retail giant appears to have already forgotten its lesson.
Elitist tell-alls, liberal memoirs, and identitarian agitprop are physically available in many of Target's 1,959 stores. Contrariwise, "Dark Future," the latest from nationally syndicated radio host and co-founder of Blaze Media Glenn Beck and fellow New York Times best-selling author Justin Haskins of the Heartland Institute, is not presently in-store on Target's shelves.
Besides minimizing the likelihood of serendipitous sales and ideological cross-pollination, the retail giant's apparent decision not to carry the book in-store, but only online, has raised eyebrows.
Beck recently noted on "The Glenn Beck Program" that he was trying to figure out why Target was not selling "Dark Future," noting that various liberal works released around the same time were on offer, such as "'Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy from the Next Trump,' a purely political book."
"Now, 'Blowback' was especially important because it was released on July 18, 2023 — a week after our book. So they can't make the argument that our book is just new and will eventually be in stores," said Beck. "So why is it? No reason for Target's team to think 'Dark Future won't sell. I mean, maybe they would just want to put them in the deep red parts of the country, but that's not happening either. The only explanation is there's something about this book they don't like. I wonder what that could be, Target."
Unlike "Blowback" or the works of Michelle Obama and Prince Harry, also presently available in-store at Target, this particular book is not deferential to the powers that be. Rather, "Dark Future" details the coordinated effort by technocratic elites and Great Reset-oriented technologists to strip Western peoples of both their humanity and tradition as a means of transforming life on earth forever, all for the benefit of a vainglorious elite.
"'Dark Future' shows readers precisely how elites in government, media, corporations, banks, and Wall Street firms are designing or planning to use new technologies to control individuals and families," Haskins told TheBlaze. "Although I can only guess why Target would want to deter its customers from learning about this material, none of the potential answers are good."
"As Glenn and I show in 'Dark Future,' big institutions, some of which are invested in Target or serve as a business partner, are working to use emerging tech like artificial intelligence to transform society. Perhaps, and this is just a guess, Target doesn't want customers to know what some of its shareholders and corporate friends are up to," said Haskins.
On his show, Beck alluded to Target's recent scandals as evidence of the corporation's political bent.
TheBlaze previously reported that Target was taken to task in May for certain products in its Pride collection, which consisted of over 2,000 products, including "gender fluid" mugs; "queer all year" calendars"; "trans pride, trans power" cards; LGBT propaganda targeting children such as the books "The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish," "Bye Bye, Binary," "The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag," "The Gay, B, Cs," and "Are You a Girl or Are You a Boy?"; "Progress Pride flag" baby apparel; and a "tuck-friendly" Pride bathing suit.
The retailer also reportedly featured items that appeared to promote violence, drug use, and satanism.
Beyond the shelves, Target appears to have similarly avoided any neutrality in the culture wars.
For instance, it has donated millions of dollars to an organization that has reportedly offered students guidance on "how to hide gender transitions from parents" while also pushing for the incorporation of gender ideology into school curricula. In addition to the activist outfit GLSEN, Target has also shelled out for the LGBT lobby group Human Rights Campaign.
This and other such investments in woke initiatives have not gone unrewarded.
Forbes recently noted that DiversityInc's Top Companies for LGBTQ Employees, a standard metric in ESG reports on the internal polices of an organization, ranked Target #4. The company scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index last year.
To drive up its ESG score on other fronts, the company has also prioritized promotions and supplier partnerships on the basis of race.
Besides the company's woke bona fides, there is recent precedent giving some cause to suspect the in-store status of "Dark Future" may not be accidental.
"Unfortunately, Glenn and I are not the only ones being targeted by big institutions. We've seen numerous others silenced," said Haskins. "Target's attempt to keep Mark Levin's upcoming book off its shelves is further proof that big corporations have gone all in on a strategy to silence anyone who is pushing back against cronyism, public-private partnerships between corporations and government, and progressivism generally."
Mark Levin announced on July 5 that Target had informed his publisher Simon & Schuster "that it will not carry [his] new book when it is released on September 19. It claims that certain customers might be offended by the title. Imagine that!"
In response to the company's alleged attempt to placate the hypothetically offended by sidelining his book, "The Democrat Party Hates America," Levin wrote, "So the corporatist leftwing censorship begins."
"This is what the Great Reset is all about. When corporations and financial powerhouses work hand-in-hand with government, no one's liberties are secure," Haskins told TheBlaze. "If Americans don't push back soon, conservative, libertarian, and many independent voices will most assuredly be pushed completely out of the public arena."
Levin was not a lone voice crying in the wilderness, however; a multitude of conservatives across the nation joined him in lambasting Target over what some regarded as a form of censorship.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted, "Not to worry. Target has built up so much goodwill with conservatives that I'm sure they won't mind."
Former national security adviser Gen. Mike Flynn said, "This is simply another form of censorship."
The backlash was so fierce and swift that the retail giant reportedly reversed course, telling the Washington Examiner in a statement, "The use of the word ‘hate’ in the title caused our team to reach out to the publisher, but as stated, we are continuing to offer this book for pre-sale now and it will be available for sale on its release date. We regret any confusion this situation caused."
It is presently unclear whether the omission of "Dark Future" from Target's shelves is resultant of another bout of "confusion."
"There's a reason people still browse book sections at retailers like Target — it's to discover something new that they aren't already aware of. Target knows this, which is why it's so frustrating. ... Why not offer customers best-selling books across the ideological spectrum and let them decide which product, if any, to purchase?"
TheBlaze reached out to Target for comment concerning the in-store availability of Beck's book, but has yet to hear back.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.