Congress

Crenshaw got $250,000 advance for book about ‘outrage culture,’ new filing shows

Freshman rep has been a social media fixture since a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, but critics say he has used his platform to incite hatred

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, is seen after the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Dan Crenshaw has signed a $250,000 deal to publish a book. 

Crenshaw inked a contract with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, according to the freshman Texas congressman’s most recent financial disclosure form, which was filed Monday. 

The congressman is writing about “mental toughness” and what he describes as “outrage culture.” The Washington Examiner first reported the news. 

Crenshaw used those same phrases in a radio interview in March. 

“This speaks to my whole history with outrage culture, of which I was a part of in that SNL skit. What I was glad to be able to do was rebuff outrage culture: this idea that you have to be offended, that a grief victim status is the greatest thing you can accomplish, and pointing out that’s not a healthy place for us to go,” Crenshaw said. 

“You can’t have pure liberty if you don’t have people who are mentally tough and able to compete in a free market,” he continued.

The “SNL skit” Crenshaw referred to was what first brought him national attention. “Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson apologized to the congressman on the show last year for a jab he made about Crenshaw’s eye patch — which covers an injury he sustained while serving as a Navy SEAL in Iraq. 

Fellow members of Congress have scolded Crenshaw for feeding the culture he criticizes. Crenshaw has used his platform to drum up outrage against other lawmakers.

In April, he tweeted his outrage about remarks a fellow freshman lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, made to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Her full remarks had been selectively edited. He “quote-tweeted” a tweet that baselessly claimed Omar “does not consider [9/11] a terrorist attack on the USA by terrorists” and repeated the conspiracy theory that CAIR serves as little more than a front for foreign terrorists.

Omar criticized the Republican for “dangerous incitement.”

Crenshaw’s book deal was reached before he became a member of Congress and will publish in April 2020, according to a spokesperson. The book does not yet have a title. 

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