Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) terminated their contract with longtime spokespeople Brad and Amy Herzog after a very fiery blog post by RV Daily Report founder and editor Greg Gerber complained that the Herzogs were writing a satirical children’s book making fun of Donald Trump. The RV industry, evidently, cannot afford to burn that particular bridge.
SFGate reports that the Herzogs, parents to two teenage boys, have made nearly 300 appearances on local news shows across the U.S. to promote the “RV lifestyle,” while Brad has written about their travels for on GoRVing.com for the past 8 years. They are also publishers of Why Not Books, where Brad and Amy (writer and illustrator, respectively) have published dozens of titles “dedicated to the idea that books can make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
The Herzogs launched a Kickstarter campaign to print D Is For Dump Trump—An Anti-Hate Alphabet Book on June 28, which includes poems like “A is an anti-alphabet about an awful human being, an atrocious candidate we can’t believe we’re seeing.” The Kickstarter has so far raised over $13,500 of a $7,000 goal, and states that Herzogs plan to donate $1 from each sale to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A few hours after the Kickstarter was created, Gerber wrote a blog post blasting the “California liberals” for “advocating a political agenda in an election year”:
I certainly hope the RV Industry Association will soon disavow their affiliation with these authors. For an organization that routinely walks the tightrope of political correctness, it seems rather odd that RVIA would turn a blind eye to such a divisive book in this politically-charged environment.
Brad Herzog told SFGate that the book “was completely separate from our lives as traveling ambassadors as promoting RVing to all Americans,” and that “In those hundreds of TV interviews and hundreds of thousands of blog words, never have we ever broached any other agenda, political or otherwise, beyond promoting the RV experience and we never would.”
24 hours after Gerber’s post was published, the Herzogs were fired. From SFGate:
RVIA confirmed with SFGate the suspension of the Herzog’s 2016 media tour and said in a statement the decision was “difficult” as they “have been long-time supporters of our industry and the RV lifestyle.”
“However, Go RVing, and its principals, RVIA and RVDA, are nonpartisan,” the statement goes on. “[...] As spokespersons for Go RVing, the Herzogs’ decision to merchandise a book that does not meet the nonpartisan position of our organizations, distracted from our core values of political neutrality.”
Hmm, feels like the core value of the RV industry isn’t so much “political neutrality” as it is “not wanting to pay for a hotel room.” But I suspect the Herzogs will get back on their feet and find something better.
Image via screenshot/CBS Los Angeles.