We knew Michael Gross's exposé of the Metropolitan Museum of Art would ruffle feathers. It's juicy stuff, clearly. But we didn't expect it would be banned. But that's what seems to be happening. The Independent reports that Amazon's British arm has stopped selling Gross's Rogues' Gallery "for fear of action from a libel tourist," namely Annette de la Renta, the museum vice chair and wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, who has threatened Gross with a libel suit. The ban isn't limited to foreign retail outlets, however.
"In the wake of his dealings with de la Renta—whose associates include a range of high-profile media big-shots," the Independent writes, Gross has also "found himself, in stark contrast to his previous works, almost entirely unable to gain reviews of his book." The New York Times, for example, has yet to acknowledge the book by the former Times reporter, notwithstanding an editorial this week defending the rights of authors who take on "difficult and important topics, like terrorism financing, or from writing about wealthy and litigious people."
Perhaps that could that be because the paper's ruling family, the Sulzbergers, were museum trustees for decades and figure in the book? We may be going out on a limb here, but we're guessing a book that details how the Times was "by turns hero, dupe and indifferent when it came to watchdogging the Met" is not the sort of thing that curries much favor with the editors of the Times's book reviews.