Anti-Racist Blog came across a press release from 2004, announcing the start of the distribution deal between The University of Michigan Press (UM Press) and Pluto Press. Phil Pochoda's statements within that press release are truly revealing.
The first quote from Phil Pochoda seems to confirm a longstanding relationship between either himself (or UM Press) and Pluto Press. This relationship, according to Pochoda himself, and consistent with the e-mail from the UM Press insider, existed well before the distribution agreement began.
The second part of Pochoda's quote is even more troubling. It shows that UM Press fully intended to help Pluto Press "sustain and expand" its biased and offensive books on the Middle East. This blows a huge hole in the Executive Board's recent statement saying that UM Press just distributes Pluto books, rather than endorsing or supporting them.
Some people knowledgeable with the UM Press/Pluto distribution deal are saying behind the scenes that Pochoda allegedly spearheaded and pushed through the Pluto distribution deal. Anti-Racist Blog and others are left to wonder whether Pochoda's personal ties affected his judgment, and caused him to support a distribution deal that left UM Press in a subservient position to Pluto (having no oversight over what Pluto books it distributes). An investigation into potential bias, favoritism, lack of oversight, and ethical failings at The University of Michigan Press must be undertaken.
The second quote from Pochoda also proves that he and UM Press knew full well the content of Pluto's books on the Middle East, contrary to their recent assertions claiming ignorance. The fraudulent argument by the Executive Board, that UM Press is not supporting or endorsing Pluto books is also revealed as a lie, given Pochoda's statement that UM Press always intended to "help sustain and expand" Pluto Press' success in selling "progressive" (according to Pochoda) books on the Middle East. It is clearly time to remove the entire Executive Board that is misleading the public, and get to the bottom of the Pluto Press distribution deal.