Richard Miniter of Pajamas Media reports that The New Republic sent a "cease and desist order" to now-fired publisher's assistant Robert McGee, who leaked tidbits about the Scott Thomas Beauchamp controversy to various blogs (and gave an interview to Pajamas). Assuming Miniter's report is accurate, I don't quite understand the legal basis for TNR restraining McGee. Did McGee sign a confidentiality agreement (maybe because he worked on the business side of the magazine)? Was the letter restricted to leaks of confidential business information, leaving McGee free to talk about editorial-side issues? Or is TNR claiming some general fiduciary duty of employees not to discuss any internal matters? Will it send a cease and desist letter to Marty Peretz when he writes his memoirs? .. Even if there is a solid legal basis for the letter--if the letter, for example, only forcefuly reminded McGee of his general responsibilities under the laws of libel--isn't it a bit much that the magazine would resort to this tactic? Judging from Miniter's account, McGee doesn't even have all that much damaging to report (e.g., TNR editor Franklin Foer "sounded almost rehearsed" at an office party). If McGee's not telling the truth or isn't credible, that is more likely to come out if TNR lets him speak. ... More important, publications like TNR rely on individuals in large organizations--like, say, the U.S. Army--who are willing to blab about what they know (and, indeed, the magazine called on the Army to let Beauchamp talk to them when they believed he was being restrained.) I would think TNR's position would be that openness should be the rule. ... 10:49 A.M. link
Saturday, August 18, 2007
If we pay Starbucks a surcharge--say $1 on a grande latte--will they stop playing Paul McCartney? ... 3:32 P.M.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Am I crazy to think that the failure of comprehensive immigration reform--and with it, the prospect (despite sponsors' assurances) of millions more legal and illegal immigrants--has something to do with the trouble in the housing market? The recent Bush anti-illegal crackdown has only emphasized the possibility of a lower-immigration future. Fewer immigrants = lower demand for housing. If you built your expectation of rising home values on that anticipated demand, and like much of the MSM you actually believed the Grand Bargainers' blustery predictions of success, then you've had to reassess your portfolio sharply downward, no? Just a thought. ... P.S.: Cheaper housing, coupled with higher wages for the unskilled. In the long run that sounds like a good combination, even if some of Jim Cramer's friends lose their jobs in the transition. ... 3:13 P.M
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Top kausfiles executives have come up with a comprehensive, future-oriented business plan at their annual summer strategy session. Our new organization goal is simple: It is to beat "how many spiders does a person swallow in their sleep" in the News & Media rankings of search terms. ... Harder than you might think! Pinch isn't doing it either. ... 5:46 P.M.