Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Some Thoughts on India

I've been in India for the past few weeks, hence my absence from this blog. However, while there I wrote a column for Forbes.com on the India-U.S. nuclear deal. This is the beginning of what I expect will be a fruitful relationship with Forbes.com, which regularly kicks butt on all manner of subjects.

* * *

A friend sent me this excellent article by John Judis on my alma mater Business Week. which appeared in the New Republic's website. Judis describes how BW recently laid off its excellent labor reporter, Aaron Bernstein. Aaron was let go in the second full-scale layoff to hit the magazine since its new editor, Steve Adler, took charge in mid-2005. While shedding staff, Adler has added columns and generally, in my view, fluffed up the magazine.

I don't agree with all of Judis's conclusions, but I do think that his general assessment of the magazine is correct. BW may not aspire to be the "People of the business world," as Judis suggests, but it certainly seems to be moving in that direction.

I think Judis's conclusion is right on the mark:

Perhaps this new BusinessWeek will make more money than the old. Then [BW editor Steve] Adler will be vindicated in the new cutthroat world of magazine publishing, which sees magazines as simply another commodity to sell. But I somehow doubt that a magazine named BusinessWeek can attract the narcissistic readers that advertisers love. My guess is that, under Adler, BusinessWeek will become a magazine that is neither particularly profitable nor socially useful. In any case, it has already lost at least one reader.

UPDATE: I later learned that this post was linked from a cyberstalking website "antisocialmedia.net," which has been identified by the New York Post as a dirty tricks operation by Judd Bagley, director of social media for a company called Overstock.com. (Its CEO Patrick Byrne is famous for blaming his company's woes on a "Sith Lord.") Here's a later post on the stalker site's malicious lies. More posts on Bagley's paranoid dirty tricks campaign, which includes extortionate threats and stalking of other critics of Byrne, can be found by reading posts tagged "cyberstalking."

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.


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