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Brainless

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As Christy noted this morning, it appears that Reuters has fired editor Joe Maguire for writing a book critical of Ann Coulter, entitled: Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter.  At least the staff at Reuters seems to think so.  NYT:

A Reuters employee who insisted on anonymity out of concern at angering management said that the 20 or so employees at the markets desk where Mr. Maguire had been one of two editors in charge “took a group coffee break” in solidarity on Thursday.

Reuters has been mau-maued by the right before.  You want to know how the media gets bullied and whipped into repeating nothing but right wing talking points if they want to keep shoes on their kids' feet?  This is how it happens.

Now we don't have the ability to hurl powerful politicians at them, or throw teams of expensive, angry think-tank funded lawyers at them, but we can vote with our pocket books like we did with Keith Olbermann's book (and it should be noted that Keith's ratings since his Rumsfeld moment have gone up 69%).

If you want to give people a reason to stand up to right-wing bullies like the borderline human Coulter who seems to have the ability to have people guiliotined from their jobs if they displease her ladyship, buy this book.   

Greg Sargent

Reuters is admitting that they gave Maguire "conditional approval" to write the book. That begs a question: Did Reuters know at the outset that the book would be critical of Coulter?

Reuters is invoking the company's "trust principles" to explain the firing. Those "trust principles" are right here. This is the relevant one:

that the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved

So presumably, Reuters is trying to argue that Maguire, in writing a book attacking Coulter, revealed himself to be unfit to preserve the company's promised "integrity, independence and freedom from bias." Reuters says the book will speak for itself in this regard. It will be interesting to see just how exactly a book critical of Coulter revealed a "bias" so broad that it disqualified him from continued Reuters employment. And if the book is such an obvious violation of the company's trust principles, why was the company allegedly telling its employees before this became public that they "weren't allowed to ask why" Maguire was no longer working there?

There are plenty of unanswered questions here.

This is extraordinarily fucked and everyone knows it.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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