2nd Law

a blog by collegiates from around the purple nation (though mostly living in NYC) in the midst of transitioning to the real world

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Joe Maguire fired from Reuters

Don't mean to bring the Coulter curse upon our blog once more but...
Joe Maguire, former Reuters employee discussed his book, “Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter” and how the book's publication got him fired from Reuters, last night at the People of the American Way Foundation on Fifth Avenue.

The event began at 8:30 p.m. with a clear acknowledgment from Maguire that Reuters fired him because of his book, which was previously unconfirmed.

According to Reuters, his book broke the company’s trust principal.

“I was a financial news director. I don’t see how this book indicated in any way that my bond coverage was going to be slanted,” said Maguire.

Maguire was called into a meeting with the regional manager and suggested that they read the galley copy before they make their final decision.

“They called me into meeting the next day and they said it would be my last meeting at Reuters,” said Maguire. “It literally happened overnight.”

According to Maguire, Reuters had a catalog of conditions. The two main specifications were that the book could not be a political satire and it could not incorporate the Reuters name.

Abiding by both conditions Maguire still got fired.

The New York Times and blogs such as Crooks and Liars picked up the story. The clout of the Times and the power of the Internet worked as a publicity mechanism, steadily boosting sales.

“I watched the sales soar from top 5,000, to top 2,500, to top 500,000 and finally to top 100,000,” said Maguire.

Although, satisfied by sales Maguire was upset by Reuter’s actions and defended his own.

“I didn’t expect Reuters to throw me a party or to promote the book in any way, but I didn’t think that they would throw me out of my job for a personal endeavor,” said Maguire.

“This was entirely a personal endeavor. I believe it was my right as a citizen and my civic duty to disagree with Ann Coulter,” said Maguire.

“I’m an absolutist when it comes to the first amendment,” he said.

But Maguire did admit that book was released at a sensitive time. Since Reuters published a doctored photo of Beirut that enhanced smoke billowing in the background, the organization has been very conscious of its reputation. Beyond the photo scandal, Coulter is an extremely polarizing figure.

“I can see why Reuters didn’t want to have their name associated with it,” said Maguire.

But Maguire felt it was necessary to refute Coulter who has an Ivy League education (Cornell) and a degree from Michigan Law School.

“She must be highly intelligent,” said Maguire. “So her motivation must come from her narcissistic personality disorder, which you can see when she flips her hair bats her eyelashes.”

“I just thought 'get over yourself.' I will help you get over yourself,” said Maguire who believes the reporter’s job is to be objective and to speak the truth.

But still Maguire defends Coulter’s right to lie, just as he defends his right to say that she is lying, because of his fierce belief in the first amendment.

“The political discourse in this country has reached unfathomably low levels in this country. Ann Coulter is a leader in dragging down the political discourse.” And unfortunately so has the press for covering Ann Coulter and so has Reuters for denying a combatant like Maguire.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Letter from 2nd Law

You will have to forgive us, dear readers, for having undergone a severe haitus without telling anyone. Upon graduating from college the bloggers of 2nd Law scattered across the world (or simply across New York) with neither a sense of direction nor halting point. We had considered ourselves forewarned about post-grad life; but preperation does not entail experience. Knowing we were in for a year of transition did not stop what seemed like an endless and frustrating summer vacation.

By now, as you will soon come to realize, we have settled in a bit. Enough, at least, to get our bearings. Some of us are abroad (Germany, Japan, Mexico), most of us still in New York City (although we've now extended into Brooklyn). Regardless of our locations, we are ready to start writing again. Curiously enough, we created 2nd Law with this very diaspora in mind: what better way for us to keep in touch than to create a blog where any one of us can log in from anywhere and post updates, observations, and thoughts. We had no idea, however, that the shock of transition would leave us too overwhelmed and stimulated to collect ourselves in print.

So with that, allow us to reintroduce 2nd Law. These days magazine and blog launches seem to be fired off in rapid succession without much effect or thought, so we shall forgoe any hubub or fanfare in favor of a sincere and simple message: our apologies for the delay; and welcome back.