Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book reviewer loses job for quoting from book

In August 2008, Martin Tierney reviewed Barbara Ehrenreich's book Going To Extremes for the Scottish newspaper the The Herald. See if you can spot anything controversial in his introduction: "It is essentially a tirade against every method used against US citizens to ensure that their wealth is systematically transferred to government and corporate elites."
This is done, she claims, via abuse of the tax system, scapegoating immigrants; denial of Unions and Gestapo tactics used by the likes of... [a large US supermarket] to ensure this and a perennial 'Warfare State' where taxpayers money merely is used to enrich arms dealers while bludgeoning them into a unnecessary paranoia.
If you think that, in spite the connotations of "tirade", this is a straightforward, objective summary of the book under review, you're in agreement with at least one editor who told him the piece was "excellent".
But someone else on the Herald's editorial staff informed Tierney that the reference to the supermarket's "Gestapo tactics" had caused great upset and anger in the office. One senior editor in particular was deeply unamused. This last reaction appears to have been decisive. Indeed, as a result, Tierney was told, he was being asked to relinquish his column.
Pause on this news and recall, if it is possible to forget, that, as the source of this story points out, "Tierney merely +reported+ claims made by Ehrenreich in her book regarding the use of 'Gestapo tactics'."

In its series on Intellectual Cleansing, Medialens contrasts this with what happened to other journalists who did not quote but made direct accusations of Gestapo tactics.

1 comment:

  1. Brings to mind, amongst other things, the American War of Independence: the conflict by which the US achieved independence from Britain.
    America and Britain. Independent of each other. Not an incestuous fascist alliance.



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