Dean Baquet And The Inevitable Decline of The New York Times

May 21, 2014

When I was a reporter at The Toronto Star, a once-great newspaper that employed the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Morley Callaghan, it was a family-controlled institution that was staunchly Canadian in its ideals and deeply committed to promoting social justice and individual and civil liberties. The publisher in my day was an incredibly Machiavellian… Read more

THE “UNVARNISHED” TRUTH ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS

March 25, 2014

Back in 1980, I bought what I thought was my dream car. It was an all-wheel, sporty – ok, sporty at the time – front-wheel-drive vehicle called the Chevrolet Citation, which General Motors heavily promoted as “The first Chevy of the 80s” and Motor Trend magazine named its “Car of the Year.” My generation was… Read more

GrubHub: A Welcome Third Party Intervention

February 19, 2014

The ‘stiff upper lip’ is a trait frequently dredged up in discussions regarding my nationality. We natives of the British Isles are, for a variety of reasons, famed for our resilient, tacit acceptance of the substandard or difficult, as perfectly underscored by the slogan of famous WWII era posters: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ This… Read more

STEPHEN GLASS AND THE MORAL HYPOCRISY OF THE NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA BAR ASSOCIATIONS

January 29, 2014

In 1998, Stephen Glass was a hotshot, high-profile, twenty-something journalist writing features for The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, and other respected publications. He was also, as it turned out, a serial fabricator. Many of the people and events he chronicled were exposed as imaginary, forcing Glass to resign in disgrace. He deservedly became a… Read more

DÉJÀ VU: THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE DAILY SHOW, THE GRETCHEN MORGENSON EDITION

January 14, 2014

One of my simple pleasures is watching the first 20 minutes or so of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Comedy genius aside, the folks responsible for putting together the opening “news” segment appreciate better than anyone how farcical political discourse via mainstream media has become. The show’s writers regularly serve up heaping portions of… Read more

A TALE OF TWO TECH WORKERS: PETER SHIH AND STACEY TOZER

January 10, 2014

Tech entrepreneur Peter Shih is the poster child for what ails San Francisco these days.  The young tech entrepreneur in August wrote a blog (since deleted, but covered here) highlighting 10 things he hated about San Francisco. The writing was arrogant, elitist, sexist, and otherwise all-around offensive – and the public outrage that followed was… Read more

BANK OF AMERICA’S BOGUS OFFICE OF THE CEO

January 9, 2014

American Banker, a banking industry trade publication, each year gives a “Banker of the Year” award to the CEO who has achieved considerable financial success and accomplishment.  Customer satisfaction doesn’t really factor much into the equation, which is fitting. After all, the industry is not particularly known for its customer service-orientation, despite what retail bankers’… Read more

The Business of Magazines: Vanity Fair and Fortune Reverse Roles

January 7, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, respectively the COO and CEO of Facebook and Yahoo!, certainly get a lot of media attention. While I admire their professional success, PR savvy, and ability to mesmerize experienced reporters to a near- hypnotic state, their neatly packaged narratives are a tad overly manufactured to me. Articles about Sandberg inevitably… Read more

In Times of Crisis, Employees Need More than Press Statements from Leadership

January 6, 2014

The cover of Harvard Business Review’s January-February issue focuses on building high-performance cultures, ones that tend to be deemed a “great place to work.” And while thoughts of workplace perks such as free meals, nap rooms, and daycare facilities may immediately come to mind at first glance for some readers, the Great Place to Work… Read more