Say What? The Tom Friedman edition
October 18, 2005
Howard Kurtz asks a stupid question and gets a stupider answer:
KURTZ: But why do you think that she's gotten so much criticism? After all, whether you agree with her or not, this is a woman who believed in her convictions and went off to jail for 85 days.
FRIEDMAN: You know, Judy has always been a pioneer and an agent of change, you know. And has been at the forefront of a lot of stories, and people like that in our business engender a lot of attention, a lot of criticism and a lot of jealousy. And that's the only way I can really explain it. [LINK via Matt Welch]The other way would be to point to her craven desire to kiss up to people in power that I oddly sympathize with:
KURTZ: One of the things it said was that you in your book and in your writing, that CEOs play a very central role. And the suggestion was, well, CEOs love you, you are asked to speak at all these corporate events, maybe because you give them a very large share of the narrative. Is that a reasonable observation?
FRIEDMAN: Yeah, it is a reasonable observation. And my reaction to that is, look, if I want to understand the underlying technology that's flattening the world, who do I go to? Do I go to -- I don't know -- Central America? Do I go to the factory floor? Or do I go to the innovators and entrepreneurs who actually put all this together?
So I make no apology for that at all. In fact, I would make a criticism of it. There aren't enough people during the last few years who actually went out and talked to the innovators who were doing all of these things, who were actually reshaping the world. Just the opposite. We kind of had an Enron effect. And the Enron effect was, all CEOs are guilty unless proven innocent. Therefore, who wants to talk to them? Therefore, I would argue...
KURTZ: Wait a second.
FRIEDMAN: ... that journalists...
KURTZ: Journalists subscribed to stereotypes because there are a few crooks in major corporations? We're just, you know, they're all bad guys?
FRIEDMAN: Yeah. I would say...
KURTZ: That's a pretty harsh assessment.Sadly for Tom not as harsh as the reviews of the aforementioned book.
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