Monday, October 09, 2006

At Reuters, a New Book and a Lost Job

On Tuesday, Joe Maguire, one of two editors in charge of markets coverage at Reuters, handed his bosses the galleys of his new book, “Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter.” On Wednesday, Mr. Maguire discovered he would have plenty of free time to promote his book, which comes out this week. Neither side in this dispute would say that he was fired.

“There was a difference of opinion about the approval I received to write this book,” Mr. Maguire said. “I thought I had met the conditions, and proceeded accordingly. As a result, I no longer work there.”

Mr. Maguire, who joined Reuters in April, said the book “looks at Ann Coulter’s arguments, and deconstructs them to show how misguided they can be.”

He added: “When the political discourse has dropped to the unfathomable levels it has, someone has to say this is wrong.”

He said he was unable to interview Ms. Coulter for the book, or even get her to return e-mail or phone messages left through her publicist.

Reuters confirmed that Mr. Maguire was granted conditional approval to write his book on Ms. Coulter — a conservative lightning rod, author and TV talking head. When asked what changed once the book was ready, a company statement pointed to Reuters’ principles of “integrity, independence and freedom from bias.” The statement reads: “Our editorial policy and The Reuters Trust Principles are prominently displayed for all to see on Mr. Maguire’s book will soon be available. Both speak for themselves.”

Mr. Maguire’s publisher, the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins, said, “It would be very disappointing if Joe Maguire’s dismissal from Reuters had anything to do with him authoring, ‘Brainless,’ ” which it described as a “compelling and witty book.”

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.

On Friday, the employee said, there was a meeting with Reuters management informing the workers there that Mr. Maguire would no longer be working there and that they “weren’t allowed to ask why.” Printed copies of the principles of trust were handed out, however. NOAM COHEN, NY Times

Thanks to an anonymous comment on a previous post about BRAINLESS by Joe Maguire, I was easily able to find this article. ~Stacy

At Reuters, a New Book and a Lost Job - New York Times

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