OLD Media Moves

Former Reuters editor still wonders why he was fired

October 24, 2006

Joe Maguire, the former Reuters markets editor and author of Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter, is still wondering what he did to force the international business news wire service to let him go when the book was published, according to a Q&A in Gelf Magazine.

Joe MaguireHere are some excerpts:

GM: Did the book turn out differently than the way you’d explained it to your editors?
JM: No—in my mind, it didn’t. It is a piece of journalism. Again, for lack of a better term, it’s wise-assed in some places, and certainly doesn’t suffer Ann’s foolishness gladly, but that doesn’t disqualify it as journalism.

GM: Were you surprised by their reaction?
JM: Of course I was. I loved my job, and it was completely unrelated to politics. The fact is, Reuters doesn’t really write often about Ann Coulter, and I struggle to understand how my opinions, such as they are, about Ann Coulter, would affect my driving the coverage of the global bond market or global currency markets.

GM: The New York Times reported that about 20 Reuters employees took an unscheduled group coffee break from the busy newsroom to show solidarity with you. How did that make you feel?
JM: It’s nice to have friends. I wish the compulsion from them to do it wasn’t there. Again, I enjoyed my job and the last thing I want is for anyone to get in trouble on my account.

GM: Do you plan to pursue a job in business journalism again?
JM: Oh, sure. Actually, I was supposed to talk to a guy today about doing some freelance stuff. I don’t have any outright job offers, but I haven’t even updated my resume yet. I think I’m kind of cut out to cover the financial markets. The markets open and close everyday so the day is finite, which I kind of like.

Read more here. I don’t plan on the book, and yet I find it amusing that Reuters fired him because they didn’t want to be associated with this book, and yet by firing Maguire the news organization will always be associated with this book.

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