Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Update on the Judith Regan Firing at HarperCollins

It appears, according to a New York Times article, that Judith Regan went all anti-semitic during a phone conversation with a Harper Collins lawyer and that is what got her obnoxious arse kicked out of the company.

In case you've already forgotten, Regan was the "brains" behind the OJ Simpson book, If I Did It, which has since been pulped at the direction of Rupert Murdoch. She also is responsible for popular and controversial books by Jenna Jameson (a porn star), Drew Barrymore, Kathy Lee Gifford (and that didn't get her fired?), Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern.

So, now you are up to speed.

From yesterday's New York Times:

The News Corporation released what it described as notes from a heated telephone conversation on Friday between Ms. Regan and Mark Jackson, a top lawyer for HarperCollins, the company publishing division which included her imprint, ReganBooks — a conversation that News Corporation officials said was instrumental in her dismissal.

According to the notes, taken down by Mr. Jackson as the conversation unfolded, Ms. Regan protested that the publishing house had not supported her during last month’s firestorm over a confessional book by O.J. Simpson and related television program, which the News Corporation canceled in the wake of public protests and unease by some affiliate television stations.

“‘Of all people, the Jews should know about ganging up, finding common enemies and telling the big lie,’” Ms. Regan said, according to a transcript of Mr. Jackson’s notes provided by Gary Ginsberg, an executive vice president of the News Corporation.

According to the transcript, Ms. Regan went on to say that the literary agent Esther Newberg; HarperCollins’s executive editor, David Hirshey; HarperCollins’s president, Jane Friedman, and Mr. Jackson “constitute a Jewish cabal against her.”

A lawyer for Ms. Regan, Bert Fields, denied that Ms. Regan had said there was a “Jewish cabal against her,” saying she used only the word “cabal” in the conversation, and it came in response to a question from Mr. Jackson. But he acknowledged that she had made some version of the first statement, drawing attention to the fact that her boss and others involved in the controversy over the aborted O.J. Simpson project were Jewish.

Later on Friday, after this conversation, Regan was fired.

Some have speculated that her next book, a fictionalized biography of Mickey Mantle by Peter Golenbeck, which has already raised a lot of criticism, might have also contributed.

But what I'm wondering is this: Has there been some kind a serious increase in the number of racial incidents of late (Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and now Judith Regan all in a few months), or are we just getting word on things we might not have known about before because it gets posted on the web almost immediately?

Any thoughts?


lxr23g56 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lxr23g56 said...

My feeling is that it’s hard to get a handle on all of this when it’s in snippets on the internet. I do believe that anti-Semitism may well be on the rise but I am not sure this is a solid example of it. My own concern is that term (anti-Semitism) is getting thrown around too much and that places it at risk of becoming watered down and less meaningful a term.

This fall while I was in LA, my girlfriends Rabbi had his tires slashed twice in 24 hours or so and his house was egged. Also around the same time a friend in Denver had his Shul spray painted with swastikas. Those to my eyes are clearly acts of hatred but I think as a Jew one of my biggest fears is being labeled the boy who cried wolf, know what I mean?

PS here is a snip-it from another Jews take on it

Can the Year of Anti-Semitism please end already?

"Look, I’ve never been a beleagered Judith Regan, or a drunk Mel Gibson. I’ve got no idea what it’s like to be a celebrity millionaire hot head in the midst of getting fired. Who the hell knows what she said? What I want to know is why I should care? Here’s what I do know: a shitstorm of media about whether or not this editor yelled anti-Semitic comments at a lawyer isn’t good for anyone, let alone the Jews. I thought we were past the era of PC policing. If Judith Regan is an anti-Semite, good riddance. Let her fester in her own unemploment and misery. Can’t we talk about something else in the newspapers?"

It can be read in full here.


william harryman said...

Thanks for the link.

Just curious if you have any thoughts on why anti-semitism might be on the rise. I see it and hear it around town -- but then Tucson is a redneck hick town pretending to be a modern city. There is actually a pretty large Jewish community here, but their Temples and community center are in the more affluent part of town where crime is lower.

Still, it seems that there is so much more hatred of Jews of late than I can remember -- if you have any thoughts on why I'd like to hear them. Thanks.