Thursday, June 05, 2008


Keith Olbermann tonight voted Rupert Murdoch as The Worst Person In The World.....for firing Jane Freedman as chief of HarperCollins.....

This seems really obscure....but it hits close to home here in Cachagua.

Supposedly Jane had got on Rupert's bad side by shit-canning the OJ book...."If I Did It". You may remember that Judith Regan was fired by Harper for the egregiously uncool notion of giving OJ Simpson money for writing a book about how he murdered his wife and her favorite waiter......and for promoting a book about what an asshole Mickey Mantle New York City. A no-brainer for the rest of the world.....but apparently a problem for Rupert.

Judith Regan then accused Harper of being anti-Semitic.....and blah blah blah.

Jane Freedman is not a Catholic.......and Rupert Murdoch has probably never been inside a synagogue.....but nevermind.

Jane hired my brother Rob as Editor-in-Chief of HarperCollins. Rob had started off in her mail room, but was a real writer himself. Rob brought her actual Anne Patchett, like Russell Banks, like Denis Johnson.....writers that actually wrote....and required inter-play with actual editors who would refine, support and inspire them to further heights.

If you are a literary fan.....stop by sometime and I will play for you Rob's memorial service where Anne, Denis, Russell, Oscar Hijuelos, Armistead Maupin, John Colapinto, Sebastian Junger and Anthony Bourdain all spoke about art and inspiration.....

The wake was at the University Club on Fifth Avenue.....the after-party was at Jane's penthouse on the Upper East Side. The food was OK....we still use the risotto cakes idea I stole from that night....but ours is better.

Jane's apartment really impressed me, though. Not because of the address.....not because of the penthouse.

Jane was the CEO of HarperCollins....a multinational corporate entity. Owned by Germans. One would expect a hard-edged, corporate type, bloodless apartment.


The walls were covered with bookcases. In every room.

And.....the bookcases were deep....Eighteen inches for sure.

All of them were stacked two deep. There were the visible books, and then the books stacked behind the visible books. The idea had never occurred to me. I was stacking my extra books and pretending they were end-tables. Jane should have a show on HGTV...Book Design........

Jane had an entire 3,000 sq ft penthouse with every wall stacked to the ceiling with great books....most of them signed......TWO DEEP! Who else do you want running your book business?

Jane Freedman is the quintessential book oriented executive. She took risks, and nurtured authors and editors that have informed our world in ways that we have not yet figured out.

No one needed more evidence to know that Rupert Murdoch is a complete fucking scumbag.....but firing Jane Freedman is a tragedy, a travesty.....and a huge loss for our culture, and sadly.......the net intelligence of our species.

The death of a thousand cuts.......

Thanks, really are The Worst Person In The World.


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