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5/10/2005
07:03 PM
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Saying "I Quit" Would Have Sufficed . . .

Earlier today, Sys-Con Media pulled Maureen O'Gara's now-infamous "investigation" of Groklaw founder Pamela Jones. Like almost everyone else who watched this debacle unfold, I'm left wondering why O'Gara put her name on one of the ugliest hit pieces most of us have ever seen in an IT publication.

Earlier today, Sys-Con Media pulled Maureen O'Gara's now-infamous "investigation" of Groklaw founder Pamela Jones. Like almost everyone else who watched this debacle unfold, I'm left wondering why O'Gara put her name on one of the ugliest hit pieces most of us have ever seen in an IT publication.

Sys-Con Media publishes a number of IT trade titles, including the Linux Business News--the site where O'Gara's article appeared, at least until a few hours ago. Sys-Con also publishes LinuxWorld, a well-known print and online title whose editors have apparently wanted O'Gara gone for the better part of a year.

LinuxWorld senior editor James Turner went a step further; last Monday, he vowed that if O'Gara didn't go, he would. Today, Turner reported in his blog that he wouldn't have to walk the plank: In addition to pulling O'Gara's account of her PJ stalk-a-thon (which is probably still available in Google's cache, if you still want to see just how ugly this got), Turner wrote that Sys-Con was pulling everything else that appears under O'Gara's byline on its sites.

A journalist never enjoys watching a colleague get frog-marched out the back door like this. Yet I enjoy watching a journalist publish a subject's home phone number even less, especially when the only conceivable purpose of doing so is to invite every kook with phone privileges to reach out and touch a certain someone.

The fact is, O'Gara wasn't fired. She quit, and this hatchet job was her resignation letter.

Matt McKenzie is editor of Linux Pipeline. A permanent link to this article is available here.

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