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silencing the critic?

The whole Gregg Easterbrook mess has met with ugly results. Roger Simon, who talked with Easterbrook on the phone (and was one of his harshest critics over this whole thing) reports that Gregg has been fired from ESPN. Even more disturbing is what Glenn Reynolds reports: That all of Easterbrooks columns have been removed from the ESPN site.

Before I even read the post over at Instapundit, my reaction was that the firing had more to do with his bad-mouthing Kill Bill, a Disney film, than his wrongheaded statements about Jews and the film industry. Jonah Goldberg concurs.

If ESPN fired him for his remarks about Jews, I would say that - even though I was as outraged as Meryl and Roger - one has to wonder what this means in the long run for writers who are employed by more than one media outlet.

Do you have to adhere to the standards of Employer A even while you are writing for Employer B, who may not feel so bad about Jew-baiting? Do you have to be careful who owns Employer C while you are writing for Employer D so as not to offend anyone at workplace C?

This would severely limit the freedom that a freelancer who also has a steady column has to write what is on their mind.

Again, I do not agree with Easterbrook's Jewish executives to worship money above all else comment - I find it highly offensive - but this whole thing reeks like hell.

As far as his review of Kill Bill goes, I'll tackle that and my still incoming email on the subject of glorified violence another day.

Write to ESPN and tell them how wrong they are.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference silencing the critic?:

» Speaking of axes, off with his head from Amish Tech Support
According to Roger, Meryl, Michele, and Charles, Gregg Easterbrook was axed by ESPN. Why? It's simple. In his apology on his blog, he called Eisner a supervisor. Eisner is not a supervisor. He is a micromanager, though and through. If... [Read More]


It's only a stone's throw from firing rush limbaugh to firing Gregg Easterbrook.

Easterbrook broke Disney Rule Number One: NEVER OPENLY INSULT EISNER.

What was the insult? He called Eisner a mere supervisor.

Michael Eisner is a hands-on, meddling micromanager when it comes to any project that the public sees. Frank Wells knew this and kept Eisner on a leash, but all it took was one helicopter crash to change that forever.

I know this from personal experience on the Debra Duncan Show in Houston. (Debra was meant to eventually Oprah on a dime of a budget in a non-union setting, but the national/local schizo personality of the show and a staff of FBACWWS producers crippled it.)

If justice is swift, then injustice is even more swift. Eisner wiped out Easterbrook.

Rightly so, too.

For what it's worth, I saw "Kill Bill" today. A fantastic movie, although I doubt it'll have much mass appeal. It's certainly something any fan of Chinese and Japanese action flicks (especially those of the 60s, 70s, and 80s) should see, though.

I was pleased to see that Tarantino's a good action director. He's never really done an action film before, after all -- I had my doubts.

Many good points, Michelle, but on one I would beg to differ. Those who think Eisner reacted (assuming he did) because Easterbrook gave Kill Bill a bad review have no idea of movie business reality. A review of that nature would have less than nothing to do with the success of Kill Bill (or any other movie for that matter). Eisner never would have read it at all to begin with (there are many thousands of reviews for a movie like Kill Bill, which was already a hit anyway) had it not been for what Easterbrook said about HIM. And with all respect, if someone called me a "greedy Jew" in public, I'd be mighty pissed.