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Maureen O'Gara No Longer Welcome at LinuxWorld 727

Posted by Zonk
from the following-up dept.
flood6 writes "On the heels of yesterday's article about unrest at LinuxWorld, editor James Turner is reporting in his blog that Sys-Con Media has decided to purge Maureen O'Gara from the print and online publications." From the post: "Sys-con Media listened to what I and my fellow editors, their advertisers and the readership was saying, and made the correct decision. Maureen O'Gara's bylined material will no longer appear anywhere in the Sys-con universe of sites or publications. We have received this commitment in writing from Fuat Kircaali, the publisher." PJ at Groklaw also has commentary on this development.
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Maureen O'Gara No Longer Welcome at LinuxWorld

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  • Hey (Score:3, Funny)

    by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:18PM (#12490012)
    That's sort of like kicking Michael the hell out of Slashdot.
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:20PM (#12490035) Homepage Journal
    It's not surprising, really, since MO'G's last article on Pamela Jones so clearly overstepped the bounds of decent, public interest journalist.

    Incidentally, was I the only person who felt that insinuating that PJ's religion was wacko was particularly ironic, given that Maureen's paymasters at SCO were based in Utah, home of the not-exactly-christian-orthodox Church of the Latter Day Saints.
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:28PM (#12490138)
      Which only makes it seem much more like SCO had a hand in this. Darl McBride's personal info is published on the web and he receives harrassment (and probably insults to his Mormon faith), so he decides "it's payback time!" Problem is, there is no Linux CEO so he decides to go after PJ and do the same thing to her... but of course, PJ isn't responsible for Darl's problems, and only a truly warped mind would deem this "revenge" appropriate.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:39PM (#12490299)
      These jokes about death are not funny.

      Remember, this is a case involving a self described gun nut who travels under assumed names [deseretnews.com]

      Bloomberg News
      Darl McBride, chief executive of SCO Group Inc., says he sometimes carries a gun because his enemies are out to kill him. He checks into hotels under assumed names.
      This same nut in a company conference call described hiring people to follow PJ.

      This is a case involving "suicides" [sltrib.com] of people who have disagreements with the SCO management team that even SCO supporters can't explain (DiDio calling it "shocking and mystifying" and even Enderle [harktheherald.com] saying "Why commit suicide right after the settlement when the people you wanted gone are gone? The timing doesn't seem right, given that things were presumably going her way as far as the lawsuit was concerned".

      Given the context, death isn't funny, even when talking about wicked witches like OGara.

      • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:04PM (#12490573) Homepage

        PJ has made that exact point on her latest GrowLaw post, explicitly stating that she does not believe in suicide and has been advised by law enforcement authorities to make that point publicly in advance.

        I doubt O'Gara has any intention of committing suicide - vicious fucktards rarely do.

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @03:16PM (#12491410) Homepage Journal
      "Incidentally, was I the only person who felt that insinuating that PJ's religion was wacko was particularly ironic, given that Maureen's paymasters at SCO were based in Utah, home of the not-exactly-christian-orthodox Church of the Latter Day Saints."

      Anyone else feel that this post is just as as bad? Welcome to the muck and the mire. You are now exactly what you claim to hate.

      Frankly if a member of the LDS church did okay such an insult it would be a violation of one of the Articles Of Faith. This one to be exact.

      11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may

      BTW a good number of Linux uses and developers are LDS. Novell is based in Utah after all. Not only that but BYU is very Linux friendly.
      Here is the a page on using the BYUTV.org streams with Linux. http://www.byutv.org/streaming/linux.asp [byutv.org]
      And here is a link to the BYU users group. http://uug.byu.edu/links.php [byu.edu]

  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:21PM (#12490046) Journal
    It only took them two years. I'm sure they kept her so long because of immense ad revenue generated by all the angry OSS supporters who felt the need to read every offensive article.
  • by RailGunner (554645) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:21PM (#12490052) Journal
    Nah Nah Nah Nah,
    Nah Nah Nah Nah,
    Hey Hey Hey
    GOODBYE!

    And please don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Homology (639438) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:22PM (#12490056)
    the advertisers that are paying hard cash are the only opinions that count :

    "Sys-con Media listened to what I and my fellow editors, their advertisers and the readership was saying, and made the correct decision..."
    [My emphasis]
    • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

      by snorklewacker (836663) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:37PM (#12490268)
      Stop patting yourself on the back, you'll sprain your arm. Boycotts are very rarely successful unless massively organized, and there simply wasn't that organization, nor even the likelihood of it. Advertisers read this magazine too, and they're just as appalled at this sort of sewage as any reader, and simply don't want their product associated with such inflammatory material. Imagine the advertisers running ads on the same page or opposite page of MOG's articles -- they must have been livid.
      • Re:Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

        by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro@gma i l .com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:15PM (#12490685) Journal
        I personaly wrote a few of the advertisers , i have no doubt it probably did very little to aid the cause , Considering how fast this hapend.
        All i hoped for was to bring it to the light of the advertisers if anything .

        Everyone who did anything to help should be proud they took a stand ,So long as they realise they they themselves were never the sole hero .
        It was most likely a combination of things , The editors threatening a walk out , outrageous bad press on slashdot and other sites, the fact the articals were pretty much actionable and so on.

        It may be a bit cheesy but there is still alot of truth the "Every vote counts " meme . If more people belived in it then it is one of those things that does grow in strentgh when you belive as you yourself get off your chair and do something about it .

        I totaly agree with you it was most likely the Horrible PR and the advertisers noticing , but i disagree with your sentiment that people shouldnt congratualte themselves for aiding things here .Every single person who posted a comment on this , everyone who wrote a letter , everyone who did anything to try and get this woman fired for her actions helped. You all should feel proud.

        Perhaps im just a soppy left wing liberal with a bit too strong a belife in the power of the people . Who knows though

      • Re:Of course (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FyRE666 (263011) *
        Excuse me, just how do YOU know how many people complained to the advertisers? I personally complained to Google (politely), and received a response that they were in fact investigating the matter. This would suggest that I wasn't alone... ...It also makes me a bigger fan of Google ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:22PM (#12490060)
    Warning: mysql_connect(): User groklaw has already more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /public/vhost/g/groklaw/system/databases/mysql.cla ss.php on line 108 Cannnot connect to DB serve

    ...but I don't understand that sort of complicated legalese.

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:22PM (#12490063)

    Why did a magazine called LinuxWorld continue to print garbage by someone who is so obviously anti-Linux?

    • by Homology (639438) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:29PM (#12490147)
      Why did a magazine called LinuxWorld continue to print garbage by someone who is so obviously anti-Linux?

      Advertisers are a very important source of revenue, and for some the most important one. Have a look at Slashdot stories and keep the phrase "advertisers pay money" in your mind at the same time. Hmh, the average Slashdotter should edit /etc/login.conf and increase maxproc-max from 1 to 2 while doing this. They would need to relogin after this change, though.

      • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:06PM (#12490593) Homepage
        I've read a few of these "advertisers are what matters" comments now, and while you're correct to an extent, I think you're looking at this a bit too cynically. Advertisers are quite often the only source of revenue for magazines, particularly trade magazines. But don't kid yourself. Nobody thinks they can print 72 pages of ads and get away with it.

        One way that trade magazines stay afloat is that they offer advertisers the value proposition of having a carefully targeted readership. If you're selling consulting services around MySQL and you advertise in LinuxWorld, you can safely assume that you're reaching an audience with a much higher likelihood of being receptive to your message than if you were advertising in the Daily Mirror. That's not just an assumption advertisers make -- it's a fact that's aggressively promoted by the sales force of any trade magazine.

        If your magazine is losing readers, however, or even perceived as losing readers, rest assured that the advertisers will realize it even before your CEO does. This kind of bad publicity isn't worth it for any magazine, even if some evil corporate brain behind LinuxWorld had a secret agenda to destroy Linux. You can't push a secret agenda if you go out of business, and it sounds like the salespeople at Sys-Con wisely saw that this was the way this was heading if the bad press lasted much longer or got much more inflated.
        • by Homology (639438)
          Advertising (deceit is probably a better term) and the advertisers influence media to such a degree that to talk about "objective journalism" is ludicrus. Entire articles and "themes" are made just so they can attract advertisers as such. "Objectivity" and "informative" is not part of this.

          Start looking at ownership of media and what "journalists" write negatively about. What do you find? Objective, critical and informative journalism? Hardly.

  • by sum.zero (807087) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:23PM (#12490066)
    by sys-con imho. they have repeatedly shown themselves to be anti-linux and they are only doing this because of the pressure [and potential legal issues].

    they are most certainly not acting because it was the right thing to do.

    sum.zero
  • by rjelks (635588) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:23PM (#12490076) Homepage
    ...before their server melts.

    Sys-Con has decided to listen to its editors, who took a very courageous stand, its readers and advertisers and will no longer publish any of Maureen O'Gara's writings. Here is the story, from James Turner, Senior Editor of LinuxWorld, who, together with Dee-Ann LeBlanc, forced the issue by announcing Sys-Con would have to choose between them and O'Gara:

    The good news is, the right thing happened in the end. Sys-con Media listened to what I and my fellow editors, their advertisers and the readership was saying, and made the correct decision. Maureen O'Gara's bylined material will no longer appear anywhere in the Sys-con universe of sites or publications. We have received this commitment in writing from Fuat Kircaali, the publisher. Checking around the web sites this morning, I can see that her material is already almost entirely gone, I assume the remainder will dribble out over the next few days. Now we can return to producing a world-class web site and print magazine, with the kind of editorial control that we think is critical. You showed your support for our position, I hope you'll be equally kind to us with your readership.

    My faith in the human race is restored. I do thank all those who took such a stand, publicly and privately. It means so much to me to know that there is still a line, an ethical line, and some things that we agree we ought never to do to a fellow human. Sometimes, covering the SCO saga, you can start to wonder what has happened to the human race. SCO's fundamental problem is, they never see that line until they have crossed it. Then they wonder why they are failing as a company and in their litigation.

    By the way, we found out how many comments we can have before the software sinks, on the last story. It seems 1,181 is our natural limit, so please don't add any more comments to that story. We are holding on by our fingertips, while MathFox works his wonders. It's never happened before. Remember when we had to move away from Radio Userland because we were having too many comments for the software? Well, again we have so many comments the software is groaning. Here, we can make the necessary changes to be able to grow right where we stand. Your outpouring of support made a difference. I fell asleep with a smile on my face, believe it or not. I had no idea so many people cared so much about Groklaw and about me. I thank you all very much. I'll remember yesterday all the days of my life.
  • Summary not clear (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:23PM (#12490077) Homepage
    Ok, the summary didn't make it clear to those of us who don't RTFA. Who is she, why isn't she welcome and why do we care? Thanks.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:24PM (#12490086) Homepage Journal
    O'Hara, but still Gone With The Wind

    'n good riddance

  • On whores (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:25PM (#12490091) Homepage
    I hope for Ms. O'Garas sake that she's very well paid. Because as a journalist she's dead. And - in my opinion of course - her writings represent the equivalent of a crack whore in San Franciscos Tenderloin district offering a blowjob for $7.95 (incl. sales tax).

    What is reprehensible and really hard to stomach is that she stooped to such lows as attacking Ms. Jones privacy.

    Reminds me of the methods of a science fiction space opera nut cult.

    • by Frodo Crockett (861942) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:41PM (#12490316)
      her writings represent the equivalent of a crack whore in San Franciscos Tenderloin district offering a blowjob for $7.95 (incl. sales tax).

      Where in San Francisco is this Tenderloin district you speak of?

      • Bounded on four sides by Geary Street (top), Market Street and the Civic Center (bottom), Van Ness Avenue (left), and Powell Street (right).

        Currently called "Little Saigon" as most of the population is now Vietnamese.

        Actually, most of the hookers are found up around Larkin and Post just above the Tenderloin. Wander around there at two in the morning to see what I mean.

        And, yes, many of them are Asian transsexuals - and believe me, most of those you cannot tell the difference - especially in the dark.

        Ju
  • Is it enough? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:27PM (#12490122) Journal
    Shouldn't there be an official apology and counterstatement on the main pages of all SysCon sites which published the story? And how about personal apologies by Fuat Kircaali to PJ, maybe even some sort of compensation?
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummelNO@SPAMjohnhummel.net> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:29PM (#12490162) Homepage
    Ding, dong, the witch is dead
    Which old witch? The wicked witch!
    Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead!

  • Where will she go? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:30PM (#12490166) Homepage Journal

    It's not a question of if she'll show up again, but when. There's too much at stake for the other side to allow such a willing tool to go unused.

    My bet that she starts her own blog. That way she can have a platform to expound on her quirky worldview, without these pesky editor types watching over her shoulder.

    Or she may choose a new pseudo'nym and start writing about life in White Plains, Westchester [yahoo.com], and anyplace north of the East River and east of Long Island Sound. She seems really fascinated by that area. O'bsessed, you might say.

  • "Editor in chief"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by int2str (619733) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:36PM (#12490260)
    Hearing that Maureen will no longer publish her nonsense articles is certainly good news. But nowhere does it say she actually got sacked by sys-con.

    Without evidence of the contrary , I must however assume she is still "Editor in chief" of "Linux Business Week" and thus still getting paid by sys-con.

    The only thing which was made clear is that she could not publish articles authored by herself anymore.

    Cheers,
    Andre
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:40PM (#12490302) Journal
    Amazing what a loss of advertisers can do.

    But I still want to see her around. She and her kind have done more to help Linux than have hurt it. Everytime they FUD, they get called on it. MOG, Dido, Enderle, Dvorack, IDG, Gartner, etc. are losing their credibility.
  • by archeopterix (594938) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:43PM (#12490331) Journal
    Publishing opponents personal details? I find it unbelievable that someone would go this far and expect no consequences. Even if the sys-con failed to fire her, she could have expected to have her ass sued (PJ indeed took legal action if I'm not mistaken)

    Did someone pay MOG enough to compensate for losing what little credibility she had left? I don't believe that - not because this would be "too evil" but because it would be plain stupid.

    Phew. I'm seriously baffled.

  • Who is MOG? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:44PM (#12490342)
    MO'G, is supposedly a tech "journalist" who has been covering amongst many other subjects the SCO vs everybody story. Basically, the open source community dislikes her ( as I see it) because 1. She is obviously biased against Linux, and pro SCO. This is not an opinion, as much as fact. Simply by reading what she writes and seeing that no matter what the decision is in the court case, it is always a win for SCO, even the time the Judge in the case said that so far SCO has provided no evidence of their claims, MO'G painted it as a win for SCO because he had denied a motion they had put forth. 2. She has made rather vile accusations, and published personal information about Pamela Jones, the host of the website Growlaw (http://www.groklaw.net/ [groklaw.net]) who has been providing, what I consider to be a very detailed and comprehensive site tracking every bit of the SCO vs the Linux world cases. 3. She is a hack writer. If I claimed to be a journalist, I would at least try to make sure that what I was writing was close to being correct, but it seemed that even when she could have easily gotten the correct facts, she preferred to write her own version of what happened during court appearances, even though she wasn't there.

    The Growlaw site is at least truthful. Documents are retrieved, or linked from the court, volunteers go to the court sessions and write what actually occurred. MO'G wouldn't have attracted so much attention if she had at least been a little more intelligent about how she wrote her stories about the trial. I mean,lots of journalists are writing the story, and some are SCO positive, and they aren't attracting the same level of criticism that she is.

    Hopefully this helps a few of the people who were unsure of who MO'G is, and if you want more information, go to the Groklaw site.
  • by emtboy9 (99534) <jeff @ j e f flane.org> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:44PM (#12490346) Homepage
    SCO, MOG et al have been trying to destroy GrokLaw for some time now. And with one bit of good news, Slashdot does the dirty work for them...

    Warning: mysql_connect(): User groklaw has already more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /public/vhost/g/groklaw/system/databases/mysql.cla ss.php on line 108
    Cannnot connect to DB server
  • Editors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Talian (746379) * on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:48PM (#12490386)
    I know editor is a dirty word here on slashdot, but with a supposed profesionally publication where the hell were the editors?

    Don't most people expect writers to bring drafts and editors tweak before publishing? I mean did NO ONE on staff read this article before it went live? Did they just hand her a publish account and let her loose?

    She sounds like scum, but there's some serious procedure problems as well that allowed this kind of work to happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @01:56PM (#12490481)

    If I were P.J., I'd be filing charges on O'Gara right now. Her actions are likely sufficient to fall under 18 USC 875(c), the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act of 1996. She traveled across state lines in an effort to violate the privacy of an individual who has quite reasonable fear for her safety. O'Gara may also be liable under New York's anti-stalking laws as well [state.ny.us].

    At the very least, I'd be filing for a restraining order by now.

    Furthermore, Sys-Con was exceptionally negligent in ever allowing that sort of thing to be published. Not only is it a gross and blatant violation of journalistic ethics, but it's quite possibly opened them up to a devastating legal action.

    It's beyond disgusting that something like that would ever be published - most bloggers wouldn't dream of pulling crap like that, but to have a supposedly "professional" organization allow potentially libelous and obviously private information to be disseminated is absolutely unconscionable.

    • by najay (733875) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:36PM (#12490911) Homepage
      The Tin-foil hat perspective of this debacle is that MO'G is actually provoking PJ to sue. This will put PJ's personal info into public court records, which is exactly what MO'G (and SCOg) wants.

      The last few comments i read from PJ (before Groklaw got /.'d) indicated she realized this. She is playing her cards very carefully and intelligently.
    • by mla_anderson (578539) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @03:41PM (#12491694) Homepage

      If I were P.J., I'd be filing charges on O'Gara right now. Her actions are likely sufficient to fall under 18 USC 875(c), the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act of 1996. She traveled across state lines in an effort to violate the privacy of an individual who has quite reasonable fear for her safety. O'Gara may also be liable under New York's anti-stalking laws as well.

      At the very least, I'd be filing for a restraining order by now.

      From what I saw on Groklaw, PJ is actually considering filing charges: Without commenting on the latest O'Gara article's contents, because I am considering legal action and can't comment directly at this time,... (PJ, Intimidation - May 9, 2005).

      Furthermore, Sys-Con was exceptionally negligent in ever allowing that sort of thing to be published. Not only is it a gross and blatant violation of journalistic ethics, but it's quite possibly opened them up to a devastating legal action.

      Yes it is, but it's my understanding that MOG was not only the journalist but also the editor. This made it nearly identical to a personal blog, rather than real reporting. In other words, it was all her, and Sys-Con apparently didn't have review powers until the load of cr*p was already published. This means though that if Sys-Con is still keeping her on as editor in other publications they are playing with fire.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:08PM (#12490619)
    Like many people, I thought the last article crossed a line. It was purely a personal attack with no journalistic merit. However, I am uncomfortable with purging all of her articles. Some of them may have been biased, but removing all of them is censorship in my opinion. I woud think that expunging the offending article and banning her from submitting any new articles should be enough.

    Just my $0.02

  • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:27PM (#12490809)
    From the G2 website, and the "help wanted" link. It's obvious she isn't qualified, on the basis of intelligence, accuracy and wit.

    *****************
    Investigative Reporters
    Journalist with a nose for hard hitting weekly news. Fast paced. Tight deadlines.

    Perseverance. Intelligence. Accuracy. Wit. Reporting on the computer industry.

    Real news; business issues.

    Salary, benefits, retirement.

    Call now.
    G2 News. 888-809-6397.

    Or FAX resume to: 516-759-7028

    If you want the thrill and job satisfaction that investigative reporting gives, call now.

    Published weekly, our newsletters are anxiously read by the movers and shakers in the computer industry - worldwide. We do real reporting, not "puff pieces".

    Since 1989, we have covered the business aspects of the computer age. Quoted in the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal and the boardrooms of the worlds leading computer companies, we cover the industry from Redmond, Washington to Wall Street; from Tokyo to London; from mainframes to PC's.

    Get job fulfillment that only real old fashioned reporting can bring .

    *********************
    Ah, yes, the thrill of the old-fashioned "yellow press" of the Hearst newspapers, where no muck was too deep to rake and no fact important enough to check.
  • by wonkavader (605434) on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:33PM (#12490882)
    I just now read that article she wrote. I think it's the first thing by her I've ever read. Someone copied it into a comment on slashdot.

    She really reminds me of the gossip columnists in a Howard Hawks comedy of the 30's or 40's. It's weird how she takes you back.

    Those were fun films, but I had assumed the somewhat stock characters were a parodies. I guess there ARE people who talk/write like that.

    But I'd expect her to write for a paper called _The Tattler_.
  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by njfuzzy (734116) <ian@[ ]-x.com ['ian' in gap]> on Tuesday May 10, 2005 @02:54PM (#12491165) Homepage
    Here's the meat:
    Maureen O'Gara's bylined material will no longer appear anywhere in the Sys-con universe of sites or publications.

    That's a pretty damn narrow promise. It says they will never put her name on another article again. Why not just say they will never publish an article by her again? Because they want to continue publishing her under other names, and allow her to stay on as an editor.

    I have to admit, I came into this knowing nothing, and still know nothing... but come on, that line alone is sophistry at its most transparent. Plenty of words, promising nothing of substance.

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