By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A weird omission

Tom Friedman today responds (sub. req.) to General Motors’ criticism of an earlier column. He writes:

After the May 31 column appeared, G.M.’s vice president for global communications, Steven J. Harris, and his colleagues denounced my argument in a formal statement and on G.M.’s corporate blog. This is an important issue, so let me respond to their response.

Yet nowhere does Friedman reveal that GM tried to place a letter in the Times and was told to forget it unless said letter was toned down. (Nor, for that matter, does the online version of his column link to the GM blog.)

This has been a matter of some notoriety on the Web. For Friedman not to acknowledge it (or was it an editor?) is not only wrong — it’s just plain weird.

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  1. John Galt

    Tom F. has juggled razors ever since the global focus moved on to his turf. He pushed cases of books and no doubt plans to further enhance his coffers. Stepping from the land of the ooze of the rotten dead into Detroit puzzles, even those who may agree with his premise.

  2. MeTheSheeple

    He may have been coming from the angle that he has no (presumed) control over letters to the editor, the letter was never published elsewhere, and the blog is thus the only record.All that said, it’s odd that it wasn’t at least mentioned.

  3. Tom Tom

    On line from Home Depot elbowing toward the vanities. Word may have not filtered down to my local.

  4. another face at zanzibar

    Overall, I suppose I feel about Friedman the same way I feel about Aaron Brown–despite my misgivings, I kind of like him (or at least feel obliged to read him when I can). But he has some horrible habits: He makes hopelessly simplistic generalizations about technology. There are some real whoppers in that area that I won’t go into.And he is possibly the biggest name dropper since Dick Cavett. In “The World is Flat”–a book I read last year and like less as time goes by–everyone he talks to is “my friend” or words to that effect.So, yeah, other than that, he’s great.

  5. Anonymous

    What Tom did reeks of old-media arrogance; also, he was another simple-minded bush toady on the war. i imagine he feels he should be secretary of state.

  6. Harry

    Correct, indeed, anon. At root it is pur est media arrogance, so also is the Times’ email response to GM that the word ‘rubbish’ is “not the tone we use in letters”.The Times’ tone reminded me of Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine.

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