Jew vs. Jew in a Wounded Publishing Industry


In case you were under the impression that Judith Regan was fired because of the mortifying controversy over her plans for a HarperCollins book and Fox TV interview featuring a sorta kinda murder confession by O.J. Simpson, executives at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns both the publishing house and the network, want it to be known that she actually was sacked because of anti-Semitic remarks she made while arguing with a Jewish HarperCollins lawyer about the now-abandoned Simpson project. "Of all people, the Jews should know about ganging up, finding common enemies, and telling the big lie," she supposedly told the lawyer, Mark Jackson, before alleging that he had joined the literary agent Esther Newberg, HarperCollins Executive Editor David Hirshey, and HarperCollins President Jane Friedman in "a Jewish cabal" that was plotting against her. Through her own hired Jew, the lawyer Bert Fields, Regan admits saying pretty much what Jackson says she said but denies using the modifier Jewish before cabal. Even if she had said "Jewish cabal," avers Fields, "that is not an anti-Semitic remark. Had she said it, I wouldn't be offended, as a Jew."

Maybe Fields is especially thick-skinned (for a Jew). The alleged remark seems at least a little anti-Semitic to me. Unless Regan was joking (which she is not claiming), why bring up the religion/ethnicity of those supposedly plotting against her? If she had called four African-American publishing figures a "black gang" lying in wait to mug her, an inference of racism would be reasonable, I think. 

But you see what the charge of anti-Semitism has accomplished? Already I've forgotten that Rupert Murdoch thought the Simpson deal was a dandy idea until it blew up in his face.