31 Mar 2006

Borders Boss Tells Off Bloggers

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His CEO/Chairman of the Board/President/Director-ship

Borders has come in for just a little criticism in the Blogosphere.

And today Mr. Gregory P. Josefowicz, CEO/Chairman of the Board/President/Director, Borders Books responded:

to Charles Johnson, Director, Pajamas Media, CEO Little Green Foosballs, Rock ‘N’ Roller in the Free World, Stealth Cyclist.”

Dear Mr. Johnson (or may I call you “Charles”?),

How witty! how populist! actually kidding around, while artfully pointing out that Charles Johnson (and those other critical bloggers) are, after all, harumph! not “CEO/Chairman of the Board/President/Director” of anything in particular. Who are they to tell me? and so on, and so forth, etc…. Did any of them make $1,205,897 in 2005 (with a tidy $7,300,188 in options)?

It clearly takes the big brains to sell those books and lattes, and set those corporate policies. But, personally, I wouldn’t be particularly surprised to find big chain book outlets getting completely replaced by on-line shopping and mail delivery over the next few years, in exactly the same way that movie theatres are having their lunch eaten more and more already by satellite and cable delivery and DVD rental. I also wouldn’t be particularly surprised, a few years down the road, to find Charles Johnson, Director of Pajamas Media making more than you ever did, Herr CEO/Chairman of the Board/President/Director, old boy.

Some might consider CCPD Josefowicz’s rejoinder alarmist:

The last time I read the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States it seemed pretty clear that the government of these states is ordained and established to “Provide for the common defense,” not Borders Books…

I run a bookstore. A book store. I run a big bookstore. I’ve got 34,000 people, real people, working for me every day in lots of places around the US and in other countries too. Those people owe Borders, every day, one good day’s work. Borders owes the people who work for it a safe day’s work. I’ve got stockholders too, but let’s leave them aside for now, because as much as you may think so, this is not about money. (And yes I caught that business about the fact that we’re trying to open stores in Arab and Muslim countries, but as you may have noticed every country these days contains an Arab and Muslim country.)..

Now you and the other bloggers who are sitting around safe in your undisclosed locations may feel that I have a duty to carry the 46 copies of Free Inquiry magazine with those drawings of the Prophet (Peace be upon his raggedy ass.) in the name of being the last, best bastion of Free Speech in America. I feel your pain, but after due consideration I must respectfully instruct you all to just pound sand.

Who do you think we are up here in Ann Arbor, the 82nd Airborne?..

Having read this self-congratulatory poltroonery, I’d normally be commenting that Mohammed-in-Hell (hit the Danish cartoon link button in my right column) will be shovelling snow the next time I buy a book in Borders, but I might get swatted the way a fellow blogger did:

Bidinotto‘s not buying anymore. Door. Ass. Bang.

Yeah, Borders under Josefowicz is a class act.

2 Feedbacks on "Borders Boss Tells Off Bloggers"

Scott Lahti

The mocking “open letter” to bloggers by the CEO of Borders Books and Music, Greg Josefowicz, was an April Fool’s Day spoof on the part of American Digest, and its writer Gerard van der Leun. Bloggers and commenters taking it as real have recanted.


Little Green Footballs (“In today’s faux New York Times…Pssst … it’s the first of April …”)

The real-looking “AP” version printed in “The New York Times”: note the URL (“nytimesfaux.com”) – and the page’s mock User-ID greeting near upper right: “Welcome P Krugman”, after the paper’s much-loathed-and-liked columnist Paul Krugman. Also, the links to “Top Articles” near the bottom are all from 2004…


Thanks. I’ll try to verify this, and will get back to you.


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