Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Conflicts of Interest

IT APPEARS that PEN American Center buys its immunity from criticism through its wining and dining of leading editors and journalists like David Remnick, Henry Finder, Adam Gopnik, Margo Jefferson, Patricia Cohen, and others. I hope these people can see the extent to which they're compromised right now.
If anonymous poster "Harland" is indeed Rick Moody, as now seems likely, then this throws light on the behavior of PEN staffers like David Haglund, given Moody's documented influence in the organization. PEN's impetus to shut down the whistleblower or dissenter then becomes comprehensible. Their behavior runs counter to PEN's mission-- but is the natural result of PEN's embrace of money and power.

FURTHER, if Rick Moody has engaged in anonymous attacks, then this adds to the record of dirty tricks carried out by his friends Dave Eggers and Daniel Handler against the ULA and myself, as has been well-documented. We have the outlines of a covert campaign to destroy a competitor. Such behavior is unethical, if not illegal.
As for PEN's David Haglund-- given that he's been published by The Believer, and given that he represents a regulated tax-exempt charity with obligations to the public, he needs to demonstrate SOME fairness and cease stonewalling the Petition to PEN's, and this blog's, legitimate questions.

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