Judith Regan, the third rail of publishing, has been fired by HarperCollins, the Murdoch-owned division that ran ReganBooks. This seperation is ceratinly the consequence of her having shepherded one of the most despicable projects ever to be conceived in popular media: O. J. Simpson’s, “If I Did It.” Her termination notice was a two line memo from HC’s CEO Jane Friedman:
“Judith Regan’s employment with HarperCollins has been terminated effective immediately. The REGAN publishing program and staff will continue as part of the HarperCollins General Books Group.”
I won’t waste much sympathy on Regan, who has made a fortune releasing vile books by contemptable authors. And, no doubt she will land on her cloven hooves as the tabloid rags of the world bid for her depravity.
But I will register this one condolence for the injustice thrust upon her as she is made a scapegoat for the misdeeds of many others. The accumulated list of guilty parties ought to include HC’s Friedman, as well as the programming execs at Fox Entertainment, their corporate handlers at News Corp, and even Daddy Rupert himself. All of these players were giddily salivating at the prospect of the impure profits pouring in from this profane project. Yet none of them have been called to task for their participation.
News Corp thinks it can wash its hands of this matter by sacrificing Regan. Conveniently, they are not closing up shop at ReganBooks, so they will be able to continue dumping the same kind of garbage into the literary landfill for which Regan was noted. And the pollution of the intellectual environment will continue unabated.