People or Policy?

Margaret Wente has a funny article about corporate politics at The Toronto Star. She sees it as a showdown between two alpha males.

She has a tendency, however, to see things in gender-specific terms which causes her to confuse the importance of personal and policy differences even when she makes it clear that the latter was the key problem.

It's always easy to find John [Honderich] in a crowd. He's the supernaturally tall one with the bow tie and the six-foot grin. Whenever you say "How are you?" he says, "Terrific! Never better!" Even when he's not.

The only person who is more professionally upbeat than Mr. Honderich is Mr. Prichard, the man who fired him... It's always easy to find him in a room, too, because he's working it. His schmoozing skills make Bill Clinton look like an amateur.

A large part of the Star's mission, as Mr. Honderich saw it, was to afflict the comfortable. Much of Mr. Prichard's past success came from cultivating them. At U of T, he charmed millions in endowments from the pockets of the wealthy.

[Prichard] took to taking walks through the newsroom with people like Tony Clement and Gerry Schwartz in an effort to build bridges....this tactic generally makes reporters even more eager to burn them.

Mr. Honderich was no universal favourite either. "He's not a person you want to cross,"...Smug and arrogant are other, common adjectives.

"How they must detest each other.", says Wente. But, really, that doesn't seem to be the issue.

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