The feud between Maureen O'Gara of Linux Business Week (left) and Pamela Jones of Groklaw has ended with O'Gara's professional destruction.
Days after SCO CEO Darl McBride claimed "Jones is not who she claims she is," O'Gara weighed in with a long, highly-researched piece filled with intimate personal details of Jones' life. It did not, however, substantiate McBride's charge. Pamela Jones is precisely who she claims to be, a paralegal turned journalist, a meticulous researcher, and an ethical human being. (No link to the story -- the reason will soon become clear.)
Jones responded with a Groklaw post accusing O'Gara of stalking her and trying to intimidate her into silence. Jones' supporters in the open source community responded to that with a letter-writing campaign and, one editor claimed, a denial-of-service attack against the company that posted O'Gara's work, Sys-Con Media.
Sys-Con then responded with what might be called a Blankenhorn manuever. Senior editor James Turner (right) described it on his blog:
First off, you all should know that the entire Sys-Con set of sites has been under multiple Denial of Service Attacks since the beginning of the week, basically making the place unusuable. So if the editorial staff (and especially Sys-Con management) seems a little distracted, there's a good reason.
There's been a bit more clarification on exactly what the future will look like here. From this day forward, there will be no more new material published by Maureen O'Gara. All links from the LinuxWorld site to Maureen O'Gara's work have been eliminated. All of Maureen's SCO coverage has been removed (in fact, except to the degree that we as the editorial staff choose to cover it, all SCO coverage period has been removed.)
So you'll continue to see the MoG byline showing up, especially on Linux Business Week, for a while. It will slowly dillute out as no new material is added, until it disappears entirely. This should make those of you who objected to her deletion en masse happy.
As far as apologies go, there's only so much that can be done from this end. The editorial staff of the magazine is certainly sorry that it happened, but we're not sorry for any action on our part. Other parties (most notably Ms O'Gara, who has a lot of 'splaining to do) must search their own souls and make their own decisions in this matter. I would say this though: actions speak louder than words.
Not only did they sever ties with O'Gara, they tried to erase all her stories. (That doesn't work kids. Take my word for it.)
It's a sad end to a sad story. It was nearly inevitable that, with the emotions and personal invective that surrounded SCO vs. IBM (which was, at the end of the day, a lawsuit and a business story) someone would go too far. Frankly my money was not on O'Gara.
But let me add this. My address and phone number are public. They're easily accessible. Always have been. Maybe that should not be the case, because there are crazy people out there, but I figure as a journalist I should live with as much transparency as I can.
I respect Pamela Jones' privacy in this matter. I understand she steps on lots of toes, deals with some fanatics, and prefers relative anonymity. Maybe, in her shoes, I would do the same.
But I haven't yet, and hope I never have to.
This is just business, folks.