Category Archives: Ken Auletta

The Luncheon Society/The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta on the Murdoch Phone Hacking Scandal/Manhattan—Danal/July 14, 2011

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Ken Auletta, who writes the influential “Annals of Communications” column for The New Yorker, joined  The Luncheon Society in Manhattan for a return visit. 

Last year he talked about Googled, his New York Times best-seller how Sergey Brin’s and Larry Page’s endeavor redefined the mantle of leadership within Silicon Valley, especially now that Facebook has emerged as its greatest challenger. 

This year he talked about Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal that is mushrooming mushroomed over London.  Executive after executive within Murdoch’s empire have walked the plank.  The most painful departure was Rebekah Brooks the editor of News of the World, his signature London tabloid. Added to the list were Tom Crone, who ran legal affairs for the far flung empire, and Les Hinton, who ran Dow Jones. The question remained: would the scandal move from one side of the Atlantic to another?

Note: Special thanks to our friend Shari Foos, who hosted the Luncheon Society gathering in Manhattan.

Humble Start. The first chapter of the phone hacking scandal bubbled into public view mid-decade when members of the Royal Family discovered that their voicemails had been pilfered, which was a violation of British law. The subsequent investigation soon circled the offices of The News of the World. Within months, their Royal Editor and an investigator pled guilty to the charges and were shuttled off for short jail sentences. Mistakes were acknowledged, apologies were made, and promises were made that nothing like this would ever happen again. Continue reading

The Luncheon Society/First Half 2010 recap/What’s coming up in the Second Half

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I thought I would quickly touch base now that we have completed the first half of 2010. Thus far  there have been 19 gatherings San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Manhattan.  We look for an equal number in the second half and should round out the year at 38-40.

Reminder.  To remind everybody, the SF and the LA Luncheon Society gatherings for Christopher Hitchens have been postponed and will be rescheduled later in 2010.

The Luncheon Society website.  For those who are unable to join us around the table,  you can subscribe to have The Luncheon Society summaries sent via email.  Click on the links below to learn more about the luncheons. Continue reading

The Luncheon Society/ The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta on Google and the Media/Manhattan-The Century Club/June 3, 2010

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In 1998, Ken Auletta sat down with Bill Gates for a extended New Yorker interview while Microsoft was on trial for allegedly violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.  At issue was a question as simple as it was complex: had Microsoft abused its de facto monopoly within the PC operating system market?

During the interview, Auletta asked Gates “what scared him, what kept him up late at night?” The answer surprised Auletta because it ripped away the veneer of paranoia that pervaded every corner of high tech. As Gates grabbed a Diet Coke for himself (and neglected to offer one to Auletta) he was worried about innovations he could not see.

 

Gates believed Microsoft could handle Apple, Netscape, or Yahoo; it could acquire what it could not crush. However, Gates worried that somewhere, some place there were a couple of young kids in a garage inventing something that would render Microsoft obsolete. Continue reading