What in the world are the editors of the New York Times thinking these days? At the risk of sounding like an old geezer, how does Facebook’s decision to yank “Scrabulous” from its site merit prominent such front-page coverage in today’s business section? The gang at Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal must be licking their chops, believing the Old Grey Lady has abandoned the business beat.
Scrabulous, an online knock-off of “Scrabble,” is the brainchild of two brothers in Calcutta. Hasbro, owner of North American rights to the board game, is rightfully upset about the apparent online theft of its property. That anger is reinforced by the fact that Electronic Arts has written an online Scrabble program for Hasbro. The toymaker sued the Indians for copyright infringement, a legal move that encouraged Facebook to pull Scrabulous.
The Times wrote of “howls of protests” from bloggers and twenty-something cubicle-dwellers who like to wile away the day playing Scrabulous. With all due respect, who cares? There is a “Down with Hasbro” movement, which has people trashing the company as “short-sighted,” “technologically in the dark” and “despicable.” The Times notes a “Boycott Hasbro” push as if fans of Scrabulous are in the market for Mr. Potato Head, My Littlest Pet Shop and Play-Doh items.
In the grand scheme of things, isn’t US Steel a story that merits front-page play? USS has much more impact on America’s economy than a bunch of whiners crying about EA’s Scrabble being inferior to Scrabulous. They should get a life.
Playing up a non-business story like Scrabulous is a prime example of the dumbing down of the tragically-hip NYT. And aren't those cubicle-dwellers supposed to be doing some work.