Att’n: The Crown Publishing Group
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, NY 10019
March 7, 2014
Dear Crown Business Press,
Your company recently published a book called “Remote” by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. On at least one occasion, Hansson took the opportunity to publicly defame me and threaten my career (interfering in my effort to conduct legitimate and purely lawful interstate commerce) in an opportunistic effort to promote his book.
Personally, I really like the idea of working remotely, but he completely misrepresented and defamed me, libelously, purely for egotistic and personal gain and portrayed me as someone who was opposed to remote working situations (which is totally untrue, although I do feel that working remotely can be inappropriate in some situations, of course). He also referred to me as a “mindless recruiter”, which I protest, because I have two degrees, one from Princeton University, and an IQ score of 195. I am also related to a Nobel Peace Prizewinner, Lord Byron, William Shakespeare, Sir Thomas Mallory, Sir Francis Drake, the Eyre family (of whom Charlotte Bronte wrote), and am a direct descendant of at least 12 of the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower.
I appreciate that Hansson is a creative individual, but I don’t believe that excuses him from making libelous statements on Twitter to 90,000 followers about me on the day his book came out. “Needless to say, Nicholas Meyler sucks at recruiting,” was his tweet, and it clearly is erroneous and defamatory. This was later picked up by The Fordyce Letter: http://www.fordyceletter.com/2013/11/01/memo-to-tech-recruiters-they-really-dont-like-you/ and The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/02/imagine-getting-30-job-offers-a-month-it-isnt-as-awesome-as-you-might-think/284114/
Both of these articles are extreme distortions of the truth and contain multiple deliberate errors and unprofessional journalism. They constitute glaring and easily proveable examples of Journalistic Fraud. According to Wikipedia: "Journalistic scandals include: plagiarism, fabrication, and omission of information; activities that violate the law, or violate ethical rules; the altering or staging of an event being documented; or making substantial reporting or researching errors with the results leading to libelous or defamatory statements." Both of these articles, which were clearly inspired because of David Heinemeier Hansson’s libelous and inaccurate statements, seem to touch on every single one of the criteria listed by Wikipedia as grounds for accusations of fraud. The fact is aggravated by the problem that these statements were made to promote his own book, published by Crown Press.
In any case, I consider Hansson’s remarks about me to be purely libelous and designed to harm me, while benefitting him. I would like to request that I be fairly and appropriately compensated for this infringement of my rights, or at least that Hansson be required to issue an apology and a public retraction. I would like a remedy to this situation, and believe that as publisher of Hansson’s book, you share some responsibility with him. My family were friends of the Chandler family (owners of the L.A. Times) for fifty years, so I am well-aware of the importance of ethical standards for journalism. We also knew William Randolph Hearst’s copyright attorney, Larry Mitchell, for fifty years. I do not take the ethics of journalism lightly. That Hansson opportunistically perverted the truth in a defamatory way to promote the book that you are publishing is not ethical, in my opinion. I do not believe that as his representatives, Random House/ Crown Publishing can escape some responsibility.
My rebuttal/refutation of the above-mentioned articles in The Atlantic and The Fordyce Letter which Hansson appears to have commissioned: http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/analyzing-the-recruiterspam-problem?xg_source=activity