Toad in the Hole

May 07, 2005

Journalism #2

Here's one that could originate in either the reporter's ear or the source's mouth. It's in a Seattle newspaper's article about Microsoft Inc.'s (fortunately short-lived) decision to remain "neutral" in a legislative tussle about human rights for gays.

As for Murray, he believes the company was faced with a "profound" moral test, which it failed. The backpedaling "sends an incredible message of weakness and shows a lack of moral backbone," he says. "I mean, what is this? Is this the 1930s, and are they Krups?"

So why am I giggling?

I'm giggling because I'm (choose one, if you like) old and/or attentive.

Krups makes small appliances, like coffeemakers.

The German arms manufacturer doubtless being being invoked here is Krupp, now merged with Thyssen as Krupp-Thyssen, still prospering after its part in arming Germany in both World Wars. In WW1, in fact, the company sold arms to both sides, always a profitable strategy if you can get away with it. The senior Krupp was convicted of using slave labor and went to prison for a few years after the Nuremberg trials, but never did divest himself or his then-privately owned company of its big iron, steel, and coal interests.

I wonder how many Seattle people are looking darkly at their toasters and coffeepots and thinking they're morally tainted.

Posted at May 7, 2005 08:49 PM

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