Rope noose hanging outdoors in sandy wilderness on sunny blue sky background. Scaffold for committing death punisment executions or suicide abstract idea. Judgment and justice.

The Execution of Kenneth Fisher

Even before I learned about Ken Fisher’s crudeness and disregard for the lessons of the #MeToo movement, I’d have nothing to do with his eponymous firm. For seemingly forever, Fisher Investments has been junking up my mailbox with slick flyers touting the founder’s investment prowess. When it comes to money…

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My Most Memorable Bars and Bartenders

Jen Agg, a Canadian restauranteur, recently had a rant published in the Globe and Mail decrying “Best” lists of restaurants and bars. Here’s a taste (pardon the pun) of what she wrote: I have always been suspicious of lists. From Michelin to En Route to Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, they…

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HONG KONG - June 9, 2019: Hong Kong June 9 protect with million of people on the street.

Mark Kern: A Moral Leader in an ‘Immoral’ Industry

I’m often accused of being too black and white in my thinking. My skepticism about ESG, a popular form of socially responsible investing, is a case in point. I applaud those who wish to apply moral considerations when investing in public entities, but companies comprising the biggest holdings of Vanguard’s…

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A Bumper Crop Week for Liberal Hypocrisy

I tried, dear reader, I honestly tried. I’ve been working mightily to channel my inner Dale Carnegie these past few weeks trying to affirm what’s good, avoiding criticizing others, and acting with kindness. But less than a month away from the Jewish Day of Atonement, God decided to test me…

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The Botched New York Times Kavanaugh Penis Story

A conversation on Sunday made me vow I’d never again write a critical story about the media. Someone whose opinion and values I greatly respect chastised me for my slew of very negative commentaries I’ve recently posted questioning journalism integrity and practices. “The media performs a very critical function, particularly…

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Cartoon businessman balancing cross and tick symbol on two weighing trays on both arms. Creative vector illustration for ethical dilemma concept isolated on green background.

Lynne Doughtie’s KPMG Culture Mismanagement

Accountants are the Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield of the professional services industry. I know this because my father was the senior partner of a Toronto accounting firm and I learned about the abuse he took despite his unrivaled knowledge of Canada’s tax code. A former senior partner…

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Fiery morning sunrise from between forest trees.

Democracy Dies in Blazing Sunshine

Back in 1965, an unknown young attorney named Ralph Nader published a bestselling book called “Unsafe at Any Speed,” accusing American automakers of being resistant to safety features like seat belts and questioning the design of a GM car called the Corvair. In those days, allegations that American companies would…

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22043499 - open book with magical green tree and rays of light on wooden deck

The Wisdom of Dale Carnegie, Cal Newport, and Jan Wong

When I moved to Boston to attend graduate school, my uncle living there worked in the book publishing business. He saw infinite beauty in books, not just the information contained between the covers but the covers themselves and how they were bound. He was appalled by the stack of newspapers…

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Washington, DC at the White House

Donald Trump’s “Treasonous” Aides

Here’s some PR counsel you can take to the bank: There is no such thing as an “off-the-record” conversation with a reporter. In fact, often the best way to get a story out is to incessantly repeat the information you are providing is hush-hush and on the QT. Here’s how…

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39342006 - bedbugs

Bret Stephens and the Toxicity of Twitter

George Washington University associate professor David Karpf hopefully enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame. Karpf’s tweet on Tuesday likening New York Times columnist Bret Stephens to a “bedbug” garnered the prof national media attention and ultimately drove Stephens off the social media site. Donald Trump piled on, demonstrating once again…

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NEW YORK CITY - DEC 01 The New York Times building and characteristic Yellow Taxi Cab,on December 01th, 2013 in Manhattan, New York City. USA.

All the Victim News That’s Fit to Print

The mark of a great newspaper is if it handles its embarrassments with integrity. The Wall Street Journal set the standard in 1984 with its no-holds-barred reporting on a staff writer it discovered was leaking market-sensitive story information to a stockbroker. The story contained myriad details that were embarrassing to…

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Racism in America and bigotry in the USA concept as the tear of an American minority washing away a flag of the United States painted on a face as a civil rights and discrimination metaphor in a 3D illustration style.

Top-10 Jobs for Tom Wright-Piersanti

WARNING: This blog post discusses and links to offensive content a New York Times senior editor deemed fit to print. The New York Times employs an avowed antisemitic senior political editor. That’s not my opinion but rather the admission of Tom Wright-Piersanti, whose decade-old tweets this week were uncovered by…

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Social issues.

The Deceit of “Socially Responsible” Investing

When I migrated from journalism to PR decades ago, I was appalled at services major firms were promising but I knew couldn’t deliver. I shared my dismay with my father, a brilliant businessman who I always turned to for counsel and advice. He was neither sympathetic nor supportive. “Bullshit sells,”…

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The Lipstick on GE’s Financials

I’m bad at math, much to the chagrin of my father, an award-winning accountant who rarely used a calculator or slide rule because he could process numbers faster in his head. I long blamed my algebraic impairment for my inability to analyze a balance sheet, but GE CEO Larry Culp…

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Pile of NIS - New Israeli Shekels banknotes with the new 200, 100, 20, 50 sheqel. Wallpaper of shekels bills -Top View. Politics and money of Israel background.

My Two Shekels to Save The Forward

The Forward, a storied 122-year-old publication founded in New York City by Yiddish-speaking Democratic Socialists, recently announced that former New York Times editor Jodi Rudoren will oversee the newspaper’s editorial operations. Rudoren has impressive credentials, but the appointment announcement by publisher Rachel Fishman Fedderson has me worried. The announcement notes…

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Uber and the Killing of the American Dream

Silicon Valley’s tech denizens fancy themselves as above reproach liberal do-gooders, disrupting antiquated business models and government regulations for the betterment of genderfluidkind, a term I imagine they’d prefer to “mankind.” Donald Trump is among the greatest things to happen to the Valley since the creation of the microchip because…

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The Hypocrisy of #Boycott Equinox

Careful readers of this blog (of which there aren’t yet as many as I’d like) know that I’m no fan of Equinox Fitness, the swanky, ridiculously overpriced gym chain catering to celebrities, wannabes, and the self-absorbed. I’m also no fan of Stephen Ross, who I briefly met at a reception…

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Credit card finance money payment flat vector web concept template illustration. Businessman hand holding bank cards, coins, wallet and bank notes. Monetary conceptual collection.

Hey Capital One: What’s in YOUR Wallet?

Fortune magazine four years ago published what easily ranks among the best investigative features of all time, an in-depth examination of the devastating cyberattack launched against Sony Pictures. The attack erased everything stored on about half of Sony’s personal computers and servers. A deleting algorithm overwrote the data seven different…

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How Donald Trump and Jared Kushner View the Poor

I confess my wariness of the political media distracted me from the “character” of Donald Trump.  Count me among the two-thirds of Americans who perceive journalists as promoting their personal agendas rather than objectively reporting the news. The more the media tarred Trump a racist, a fascist, or whatever ist…

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The “Racist” Attacks on Ilan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Margaret Wente, a U.S.-born columnist for Canada’s Globe and Mail, wrote a commentary in February pondering how to prevent the populist movement overtaking the politics of her adopted country the way it has in the U.S. and much of Europe.  Canada would seem fertile ground for populism: Twenty percent of…

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winter landscape colorful sunrise over the snow-covered field

When Rabbis Know More Than Doctors

It was the call I long feared and dreaded. “Dad has taken a bad turn and the doctors say it’s only a matter of hours,” my eldest sister Janie advised on that early February 2014 morning. “You need to get to Toronto as soon as possible.” Driving home the severity…

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 1, 2016: Traffic on Hollywood Boulevard at dusk. The theater district is famous tourist attraction.

On Becoming an Angeleno

There’s a super upscale L.A. area food emporium that makes Whole Foods look like a 7-11. It’s called Erewhon, and while the quality of its food is unrivaled, so are its prices. A donut costs $7 (okay, it’s gluten free, vegan, organic, made with toctrienols, superfoods, and 10 grams of…

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Sad preoccupied man looking down standing on gray background

Why Journalists Have Short-Term Memories

When I was a still youthful reporter at The (Montreal) Gazette, a top editor at the newspaper nabbed me in the hallway and suggested I do a story about the state of Canada’s banking industry. Two small western Canadian banks had recently failed, and the editor thought it wise to…

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The Purpose of Colin Kaepernick

Millennials and Gen Z fashion themselves as being driven by their morals when purchasing goods and services. According to a survey by Deloitte, many “will not hesitate to lessen or end a relationship when they disagree with a company’s business practices, values, or political leanings.” Understandably, corporate America is falling…

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Sonos: A Rare Tech Company with Common Sense

Technology has long been my enemy. The torment began in junior high when I was forced to take a computer science class and master an understanding of now obsolete punch cards used to store digital data. I hated that class more than I hated shop, and the tech gods have…

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Rx to Protect Investors: Kill the SEC

Darryll Bolduc, a former Charlotte bond trader who became a whistleblower long before there were riches to be had from the practice, was among the people I proudly represented when I worked in PR. Bolduc was fired after alerting NationsBank (which merged with Bank of America) of what he believed…

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On Being Buried with Bonanza’s Lorne Greene

I’m in the process of planning my funeral. Relax, I’m hopefully not checking out soon.  I’m just a control freak, especially when it comes to my travel accommodations. If I leave it to my family, I could end up back in my native Toronto. After three years in L.A., I’d…

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The Power (and Boredom) of Iyengar Yoga

My elusive search for a meaningful yoga practice began nearly three decades ago when I was living on New York’s Upper East Side. I was looking to meet spiritually minded people and, in those days, yoga was associated with the crunchy granola set. The practice was still sufficiently foreign that…

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The Greatness of Restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Wolfgang Puck

If it were not for a senior editor at Fortune agreeing to meet me for lunch about ten years ago, I would have never discovered the wonders of a Danny Meyer restaurant. Journalists have champagne tastes (at least when someone else is buying), and the editor suggested we meet at…

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My Fascination with Ayelet Zurer and Israeli TV

Jews have long been great storytellers. The tradition began in the BC era with Moses’ publication of his five-book anthology “The Bible,” a record bestseller.  We’ve been on a roll ever since. Acclaimed Jewish novelists of more recent times included Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Franz Kafka, Herman Wouk, and Joseph…

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The Mob Tactics of California’s PG&E

Summer has begun and millions of tourists will soon be swarming San Francisco, Napa, Big Sur, and other California scenic wonders. I welcome these guests (providing they don’t decide to move here), but I’m honor bound to share a secret California’s tourism bureau wants to keep quiet. For some tourists,…

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How Charles Zook Rescued Me From New York City

My intentions weren’t entirely honorable when I struck up my first conversation with Charles Zook eight years ago. He was sitting next to me poolside at an unconventional retreat in Northern California, and I was admiring the redheaded woman he was with. She was naturally pretty, poised, and exuded intelligence.…

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Why Facebook Should Fear CrossFit’s Greg Glassman

I wouldn’t want to mess with Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit. You might mistakenly perceive CrossFit as just a gritty gym in your neighborhood, but it’s a global network of 15,000 facilities in 160 countries, generating an estimated $100 million in revenues. Glassman is reportedly also worth…

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Lessons Learned from Doggie Parenthood

I dreamed of owning a dog from the moment I watched my first episode of Lassie. For those born after the series ended in 1973, it was a TV show about the heroic adventures of a Collie named Lassie who was always rescuing people and saving them from misfortune. Lassie…

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The Perilous Trend to Regulate Journalism

In his book “The Other Side of the Story” about his dealings with the media, Jody Powell, President Carter’s press secretary, presciently observed that if Americans knew the people responsible for covering the news, they wouldn’t believe anything they read. In Powell’s day, cable news was in its infancy and…

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