Business week picks up the story of the graduation remarks given by Indra Nooyi at the Columbia Univeristy MBA graduation ceremony this past Sunday: “Bloggers finger a new victim.” Business Week also posts the text of the speech.
Business Week commentator Diane Brady levels criticism at all involved, asserting that Ms. Nooyi “should have known her remarks would grab attention” even though her speech “borders on pablum in this country of raging opinions.” Brady also finds Ms. Nooyi “funny (if a little forced) and quite measured in her analogy.” She finds PepsiCo guilty of “hemming and hawing.”
Brady characterizes criticism of Nooyi’s speech by us and others as “blog outrage” and “noise in cyberspace,” partially quoting something I wrote here that requires a little more elaboration to make sense. Brady unfairly summarizes one strand of criticism as asserting that Nooyi’s remarks constituted “a direct slap at U.S. troops.”
Brady concludes that “it’s a shame that one executive’s carefully worded opinion at a college speech should prompt such a backlash, then a mea culpa.” The story’s subhead nevertheless finds Ms. Nooyi’s hand analogy “inept” rather than “carefully worded.”
Ms. Brady’s commentary at 30,000 feet from the remarks and the criticism pretends to a kind of Swedish, Hans Blixian neutrality in the matter. It’s the kind of neutrality that places bloggers (and their readers) in the shoes of the United States. As such, it’s a neutrality that leans rather obviously against the United States. If that’s a fair comparison, we’ll proudly take the criticism.
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