Pathetic: New York Times writer justifies Mozilla's ouster of Eich

Thomas Lifson
The self-absorption of some on the left prevents them from even the most elementary shoe-on-the-other-foot perspective on the intolerance at Mozilla. Writing in a New York Times blog, Farhad Manjooo thinks it is fine to cater to the intolerance of those who see opposition to gay marriage as deserving loss of livelihood. This case is in his thinking different from, for example, the 1950s, when racism and sexism were rampant, and the Hollywood blacklisting of communists (long held up by the left as a national trauma that must never be forgotten).

 Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization. Mozilla’s primary mission isn’t to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope ofpromoting “the development of the Internet as a public resource.”

As such, Mozilla operates according to a different calculus from most of the rest of corporate America.

Like all software companies, Mozilla competes in two markets. First, obviously, it wants people to use its products instead of its rivals’ stuff. But its second market is arguably more challenging — the tight labor pool of engineers, designers, and other tech workers who make software.

When you consider the importance of that market, Mr. Eich’s position on gay marriage wasn’t some outré personal stance unrelated to his job; it was a potentially hazardous bit of negative branding in the labor pool, one that was making life difficult for current employees and plausibly reducing Mozilla’s draw to prospective workers.

Let’s apply this logic to the 1950s when many racists would not do business with or work in a company that hired blacks. By Manjoo’s logic, they should not have been compelled to do so.  Catering to bigots can make business sense.

The same logic would apply to professions in which women were essentially banned. Airline pilots? Why back in the day, passengers would not tolerate them, and most male pilots would not want to share a cockpit with one. Just hunky dory to exclude women, according to Manjoo’s reasoning.

Then there was the notorious case of the Hollywood Ten, people on a blacklist because of their communist affiliations. I have seen at least two big budget movie pictures on this subject, decrying the injustice of denying work to people merely because they sympathized with, donated funds to, or joined an organization standing for Stalin’s USSR, murderous, totalitarian, and by the way, homophobic, too. Mr. Manjoo ought to watch The Front, and then instruct the director, Woody Allen, that the movie studios risked losing talent if they did not keep Dalton Trumbo and the others on  the list from working.

The self-absorption of some on the left prevents them from even the most elementary shoe-on-the-other-foot perspective on the intolerance at Mozilla. Writing in a New York Times blog, Farhad Manjooo thinks it is fine to cater to the intolerance of those who see opposition to gay marriage as deserving loss of livelihood. This case is in his thinking different from, for example, the 1950s, when racism and sexism were rampant, and the Hollywood blacklisting of communists (long held up by the left as a national trauma that must never be forgotten).

 Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization. Mozilla’s primary mission isn’t to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope ofpromoting “the development of the Internet as a public resource.”

As such, Mozilla operates according to a different calculus from most of the rest of corporate America.

Like all software companies, Mozilla competes in two markets. First, obviously, it wants people to use its products instead of its rivals’ stuff. But its second market is arguably more challenging — the tight labor pool of engineers, designers, and other tech workers who make software.

When you consider the importance of that market, Mr. Eich’s position on gay marriage wasn’t some outré personal stance unrelated to his job; it was a potentially hazardous bit of negative branding in the labor pool, one that was making life difficult for current employees and plausibly reducing Mozilla’s draw to prospective workers.

Let’s apply this logic to the 1950s when many racists would not do business with or work in a company that hired blacks. By Manjoo’s logic, they should not have been compelled to do so.  Catering to bigots can make business sense.

The same logic would apply to professions in which women were essentially banned. Airline pilots? Why back in the day, passengers would not tolerate them, and most male pilots would not want to share a cockpit with one. Just hunky dory to exclude women, according to Manjoo’s reasoning.

Then there was the notorious case of the Hollywood Ten, people on a blacklist because of their communist affiliations. I have seen at least two big budget movie pictures on this subject, decrying the injustice of denying work to people merely because they sympathized with, donated funds to, or joined an organization standing for Stalin’s USSR, murderous, totalitarian, and by the way, homophobic, too. Mr. Manjoo ought to watch The Front, and then instruct the director, Woody Allen, that the movie studios risked losing talent if they did not keep Dalton Trumbo and the others on  the list from working.