“The Harper’s union has been locked in a bitter dispute with MacArthur since July. And now he’s trying to lay off Harper’s’ literary editor, Ben Metcalf, who’s worked at the magazine since the mid-nineties and who played a key role in the union drive — a move the union says is pure retaliation. The current crisis began a year ago, when MacArthur fired the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Roger Hodge. The two men had once been close, but their relationship had frayed as the red ink mounted: Newsstand sales dropped, MacArthur’s appetite for losses waned, and Hodge tried to defend the staff from cuts.” Plus, bashing the Internet.
It’s too bad Lewis Lapham, Harper’s venerable former editor, is no longer with the magazine — he’s the one man who could tell them exactly how this fight will end.