Media mogul Steve Forbes addressed an op-ed published in Forbes Magazine warning against hiring Trump officials, saying such a plan is “reminiscent” of McCarthyism but that Forbes values diverse opinions.
“Unlike Twitter, media giants, and Big Tech companies, we believe in diversity of opinion,” he said on Fox & Friends.
“That is an opinion from our chief content officer. He has his opinion. I have my opinion,” the Forbes Magazine CEO said in response to Randall Lane’s op-ed in Forbes last week. “Here’s my opinion. This is reminiscent of what we had in the 1950s during the McCarthy era, where there were blacklists.”
Forbes went on to explain that Lane’s piece was “one of many diverse opinions we have at Forbes” and continued comparing the political climate of 2021 to events in the last century.
“We saw what happened to Japanese in California after the dastardly attack by imperial Japan on Pearl Harbor. A shameful period of our history. [The] 1950s. We have to avoid that today. People want to give their opinions about what people did, fine, but in terms of working in the future, in terms of pursuing your careers, you go right ahead. So again, we have diversity of opinion.”
In Lane’s piece, he argued that members of the Trump administration have “debase[d] themselves,” and companies shouldn’t “let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty.”
“Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie,” he wrote. “We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.”
Forbes reiterated in his interview that he respects diversity of opinion, though practices of “blacklists” should not be put in place.
“We’re not going to have blacklists and the like,” Forbes said. “People can express opinions. Unlike other organizations, we do have diverse opinions at Forbes, and we value those diverse opinions, and I think that shows strength, not weakness.”
Forbes’s press team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.