‘WSJ’ Editor Robert Thomson Is Le Dissed

The e-G8 tech summit sponsored by French President Nicolas “No Sleep ‘Til Tripoli” Sarkozy kicked off Tuesday in Paris, and a few hours into it Off the Record found Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and close friend of Rupert Murdoch, outside the main white tent in the Tuileries Garden. Mr. Thomson was in earnest conversation with a tech type regarding Androids, iPads and, yes, The Daily app.

When his conversation was over, we fell into walking with the charming Australian as he headed for the tent’s entrance.

“Are you speaking at the summit?”

“Tomorrow,” Mr. Thomson said.

“On what panel?”

“About disintermediation.”

“O.K., and what–wait, what is that?”

“Disintermediation,” he repeated with a chuckle. “Getting rid of the middle person.”

“But that’s us!”

“That’s us,” he said. “You and me. We’re being disintermediated–or are we just being dissed?”


“Some people try to put the ‘diss’ into disintermediator.”

“And what do you think?”

Mr. Thomson paused, slowed his gait at the entrance, and placed a hand on each of Off the Record‘s shoulders, seemingly trying to steer us gently away. “Oh, I think there’s a great future for great journalists.”

tacitelli@observer.com :: @tacitelli ‘WSJ’ Editor Robert Thomson Is Le Dissed