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Readers to BW columnist: No jokes

We used to joke at BusinessWeek that our editors’ computers had a key called “irony delete.” Well, things have been loosening up in recent years, and sometimes we can slip some humor into the magazine. And sometimes readers object, loudly.

Last week Roben Farzad wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece calling for a windfall tax on Google. “Channel your inner Hugo Chavez,” he urged politicians. The subtitle read: “We could feed the hungry, balance the budget—even save the press. What’s not to love?”

Turned out, quite a bit. The story has attracted 150 comments, many of them from outraged readers. One, signed “Better Dead Than Red,” wrote: “Oh boy, that Marxist “jornalist” should be sent to Russia, maybe he could show mr. Putin how to bring back Josef Stalin and send all capitalist pigs to GULAG!!! These liberals never learn…”

Roben, in turn, thanks readers for their comments and urges them to join his campaign by carrying out their searches on Lycos or Infoseek.

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