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Back when Raj Rajaratnam was first accused of insider trading, this was the initial hedcut the Journal went with:
Obviously, the paper only has so much leeway with these things, since people know what Raj, and most of their other subjects look like. But raw material they’re given to work with aside, the staff does have some influence over the direction in which they want to take things. In some cases, as previously discussed, these editorial judgments are based on the tone of the story. For instance, news that Citi was closing Vikram’s baby, Old Lane, got the Sad Face treatment, whereas as an article about Vickles getting to fire people, one of the most fun things a CEO gets to do, got a portrait of a jolly Uncle Vik. In other cases, it’s strictly a matter of whether the organization likes you or not (in which case they will have no problem using your high school yearbook photo as a reference portrait), and how they want to portray you. They can either encourage the readership to say “Hey, that looks like a pretty affable, non-criminal guy,” or “Look at that fat fuck. He’s gotta be up to no good.” Whether or not Raj actually looks like Jabba the Hut in real life doesn’t much matter: that’s the angle the Journal was going with, and they obviously took pains to nail the image, as evidenced by making sure each chin was just right, and that his neck was practically melting. Then they wrinkled his shirt a little bit, because everyone knows a slob is probably guilty of something.
So it was a bit shocking to see this, the drawing that accompanied today’s story:
The layers of neck are less offensive. He’s wearing a suit and tie. They’ve made him look reflective and almost sensitive. Obviously this raises a few of questions: how did this change of heart by the Journal come about? Did they get pressure from Galleon’s lawyers or PR team (it’s happened before)? Or, over the course of reporting, did they grow fond of the big man, and want the world to see the Raj they see? And finally, when are they going to really going to take this thing on home and run an animated GIF of Raj-Raj giggling uncontrollably, as he is prone to do, particularly when playing practical jokes on employees involving midgets and paying them to get tased? Because that’s the true Raj Rajaratnam, and that’s the one we’re waiting for.