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Feature Story August 10, 2001
 
COMBED OVER!!!
By Matt Taibbi Browse author
 
Page 7 of 9
 

These letters were followed by letters to the editor to all the publications which had quoted Nolle as a source. Here's an excerpt from a note to the LA Times:

"As a journalist and media critic I believe that it is important to hold sources accountable for the substance of their comments -- particularly when the mere mention of their names in a major publication like the Los Angeles Times reaps for them a tremendous public relations benefit. Nolle is a small-time independent consultant -- his corporation, Cimi Corp, has a staff of two -- who has parlayed himself into an international authority mainly on the strength of his regular appearances as a source in telecommunications-related feature articles (he was also recently quoted in the Economist). He always argues strongly in favor of further regulation and commercialization of the internet, and is taken seriously despite the fact that he is in bad standing with the state of New Jersey as a corporate officer precisely because of his failure to comply with regulatory practices.

"Sincerely,

Matt Taibbi, etc."

The ratfucking continued. A call to the answering machine of Ed and Marilyn Mathany, neighbors of Nolle's on Andover Court. "This is a message for the Mathany's," I said. "My name is Adam Moskowitz of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Newark... I'd like to ask you a few questions if you could, not about you, but about your neighbor, Tom Nolle... Please call me in Newark at 973-273-5000."

Next up: Nolle's cherished "Netwatcher" newsletter. The extent to which this newsletter symbolizes Nolle's sizable intellectual pretensions (one graphic on the site, meant to represent the CEO, showed a sort of sleek futuristic humanoid with an overcharged brain bursting out of its skull-casing with unruly electrical currents) can not be underestimated. Here is Nolle discussing the ground rules for consumption of "Netwatcher." Readers please take note of the section, in the second paragraph, where Nolle explains that the potential subscriber must be good enough to meet Nolle's high standards before he will even deign to sell him his $195 subscription:

"Approximately a year of back issue extracts are available here on our website. About a third of the content in a given issue is held for subscribers only. The December Annual Technology Forecast and the Market Area Focus section are never provided online. We recommend that you review these to measure their value to you before you subscribe. We will not provide samples of complete issues, so please don't bother to ask.

"Netwatcher is a controlled circulation publication for insiders in the telecommunications field. Those applying for subscription will be asked to provide proof of qualifications in the form of company affiliation, job title, etc. Subscriptions are $195.00 per year for individuals; company licenses are priced based on number of employees. Contact us for details on company license terms. Back issues are available to subscribers only, at a price of $25.00 per issue. All prices are in US dollars. Click here for subscription details.

"CIMI Corporation will pay a reward of $500.00 for information that leads to the successful prosecution of copyright infringements relating to Netwatcher. Please contact us if you believe you have uncovered such a practice."

Out of the country but in touch, Krazy Kevin immediately suggested an idea. We ourselves would violate Nolle's Netwatcher copyright, then call him up to claim the reward. Bounding into action, eXile webmaster Yegor Shipovalov posted a lengthy extract of Nolle's June issue (pulled from the site, despite the fact that Nolle expressly prohibited this) and posted it on our site, under a Dan Higgins byline.

A few hours later, Rudnitsky called the CimiCorp offices to claim the reward. He got Linda, apparently a younger woman with a heavy New Jersey accent, on the phone. Jake explained that he wanted to inform them of a copyright infringement involving Netwatcher, etc. etc. She listened politely for a few minutes, then asked Jake for his name and telephone number:


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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
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The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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