Unfortunately, Mr. Noer has not only refused to apologize for his hateful words about this country but has continued to write disrespectful and insulting comments on his blog in response to polite comments from readers.
I have therefore written the following email to the editors at Forbes:
On January 25, your editor Michael Noer began a series of posts on his Forbes blog, discussing his impromptu decision to send reporter Jon Bruner to Romania to stress test laptops.
Mr. Noer began fulminating imprecations against Romania from the very first paragraph, cheerfully describing his decision to send Mr. Bruner to my adoptive country as “torture” and then gleefully delighting in the “danger” that Mr. Bruner purportedly would face from one hundred thousand feral dogs allegedly roaming wild in the capital.
It seems painfully clear that Mr. Noer knows absolutely nothing about Romania or its capital Bucharest, a modern metropolis of over 2 million inhabitants. While it is true that a Japanese businessman was killed in Bucharest in 2006 after a dog attack, this was an isolated incident and it is extremely noteworthy that Mr. Noer was unable to come up with a more recent example.
Packs of feral dogs might have been a real danger in the past but the present reality is far different. Romania is an important member of both NATO and the European Union and Bucharest has hosted several high-level conferences and meetings, including visits by both President George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, all without incident.
Attempts to contact Mr. Noer via Twitter as well as via comments on his Forbes blog went unanswered. I and several other people wrote to Mr. Noer both to ask him to tone down his hateful invective as well as to provide him comparative statistics on canine attacks in the United States – which incidentally are far more prevalent than in Romania.
The only response received was more tongue-in-cheek jokes about the “dangers” Mr. Bruner faced in Romania despite the fact that Mr. Bruner himself reported he had an entirely pleasant experience and did not in fact even see a feral dog.
The tone and attitude of Mr. Noer’s writing about Romania are deeply offensive both to Romanians as well as to the hundreds of thousands of Westerners who live and work here.
I would be remiss if I did not remind you that Forbes also has a Romanian-language edition and is currently a widely-respected business magazine in this country.
As a prominent blogger and writer in Romania, I have already publicized your editor’s willful intransigence on my own website. And I have copied this email to the staff and publisher of the Romanian edition of Forbes to alert them to their American colleague’s hateful and completely unnecessary slander of this great nation.
(American) Forbes email: email@example.com
The editor of the Romanian edition of Forbes is Petre Barbu, whose email is: firstname.lastname@example.org