The Continuing Intransigence of Michael Noer

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:

The editor of the Romanian edition of Forbes is Petre Barbu, whose email is:

22 thoughts on “The Continuing Intransigence of Michael Noer

  1. With all due respect Sophie I think you should stick to writing poetry or SF as you cannot successfully support your position by so naively leaving economics out of the equation. Why not weigh this touchy nation’s achievements against those of Eritrea or Somalia and then see how unwilling to aspire to excellence other people are – the Somali pirates being the exception.
    You are way off all over the place! Do you honestly think that people at ARCA have more desire to succeed than those employed by the rest of Romania? I‘ll give a stick to your brightest westerner and let’s watch him/her build a collider or a cute satellite. (Come to think of it, about 2500 years ago there was a man who did great things with his stick – in the sand; his name was Pythagoras but he did so in a non capital-intensive world and after traveling everywhere for about forty years.)
    For a half a century Romania has been deprived of infrastructure investments and its crippling corruption is delaying reforms compromising yet another generation of workers at all levels – thank you once again Mr. Lenin Hans Anderson. This makes it harder to get the country on some “who’s what” list but I think they are doing ok keeping themselves on average when not constrained by capital.
    (Many westerners – who had found their bank accounts empty – would even argue that Romanians beat that average when given access to technology.)


  2. Sophie:As I stated before,do a little research before making statements that only prove your ignorance.Just becouse YOU only heard of a couple of Romanian companies does not mean they are the only ones that exist.You know,just becouse you are not aware that the earth is round,it doesn”t mean that everybody else is as ignorant as you!Go figure…!


  3. Sophie:If you would have made a little more research and not simply resume at repeating like a parrot what you read in the tabloids you would know that Romania was not born twenty years ago,Romanians have no identity problem and no one expects the west to solve anything ,much less pseudo problems that exist only in the imagination of those reporters who need sensational events every hour.Is the widespread ignorance of those like you who have recently started wondering what all this fuss about Romania and Romanians is all about and can not recover from the shock of discovering that both the wheel and the hot water are not British or French(no need to mention USA) inventions ,but to add even more fault to the injury,they were everyday life commodities in these lands long before Brits found out that they were Brits.So the VERY SAD TRUTH IS that your fancy printed college degrees are useless as long as they only prove that you were taught to take pride in your ignorance and cry it out loud in order to make sure that everybody else knows it.This is the reason newspapers write nonsense.This is the level of comprehension of their readers.At least guys like that Noer fellow get payed to write bullshit.It is the readers who accept to pay for the bullshit, that deserve the blame and need to do something to gain our RESPECT!


    1. Well, I think France, Germany, etc… and the likes are currently not taking pride in building the wheel, etc and whatever was created so many years ago.They take pride in recent things..building say Airbus A380, building the LHC, sending satellites to space, etc… all very 2011 of them . Maybe I fail to see how Romania contributes in the global sense to the economy. I actually check the newspaper for other facts but dogs, gypsies, dirty places and so on… but also read on what is exactly the Romanian industry creating. And to be honest… all the industry comes from abroad and not from within. Most romanians are currently working for foreign companies last time I checked. IKEA, Carrefour, Deloitte, etc, etc… all from abroad.
      From Romania I know the guys from ARCA, Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association, who are the only Romanian engineers that seem to be doing something on their own and that is in touch with the advancements of this world…. I don’t know anyone else that is as ambitious or even close to them. And they are 1 case…1 drop in the sea.

      I am not being ignorant at all about Romania, I know very well that most newspapers are writing a bunch of crap about this country. I am just saying that everybody in Romania needs to stop complaining about the lack of respect the others show, and start focusing on what is really important : building something that is worth the respect.


  4. Romania and romanians in general need to stop demanding respect …and start gaining it.
    Honestly, it’s sad to say but all Romanians seem to be sitting around and waiting for the western countries to solve their problems.
    I agree that some of the newspapers make some really ridiculous remarks that probably have nothing to do with reality. Is anyone abroad really surprised that this guy makes so much fun of Romania? No. But the very sad truth is that Romania is not offering the alternative.What has Romania done recently that is truly remarkable ?
    It’s hard to respect a country who’s biggest dream is to be the copycat of Germany, France, etc …You need to have your own identity and start coming up with great and smart policies that prove you are worth the admiration and not the mockery. That’s probably when newspapers stop writing so much nonsense and start writing some good things also, no ?


    1. Honestly, you’re right we’re not doing enough to gain respect in terms of PR.
      But let me answer your seemingly rhetorical question of “What has Romania done recently that is truly remarkable ?” with an example.
      We’re doing the Dacia, which sells. A lot. Turns out the arrogant west is so keen in investing EU money in “big” things like the LHC, A380 & co that they forgot they’re supposed to be socialists, helping the poor not being poor by giving them free money they did not work for.
      This is where we stepped in and decided since we are not the Germans to pay for everybody else’s incompetence, to give them the next best thing to free money: cheap cars! Go Dacia! Yeah, the idea was French, but the rest is Romania!

      I could also add a loooong list of other awesome things, but:
      a. I don’t want to ruin Sam’s blog by giving away potential headlines.
      b. Nobody cares because they’re too busy writing about the gypsies, the dogs, the bad infrastructure, the corruption etc. You know the stuff that would make you want to ignore the country rather than explore/research it…


  5. How did this perv test his computer anyway? Was there any top on his lap? Did he employ warm, vibrating, violently colored or obscene noise-producing peripherals? Did he breath on the non-breed? Was he not aware that our dogs engage in selective biting?

    You know, dog’s aren’t really a problem in Bucharest – or in the country for that matter – it is us who blow everything out of proportion. Factor in this City’s population, the fact that almost a third of those bitten are stupid dog owners, the provoked attacks, the economic situation of this developing country and, not the least, the emptiness in these people’s lives who cling on the stupid dog killing stories because they haven’t picked up a book in fifteen years and really have nothing to talk about – since the TV broke down yesterday during “Narcisa Salbatica”.

    Meanwhile, 5,000 f…. well built Romanian bastards have beaten-up their wifes to death but nobody noticed this cause we are all out (most expat community leading) to poison – or shoot Canadian husky-style – this city’s dogs to make Bucharest a pleasant place for the stop-over of some forbes vomit-prone jerk. This Noer imbecile scribbled a paragraph or two by clicking twice on Google and we are all back on this subject. Many of us have jumped in this debates just to provide some balance but it gets me sad to see how much energy is being diverted from reporting and debating more serious or at least more interesting stories.


  6. Sam – please send Mr Noer an irevocable Certificate of Honorary Romanian. He’s comments are so witty, and he sticks to his ideeas so well that is feels “homey”. You see: he knows better than everybody else.
    He cant refuse that since it reffers to his personality.


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