Frank Rich: Forced to Write With His Pinky Fingers?

sopranoG.pngOver at Slate Jack Shafer thinks the NYTs may have taken “conflict of interest” a bit too far when it comes to Frank Rich signing a deal with HBO. The paper announced this week that as a result of the deal Rich will be “barred from writing in his column…about either HBO or its parent company, Time Warner.” Says Shafer,

Is the ban advisable? For the embargo to be meaningful, it would have to extend to any mention of HBO shows. In recent years, the channel has produced a lineup of undeniably great programs that have woven themselves into our culture…denying him references to the HBO canon would be like forcing him to write with only his pinky fingers.

We sort of think Shafer has a point when he says he wants his “Frank Rich uncut” (sort of begs the question: how do we want our MoDo?) also, who will Rich turn to if not the Sopranos?