That proves that the list is about even more than retribution, Tasini says: It's a warning to any other writers who would dare challenge The New York Times. "I think it's simply another step they're taking to lash out and put pressure on writers. It's the same mentality that has suggested they should force people to sign their rights away," he says.
Author's Guild general counsel Kay Murray, who represents Bell and Brenner, does not believe the blacklist can help a case the Times has already lost. "The horse is out of the barn," she says. "I as an attorney cannot see their legal strategy. Liability has been established." She also expresses surprise that the memo came a week to the day after the World Trade Center disaster: "I guess they were able to catch their breath on Tuesday the 18th," she says of the Times.
Garson, too, is struck by the timing. "During the crisis, everybody in New York loved everyone else. I am sorry to return to our normal petty business as usual," she says.