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The Declaration on the Rights of Ackman

The Ackman vs. Axel fight, wherever it goes, is only the latest manifestation of a broader tension between public figures and news organizations in the digital media age.
The Ackman vs. Axel fight, wherever it goes, is only the latest manifestation of a broader tension between public figures and news organizations in the digital media age. Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
January 12, 2024

On Friday, Bill Ackman, the voluble activist investor and Ivy League president defenestrator, sat down for an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin. It was Ackman’s first televised conversation since the hedge fund manager achieved legitimate pop culture notoriety as an advocate of Israel, outspoken Harvard alum, and plagiarism aficionado. Indeed, the CNBC chat would be his first significant interview, outside of a short piece in the Times, since the October 7 attack on Israel, the subsequent displays of antisemitism on college campuses, and the resignation of Penn president Liz Magill and Harvard president Claudine Gay, for which Ackman aggressively advocated. 

It was also Ackman’s first interview since the commencement of his very public battle with Business Insider regarding its multiple reports alleging that his wife, the computational designer and academic Neri Oxman, committed plagiarism in her 2010 dissertation. And his first, of course, since Ackman began sharing an internal monologue on X about his grievances with the reports and his desire to vanquish B.I.