Harvard's most famous dropout is heading back to campus for his first ever "official visit," and so far, he's keeping his distance from The Crimson. Zuckerberg tends to fly pretty low on the press radar in general. A quick read through the paper's coverage of Zuckerberg's college career reveals that if anything, the The Crimson's portrayal of the Facebook founder is often flattering; the tone could be described as fawning at times. Nevertheless, it appears that Zuckerberg didn't care to offer a quote to The Crimson in their giddy coverage of his upcoming visit. Instead, he chose to express his emotions through Facebook's public policy spokesman. Crimson staff writer Radhika Jain reports:
The Harvard dropout and mastermind behind Facebook returns to his for his first official visit to the College since 2004, when he left to start the social networking site. …
"He is eager to connect with computer science and engineering students from some of the best schools in the world, and may well be tomorrow's Facebook innovators," wrote Andrew Noyes, Facebook's manager for public policy communications, in an email.
It's possible that Mark never even knew that The Crimson had reached out. The paper's president Naveen Srivatsa told The Atlantic Wire, "We contacted Mr. Noyes, the manager for public policy communications at Facebook, directly." However, distancing himself from his old allies is becoming a bit of a trend for Zuckerberg. A couple weeks ago, Laura M. Holson at The New York Times profiled his sister Randi for one of those Thursday style section pieces. Despite the fact that she was a brand new mother while Holson was reporting, the piece itself painted Randi as a bit of a party girl. ("Who wants a tequila shot!" Holson quoted the younger Zuckerberg screaming at a party. Randi later joked in a Facebook update, "After reading this, maybe I should ditch the whole social media thing and launch 'R to Z Tequila?'" Actually, it's unclear whether she's joking or not.)
Though The Times had plenty to say about Randi, Mark did not. Rather than talk to the reporter, the 27-year-old billionaire chose to channel his accolades for his younger sister through a spokesman:
Mr. Zuckerberg declined to be interviewed for this article even after his sister sent him an e-mail asking him to. Ms. Zuckerberg said she got an e-mail from the company's spokesman, Elliot Schrage, in reply. In a statement issued through Mr. Schrage, her brother said, in part: "Randi has always been creative and we put her talent to good use at Facebook." He added, "Now that she's on her own stage, I know she'll be recognized even more for making the world more open and connected."
But hey, Mark Zuckerberg is a busy man. The Harvard Crimson is a well known college newspaper, but it's a college newspaper, nonetheless. The New York Times is a well known grown-up newspaper, but still, it's a newspaper and not a fancy magazine like The New Yorker. Reporters, take note. If you really want Zuckerberg's attention, just show up at Facebook HQ with Katy Perry in tow. He has plenty of time for her.