Dirty Business. The year of Blankenship comes to an end. The ousting of Don Blankenship from his position as CEO of Massey Coal at first glance appears like the toppling of an icon of "old-coal.
" But there may be cooler calculations at play, according to Jeff Goodell, author of the recent profile of Massey in Rolling Stone, Goodell's scathing portrayal of the embattled, highly divisive West Virginia coal executive, The Dark Lord of Coal Country, was published one week prior to his surprise resignation on December 3 after pressure from the company's board of directors. In his article, Goodell, a consulting reporter on the documentary Dirty Business, chronicles the myriad misdeeds committed during Blankenship's nearly two-decade reign as West Virginia's "undisputed king of coal. " Blankenship directed Massey with brutal efficiency, Goodell writes, developing a reputation for crushing rivals, busting unions, and lavish spending to purchase political influence. Coal mining communities in Appalachia will forgive a lot of things, Goodell notes. The Dark Lord of Coal Country.